¡Hola amigos!

Welcome to Travel Tuesday and to the second post in the Barcelona Travel Guide series. Today I’m going to tell you about some of the things not to be missed in the glorious Barca – from major tourist attractions to getting off the beaten path and getting lost in this beautiful city. Barcelona is a perfect place to explore on foot (or on your bike). Their metro system is very reliable and efficient. Taxis are also plentiful and affordable. Winner!

By the way, this list was carefully considered and curated in the hope to start a conversation on travel to Barca. It is by no means exhaustive, so if you have interesting suggestions you would like to add to this list, please do so in the comments section (rather than sending me an e-mail) so that everyone can benefit from your insight. Deal? Brilliant. Ok, let’s go.

Barcelona Travel Guide | Curated by Yellowtrace! // Places To Stay. // Places To Eat & Drink. // Places To Shop.

Walking Around.

One of my favourite things to do in any new city is to walk without consulting the map (too much) and just sink into the experience and observe your surroundings. Barcelona is full of amazing buildings, colours, patterns and hidden details – it is a real feast for the eyes and the senses. Observe everything from the footpaths to fences, doors, knobs, lamp posts etc.

However, I do realise that walking around without a plan can be slightly impractical given that most of us travel on a tight schedule. (It’s annoying, isn’t it?) So if you are a dude/dudette that needs a plan of attack – do not fret, here’s a little list for you.

Casa Amatller and Casa Batlló.

Please meet these two little beauties – woot woot!! (that’s meant to be a whistling sound, btw.)

The beauty on the left is Casa Amatller, and the one on the right is Casa Batlló. They are located on Passeig de Gràcia, one of the major and most stunning avenues in Barcelona, which is also one of it’s most important shopping and business areas.

Some images above of the entry to Casa Amatller, one of the three most important historical buildings in Barcelona. It was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and constructed between 1898 and 1900. And it is truly divine. Note the intricate details just about everywhere you look.

Casa Amatller | Passeig de  Gràcia 41, 08007 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 934 96 12 45 
Opening hours | Monday to Sunday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm. (Last entrance 8.00 pm
Entry fees | General 18.55 € | Students 14.55 € | Childern under 7 free

Now we are inside Gaudi’s Casa Batlló. Holy moly. This building is truly extraordinary. Even though I wasn’t really sure if I was Gaudi’s fan prior to visiting this building, I was mesmerised by his vision and comittment to designing and executing this building to every last miniscule detail – from custom wall, doors, floors and ceilings, all the way down to the fittings, furniture and even a font. What? That is dedication and control-freakishness unlike any other I’ve come across.

More images from Casa Batlló. More beautiful curves than you can poke a stick at. Some of the organic forms would seriously have Ms Hadid green with envy. Take that Zaha! And remember that Gaudi had never even seen a computer, let alone used sophisticated 3D software during his life.

And just cause I thought Casa Batlló was utterly fascinating in so many ways, here are a few detail shots of the impossible mosaic tiles seen on the roof and on the back terrace. Do yourself a favour and just go there, ok?

Hot tip for you – allow 2 hours minimum for a self guided tour, and try to get there first thing or early in the evening, to avoid hoards of tourists waiting in line. You can also be super organised and pre-book your ticket online.

Casa Batlló | Passeig de Gràcia 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 932 16 03 06
Opening hours | Monday to Sunday 9.00 am to 9.00 pm. (Last entrance 8.00 pm
Entry fees | General 18.55 € | Students 14.55 € | Childern under 7 free

Barri Gòtic.

Taking a stroll through Barri Gòtic area (Gothic Quarter) is a must when in Barcelona. This is the centre of the old city, retaining a labyrinthine street plan with many of the buildings dating from Medieval times. Basically, it’s seriously old and amazing. Go there.

In the center of the Barri Gòtic is the city’s gothic cathedral, known as Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. The first stone of the current church was laid in the 13th century, but it would take until the early 20th century before the cathedral was fully completed. Needless to say it is epic and well worth a visit, even if just to see it’s cloister where 13 white geese are kept. Something about the sounds these geese make feels quite surreal when you are there.

El Born and Museu Picasso.

Next to Barri Gòtic is the El Born area, considered to be the cultural hub and home to many bars, restaurants and fashion retailers. Here you will find Museu Picasso (shown above) with one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona and I cannot recommend it enough. Confession time – I was actually not a big fan of Picasso (shock horror) until visiting this museum. This is probably due to my own ignorance about the body of work this man had created. Never did I realise the depth and breath of his talent and his skills. This man could seriously draw, paint and create, but this was not clear to me until visiting the museum (which is also housed in a super beautiful building).

Museu Picasso | C/ MONTCADA 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 933 19 63 10
Opening hours | Tuesday to Sundays (including holidays): 10 am to 8 pm.
Entry fee | Museum + temporary exhibition 10 € 

Basílica de la Sagrada Família.

I know, I know. It’s a tourist cliche, but you totally have to go there. Sagrada Família is Gaudi’s (STILL) incomplete masterpiece. The church was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s considered one of the most significant historical buildings in the world. It’s sheer size is difficult to comprehend. It is beyond enormous. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Gigantic and then some. Jaw dropping in fact.

It’s enormous size comes with epic hoards of tourists, so don’t be idiots like us – buy your ticket online and avoid those horrendous queues!

Basílica de la Sagrada Família | C/ MALLORCA 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 932 07 30 31
Opening hours | October to March, 9.00 to 18.00 h | April to September, 9.00 to 20.00 h
Entry fees | General public 12.50 € | Audioguide 16.50 €


When you get in the mood to ditch the tourist path, head approximately 1km north of the central Barcelona where you will find Gràcia. This part of town has the most distinctively Catalan neighbourhood, within easy walking distance of the center. This is an affluent neighborhood with a real local, rather than a cosmopolitan feel. Also a great place to stay in an apartment, with it’s local markets and grocers, lovely plazas, shops, interesting street art etc, etc.

El Raval and CCCB Cultural Centre.

If you’re in the mood for a little bit of character and grit, then head south east towards Barcelona’s port to El Raval. This area smells, tastes, looks and feels different to other parts of Barcelona. It is also considered to be one of the most controversial and interesting neigbourhoods due to its darker and seedier side. Giddy up!

Some years back, El Raval was infamous for its crime and prostitution, alongside its legendary nightlife and cabaret shows. These days El Raval is a safer place to visit, with evidence of its special ‘personality’ and ‘character’ still clearly on show, making this area a compelling visit. This lively multi-cultural neighbourhood is also famous for its diverse immigrant population and a truly eclectic mix of ‘stuff’ – think Asian restaurants sharing the footpath with Art Deco cafes and medieval monuments.

El Raval is also the home of MACBA Modern Art Museum and CCCB Cultural Centre (shown above). This building used to be a medieval convent and it’s now one of Barcelona’s premiere spots for cultural exhibitions and concerts. It is also a little bit of architecture porn. And almost impossible to photograph without the right kind of lens.

CCCB Cultural Centre | C/ MONTALEGRE, 5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain | Ph: +34 933 06 41 01

Montjuic and The Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.

Now we are out of the ‘grit’ and up on ‘that hill’ visible from just about everywhere in town – the heavenly Montjuic. Ahhh, this place is like a visual spa. Here you will find the most beautiful castles, glorious gardens, stunning views of Barcelona, amphitheaters, monuments and the Fundació Joan Miró (where we sadly didn’t get to go due to long queues and a limited amount of time). We continued on to get to our main reason for heading up to Montjuic in the first place…

…Yes, I am talking about arguably the finest example of modernist architecture porn – the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, sometimes referred to as the Barcelona Pavilion. ***Laaaaah***

This elegant building with perfect proportions features extravagant materials and exquisite detailing. I don’t really have to tell you that this place is a must see for all you architecture nerds – you know who you are. This building was your screensaver at some point in your life. Admit it!

Btw, that photo on the bottom right (above) is probably one of my favourites for our entire trip. Extreme love.

Did you think that was it? No way man. Husband took approximately 45,795 photos of this building alone. It’s exhausting traveling with an architecture nerd. But also super fun at the same time. Aren’t these just lovely little detail shots of the Pavilion? Yes they are.

Mies van der Rohe Pavilion | Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 7, 08038 Barcelona, Spain ?| Ph: +34 934 23 40 16
Opening hours | Monday: 16:00 to 20:00 h | Tuesday to sunday: 10:00 to 20:00 h
Entry fees | General public 4,6 € | Students 2,5 € | Children under 18 & tour guides free

Phew! That about sums up my list. Stay tuned for more on where to Stay, Shop and Eat. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Please don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments section below. We would all love to hear your tips!

[All images © yellowtrace.]

About The Author

Founder & Editor

With a disarming blend of authority and approachability, Dana is a former refugee-turned-global design visionary. Through her multi-faceted work as a creative director, keynote speaker, editor, curator, interior designer and digital publisher, Dana empowers others to appreciate and engage with design in transformative ways, making the sometimes intimidating world of design accessible to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with the subject. Dana's been catapulted to the status of a stalwart global influencer, with recognition from industry heavyweights such as AD Germany, Vogue Living, Elle Décor Italia and Danish RUM Interiør Design, who have named as one of the Top True Global Influencers of the Design World and counted her among the most visionary female creatives on the planet. Her TEDx talk—"Design Can Change the Way You See the World"— will challenge and transform your understanding of design's omnipresent and profound influence. Through her vast experience in interiors, architecture and design, Dana challenges the prevailing rapid image culture, highlighting the importance of originality, sustainability, connecting with your values and learning to "see" design beyond the aesthetic.

7 Responses

  1. Clara

    Hey Dana, this travel guide is so awesome! I love all the places that you’ve selected and all the little tips that you’ve included in this collection. Ahhhh I can’t wait to go to Barcelona again!

  2. Atelier Turner

    I freakin love Barcelona…I swear it’s my long lost sister, I mean city. Great travel guide…sigh…I NEED to live there! I feel it in my bones:-)

  3. arnold

    You could definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  4. KE-ZU

    Thanks Dana and Nick. Makes me want to head to the airport now. I never tire of Barcelona and visit all those places featured again and again. I might just add…

    When in BCN, make time to visit the bd showroom with products designed by contemporaries such as Alfredo Häberli, Jaime Hayon, Konstantin Grcic or Ross Lovegrove, or historical such as Antoni Gaudí or Salvador Dalí. It has been awarded with the Premio Nacional de Diseño in 1989, the European Community Design Prize in 1990, and the Red Dot Design Award “best of the best” in 2011. The new showroom-gallery in Barcelona is very close to the sea, at 126, Ramon Turró street, where most of the products currently in production can be seen.


    bd Barcelona showroom-gallery:
    C/Ramon Turró, 126
    08005 Barcelona
    Tel: +34 93 457 00 52
    Open to the public Monday to Thursday from 9hrs to 18hrs, and on Friday from 9hrs to 14hrs.

    GPS Coordinate:
    Latitud: 41.396031
    Longitud: 2.197779

    I suggest also drop into renowned design store Vinçon at Passeig de Gràcia, 96.


    The Barcelona shop is situated in Passeig de Gràcia in a listed building forming part of Barcelona’s architectural heritage. It was designed by architect Antoni Rovira i Rabassa in 1899 and belonged to painter Ramón Casas. One of the most interesting extensions happened in 1985 when the main floor of the building was annexed. Access to the interior terrace is through this space, where the furniture department is currently held. It is home to one of the most beautiful patios found in the Barcelona Eixample district. From the terrace you can admire the Pedrera building by Gaudi in great detail from the back, which is situated in the same block.


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