travel | 10 things to do in barcelona

burkatron city guide

i hadn't been to barcelona since i was 15 so revisiting it last month was like discovering it all over again! it's a beautiful city with plenty to explore making it a perfect long weekend destination. we went for 4 days this time round and i'd definitely recommend going just before peak season- the weather was gorgeous plus we didn't have to rush to beat the crowds- winner! i wanted to share a quick overview of my favourite experiences in case any of you guys were heading there too.. 

shopping barcelona

get off the beaten track.

you have to spend at least an afternoon exploring the famous gothic quarter with the cathedral and adjoining la rambla but one of my favourite things about barcelona is the different neighbourhoods. we stayed slightly out of the centre and loved the contrast of the bustle of the city and the leafy residential areas with their bakeries and quaint coffee shops. if you're looking for independent home interior and fashion boutiques head to gràcia (voted best neighbourhood by the locals.) for some hipster hangouts walk through la raval (check out the skaters at the contemporary art museum.) and further afield is pobel-sec for some foodie cuisine!

barcelona shopping
barcelona city break

eat all the tapas!

a huge chunk of our time was spent eating in tapas restaurants we stumbled upon as we were walking, it's a huge part of the culture and it's totally addictive! don't make the mistake of ordering the whole menu in one go (we totally did this on the first day!) just opt for a couple of dishes at first and then order more when you've eaten them- make it a leisurely experience like the locals!

10 things to do in barcelona
travel guide

fall in love with the architecture.

you can't really experience the city without going to see some of gaudi's famous work (which if nothing else is gloriously OTT!!) they're one of the most popular tourist attractions but if you want to skip the crowds head out early and book tickets online before you go. the basilica la sagrada familia is a must see even if you don't pay to go inside, we also took a morning out to visit park güell and the gaudi house museum which are a stones throw from each other...

gaudi barcelona

feel the sand in your toes.

one of the cool things about barcelona is that you can jump on the metro and go to the beach when the heat of the city gets too much. we headed to barceloneta beach and took a walk along the sand stopping to grab a few drinks and lunch along the way!

grab some live music.

barcelona has it's fair share of live music and clubs and since everyone eats so late in the day it makes sense to head out ofter dinner! we were tempted to go to some flamenco bars but our love of jazz took us to the old school dive harlem jazz cafe (not so spanish hey..) we lucked out as a really uh-mazing funk bank were playing and the atmosphere was brilliant! things kick off about 10pm so if you want a seat don't get there much later..

jazz cafe

bargain hunt at the flea market.

els encants flea market was a really fun way to spend a few hours if you're bored of the high street. although there was plenty of stalls i avoided there was some really neat purchases to be found (for me that was the leather, textiles and haberdashery stalls.) there's plenty of antique/vintage furniture on offer but not so much in the vintage clothing department other than levis. set over multiple floors in a super cool mirrored open air building it's well worth checking out if you're a fan of markets.

10 things to do in barcelona
10 things to do in barcelona
flea markets barcelona

dine at the food markets.

one of my favourite things to do is find the local food markets, not only is a great place to buy produce they usually have some of the best stalls to eat! grab a seat and if in doubt just ask them what they recommend- the atmosphere is brilliant and it's usually cheaper than sitting in a restaurant! in barcelona you'd be mad not to go to and soak up the sounds, smells and hustle of mercat de la boqueria (just off la rambla)

barcelona guide
city guide spain

stay in a home away from home.

we often stay in an apartment rather than a hotel on city breaks. we usually book through airbnb and benefit from the host's recommendations of places to eat and visit as they're often locations we wouldn't find in a travel guide. this time we stayed in this studio loft which was easy to get to on the metro and had a laid back suburban atmosphere!

airbnb barcelona
10 things to do in barcelona

buy a T-10 metro ticket.

barcelona is definitely a city you can explore on foot, we were there for 4 days and spent the majority of our time walking! however it made sense to grab the metro every now and again (especially after a long day or to visit the sites out of town!) if you're going to grab the metro don't bother buying singles or returns buy a T-10 ticket, it costs about €10 and you can use it ten times, ours lasted us the whole trip and ran out just before we headed back- bargain!

(note- you can take the metro straight from the airport too. if you're grabbing the airport metro that's a separate ticket to the T-10 that takes you from the airport to central barcelona only. it costs just under €5 each way and i'd definitely recommend that over taking a bus too!)

barcelona guide
city guide

don't forget the sangria!

i found myself drinking a whole lot of sangria on my trip (seriously addictive stuff.) sangria aside one of the nicest things to do is sit back and people watch in this extraordinary city! we spent plenty of time drinking whilst we ate tapas but there's some gorgeous rooftop bars where you can take in the views with a cocktail in hand. oh take me back...

if you've never been to barcelona before add it to your city break list now!

back soon

caroline x


  1. What a beautiful city, I definitely have to see it again! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I loved reading this, thank you. I've booked flights for my boyfriend and I to Barcelona in August but have no idea what we want to see or where to stay so this is really helpful!

    Ruth //

    1. OMG have the best time! it's a beautiful place :)

  3. Your photos are so pretty! - Great information too! I hope to get there within the next year or two.

  4. You've captured the spirit of Barcelona perfectly <3

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE


  5. Wow! I've always wanted to visit Barcelona and I love the tips you've added in this post, so thank you! It's definitely on my travel bucket list!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

    1. yay- hope you get there soon! we went just before the summer season and the weather and atmosphere was brilliant! :)

  6. Definitely going to be taking some notes as I'm heading the Bareclona at the end of the month!

    Jaye x
    The Life of JP

    1. I've just got back! It was fantastic. Definitely need to go again!
      Thanks for the tips!

  7. I'm taking my son to Barcelona and other places in Spain in the Sept. I'm using your ideas!!

    1. that makes me very happy haha! have a wonderful trip :)



Caroline Burke | Burkatron. Theme by STS.