Barcelona’s top concierges share their personal recommendations for the perfect day
In order to beat the crowds to one of Barcelona’s star attractions, start the morning with a visit to Antonio Gaudí’s unfinished Sagrada Família, before moving on to Gaudí’s Parc Guell to enjoy city views and more unique architecture.
The next stop is Paseo de Gracia, an exclusive boulevard which is home to more of Gaudí’s architecture and a range of international design outlets.
Lunch at Pinotxo in the famous Boquería market will give you a taste of real Barcelonan market cuisine. Sitting at the bar and being served by Juan Bayen, whose family has been running the bar for three generations is a real treat.
After lunch, head over to the market to see the mouth-watering display of fish and try fresh, Barcelonan fruit and vegetables. If you fancy a snack, pay a visit to the Escriba coffee house located in a modernist building next to the market, which serves delicious pastries and cakes.
If you have any energy left, spend the afternoon discovering the historic Barri Gòtic, the Picasso Museum and the local shops in the trendy El Born area, before returning to Hotel Arts for a relaxing massage at the Six Senses Spa on the 43rd floor, overlooking the Mediterranean.
EVA DE AURORA
Take the guided tour of “Gourmet Barcelona” including a visit to the Mercado de la Boquería, Gaudí monuments, the Gothic Quarter, the Montjuic cable car, the Picasso museum, the Modernism Museum, the National Museum of Art Catalonia, art galleries on Moncada and Eixample and the Science Museum.
Depending on the date of your stay, you will be able to take advantage of a range of exhibitions and shows held in the city. ABaC can also tailor and arrange tours to suit the specific interests of guests, such as a visit to the Chocolate Museum or the Aquarium, a sunset sailboat trip on the Mediterranean Sea, a trip to nearby Sitges, a small coastal town with excellent golf facilities, and scenic flights over Montserrat Mountain and the beautiful wine-producing region of Penedés.
Another attraction is the historically significant Tramvia Blau, the ‘blue tramway’, which has been in operation since 1901. It can be taken from in front of the ABaC and runs along Tibidabo Avenue, taking in a significant number of luxurious properties for which the district is famous. The journey ends in Dr Andreu Square where you will have the chance to enjoy drink in the famous Mirablau and Mirabe bars, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the city. The renowned La Venta Restaurant is also located in the Square.
Cuisine: Modern and Classic
Cuisine: Innovative gourmet
BEST TO DO
Carrer Petritxol: This famous street is a haven for art galleries, however the real reason to stroll down Petritxol, especially in the wintertime, is for the ‘churrería’.
La Pallaresa has been serving locals with thick, sticky hot chocolate and traditional Spanish donuts since 1940. At the end of Petritxol are the Plaza del Pi and the façade of the Church del Pi. This is a magical area of the city, particularly on Sundays when there is a farmers’ market.
Contemporary art: The MACBA museum of contemporary art displays a diverse range of exhibitions, and includes La Central library, which specializes in art books and publications. What makes this museum especially interesting is the flexible area, which displays the best in contemporary art, photography and cinema. Another contemporary art museum, the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) is adjacent to MACBA. Due to Barcelona’s vibrant cultural scene, you will find a number of important private art initiatives, including a gallery circuit based on the area around Consell de Cent Street or the Borne neighborhood.
Opera: Liceu – Gran Teatre del Liceu is one of the largest opera auditoriums in the world and a performance here should be on your must-do list for all music and culture enthusiasts.
Cafè de L’Òpera –Take a break in this 19thcentury Parisian-style café. Its murals, iron columns and etched wall mirrors evoke a more elegant age, when waiters with bow ties served you with discreet indifference. It’s the ideal spot to sit back, enjoy a quality coffee, and watch the nonstop activity outside the Gran Teatre del Liceu while you wait for the show to begin.
Shopping: Passeig de Gràcia – In addition to being one of the best places to see Catalan Modernist architecture (Casa Batlló and La Pedrera are really worth a visit), this avenue is one of the major shopping streets in Barcelona. All major national and international fashion houses have boutiques on this road, including Adolfo Dominguez, Loewe, Chanel, Yves-Saint-Laurent, Purificación García, Camper, Hermès and Laurel. Foreign brands include Ermenegildo Zegna, Max Mara, Escada and Armand Bassi.
Cuisine: Contemporary gourmet
Cuisine: Contemporary Cuisine
For: Men and women’s luxury brands
For: Design store
For: A traditional grocery store in Barcelona where you find fantastic local products
JOSE IGNACIO GARCÍA
Barcelona is an enormously stylish city, overflowing with fashionable boutiques and chic retailers, particularly on the Passeig de Gràcia, where our hotel is located.
In this city, dining and drinking can sometimes be pastimes which occupy the entire day; enjoy tapas in between a slow meander around the city. Evenings can be filled with entertainment, from opera at Gran Teatre del Liceu to the energetic street life of the famous Las Ramblas. Off the main track are many quieter quarters; stroll down these narrow shady streets and you will find the homes and shops of local residents.
What sets Barcelona apart is its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. The city boasts a lively marina and the beaches are exceptional, dotted with cafés where visitors and locals alike can enjoy refreshments with the sand beneath their toes.
Cuisine: Traditional Catalan Cuisine
For: Men and women’s best luxury brands.
BEST TO DO
Stroll along Las Ramblas
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