Costa Del Sol
Barcelona bags itself more than five kilometres of Mediterranean coastline. The city’s beach count stacks up to nine, with each one proudly waving its own Blue Flag. It’s easy to switch things up, as they all sit side by side. Barceloneta Beach is the closest spot to the city, then there’s a separate pair of swathes on its right and another six on its left-hand side.
La Barceloneta Beach is the sandy sweep you’ll see plotted on postcards throughout the city. To reach it take a stroll along Las Ramblas towards the coast – it’s around a 20-minute walk from Port Vell, which marks the end of the avenue.
Barcelona’s beaches can get busy, particularly in the height of summer. For something a little less-trodden, your best bet is to head out of the city. Castelldefels Beach is a good pick for more secluded swims, it’s around a 25-minute drive from the centre of the city. Or, if you’d prefer to travel by train, you’ll be looking at a door-to-door journey time of just under an hour.
La Boqueria market is one of many places worthy of a pitstop while walking along Las Ramblas. It’s a great place to have lunch, with stalls selling seafood snacks and meat-stuffed sarnies at low prices.
The streets surrounding Plaza de Catalunya are the place to go for high street shops, Primark, H&M and Zara all have their names above doors around this part of town.
Paseo de Gracia headlines Barcelona’s designer shopping scene, top-end stores such as Prada and Cartier both have shops along this super-classy tree-lined street.
While the neighbourhood of El Born offers plenty in the way of big night out, it also has its fair share of quiet spots, too. Rooftop bars offer up the perfect spot to watch the sun sink behind the skyline, then after darkness falls you can head into a tapas bar to see the night out with some small plates and a glass of fizz.
A list of Barcelona’s biggest clubs sits side by side in Port Olimpic, it was built in the early 90s for the Olympic Games but the nightlife here’s about as on-trend as it gets. Opium and Barcelona – two of the city’s biggest clubs – are open well into the early hours.
Deep-fried croquettes come in a variety of flavour combinations on tapas menus across the city, although bechamel sauce, ham, mashed potatoes tend to come as standard.
These green peppers tend to hail from northwest Spain and are much milder than their fiery chilli counterparts. They’re sprinkled with flakes of salt and drizzled with olive oil before being slightly charred in the oven.
Seafood’s a big game in Barcelona, with many restaurants dedicating their menus to locally caught fish dishes. For something a little out of the ordinary, order yourself some chipirones – they’re delicately deep-fried baby squid pieces served up with a huge squeeze of lemon.
Spain’s favourite fizz is produced in Penedes, just an hour’s drive from the centre of the city. It means there’s never any shortage of supply in wine bars, rooftop spots and alongside dishes in tapas restaurants across the city.
This thing is a bit like a crème brûlée, but with a couple of tweaks here and there. Milk is swapped out for cream and a dose of orange and lime flavouring gives the dish a citrus fruit twist.
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