Summer heat is already driving crowds to leave Dubai and Riyadh for much cooler spots, and when it comes to vacationing, nothing beats the sure bets in Europe. Whether it’s London or Milan, Paris or Barcelona, you can rest assured the hotels, the attractions, the shops and the restaurants will leave you wanting for more. But for today, let us pick a gem you should visit at least once in your life, Barcelona! Barcelona is a melting pot for everything that is charming about the Mediterranean, with its never ending sunshine, its sublime luxury apartment rentals in Barcelona, its relaxing pace and mouth watering food, it’s centuries of good old traditions and architecture balled up in a cosmopolitan city ready to welcome the curious and the hungry.
Picking the right hotel is key, and Barcelona has plenty. Whether you’re staying at the Soho House Barcelona with its style and character drawing on English country house style, or you’re more of The Majestic type and its minimalist Versailles appeal, you won’t be out of options. Don’t try and spend too much time indoor though, Barcelona is meant to be walked through and through, and its pedestrian friendly alleys and gateways need to be given justice. Especially coming from cities likes Dubai and Riyadh, you should appreciate the fact that you don’t have to jump in a taxi or a car to go from shop to shop, but rather take the time to walk and breathe the city in. You won’t find places as grandiose as Burj Khalifa or Dubai Mall, but that’s a good thing. Every city has its charm, and Barcelona’s is one worth enjoying every piece of.
Now that you’re in Barcelona, it’s time to pick the top attractions you want to explore. Fear not, we have that covered for you. First things first, you have to check the best view in the city, and for that, there is only one place: Monument a Colom.
Monument a Colom offers an unparalleled view of the city and the sea beyond, and is overseen by a statue of Christopher Columbus which is neat given that the monument sits near the port at the base of La Rambla.
Next up, a taste of the history and its culture cannot be complete without a visit to one of the city’s marvelous museums, and our recommendation is none other than the Museu Frederic Marès. Named after the famed sculptor and collector Frederic Marès, the museum hosts an amazing collection of pieces from the Roman up to the Gothic period. If Romanesque crucifixes aren’t your cup of tea, then a visit to the Picasso museum is in order. While the queues for the museum would remind you of a first day sale of the newest iPhone, what awaits you inside is far from 21st century tech products. One of the city’s most notable prodigies, Picasso is as Barcelona as it gets, especially that the museum hosts some of the pre-fame Picasso art pieces you probably haven’t heard about.
Museums are one window into the city’s history, another are Churches. Now that you have enjoyed Barcelona’s art, take some time to visit its religious buildings and attractions where architecture, art and religion all mix in a splendid fashion. The first Church to visit must be the Santa Maria del Mar, because inside of this not-so-grandiose looking Church is a world of wonders. The 14th century church houses crazy high pillars which would no doubt make you feel insignificant, humble and a little bit threatened. The interesting fact about this church is that it was burned down in the 20th century by anarchists, so look out for fire extinguishers as you walk in!
You must be hungry by now, especially with the scintillating food smells coming from every corner. Let’s pick few places to give your tastebuds an experience they would never forget.
First up, Botafumeiro is one of Barcelona’s must visit seafood restaurants with an array of traditional dishes. The freshest fish and seafood is only to be found here, procured every morning from the ports of Catalunya and Galicia and cooked in under few hours for the restaurant’s guests. If you’re clueless on what to order, go for mariscada with its variety of delicacies meant to transport you in an epic journey of the senses.
Next up, another restaurant, but this time your tastebuds aren’t the only ones up for a surprise. The Four Cats is a must visit not for the food only, but also for the the handsome building it is housed in. As you sip through your coffee, think about the notable guests who have shared the same premise and floor and stared at the same walls, including the prodigy son of the city, Picasso himself!
Now that your belly is full and you have enjoyed the fine food the city has to offer, it’s time to kick it up a notch and party the night out. Barcelona’s night life is popping with amazing spots, from bars to laid back lounges and full blown nightclubs. For the refined tourist that you are, a relaxed and classy cocktail bar would be a welcomed end of the night, and there is nothing that screams historical elitist bar with luminary hosts more than Boadas. Set up in 1933, this place is not for the backpackers and laid back hippies, it’s for people with taste and classiness to go along. Meaning, you have to dress the part, tuxedos would be taking it too far but better overdressing than underdressing when it comes to Boadas!