The following article is sponsored by Air Canada.
Barcelona is an enchanting seaside city with a history that spans over 2,000 years. It is home to several world-renowned artists that changed the face of the city forever, making it a favorite European getaway and one of the most popular destinations in Spain. But Barcelona has much more to offer than just culture; the city has a sophisticated taste for culinary delights and the energy to breathe life into any public space you come across.
8 AM BREAKFAST AT GAUDI BAKERY
CALLE SARDENYA, 298, 08013 BARCELONA
This bakery is located right next to the famous Sagrada Familia, and a great place to start your day with a light snack of sweets and coffee. Gaudi Bakery’s is decorated in the signature Gaudi style, including mosaics and even a replica of the famous salamander. It’s a perfect prelude to what come next, the most important project ever designed by Antoni Gaudí – La Sagrada Familia.
9 AM SAGRADA FAMILIA
CARRER DE MALLORCA, 401, 08013 BARCELONA
The most iconic landmark in all of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia cathedral was designed by the late Antoni Gaudí back in 1892. It has been under construction ever since, expected to be finished around 2030. The church presents a magnificent depiction of the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and façade sculptures. While the exterior is still being developed, the interior is complete, so take a moment to marvel at the tall columns, stained glass art, and underground space where you’ll see an exhibit of the plan for the entire building. Don’t forget to climb one of the towers for sweeping views of the city and be sure to take the audio tour to get a good foundation for the rest of your weekend in Barca.
12 PM LUNCH AT LA BOQUERIA
LA RAMBLA, 91, 08001 BARCELONA
Mercado de La Boqueria is Barcelona's flagship market, seafood store and tapas hub, that naturally, uses the ingredients in the market for delicious dishes. Explore the stalls to sample some of the freshest seafood and meats around, or stay along the periphery to find a more intimate restaurant where you can relax over a quiet lunch. Since it’s a well-known tourist destination, you should expect to pay more than the typical city market, but it’s an experience worth having.
1 PM LAS RAMBLAS
RAMBLA DE CANALETES, 08002 BARCELONA
After a delicious meal, take a stroll down Barcelona’s most famous avenue. Full of life day and night, you can actually walk from Plaça de Cataluña all the way to Mirador de Colom by the waterfront. Along the way, you’ll see hundreds of street performers dressed as living statues (all competing for your attention), shops, museums, and cafes. Take your time exploring and meandering. At the end, you’ll reach a tall monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. Should you be interested, and if you’re not claustrophobic, you can climb up the tower to get an excellent view of the city.
4 PM PICASSO MUSEUM
CARRER MONTCADA, 15-23, 08003 BARCELONA
Spend the rest of the afternoon in the Picasso Museum, located in Barri Gotic –the Old Town– of Barcelona, just next to Las Ramblas. Here you’ll see some of the most important masterpieces ever created by artisan Pablo Picasso, from the early days all the way through the end of his career. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement.
7 PM DINNER AT BODEGA BIARRITZ
CALLE VIDRE, 8, 08002 BARCELONA
Considered to be one of the top tapas restaurants in Spain, Bodega Biarritz will be an excellent spot to celebrate your weekend in Barcelona. This delightful bar is just a short walk from Plaça Reial and Las Ramblas and offers fantastic terrace views. The food, of course, doesn’t falter either, with a great selection of seafood, meats, and vegetables. For its location, the bar is decently priced, but be aware that you may have to wait a bit to be seated.
9 PM PLAÇA REIAL / FLAMENCO SHOW
PLAÇA REIAL, 08002 BARCELONA
One of the most photogenic squares in Barcelona, Plaça Reial “Royal Plaza” is a delightful retreat from the traffic and pedestrian mobs on nearby Las Ramblas. Leisurely enjoy the ambiance and take a look at the lampposts by the central fountain, which are Antoni Gaudí’s first known works in the city. Should you like to see a Flamenco Dance Show, Los Tarantos is right here in the square (Plaça Reial, 17) and one of the oldest performances in the city – a real treat!
8 AM BREAKFAST AT CAFÉ DE LA PEDRERA
PROVENÇA, 261-265, 08008 BARCELONA
This is a “two for one” stop because you get to have breakfast or a snack in La Pedrera, one of Gaudí’s most famous residential works. Once you’re done eating, explore La Pedrera, also known as Casa Milá. More a sculpture than a building, the interior is stunning, yet it’s the façade that steals the show. Made of a varied and harmonious mass of undulating stone that, along with its forged iron balconies, explores the irregularities of the natural world.
10 AM CASA BATTLÓ
PASSEIG DE GRÀCIA, 43, 08007 BARCELONA
Not far from La Pedrera you’ll find Casa Battló, another of Gaudí’s masterpieces. This building was a remodel he did in 1904 following his unique architectural style (which you should be familiar with by now), incorporating Art Nouveau elements with other natural curves and shapes. Pay special attention to the façade, the Noble Floor, and the roof terrace, one of the most popular features of the entire house due to its famous ceramic dragon design.
12 PM LUNCH AT 100 MONTADITOS
PLAÇA D'URQUINAONA, 1, 08010 BARCELONA
This cerveceria “brewery” is quite famous in Spain. Beyond serving countless types of beer, 100 Montaditos also offers some of the best mini sandwiches, or montaditos, you’ll ever taste. Order as you would sushi – by checking off which items you want from a list and voila, mini sandwich heaven.
2 PM PARC GUELL
CARRER D'OLOT, S/N, 08024 BARCELONA
Parc Guell is another must-see in Barcelona. A garden complex designed by Gaudi between 1900 and 1914, the park houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including his own home. The colonnade hall and the serpentine terrace are the most popular sculptures from where you can also get a sweeping view of the city. This park is a great place to enjoy nature and art, a perfect place for afternoon reflection.
7 PM DINNER AT RESTAURANTE FILIGRANA
CALLE TARRAGONA, 99, 08014 BARCELONA
If you’re tired of tapas and small plates, head to Filigrana for a culinary treat of steak and seafood. While just mid-range in price, it’s considered excellent in quality, service, and presentation. It is recommended to make a reservation, as the restaurant is quite popular and fills up quickly.
9 PM MAGIC FOUNTAIN OF MONTJUIC
PLAÇA DE CARLES BUÏGAS, 1, 08038 BARCELONA
A short walk from Filigrana is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. Between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. in the summer months and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in winter, the fountain springs to life every half hour in a decadent light and music spectacle. It is free to watch, and a relaxing way to end your time in Barcelona.
WHERE TO STAY: CASA CAMPER HOTEL
CARRER ELISABETS 11 BARCELONA, SPAIN 08001
This funky boutique hotel comes with an excellent location in the Raval area, close to Las Ramblas, and other top-notch attractions. While technically in a 19th century gothic tenement, the hotel counters with a modern design, expansive space, and beautiful courtyard garden. Rooms are meticulously appointed and even feature a hammock to relax! There’s often live music at the bar, but the pool is the place to be, especially on blazing hot Barcelona summer days.
This article was proudly sponsored by Air Canada, a Star Alliance airline and the only Skytrax four-star international carrier in North America. Experience award-winning service including lie-flat seats, to more than190 global destinations with seamless, easy same-terminal connections via our Canadian hubs.