One look at the soaring, majestic spires of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, designed by renowned architect and Barcelona native Antoni Gaudí, and you’ll understand why we fell in love with this city. There’s something to be discovered around every corner, from the perfect churros con chocolate, to the abandoned aircraft defense fortifications that provide the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the Catalan capital. That’s why this colorful, eclectic city will be home to a new Kimpton hotel, arriving at the end of the year.
Located in the city’s Gothic Quarter, Kimpton Barcelona will feature 156 rooms, as well as an all-day dining restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool with unparalleled views of the city. The neighborhood, full of trendy boutiques and restaurants, is a favorite of visitors and locals alike, and provides the perfect base from which to explore.
Barcelona’s blend of whimsical architecture, stellar food and art, and inviting outdoor spaces, along with its easygoing-yet-cosmopolitan charm, make it unique among European cities. Here’s what you can look forward to when you visit.
Whatever your taste in art, Barcelona has something to sate your appetite. Street art aficionados will love the Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies, or Gardens of the Three Chimneys. Here, local graffiti artists can show off their skills, creating lively, vibrant murals that make this formerly industrial space into an ever-changing outdoor gallery.
The Picasso Museum is a must-see, but don’t forget to explore the Born neighborhood’s other galleries, like Esther Arias’s amazing collection of bold, expressive paintings, or MUTT, the quirky gallery slash bookshop with an internationally renowned selection of everything from graphic design to pop art.
Miles of Green Spaces
Barcelona’s mild climate, which ranges from the mid-50s in winter to the upper 80s in the summer months, makes it ideal for spending time outdoors. Locals take to the city’s many parks and recreation areas. Park Güell, another Gaudí design, reflects the architect’s interest in natural, organic shapes, and its meandering trails, mysterious coves, and bold architectural elements draw both residents and visitors to its green pathways.
For a truly immersive experience, visit the Laberint d’Horta, an immaculately maintained 18th-century estate and gardens that include a winding hedge maze lined with cypress trees – perfect for getting lost in. Spend a sunny afternoon wandering the grounds, which also include a waterfall and several grand pavilions.
Tons of Tapas and Plenty of Pinxtos
If you don’t know the difference between pinxtos and tapas, don’t worry! The general rule is that if it’s skewered with a toothpick, it’s a pinxto; otherwise, it’s a tapa. But what they all are, is delicious. These small bites are served at bars and meant to be shared with friends over a glass of wine or beer. Some restaurants have a self-service policy, while others prefer that you order from the bartender, so look to the other guests for guidance.
To get a taste of what the locals love, head to Carrer de Blai, also known as the Tapas Street. You’ll find dozens of restaurants, each with its own take on the Spanish snacks. Blai9 is known for its stylish presentation and unique ingredients, while La Bodegueta del Poble Sec offers a traditional spread.