Barcelona City Guide: Where to Stay, Eat, Drink, and Explore

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We are so excited to begin sharing our first blog posts from Europe!

Last summer we spent a while travelling through some of our dream destinations like island hopping through Greece, wine tasting in Tuscany, lounging on the beaches of Portugal, and exploring London, Barcelona, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, and Athens! So if you’re planning your summer trip to Europe, we’ll have a ton of tips coming your way.

Let’s dive into our first European destination: Barcelona, Spain!

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Where to Stay in Barcelona: Norn

Introducing Norn, a member’s club that offers residencies in these key cities: Barcelona, Berlin, London, and San Francisco.

We were first introduced to Norn through friends in San Francisco who had recommended this local and community oriented residency experience to us. We decided to take up our friends on their suggestion for our trip to Europe!

The Norn Barcelona house is a 3 story casa that is perfectly situated in El Poble Sec, a beautiful and historic neighbourhood surrounded by bougainvilleas and epic roof top views.

The El Poble Sec neighbourhood sits right next to countless museums, beautiful parks, and some of the hippest tapas bars in the city. Such as: Bodega Quimet & Quimet (one of the oldest bars in the city), La Federica, and Mau Mau. Our favourite thing to do? Walking through the nearby alley’s and having an Aperol Spritz or glass of cava in a charming bodega or patio.

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The community that frequents Norn are not selected based on occupation, but rather through “curiosity and contribution.” This thoughtful community welcomed us so warmly, that it actually reinvented hospitality as we knew it.

Throughout our stay, we were reminded to pause and enjoy the simple things in life, such as: a tall glass of wine, good food, and the company of new and old friends. We felt right at home. Isn’t that what you look for when you travel?

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Norn has a philosophy that is shared with their guests: to connect in meaningful conversations. Through weekly events and experiences hosted at Norn, guests are invited to connect and contribute with one another. The events at Norn provided us with incredible introductions to locals and travels who we can now refer to as close friends.

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Where to Go in Barcelona

Here are some of the places we loved to visit in Barcelona:

  1. Satan’s Coffee (Coffee)

  2. Hidden Coffee Bcn (Espresso)

  3. Casa Bonay (Hotel + rooftop bar, very Ace Hotel-like!)

  4. Granja Petitbo (For breakfast)

  5. Espai Joliu (For the plants/coffee!)

  6. Casa Gisbert (Market/get the dried mango!)

  7. Parc Guell (Architecture/Park, go early as tickets sell out daily)

  8. Sagrada Familia (Architecture/museum)

  9. La Tasqueta de Blai (For the pintxos!)

  10. Caribbean Club (Cocktail Bar, and rum!)

  11. Paradiso (Cocktail speakeasy hidden behind a fridge door inside a pastrami shop!)

  12. Quimet y Quimet (Tapas)

  13. La Federica (Cocktails, Tapas)

  14. Mau Mau (Bar/Events)

  15. Bormuth in El Born (Tapas & drinks)

  16. The Gracia neighbourhood/Calle Verdi (for shopping/terrazas)

  17. Cafe Godot (Brunch/dinner)

  18. Boo (Shopping)

  19. La Clinique (Vintage Eye-Wear)

Tip: Siesta is a thing. Most shops are closed between 2 pm-5pm, and keep in mind it varies! Also, most restaurants don’t open until 8pm.

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[Coffee at Hidden Café Bcn. For more Barcelona coffee gems, check out this post by Sprudge]

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Things to Do in Barcelona

We rented bikes for the week and loved biking around sunny Barcelona! We found the bike rentals to be way cheaper in our neighbourhood: El Poble Sec. The bike lanes in the city are some of the best we’ve ever seen in the world!

You can pretty much get around anywhere via bike, and safely! Many people prefer to travel further down the coast to the less crowded beaches, but we also enjoyed La Barceloneta. If you want to head over to the less crowded beaches in the north of Barcelona you can visit these: San Sabastia Beach, Icaria Beach, Bogatell Beach, Mar Bella Beach, Nova Mar Bella Beach.

These were our favourite neighbourhoods for architecture sight seeing: El Born, Gracia, Sant Antoni, El Poble Sec. But keep in mind, you’ll see incredible architecture everywhere you go.

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Stay tuned to the rest of our European travel posts by following us on Instagram at @localwanderer! Have a fave spot in Barcelona? Let us know in the comments, because we can’t wait to go back!

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