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Barcelonaspain's sleepless city

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1 City 5 Ways: Barcelona

Hotel Pulitzer

Hotel Pulitzer. Photo by My Umbrella Studio.

Barcelona may be known for its beaches and the Sagrada Família, but there is much more to this Mediterranean metropolis, the capital of Catalonia. Fiercely proud of its culture and heritage, the city is an eclectic mix of traditional and modern—with a vibrant arts and music scene and nightlife to indulge your inner night owl like no place else. Mostly walkable but also with excellent public transport, bicycle lanes and affordable taxis, Barcelona is made for sightseeing by day and bona vida—wine-and-tapas-fueled time with family and friends—by night.



Where to Stay: El Palace Hotel
Having hosted Salvador Dalí, Ella Fitzgerald and Placido Domingo, the hotel’s Classic Arts Suites—each named after an artist— will enthuse your explorations of Barcelona’s lively arts scene. 

Morning: Bellesguard
Designed by Antoni Gaudí and inspired by a medieval castle, Bellesguard takes its name from the sweeping views of the city. Visit the manor house and the gardens to learn how its long history influenced Gaudí’s creation. 

Midday: Mosaiccos and 4 Gats
Learn trencadis, Gaudí’s mosaic method. Using broken tile, make your own mosaic piece and then head to 4 Gats—a city icon and the place of Picasso’s first exhibition—for lunch.  

Afternoon: Casa de les Punxes and Casa Amatller
Both buildings are examples of Catalan modernism, the former inspired by the Middle Ages and the latter commissioned by a chocolatier. After a tour, enjoy Amatller chocolates in the café.  

Evening: Carrer d’Enric Granados
Stroll this pedestrian street full of galleries, antiques shops, small boutiques and café terraces. Have a snack at café/gallery Cosmo before heading to Palau de la Música Catalana for a concert.



Castells de Catalunya         
Castells de Catalunya.        

Where to Stay: Cotton House Hotel
Occupying the former headquarters of the Cotton Textile Association, the hotel preserves many of the building’s original elements, including L’Atelier, where your measurements can still be taken for made-to-order garments. 

Morning: Sandeman’s New Europe Free Tour
For a city exploration that mixes history with storytelling, take this walking tour. A tip-based payment structure ensures a guide who will entertain while sharing facts about the city you won’t hear anywhere else. 

Midday: Museu d’Història de Barcelona
This museum offers a glimpse into the life of medieval Barcelona, and nearby Restaurant 7 Portes serves dishes that have evolved over 181 years.  

Afternoon: Castells de Catalunya
Watch rehearsals and partake in building human towers, a Catalan tradition inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

Evening: Just Royal Bcn
Experience what it was like to be among Barcelona’s most notable citizenry—and their servants—by cooking and then eating your dinner in a 16th-century house of the nobility. 



Mastinell Cava & Hotel         
Mastinell Cava & Hotel.        

Where to Stay: Mastinell Cava & Hotel
Built to resemble cava bottles on a rack, the hotel has 12 rooms, most with views of surrounding vineyards. Guests are welcomed with a bottle of cava and chocolate-covered almonds. 

Morning: Vinseum
Occupying the former palace of the kings of Aragon, the museum’s collection explores the history of viticulture and of Penedès, the Catalan wine region. 

Afternoon: Freixenet
To learn more about cava, drop by Freixenet, Codorniu’s bitter rival and the maker of iconic Christmas commercials. 

Midday: Codorniu
The oldest family business in Spain, Codorniu was the first to make cava using Penedès grapes. Visit the vineyards and underground cellars to understand cava-making—followed by lunch or a cava-tasting course. 

Evening: Hotel Pulitzer
Wrap up the day enjoying #Buenas TardesPulitzer on the terrace with a glass of cava, live music or a DJ, a view of nighttime Barcelona and a selection of tapas. 



Open Camp Barcelona        
Open Camp Barcelona.        

Where to Stay: Barcelona Apartment
These properties offer convenient locations complete with kitchens—and many include features such as a pool, mosaic floors, exposed brick walls and large, solid, wooden shutters. 

Morning: Open Camp Barcelona
Be it soccer, archery or basketball, this sports-central leisure park uses virtual reality to help visitors feel, experience and understand what it’s like to be a professional athlete. 

Midday: Park Güell
Pack a picnic and explore this enchanting park designed by Antoni Gaudí and featuring mosaic-covered animals, cavelike walkways and enclosures, fairy-tale houses and sweeping views. 

Afternoon: Museu de la Xocolata
Occupying the former Sant Agustí monastery, this museum recounts the history of chocolate’s arrival in Europe and organizes activities that include creating your own chocolate sculpture. 

Evening: Kasparo
Kasparo’s terrace is located on a traffic-free square next to a playground. With a menu offering Mediterranean cuisine, artisanal beer and tapas made from seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place to end the day. 



Cuines. Photo by Olga Planas.        

Where to Stay: Hotel Praktik Bakery
Wake up to the smell of fresh bread in this minimalist, white wood and ceramic hotel. For breakfast, enjoy artisan loaves baked on the premises. 

Morning: Aborígens
Self-described as “unconventional,” Aborígens’ Food Market Tour foregos touristy places in lieu of markets where locals shop and eat. 

Midday: Bubo
For a sweet treat, stop at Bubo pastry shop and enjoy the creations of the Catalan pastry chef whose Xabina cake won the Press Prize for the “world´s best chocolate cake.” 

Afternoon: Formatgeria La Seu
Whether it’s cheese ice cream you crave—smoked or blue—or a wine-fueled tasting, this shop offers several ways to appreciate Catalan and Spanish farmhouse cheeses. 

Evening: Cuines
This restaurant sources its ingredients from the Santa Catarina market where it’s located and features an open-plan kitchen. Sit inside or on the terrace while trying modern and classic Catalan tapas and enjoying the kind of evening for which Barcelona is famous.  

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