Barcelona is the trendy capital of Catalonia, rivalling Europe’s very best cities in terms of style, culture and attractions.
Whilst you could easily spend a fortnight in the city, not everyone can be so lucky. But even just one day in Spain’s second biggest city will leave you with enough fantastic memories to last a lifetime. Read on to find out the essential things to do if you only have 24 hours in the city…
9am – Enjoy a Spanish breakfast
Barcelona might be famous for its fantastic moonlit restaurants but it also knows how to do breakfast as well. Visit La Boqueria market nice and early and enjoy some local delicacies as well as its vibrant hustle and bustle. Filled with a variety of stalls, ravenous holidaymakers can try a chickpea stew with black pudding from Pinotxo or El Quim’s famous scrambled eggs with white sausage. Now you’re ready to start the day for real.
11am – Ramble down La Rambla
After leaving the market, tourists will find themselves on one of the world’s most famous streets. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the musicians, street performers and dancers who line the mile-long stretch. Filled with roadside cafes and stalls, stop for a coffee if you need to recharge your batteries.
1pm – Explore the Sagrada Familia
Iconic, beautiful and…still to be finished. The Sagrada Familia is perhaps the world’s most famous building site, with Gaudi’s masterpiece only half completed but already important enough to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Begun in 1882, the church is a dramatic reinterpretation of Gothic architecture through the filter of 19th century genius. Visitors can explore much of the church during their visit and bask in its modernist beauty.
3pm – Soak up the culture of Catalonia
Barcelona has been a hub for artists for centuries, with the National Art Museum of Catalonia housing one of the best collections of paintings in the whole of Europe. The museum is famous for its unparalleled collection of Romanesque art, with many pieces originally adorning churches throughout the Pyrenees. Masterpieces by el Greco, Carracci and Ayne Bru are also present in this unique celebration of Catalonian culture.
5pm – Visit the city’s boutiques
Barcelona is a shopper’s paradise, with the Catalonian capital renowned for its diverse array of boutiques and fashion outlets. Spread throughout the city centre, stores such as Jean Pierre Bua and Jofre sell high end fashion items by acclaimed designers like Alexander McQueen and other trend setting labels.
7pm – Tapas, tapas, tapas
The Catalonian capital has a superb mix of tapas bars, with a trip to Barcelona not complete until you’ve sampled the Spanish speciality. Quimet & Quimet, Tossa and Maitea are just three of the best in town, each with their own unique takes on this relaxed delicacy.
9pm – Barcelona match
The undisputed champions of the city, F.C Barcelona have become the best team in world football in recent years. And their 99,000-capacity Camp Nou stadium is transformed into a cauldron of passion on match nights, with visitors able to enjoy some of the most free-flowing football the world has ever seen.
11pm – Dance the night away
If Barcelona is great by day, it gets even better at night. The Macarena Club is one of the city’s best underground gems, playing the hottest dance and techno beats for both locals and tourists. Razzmatazz and Row 14 offer live bands and the indie hits, whilst City Hall provides a more mainstream soundtrack for revellers.
How would you spend one day in Barcelona?