Great design, location and comfort make this hotel definitely worth a visit. Ideal location aside, the hotel itself is a work of art.
Backpacking Barcelona City Guide (12222)
Set in a former banking headquarters, the Mandarin Oriental is a sleek, airy space where guests can find tranquility in a city that is constantly in transit. And this sets the tone for the rest of your stay as rooms are touched by gentle cream colours and oriental details which make for an incredibly calming getaway.
And - as you would expect - they come with all the mod cons one would need. The clean cut Euro-chic style of the hotel chimes in perfectly with cool Barcelona, but perhaps the real catch of the hotel is the communal areas. Before indulging in some retail therapy, the breakfast is the ideal way to start any day. It might be in the centre of Barcelona, just a 45 second walk from the luxury shopping strip Passeig de Gracia, but the Autograph Collection hotel is an oasis of calm in an urban setting.
There's also a huge terrace in a typical Spanish courtyard almost every block has a central courtyard and a rooftop pool with incredible views of the skyline-dominating Sagrada Familia. If you fancy a relaxing retreat while still experiencing the buzz of Barcelona, this is definitely the hotel for you.
It is extravagant yet modern but with an unique take on combining ingredients. We recommend to try the pan fried baby squid and baked king crab to start with, followed by either meat, which is a burst of flavor or within seafood make sure to try the grilled lobster with herb butter and the king crab Catalan washed down with local delicious wine, that is kept in an impressive wine rack dividing the restaurant to the bar area.
Barcelona Travel Guide
Further down you can enjoy delicious cocktails at the bar on the ground floor or head to the roof terrace for great sounds and a memorable view. During the day they terrace is transformed into a cool and vibrant place to enjoy drinks and unwind in one of the cozy sunbeds or in the pool. But the rooftop — on which sits a pool flanked by an army of hefty four-poster sunbeds — is where you want to be.
The menu reflects the locale, and offers a selection of tapas starters, including oxtail croquettes, Andalusian-style cuttlefish and patatas bravas. Follow this with a Rib Eye steak and fries, and crown the meal with a banoffee pie with hot toffee sauce. After dinner, migrate to the pool for more Espresso Martinis, naturally.
City guide: Barcelona | BCD Travel Move Danish Site (Europe)
Launched only last week, the Little House on the beach in Graffa — an hour by train from Barcelona centre — is a breezy beach club unique enough to offer a real change of scene from the regular city houses, all the while maintaining the loved Soho House template. The bright and cheerful lobby no phones allowed , with its picture-perfect views of the beach is the ideal space for a morning coffee with your book before tourists hit the sand, and the airy dining space is filled with plants and natural light.
In the main restaurant, a fresh fish bar occupies the corner, with its daily-changing offerings filling up the specials board, while a juice and drinks bar sits on the other side. From here, an iron staircase takes you to a spectacular roof terrace, where you can smoke, drink and enjoy the benefits of a no-children rule. When you finally unite with your green and white striped sun-bed complete with pillow and parasol , make the most of a dedicated drinks service.
With a wine cellar boasting different bottles, you can be sure to be well-looked after. For a lunchtime spot of extravagance, the Majestic Brunch at the Majestic Hotel is the place to head to. This is essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet on a grand scale, with champagne on tap and a non-stop flow of oysters and other local seafood. A perfect shopping break. Situated on the 24th floor of the Melia Sky Barcelona, this Michelin star restaurant offers some of the best views of Barcelona.
Identical twins Sergio and Javier Torres are the master chefs who run the restaurant, offering a modern take on classic Catalonian food. This is elBulli for the people. Expect beetroot meringues to appear miraculously from soil, edible cotton on branches, single pine nuts eaten from bark and, of course, the legendary spherified olive which was first made famous at elBulli. For an experience like no other, Disfrutar is the place to be. It makes sense, then, that the W boasts the best views of the city. After sunset, journey down to the WET Deck: the ground floor bar with a pool, surrounded by beach club day bed, which, during the hotel's Sunday Summer Series, are packed with revellers here for the world-renowned electronic DJs, from Cassius to Erick Morilo.
Put simply: this is a bar that does things a certain way. If you are backpacking Europe , chances are this is not your first cathedral visit, but I promise you, there is no other building in the world like La Sagrada Familia. Make sure to go inside! Sure, there are better beaches in Spain, but how often can you lay out on the beach and grab drinks downtown in the same short afternoon!?
Plus, this area of Barcelona has a cool scene. Play some volleyball, or run, bike, and rollerblade along the promenade. I suggest getting here early if you want to beat the crowds! While it takes some effort to get here — think a long metro ride and jaunt up a steep hill — the views are nothing short of epic from the bunkers! Get here early for a good seat!
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Watching the sunset from the Bunkers in Barcelona! This bohemian area of Barcelona is a great place to grab some coffee and food, do some yoga, and just hang out in one of the plazas with the locals. This is also one of my favorite places to stay in Barcelona! The medieval architecture will transport you back in time as you sip on sangria at one of the trendy bars. Wander around the alleyways of Barri Gothic!
What used to be the seedier part of the city — and still is in some areas — has experienced a dramatic face lift, as well as rapid gentrification.
This is where the coolest rebels, like Ernest Hemingway, used to hang out. Looks like the coolest rebels are still hanging out here. From the cable cars that lead up to the Monjuic Castle to the themed gardens, make sure to make it to this mountain.
Architecture of the Ages
There are even open-aired bars and clubs in the summer. Want more? Check out our epic guide to the 40 coolest things to do in Barcelona, Spain! Check out this post to see the best places to visit in Barcelona! Below I have crafted a 3-day sample itinerary for backpacking Barcelona that will take through all of the highlights, as well as some of my favorite local gems! Make sure to reserve your Sagrada Familia ticket ahead of time! Tickets sell out weeks in advance. I highly suggest eating lunch and dinner here! This neighborhood is mostly inhabited by young, socially and politically active locals and students.
You can also head to Palza Saint Joan to watch the swing dancers in the plaza! Parc Guell is a top attraction in Barcelona and it gets packed in the afternoon, so if you can fit it in to a sunrise visit before Sagrada Familia, I highly recommend it! Just try to get some preper sleep before day 2… or just roll into the next day without any sleep and a proper sunrise view, as so many Spaniards do.
While Westernized, I highly suggest the restaurant Milk for brunch. Make sure to get there early to skip the lines! The interior is beautiful! You can also catch a show here, tonight. La Boqueria Market is a giant indoor market on La Rambla with just about every type of food you can imagine. The Boqueria Market is full of colorful foods! While some areas are best avoided at night, this neighborhood is popular with young, bohemian folks, and there are tons of awesome boutiques and vintage stores, bars, and restaurants, so I suggest eating lunch and dinner here.
You can hike around, visit the Montjuic Castle, and some of the old Olympic Stadiums you can even swim in the Olympic pool.
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As night approaches, the fun just gets started in Barcelona. Raval has plenty of options for food and bars.
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This bar is well worth visiting just to check it out as it actually feels like you are walking back in time. There is a live music venue called Big Bang Bar with open mic x2 a week, and live music other nights — excellent vibes. Start your day on the Mediterranean sea, and go for a stroll, jog, or bike ride along the waterfront and Barceloneta.
You can also lay out a towel and relax on the beach, play volleyball, grab a drink, and catch some sun rays!