3 days in Barcelona and nothing on your agenda? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. With a selection of restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee, you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of where to eat and drink in the city. Today’s post also covers Barcelona’s nightlife, an array of things to do during the day and also the best places to shop. You’ll wish that you had more time to spend in this gorgeous Spanish city once you finish this post!
If you want to eat like a local in Barcelona, we’ve got all the answers. First thing, you’ll just have a coffee. You can make one the Spanish way with a splash of milk, or during the summer, you can have it with ice cubes. Alternatively, you can go to some of Barcelona’s favorite coffee spots, such as SKYE Coffee Co., Café Cometa, Caelum, Satan’s Coffee Corner or Onna Café. At around 10AM, you’ll have a more substantial breakfast to start your day off right. It’s usually some kind of bread, combined with tomato, garlic and olive oil, or instead, a Spanish omelet. You could also have a variety of sandwiches or toast, sweet or savory, and breakfast is usually had with orange juice. Having alcohol with breakfast is a common occurrence in Barcelona, so don’t be surprised if you see someone with a beer before noon! Some spots that we thoroughly recommend for breakfast are Citizen Café, Brunch & Cake, Caravelle, Primavera and Milk Bar & Bistro.
Lunch time is usually about 2PM in Barcelona, but from 1PM – 3PM is acceptable. During the week, the city’s locals tend to eat at bars from a menú del día, which is a set menu of specials. They’re usually affordable and quick, which everyone likes to hear during a busy week. Weekends are a different story however, as there are usually no set menus like there are mid-week. The Spaniards tend to have a longer meal with traditional Spanish cuisine, which they polish off with dessert, coffee and a shot of liquor. Paella is the perfect option to have for lunch, as it’s a little too heavy for dinner but will keep you going throughout the day. Made with rice, beans, meat, shellfish, vegetables and seasonings, paella will add a touch of Spanish authenticity to your trip. There are many lunch alternatives across the city of Barcelona, and as always, we have a selection of places that you should try out on your travels: La Pubilla, Arc Iris, Luigi, Vegetalia and Vic Braseria.
There’s an established timeframe for dinner in Spain, and it’s very different than what we’re used to! Dinner is typically light and late, involving small portions at about 9 or 10PM, and later than this at the weekend. In this scenario, tapas is the perfect contender! Tapas is a selection of Spanish savory dishes in small portions, that’s usually served with drinks at a bar. There are also a number of other traditional dishes to try in Barcelona, such as escudella d’olla (a Catalan stew with broth, vegetables, meat and pasta), esqueixada (a salad with fish, peppers, tomato, onion and olives), suquet de piex (a seafood stew with potato), fideuà (a noodle version of paella) and escalivada (roasted eggplant, peppers, onions, tomato, and garlic). There are also several traditional Spanish desserts to perfect your evening meal experience. We have a few restaurants and tapas bars that we can’t help but recommend: Cera 23, Con Gracia, Bodega Biarritz 1881, Lokal Bar and Cruix.
With the city forever bustling, there’s a wide variety to what you can do at night in Barcelona. There’s a huge collection of bars across the city, some of which we mentioned in this post. These specific bars are distinctive in nature, and will give any night out in Barcelona an alternative and unforgettable twist. For a more traditional night out experience in Barcelona, here’s a few more to add to your attendance list: Marmalade, Fuzzbox, Absenta, Dux and Cat Bar. We can’t be sure if there are any actual cats at Cat Bar, but y’know, we can hope! There are also multiple nightclubs available for the more lively bunch, and Barcelona doesn’t fail on quality. Here are a few that we’re borderline insisting that you check out: Macarena, Aura Beach Club, Input, Full Moon Party and Razzmatazz. Other than the traditional nights out, there’s also an abundance of jazz bars for a smooth, relaxed evening. We have a few that we recommend taking a visit to: Cafè Salambó, Little Italy Jazz, Café Vienés Jazz Club, Cocktail & Swing and Jamboree. With all of the above locations, we’re sure that you’ll have something fun to do for every night of your trip!
What to See
With such a beautiful city and glorious weather right at your fingertips, we can’t help but urge you to get out and take it all in. We’ll start off with historical landmarks, particularly the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí. He designed multiple buildings throughout Barcelona, but there are 10 in particular that are truly worth noting and visiting. We also recommend a visit to Park Güell, a stunning park of gardens and decorative structures located on Carmel Hill. For those who want some relaxed time in the sun, there are numerous beaches across the city. With a coastline that stretches 4.5km, there’s an ideal spot for everyone at one of Barcelona’s many beaches. Some that come most recommended are Mar Bella, Bogatell, Barceloneta and Nova Icaria. And for random daytime activities and sights to see, such as Sant Felip Neri, Caixa Forum, the Sant Pau Art Nouveau site, Anella Olímpica, La Rambla, Barcelona Cathedral, Montjuïc Magic Fountain and many more. For animal-related activities, there’s an array of locations to visit: Barcelona Zoo, Barcelona Aquarium, Fundació Mona and Cim d’Àligues. For interactive and explorative days out, there’s also the Horta Labyrinth, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Palau Nacional and the Picasso Museum.
Let’s be real here, with any trip abroad always comes shopping. Whether it’s souvenirs for friends and family or a little something for yourself to commemorate your time away, we all do a little shopping here and there. Or a lot, but let’s not talk about that. Luckily, there are multiple shopping areas dispersed throughout Barcelona, so you’ll find whatever you’re looking for with ease. That’s what we like to hear, am I right? Anyway, let’s get into it. First off, we’ve got the shopping centers. Some of the best ones are La Maquinista (the largest shopping center in Barcelona), Maremagnum (the only one to open 365 days of the year), Diagonal Mar (hosts a number of high street and designer fashion labels), Las Arenas (five floors of shopping and stunning views from the 360º promenade on the roof), and Gran Via II (sells everything from fashion, tech and everyday essentials, and also has a movie theater). There are a number of other shopping districts across Barcelona, such as Avinguda Diagonal, Portal de l’Àngel, Passeig de Gràcia, El Ravel and the Barri Gotic streets. With all of the locations mentioned above and more, you’re sure to find whatever you need while shopping in Barcelona.
While you are here, check out our full list of Barcelona Tours.