The best of Barcelona
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:
The restaurant opened in 2014. They serve modern Mediterranean food. Did you know Disfrutar means 'to enjoy'?
Carrer Villarroel 163, Barcelona
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
Passeig de Gràcia 38, Barcelona
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.
Passeig de Gràcia 38, Barcelona
This restaurant serves organic food and experiments with various raw food concepts. The restaurant has one star in the Michelin Guide. Pleasant prices.
Passatge de Marimón 5, Barcelona
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.
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.
Ronda de Sant Antoni 41, 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.
Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1, Barcelona
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.
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.
Carrer d'Elisabets 11, Barcelona
What to see?
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.
Passeig de Gràcia 92, Barcelona
Sagrada Familia is located at Mallorca 401, Barcelona