While many people have already been to Barcelona, it is a city with hidden historical depths and a cutting-edge frontier of food, fashion and culture. It is ever-shifting, meaning there will always be a plethora of new experiences to be had by all visitors – no matter how many times you’ve been.
Here we get underneath the Barcelona of today, with advice for the discerning traveller.
Unique Barcelona experiences
The beach is fantastic and you’ll certainly love Antoni Gaudí’s architectural gems embedded throughout the city. Beyond that, we advise treating yourself to some of the more lavish activities that this ancient city has to offer – as recommended by our trusted customers.
- Iconic opera house: The Gran Teatre del Liceu is one of a kind. Founded on La Rambla in 1847, it is one of the world’s most classical opera houses. Now it sits as a centre for culture in the city, with a diverse calendar of operas, concerts and orchestral performances throughout the year.
- Shopping Passeig de Gracia: All of the world’s celebrated luxury brands can be found lining this world-famous shopping street. Shakira and Justin Beiber were recently spotted with full bags, before retiring to one of the nearby hotels for a glass of something cold. We recommend browsing Bagués-Masriera Joiers, with over 200 years’ history in fine art jewellery – it is a real treat.
- Petrol heads rally around: Home to the famous Barcelona Gran Prix, visiting the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya is a dream come true for lovers of cars and racing. We can arrange for you to tackle the track in a Ferrari or experience the wonderful hospitality it has to offer. For a high-octane holiday experience, look no further.
- Ultimate wine experience: This is an unmatched experience for wine connoisseurs, just 20 minutes from the city centre. At the Alta Alella estate, you can attend wine tastings, enjoy yoga classes or take a helicopter ride over the grounds to soak up the stunning landscape on the fringes of Barcelona. Wine and cava lovers will never forget the tastes and times at this reputable winery.
The best luxury hotels in Barcelona
When the sun sets in the early hours of the evening, follow the soft thud of deep house until you find one of the city’s stylish hotels. They are often the best venues in which to drink, eat, dance and sleep. Our team are particularly fond of the hotels below where you’ll find a mix of established charm with modern twists.
- ABaC Restaurant and Hotel: It goes without saying that this is the recommended choice for foodies. The kitchen is headed-up by Spanish celebrity chef, Jordi Cruz, the second youngest to ever receive a Michelin Star. Set in beautiful gardens away from the city centre, this boutique hotel would suite those looking for seclusion and sensory delight.
- El Palace: Bedecked in opulence, El Palace has been home to Salvador Dali and its kitchen is now home to Michelin Star chef Romain Fornell. This is the top option for ultimate luxury and convenience, sitting just around the corner from upmarket shops and wonderful examples of Modernista architecture. It is also host to the Mayan Luxury Spa, rumoured to be one of the best spas in the region.
- Majestic Hotel & Spa: Famous guest of the Majestic, Antonio Machado, said the best thing in life is waking up. Waking up here is certainly an incredible experience. Breakfast on a private balcony overlooking central Barcelona and look forward to a day of decadent treatments at the hotel’s extensive spa facilities.
Barcelona’s new food evolution
Barcelona has always been at the cutting-edge of cuisine, which can make choosing somewhere to eat a real headache. Take our advice on the below and you won’t go wrong – the avant-garde fusion tapas bars of Barcelona are a must.
- Dos Palillos: If you’re ready to spend your money on something truly delicious, then this high-end Asian tapas fusion restaurant is likely to tick all the boxes. The chefs use a range of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients so the menu is completely unpredictable. However, you might expect to see fantastic dishes like crispy fried meat-filled wonton, fresh seaweed sunomono with molluscs, and a tender vegetable wok.
- Mosquito: Quality, flavour and simplicity are the holy trinity at Mosquito. Dumplings and craft beers are the stars of the show here, accompanied by sumptuous soups, noodles and vegetable dishes. Wash it all down with one of the many, many craft beers available at the bar. Of course, those who prefer more traditional Belgians, German wheat beers and classic English brews are catered for well here, too.
Other original dinner destinations
This is a real food-lovers’ city but stay away from the big name restaurants and chefs. There are plenty of other culinary marvels for you to experience, and we are only just scratching the surface.
- Tanta: Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine from the kitchen of acclaimed Peruvian chef, Gaston Acurio – featuring a vertical garden and communal tables.
- Ocaña: As a bar, club and restaurant, this is a spot for real lovers of the underground. With stylishly arranged Mediterranean fare and a relaxed atmosphere, this is one you have to put on your list.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. From museums and live music to shopping and football, our Travel Managers have dozens of recommendations to make sure your trip is unforgettable.
To book your incredible weekend in Barcelona, call our Travel Managers today on 0203 535 9290 or email Leisure@simplexitytravel.com.