Must-See Places in Barcelona
If You’re Visiting Barcelona This Summer, Don’t Miss These Five Great Places
For those looking to experience an authentic slice of Europe, Barcelona is definitely the place to be. With a long history that’s still evident in the city’s distinctive architecture, and a claim to fame as one of the art capitals of the world, Barcelona is a city with plenty to be proud of. There’s so much to do, but it isn’t quite as tourist-y as cities like Paris or Rome- in short, it’s the hipster’s choice of European cities.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when first arriving in Barcelona, though, as it seems like there’s something unmissable around every corner. How do you choose where to go first? To give you a little bit of a head start, here are five essential places to visit while you’re in town that together will make for an unforgettable experience.
Whereas most bars are all about the drinks, and less about the décor, Blue Wave is an exception to that rule. Situated on Barcelona’s marina, the bar’s design cleverly mimics a wave breaking on the shore, with patrons sat right in the middle of it. With a genius use of color and materials- along with a tempting array of drinks and cocktails available- Blue Wave should be your first port of call when you’re looking to soak up the city’s nightlife.
One of the main reasons why so many tourists flock to Barcelona is the architecture- the city has a rich history that’s covered countless distinctive styles. The Mercer Hotel is situated in the heart of the city’s Gothic Quarter, and celebrates that vibrant history. It’s built on the original Roman walls of the city, and features medieval arches and paintings that allow guests to soak up some of Barcelona’s culture before they even step outside the hotel. As well as the five-star hotel itself, the Mercer also boasts an exclusive restaurant and bar that are among the best in Barcelona- definitely worth a visit if you’ve got the budget for it.
Arguably the most famous person to ever come out of Barcelona, no trip to the city would be complete without a trip to the Picasso museum, where you can see an unparalleled selection of the master artist’s works- over 4,000 of them. While much of Picasso’s adult life was spent living in France, he continually drew on both his memories of Barcelona and his Spanish heritage for inspiration throughout many of his distinctive artistic periods. He is undoubtedly the city’s favorite native son, and the museum was actually opened while Picasso was still alive- it was the artist himself who suggested the city as the location, in honor of its special place in his art and heart. It’s one of the most popular museums in town, so a word of warning- book your tickets in advance, or face a long line to get in.
Fundacio Joan Miro
Another of Barcelona’s most notable artists, Joan Miro was one of the leading lights of the Surrealist movement, and this museum dedicated to his work is therefore another attraction that’s not to be missed. Much of his work takes pride in his Catalan heritage, particularly since the Franco regime sought to crack down on Catalan nationalism after the Spanish Civil War. Miro took commissions from the Republican government-in-exile, making some of his work as notable for its politics as it is for its artistic merit. He was especially interested in, as he put it, the “assassination of painting”, meaning much of his work is truly unique in its scope and vision. Anyone with even a passing interest in art should therefore make sure that they don’t miss out on this museum.
The Pan’s Club
Anyone who’s hungry after exploring Barcelona’s Old Town should certainly stop by The Pan’s Club for a bite to eat. One of the leading lights of Barcelona’s fresh food movement, The Pan’s Club offers a wide assortment of delicious vegetarian food, all freshly made that day. The Pan’s Club is in a great location, right by the Picasso museum and the Mercer Hotel, so that whenever you’re feeling hungry, you can easily drop in and grab something to go. Their lunchboxes come especially recommended- a quiche, salad and smoothie make for the perfect fuel for a busy day experiencing all that the city has to offer. While their entire menu is vegetarian, their culinary creations are so delicious that even the most ardent meat eaters will find themselves coming back time and again.