Being the JFC summer holiday destination this year, we thought we might as well share our experiences and let you know what you should make sure you don’t miss out on when you're exploring the city for yourself.
Go on a Tour
We opted to go on a walking tour of the city right at the start. Partly due to not having had time to research the city prior to going and partly because it came highly recommended. We opted for SANDEMANs NEW Europe tour and got a tour of two sectors of the city. You learn a lot about the city’s history, culture and current situation. One of the best aspects of this was when we asked for some recommendations at the end, which lead to the discovery of some of the other hot spots in Barcelona which feature later on this list. You should 100% do this as it took us away from the tourist traps and towards the hidden gems (massive shout out to our guide Reuben).
Go to the Beach
We opted for the Sitges beaches just outside the city but all of them are fantastic. Glorious sand, cocktail sheds and pedalos... What more could you ask for? This is half the reason most people travel to the Mediterranean coast.
We had a hell of a mixed experienced with tapas throughout our trip, trying it at every opportunity. The clear winner out of all of these was our frantic experience of El Xampanyet. After failing to make a reservation we turned up 15 minutes before opening to find a queue already forming. Prepare to be crammed into a space and be rapidly fed the most incredible accumulation of dishes. The flavours are phenomenal and the prices are fantastic. An absolute must visit.
We were blown away with the choice of bars on offer in Barcelona. There are hundreds of world class and unique bars to choose from with their own specialties and twists.
Our two recommendations from different ends of the spectrum are Nevermind and Caribbean Club. Nevermind is an aptly named grunge themed bar with a great happy hour and graffiti scrawled across the walls. But no doubt, the coolest thing about it is the skate bowl in the back. There’s nothing quite like sipping on a cold beer, playing foosball whilst admiring people from across the world ripping it up.
If you want somewhere a little more chilled with some of the finest drinks in Spain then step through the solid wood door into the half hidden world of Caribbean Club. The owner is a wonderful man who was happy to talk us through his bar and menu, he even posted a postcard back to us from the bar. If you like either rum or a cocktail (who doesn’t?) then you have to give it a shot.
Visit the Sagrada Familia
Even if you aren’t one for history and old buildings you have to go in and see this place. Due to be finished in 2026 this unbelievable structure will leave you open mouthed throughout the entire experience. I would recommend that you have a look at some of Gaudi’s other work throughout the city beforehand but this is the most impressive and mind blowing by quite some way.