3 Days in Barcelona

Day 1

MORNING Take in a late breakfast at Bar Lobo then stroll down La Rambla and marvel at the crowds and abundant shopping. Crossing into the city’s oldest neighbourhoods the pace slows, which suits architecture buffs who will enjoy the views of medieval buildings en route to Picasso Museu. With an impressive collection and equally magnificent surroundings you’ll need a minimum of two hours for the experience. The adjoining gift shop is lovely as well.

12 NOON Return to La Rambla and wind your way to Mercat Bouqueria where bustling doesn’t quite describe the market scene; it’s more of a contact sport. Inside, grab a stool at Universal Kiosk and enjoy light tapas that is fresh, fast and reasonably priced.

EVENING It would hardly be a trip to Spain without a little Flamenco dancing, so ask your concierge to recommend a show before dinner.

Barcelona 21

Day 2

MORNING Immerse yourself in Gaudí’s Barcelona today. Purchase a Hop On, Hop Off bus pass or hire a knowledgeable, private guide to lead you through the primary sites.

LATE AFTERNOON With a serious dose of culture under your belt, it’s time for some guilt-free shopping on Passeig de Gràcia. There are hundreds of shops to visit and nearly as many tapas and wine bars, so pace yourself.

EVENING No doubt exhausted from the day’s festivities, make time for a siesta so you’ll be awake for a late night dinner at one of our recommendations.

Barcelona 40

Day 3

MORNING A light breakfast is all you’ll need this morning and a trip to Caelum’s for coffee and a pastry is sure to satisfy.

MID-MORNING Brush up on your Catalan cooking skills with Cook and Taste. Since you’re in the neighbourhood anyway, don’t forget to visit the nearby Roman ruins.

AFTERNOON There’s more shopping in the Born neighbourhood and no reason to hurry back since dinner is late tonight anyway. Save the rest of the day for aimless exploring.

Barcelona 3

Barcelona’s Top 4 Quick Bites

Barcelona 6

1. For tapas, wrangle a barstool at Cerveceria Catalana. Dine on oysters and beer and take in the infectious party atmosphere. Sample the bacon, Roquefort, jam sandwich and the fried padrón peppers which look like small poblanos. The huevos cabreaos, a fried egg on top of thin French fries, are a local favourite.

2. Cobalt blue water bottles cast a watery tinge onto crisp white tablecloths in the contemporary setting of Matamala. Asking the waiter for a recommendation yields what can only be described as fish donuts. Sounds weird, but the bite-sized fried cod balls are drizzled in honey and taste like heaven with the accompanying cold beer. A small, wellstocked grocery selection includes fun gift ideas such as the pa amb tomàquet (Catalan bread with tomato spread) kit.

Barcelona 12

3. The sign at Caelum on Carrer de la Palla 8 translates to: every delicious treat or product for your skin has been produced in monasteries and nunneries throughout Spain. Point to one of the tempting pastries in the window or ask for the holy honey cake which is divine.

4. The juicer is humming at Bar Lobo on Pinto Fortuny, a few steps from La Rambla. Teak tables and mismatched chairs surround a central kitchen in the paper lantern lit space. Order the Don Quixote and enjoy toast, cured sausage and manchego cheese.

Dabble Savvy: Tapas and cocktails often come with potato chips. Restaurants often bill for bread or olives, so ask before you eat if your budget is tight.

Barcelona 46