How to make the most of your long weekend in Barcelona!

The capital of Catalonia has become a front line in the fight against overtourism in Europe. All the measures to reduce the numbers did not triumph: the ban on hotel construction lasted only a few years

The appeal of Barcelona‘s architectural and culinary culture has only grown in the three decades since the Olympics brought the city to the world’s attention. The capital of Catalonia has become a front line in the fight against overtourism in Europe. All the measures aimed at reducing the numbers did not triumph: the ban on hotel construction lasted only a few years. However, the balance has tipped in favor of residents in some respects, such as with stricter regulations governing Airbnb accommodations and the number of people in groups allowed to frequent the Boqueria market. Cycle lanes have been installed everywhere and the revitalized Sant Antoni market is full of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to meat. Most notably, the “superblock” effort in Barcelona has turned large parts of the country into pedestrian-only zones.



3 p.m. Enjoy a traditional meal

The advantage of landing mid-day in Spain is that you will arrive during the country’s lunch break. In the Sant Gervasi district, you’ll find Mantequeras Pirenaicas, a low-key restaurant with white-jacketed waiters and a small kitchen that uses delicate creativity to prepare dishes with only the freshest, highest quality ingredients. Try the plain artichoke, with its perfectly charred leaves and heart bearing a lightly poached quail egg, or the crunchy grain savory with chorizo ​​and duck. The restaurant is very popular with the community and its famous potato omelet (considered the best in town) is so sought after that diners are advised to book as early as possible (a lunch for two costs around 70 euros , or about $69.50). ).

6 p.m. Discover the world of Gaud.

The undulating facade of Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, makes it a remarkable landmark in Barcelona. Located in the Eixample district, it offers an introduction to the incredible architecture of Catalan architect Antoni Gaud, from the floral inspirations that fascinated him so much to the brilliant physics at play in his designs. Recently, a virtual reality tour was added to the exhibit, allowing visitors to explore a series of chambers and interact with some of Gaud’s defining design aspects while wearing VR headsets.

10 p.m. Divide and conquer the meal

In 2006, Gresca debuted in Eixample as a lean restaurant flaunting bistronomia, a type of cuisine that combines artistic ambition with an informal setting (and lower prices). There has been a corresponding growth in scope and size since then. Thin pieces of fish marinated in soy and lemon, glazed eel on pickled onions and a buttery brioche: Chef Rafael Pea adds depth to a variety of shared dishes at this upscale tapas café.

1am. Consume a hot drink

One of the latest additions to the Born district, Especiarium is a two-story cocktail bar that attempts to strike a balance between an intimate and soft vibe. All of the spice cocktails here are produced with homemade sweeteners and ferments and served in creative containers. For example, the Japanese blend of gin and matcha comes in a paper bird-shaped cup, while the extremely drinkable tajin is a blend of rum, wine, a date bush, and the spicy combination. moroccan ras el hanout. Drinks cost between ten and fourteen euros.


8 a.m. Get up early for breakfast

Breakfast at Pinotxo, a Barcelona institution, is a must for early risers (or late-night revelers) who want to experience true Barcelona tradition. coffee and xuixo, a crisp Catalan pastry filled with cream, are available to the traditionalists among us to start the day off right. Some might like baby calamari and white beans, while others might opt ​​for fortifying tripe and a sparkling cava drink. When you’re done, the biggest retail day of the week will have started and people will be making their way to the market (breakfast 8-30 euros).

10 a.m. Spend money at craft shops

El Born, located between the Barri Gotic and the Barceloneta district, has been home to the city’s artisans since medieval times. The shops that line its winding streets give a glimpse of the region’s artisanal past. Manuel Dreesmann, owner of Madre, manufactures leather goods such as bags, laptop sleeves and belts. David Valls, the designer, creates clothes for women that are both comfortable and trendy. Among the après-ski items are charming coats made from repurposed tablecloths and one-of-a-kind jewellery. At Chandal, you can find a wide variety of unique items, including artful home decor, alternative photography supplies, and creative periodicals. El Rei de la Màgia is one of the oldest magic shops in the world, and its shelves are like a treasure chest filled with magic tricks and wands.

2 p.m. Buy lots of seafood.

The seafood prepared by Rafa Zafra is among the best in town. The chef launched the five-star Amar at the El Palace Hotel in the upscale part of town, and it’s getting a lot of attention. If you want to discover his exceptional talent with fins and shells in a more comfortable setting, go to his first restaurant in Barcelona, ​​Estimar, in the Born. Grilled clams in a gooey escabeche make a great first course, as do chipirones (small squid) presented crispy with splashes of aioli in ink. Whether you’re curious if Palamós prawns, simply cooked a la plancha, are good enough to justify the euros, the answer is a big yes (120 euros for both).

4 p.m. Honor creativity

The most exciting section of the Picasso Museum is the one dedicated to the Cubist artist’s variations on the famous “Las Meninas” by Diego Velázquez. The brand new Moco Museum takes a step into the news and is located right next door. The private museum (with the dreadful nickname “moco,” which means “snot” in Spanish) makes up for its lack of depth with its impressive list of famous artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, KAWS, and Banksy. If that wasn’t enough to attract visitors, the museum offers a free drink with every entry after 6 p.m. (14 to 17 euros).

6:30 Eat your fill of experimental artwork

Albert Adrià, the founder of the revolutionary elBulli restaurant 3 hours north of the capital which closed in 2011, created several restaurants which could not survive the epidemic. However, Enigma, his crowning achievement in Poble Sec, not only persisted, but was revived. The hours and the menu itself, with highlights like an incredibly light “air” waffle spiced with basil, and a mushroom carpaccio that replicates an elBulli classic, make for early evening grazing, although that most diners would struggle to get by with anything less than the full dining experience. Typical entry prices are between 7 and 20 euros.

10 p.m. Put save space for the main course.

The innovative Catalan cuisine of Suculent in the Raval district is a worthy reward for your frugality. Sometimes surprising textures, like the tangerine jelly that lends a burst of sparkle to a plate of fresh anchovies and olives, reveal elBulli’s impact on the kitchen of chef Antonio Romero, who previously worked there. Other dishes, such as the soulful sliders with mashed cauliflower or the grilled maitake mushroom with pine nuts sauce, are entirely his creation (dinner at 150 euros for 2).

1am. Break a leg and have fun

One of the newest clubs in town, Les Enfants Brillants is located in Raval. Its red-lit main room (there’s also a green cocktail bar) only seats 400 people, making it considerably more comfortable than its well-known neighbor, Moog. It bills itself as a “high-quality nightclub”, and its state-of-the-art sound system, focus on vinyl, and roster of top DJs has helped it quickly gain a reputation among Barcelona’s electronica connoisseurs. (entrance, from 5 euros).


9 a.m. Join a church.

Sunday morning mass is celebrated at the Sagrada Famlia cathedral in the Eixample district of Barcelona. It’s first come, first served, and it’s popular, but it’s also free, and it gives you a chance to see Gaud’s Basilica as the intensely pious architect intended: a site of burgeoning spiritual regeneration. The towers offer stunning views of the surroundings, including the mountains and the ocean. The notoriously unfinished chapel inaugurated the tower of the Virgin Mary topped with stars

12 p.m. Walk around with books

After years of renovations, the historic Sant Antoni market has been restored to its former glory during the outbreak. On Sundays the food stalls are closed, but the beautiful exterior hosts a book market where you can buy used and new books written in a wide range of languages. From here it is not far to Calle del Parlament, where Barcelona’s most recent urban planning experience is located. Having been designated as one of the city’s new “superblocks”, the entire length of this street is now a side road filled with friendly restaurants and plenty of outdoor seating for people-watching.

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