What to eat in Barcelona?
Cities by the sea are centers of influence and constant movement of people and culture, and Barcelona is no exception. Its position along the Mediterranean and its role as a economic hub, drawing people from all over Spain, have transformed it into a city with a diverse culinary offering that caters to every palate and budget.
Neighborhoods like Gracia, l’Eixample, and Sant Gervasi are filled with classic restaurants where you can enjoy the best Catalan cuisine, savoring dishes like butifarra with white beans, calçots with romesco, fricandó de ternera (veal stew), or escalivada de verduras (roasted vegetables), all accompanied, of course, by pan con tomate (bread with tomato). But there’s also a strong presence of Andalusian cuisine due to significant migration in the mid-20th century, allowing Barcelona residents to taste dishes like pringá or typical stews from southern Spain. At Tablao de Carmen, we embrace this Catalan and Andalusian fusion. Our customers can enjoy classic southern tapas including, croquetas, marinated chicken, meat bombs, and patatas bravas, culminating with a traditional dessert of crema catalana. All complemented by sangria and Rioja wine.
In Barcelona, avant-garde establishments (birthplace of one of the pioneers of modern cuisine, Ferrán Adriá) coexist with traditional tapas bars. Additionally, the vibrant markets such as Santa Catalina, Les Encants, and Sant Antoni offer a diverse and perfect plan to spend the day. To explore the relationship between the city, its cuisine, and flamenco, we recommend Bar Leo in Barceloneta, dedicated to one of the most influential rumba artists, Bambino, and the Andalusian bar Los Juanele in Paralel, where you can enjoy small-format flamenco every Thursday and Friday.
Where to stroll in Barcelona?
Barcelona is nestled between sea and mountain, making it a city of contrasts. You can visit the beach of Barceloneta, or the less touristic options of Somorrostro and Bogatell, along with the Olympic Port. Or if you are craving a touch of nature, Barcelona has mountains and hills just a few steps from the asphalt that offer beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Adjacent to Barcelona are the mountains of Tibidabo, Collserola, and Montjuic. Within the city, you’ll find El Putxet (within the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district) and Monte Carmelo, home to the famous Park Güell on one slope and, on the other, the scenic viewpoint of Joan Sales and the Parque de las Tres Colinas. Though less famous than Los Búnkers, these locations are equally impressive. For lovers of Barcelona literature, the bar Delicias at the foot of this hill, and the El Carmel neighborhood, serve as significant settings in the novel “Últimas tardes con Teresa” [Las Afternoons with Teresa] by Juan Marsé—one of the books that best portrayed mid-20th-century Barcelona. To discover more magnificent views of Barcelona, you can visit the Teleférico del Pueblo, the Montjuic Military Fort, or the Tibidabo Amusement Park.
Another way to explore the city is through its long and fascinating history, which can still be felt in places like the Roman ruins preserved in the Museo de Historia de Barcelona [Barcelona History Museum] or the outdoor necropolis in Plaza de la Villa de Madrid in the Gothic Quarter. In the same neighborhood, two of the best works from a crucial artistic and historical period in the city are preserved: the Santa Maria del Pi church and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, both representative of Catalan Gothic. To know more about these aspects of the city, it’s interesting to participate in the numerous guided tours organized by tourism companies, covering both neighborhoods and themes (such as medieval Barcelona or Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War).
What art to see in Barcelona?
Beyond the Sagrada Familia or Casa Milà, there are lesser-known modernist buildings in the city, such as Casa Vicens, Palau de la Música, or the Colegio Teresiano de Barcelona. Similarly, a walk through the Eixample district reveals many hidden gems of modernism. Casa Comalat, Casa Llopis, Casa Fuster, or Casa Amatller are just a few examples from a long list. To explore modernism more thoroughly, the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña [National Museum of Catalan Art] is located in the Sants neighborhood, also housing a remarkable collection of Romanesque art.
As for more unconventional museums, Barcelona offers countless options:
- Museo del Perfume [Perfume Museum]
- Museo de la Erótica [Erotic Museum]
- Archivo Fotográfico Histórico de Barcelona [Historical Photographic Archive of Barcelona]
- Museo Marítimo [Maritime Museum]
Where to see good flamenco in Barcelona?
The city offers a variety of flamenco options for all formats and budgets. Most of the tablaos (El Cordobés, Los Tarantos, Palau Dalmeses, and City Hall) are concentrated in the central area around Las Ramblas. Tablao de Carmen is the only tablao located away from the bustle of the city center, in the Andalusian neighborhood of Pueblo Español, on the Montjuic mountain. Similarly, some entities keep the flamenco art alive in the city: Taller de Músics organizes the Ciutat Flamenco festival in November and the Sociedad El Dorado schedules weekly cante concerts [singing concerts], dance shows, and lectures.
Options for flamenco lovers range from large venues (Teatro Victoria, Sala Apolo, Teatro Joventut) to peñas [clubs], associations, Andalusian houses, and bars (in addition to Los Juanele, places like Robadors 23, Rouge Raval, or La Belter also feature live flamenco). Don’t forget the major flamenco event that comes with spring: the Feria de Abril de Cataluña [April Fair of Catalonia] at Parc del Fórum for ten days, where all flamenco and Andalusian entities in Barcelona and its surroundings set up their booths, showcasing their passion for this art.
If you’re a local who hasn’t experienced any of the mentioned flamenco places yet, we recommend you discover them. If you’re hosting a traveling visitor, take the opportunity to explore Tablao de Carmen with them.