A perfect day in Barcelona
The city is every bit as spirited at night as it is during the day in Barcelona. Residents begin their evenings with tapas and rounds of drinks after work, activities that put dinner off until a fashionably late hour. Live-music venues and clubs don´t really get going until 2am, any day of the week.
Get an early start on La Rambla to enjoy it under the morning Mediterranean light before the crowds arrive. Pick up your newspaper then pop into La Boquería market – at its more colourful in the morning – for a proper Catalan breakfast like baby squid and poached eggs. Across La Rambla is the Gothic Quarter. Meander through its shady narrow lanes and palm-filled courtyards. Get the background on today´s Old Town at the City History Museum (MUHBA) or break for coffee in any cafeteria there.
After that over Vía Laietana is the Born district. Glimpse the breathtaking interior of Santa Maria del Mar, or sip a glass of wine on a terrace and admire the church facade.
Get in to the local rhythm and have a menu del día, three courses at remarkably low rates, in a neighbourhood bar in Argenteria or around the Passeig de Born. Another option is to walk 10 minutes to Barceloneta for a paella by the sea. Then siesta time. A gentle stroll along the Passeig Maritim towards the Vila Olimpica, pausing for coffee in one of the waterfront xiringuitos (beach bars), is ideal for working off lunch. Then indulge in a txi back to base fo a reviving siesta, essential to keep up the pace until the small hours.
In the afternoon
A session of retail therapy in the modernista setting of the Eixample is recommended for all the family. Those who don´t wish to shop can visit a Gaudí building, like La Pedrera or Casa Batlló, or just wander around the area to admire a wealth of decorative details, from stained glass to ceramics, by his contemporaries. Relax at one of the many terrace bars in elegant Rambla Catalunya, or try the eponymous cocktail, before going for tapas, the perfect dinner.
Round off the day in style just up the road at designer club, where you can rub shoulders with the sleek and beautiful. Alternatively, catch a cab to Mirablau, halfway up Tibidabo hill, and a dance till dawn overlooking the city.
Sources | insight guides, Barcelona Turisme
Images | Dave Meler