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First time in Barcelona: Tips for a luxury 7-night stay

By Adrianna Johns on 15th January 2020

Whether it is strolling through the narrow medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter, browsing for vintage pieces in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona, searching for the best tapas bar in the city or simply enjoying the sun whilst relaxing on the golden sands of the beach, you will find something worth your time in the second largest Spanish city.

If you want a more notable exploration of the city, why not take a tour bus? A simple way to be guided, whilst learning notable facts about the city — take a look at Barcelona Bus Turistic reviews and prepare to be convinced.

7 days is the perfect amount of time to experience the best of Barcelona, thereby we have curated the ideal guide for a luxury getaway — from where to stay, where to eat and what to do, this guide will help you experience all that the city has to offer.

Where to stay

The beautiful Mandarin Oriental is one of the best hotels in Barcelona

Situated next to Barceloneta Beach, the W Barcelona will treat you to some of the best views of the city, the beach and the Mediterranean sea, so be prepared to spend your entire trip daydreaming and gazing out of your window. Whilst the hotel is typically busy with honeymooners and those on business trips, you will find the peace you’re looking for in your heavenly room.

Having gained worldwide recognition for its high standards and exceptional service, the Mandarin Oriental is one of the best hotels in Barcelona. Every detail here is flawless and elegant, so a stay here would certainly be memorable. Located on the Passeig de Gràcia, this beloved hotel offers the perfect location to explore the city’s numerous wonders.

One of the newest and most popular hotels in the city is the Almanac Barcelona. Opening its doors in February 2018, this hotel has rapidly earned the recognition it deserves and has become a favourite amongst locals due to its modern decor, prime central location and closeness to all the necessary amenities. The rooftop terrace offers the perfect space to sit back and watch the city bustle by.

Where to eat

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There are few cities in the world can rival the Catalan capital for its gastronomic offerings. Image credit: ilolab/Bigstock.com

For quality tapas that have been prepared with the freshest ingredients, go to El Raval where you will find Bar Cañete. Experienced professionals will treat you well here and whilst it’s always packed with hungry tourists, it has remained a local favourite — if you wish to have tapas at least once during your trip, let it be at Bar Cañete.

Nestled in the area of Eixample lies one of the world’s best restaurants, Disfrutar. Here you will find a laid-back atmosphere where playful and divine molecular gastronomy is presented. All you need to enjoy this restaurant is an open mind and a very curious palate.

For a truly wondrous experience, Enigma awaits. The latest venture from celebrity chef brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià will give you one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences of your life. Unlock the door using a secret code given to you when you make your reservation, walk through the looking glass, stroll through a shimmering maze and enjoy a 40-50 course tasting menu that will appeal to all your senses.

What to do

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North of Gràcia, Unesco-listed Park Güell is where architect Antoni Gaudí turned his hand to landscape gardening. Image credit: Edofoto/Bigstock.com

When visiting this beautiful city, one of the main attractions will be the architecture. From the majestic domes of Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site and the artistic journey at the Picasso Museum to the tall columns of Santa Maria del Mar church and the majestic gardens of Montjuic, there is much to see in Barcelona.

During your 7-day stay, your capsule edit of must-see attractions includes Park Güell, one of Antoni Gaudí’s most magical designs. You may have seen the image on a thousand postcards but nothing truly beats seeing it person. The city views from Nature Square are glorious and the wavy walls of mosaic are worth the visit.

If you’re looking to spend some time on the beach then head down to Barceloneta, which is perhaps one of the city’s most chaotic attractions but worth experiencing. Easy to access from almost anywhere — if you have a Bus Turístic ticket, remember to use the Port Olímpic stop — cafés, restaurants and other amenities are all available to you along this stretch of seafront.

Would any list about Barcelona be complete without a mention of La Sagrada Familia? We think not. Visiting the world’s largest unfinished church is simply a must during your stay.

Although simply walking along the shadow of the Gaudí’s temple might be enough for some, we recommend booking tickets ahead so that you can get inside without queueing, and gawk at the vaults, rainbow-stained glass and impressive columns — trust us, it will all be worth it.