Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the world and has many different sights and hundreds (probably thousands) of restaurants, parcs, cafés and museums. Avoiding crowds and tourist traps can get quite difficult as well as choosing from the wide range of offers.
Speaking with a local can be very helpful and luckily a friend of mine who grew up in Barcelona was happy to give me some insider tips. She collected a few to-dos and eat-out locations that she would recommend to visitors. Hopefully this can help you when you enter this amazing, overwhelming city!
You probably already have the Sagrada familia, the Parc Güell and La Rambla on your to-do list. These are very interesting places to visit, but they can also get very overcrowded. That’s why we have some alternatives for you here.
Casa vicens (close to the station Focana): a house designed by the famous Gaudi and a museum
Parc del Laberint d’Horta: great to get some rest in the citys oldest neo-classicist/romantic garden)
Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau: This used to be an Barcelonas most important hospital, but has become a museum of its own history & UNESCO world heritage site, magical place in art nouveau style
Mercat de Sant Antoni: market hall to buy something to eat or shop for other stuff
Parc de Pedralbes: great for a walk in the green and a short visit of the old royal palace
Carretera de les Aigües: great for a walk in the nature with great views of the city
Biblioteca de los Aigües: quiet place at the university with very impressive architecture and not many tourists
Eating & Drinking:
Eating and drinking out with friends and family is a very popular thing to do in Spain. There are so many great things to try in Barcelona that restaurant hopping could become the single activity on your trip. Must-Trys of the Spanish cuisine are of course tapas, empanadas and the famous, very affordable drink Vermouth. This sweet, red wine infused with herbs and spices and accompanied by quite a lot of alcohol is a popular aperitif on the weekends and before bigger meals.
Restaurant Azul (close to the station Sants Estacio in BCN): Galician food
Cafeteria Can Deu (close to the station Les Corts in BCN) : very beautiful, calm location to have a snack or drink in the afternoon
Bodega Montferry (close to the station Placa del Centre): traditional bodega with tapas and the drink vermouth
Rekons (close to station Urgell): small restaurant with great empanadas that you can also take to go