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Getting around in Barcelona is easy by bicycle. Photo: Shutterstock.
Getting around in Barcelona is easy by bicycle. Photo: Shutterstock.

The best of Barcelona

There's always a new restaurant or a new part of town to discover in Barcelona. Here are a few eating places and hotels you should check out when you fly to this beautiful big city on the Mediterranean.

They love to build in Barcelona. And when they get started, they don't hold back. The Catalans are passionate about style and facades and determined to hire the world's best architects to slap up the most incredibly buildings and even whole new districts.

“We want to create landmarks,” architect Jordi Puig says. “Big name architects from all round the world enter competitions to design a new building. The end result is something big, new and spectacular.”

And when it comes to food, the dishes are no less spectacular. Barcelona has 25 Michelin starred restaurants this year. What's more, 11 Barcelona restaurants have BIB Gourmand status and there are 72 Plate Michelin restaurants designating they serve good food.

“In Barcelona we have a culture that’s all about wanting to changing things, that things don't need to stay as they are,” Chef Jordi Vilà of the one Michelin starred Alkimia says.

It's no surprise that millions of travelers from all round the world fly here every year. The city is a feast for both the eyes and stomach.

The best restaurants

Blogger and founder of the Barcelona based food blog 7 Caníbales, Carmen Alcaraz, recommends the following restaurants:

Disfrutar

The restaurant opened in 2014. They serve modern Mediterranean food. Did you know Disfrutar means 'to enjoy'?

Disfrutar

Carrer Villarroel 163, Barcelona

BistrEau

This restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel on one of the main city avenues Passeig de Gràcia. They serve tapas, lunch and dinner here. Chef Angel Léon is behind it. The restaurant has been awarded BIB Gourmand status and prices start at a comfortable 35 euro.

Passeig de Gràcia 38

Restaurant Moments in Barcelona is headed by chef Carme Ruscalleda. Photo: George Apostolidis

Moments

This restaurant is, just as the BistrEau, located in the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona. One of the most famous chefs in Spain, Carme Ruscalleda and her son Raül Balam, are responsible for the food. The restaurant has two Michelin stars and has also been newly renovated.

Moments

Céleri

This restaurant serves organic food and experiments with various raw food concepts. The restaurant has one star in the Michelin Guide. Pleasant prices.

Céleri

Passatge de Marimón 5, Barcelona

Hisop

This restaurant opened in 2001 and serves classic dishes based on local seasonal produce, naturally in a modern and appealing way. The restaurant has one star in the Michelin Guide.

Hisop

Passatge de Marimón 9, Barcelona

Michelin star menu from 55 euro

The best restaurants definitely cost a bit. But you can also eat dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant that costs no more than ordering a salad and glass of wine in a café in Oslo. Every restaurant offers a so-called menú del día, or menu of the day at lunch time. This can include three to five dishes and wine, served from 13.00 to around 16.00, at a far lower price than the dinner menu available in the evening. For example, a menú del día at Alkimia costs from around 55 euro per person.

Alkimia

Ronda de Sant Antoni 41, Barcelona

Hotels

Hotel W in Barcelona has a fantastic beach side location. Photo: Shutterstock

W Barcelona

Barcelona has a magnificent long beach. Naturally, there are plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants along the beach. In June, St John is also celebrated here with a festival and fireworks. Naturally, this is where we want to stay. Hotel W opened just a few years ago. The hotel is shaped like a sail and there were plenty of discussions before it was built, as many people argued the height of the building would ruin the sea views. Whatever your thoughts on the hotel, it has a fantastic location by the beach plus a rooftop outdoor pool with ocean view. Rooms from 470 euro per night.

W Barcelona

Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1, Barcelona

Petit Palace

If you're looking for a great location at a budget price, head to the four star Petit Palace. There is actually only one Petit Palace hotel in Barcelona, situated right on Las Ramblas, but it's so crowded here, it can feel as though you've been squeezed into a sardine can. Go for this branch in the elegant district of Eixample, a stone's throw from the designer stores on Passeig de Grácia. Spacious, excellently styled rooms, wonderful service and a good and healthy breakfast are yours from around 80 euro a night.

Petit Palace

Carrer Roger Llúria 21, Barcelona

Casa Camper Barcelona

You might think Camper is boring enough to only make shoes. What we know is that this shoe brand has now opened hotels in Barcelona and Berlin. Their designer Ferran Amat has styled the hotel using the same color palette as the shoes, including plenty of red walls. The hotel is at the top of Raval. Ten years ago, this part of town was notorious for its high crime rate, but hipsters have since moved in and taken charge to ensure people can enjoy healthy food and cool interior design products. The hotel also houses the classic restaurant Dos Palillos with two stars in the Michelin Guide. It’s close to Plaça Catalunya from where you can take the train and bus to the airport.

Casa Camper

Carrer d'Elisabets 11, Barcelona

What to see?

You can now visit Gaudí's Pedrera, in the evening. Don't forget to book in advance online to avoid the lengthy lines. Photo: Shutterstock

Antoni Gaudí

You can’t avoid architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), the pride of Barcelona. His masterpiece, Sagrada Familia, remains unfinished but reports in the Spanish media suggest it will be completed in 2020. Casa Milá or La Pedrera (the stone quarry), was the home of industrial magnate Milà, and was the very last house Gaudí designed before he started on Sagrada Familia. They say there isn't a single straight line in the building. Milà's wife hated the building and moved away when she was widowed. There are numerous Gaudí buildings dotted around Barcelona. Scandinavian Traveler recommends booking tickets in advance, as long lines form early each morning. It can be a strain to stand in line in hot weather.Sagrada Familia tickets: From 15 euro, free entry for children up to 10.La Pedrera tickets: : From 20 euro, student discount available. Free entry for children under six. The museum can also be visited in the evening.

La Pedrera

Passeig de Gràcia 92, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia is located at Mallorca 401, Barcelona