With Spanish modernist architecture dominated by Gaudi’s fantastical buildings, shabby old neighborhoods full of artisan workshops, and miles of sandy Mediterranean beaches, the Spanish city makes an intriguing destination all year round. Even with a toddler in tow! Barcelona is a brilliant city that you should now, take a look the Best Design Guides Barcelona city guide!

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Hotel Bagués

Tourist-bloated and rife with pickpockets, the location of Hotel Bagués will not be for everybody. But that’s the price of being next to Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria market, smack in the middle of Las Ramblas, and there’s enough to like about this little boutique property to warrant a closer look.

La Rambla de Canaletes 105, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.derbyhotels.com/en/hotel-bagues/

 

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The Mirror Barcelona

‘Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest..?’ If you’re still waiting for an answer to that question you’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask again at this design-conscious hotel in Eixample, a shining gem of glassy white minimalism a short walk from the main shopping streets and the gay nightlife of Gayxample.

Còrsega 255, 08036 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.themirrorbarcelona.com/

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Palace Hotel Barcelona

When a three-star establishment next door nicks your highly valued name, what do you do? If you’re The Ritz, you renovate and reappear as Palace Hotel. The old school luxury, glitz and glamour hasn’t changed, and whilst we wouldn’t say it was on par with the likes of the Arts or the Mandarin Oriental, you’re guaranteed a five-star experience all the same, at more reasonable rates.

Gran Via 668, Barcelona 08010, Spain

http://hotelpalacebarcelona.com/

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Mercer Hotel Barcelona

The work of Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish starchitect Rafael Moneo, the five-star, 28-room Mercer Hotel Barcelona is set in a spectacular 12th century palace that also incorporates part of the town’s Roman wall and one of the watch towers dating back to the 1st (yes, first) century. Even if the name was intended to sound like the New York hotel, there’s nothing quite like this anywhere else.

Lledó 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.mercerbarcelona.com/

See Also: Must-do things in Barcelona

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See Also: Must-do things in Barcelona

Hotel DO Plaça Reial

Picturesque, yet also the destination número uno for the city’s backpackers, scam artists and drug peddlers, this palm and hostel-lined square just off Las Ramblas may be one of the more unlikely locations for a luxury boutique hotel. But that’s precisely where you’ll find the five star Hotel DO Plaça Reial.

Plaça Reial 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.hoteldoreial.com/

2. Restaurants

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Pepito

A pepito, in case you didn’t know, is what they call the scrumptious steak sandwich in Spanish and it’s an appropriate name for a place as easy to enjoy as this one. Just don’t mistake that for the mundane; Pepito is as chic and refined as the gourmet versions of the sandwiches that are featured on its menu.

Passatge Domingo 3 bis, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

http://pepitorestaurante.com/

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Saboc

The former Bestiari has had a total make-over, in design as well as culinary terms. Renamed Saboc, the look is now downright Nordic, with Danish designers everywhere, from the pendants by Jørn Utzon and Cecilie Manz to the various Hay chairs by Hee Welling and Jørgen Bækmark. At the same time the food has taken a tack towards the more modern Spanish.

Fusina 3, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.saboc.es/

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Terraza Martínez

Moritz may be the beer brand of choice at Terraza Martínez, but it looks straight out of one of those Mediterráneamente ads from Estrella Damm. With its country-style string lights, paellla and good times-vibe, the place is the perfect embodiment of that glorious summer-in-Spain feeling.

Carretera de Miramar 38, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.martinezbarcelona.com/

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Chéri Restaurant

A tender thought, intense sensations… This Chéri might not be wrapped in pink or contain liquor-soaked cherries but it’s still pretty sweet and, unlike the seasonal Ferrero variety, it can be enjoyed all year round.

Enric Granados 122, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.cherirestaurant.com/

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Mercat Princesa

Food court somehow manages to simultaneously be both the most accurate and the most misleading description for Mercat Princesa. Although there are 16 different stalls to choose from, this has little to do with the cluster of shopping mall fast food joints that is usually associated with the term.

Sabateret 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.mercatprincesa.com/

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3. Shops

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Recdi8

In this little shop Recdi8 and its showroom, you can buy design objects and totally exclusive art from the most in vogue designers: Hiroshi Tsunoda, Canvasco, House Stockholm, Muuto, Tom Dixon, Playsam, Leblon Delienne, Atypyk…

París, 173, 080036, Barcelona, Spain

http://www.recdi8.com/

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Vinçon

Barcelona’s ultimate design store, this place practically oozes cool from the carrier bags alone, all of which are fashionably eco-chic and collectable. What was once a building housing imported Czechoslovakian ceramics, is now a labyrinthine space paying homage to all things interior design. From big name brands to Javier Mariscal-designed gems, quirky novelties to gadgets, and essential objects for the home to lifetime investments, they’re all to be found here.

Passeig de Gracia 96, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.vincon.com/

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Concret

Hidden gems should by definition be hard to find, and Concret is indeed tucked away behind the Santa Maria del Mar basilica in the Born. It’s located in one of those small arched passageways that, unless chasing down one of the neighbourhood’s many pickpockets or actively seeking it out, you’d most likely walk straight by.

The gem part comes from the great eye of owner Andreas Kyburz. A visual merchandiser, window dresser and interior designer, whose background includes work for B&B Italia, local design temple Vinçon, and fast fashion copycats Zara, he procures from near and far to create a treasure trove of design pieces and gift items.

The shop is tiny but it’s packed with objects everywhere you look, bound to inspire, excite and delight, small and big, and at all price levels. Whether you are looking for a locally designed scarf, a beautifully crafted olive bowl, or have no idea what you’re looking for, look no further.

Volta dels Tamborets 5, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.concret.es/

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Mar de Cava

Mar de Cava the store of interior designer Mar Gômez could only match its image: colourful and surprising. At the same time gallery, showroom and even restaurant, it is the ideal place to find an object of young creator in limited edition.

Between art, design and craft industry Mar Gômez is the queen of amazing production and associations. She has especially great accuracy in her choices of designers and marks: Baxter, Anaid Kupuri, Beo Beyond, Apparatu..

Carrer de València, 293, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.mardecava.com/

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Punto Luz

Punto Luz (Light Point) is the store of the luminaries in Barcelona. All the lamps, luminaries, lamp-shades are presented in a superb space… For your interior or your garden, design, zen looking or more traditional.

Evidently, we can find there, the following brands: Flos, Fontana Arte, Artemide, Ingo Maurer, Tobias Grau, Serien, Luceplan, Foscarini, Marset, Dab, Metalarte, Santa & Adhesive, Iguzzini, Hoffmeister, Simes, Kreon, Targetti, Simes, Antares… Who says better?

Pau Claris, 146, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.puntoluz.com/

4. Art&Culture

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Barcelona Museum Of Contemporary Art

The Museu d’Art Contemporani houses an exciting collection of artwork from many great painters of the latter part of the 20th century. It is also the eleventh most popular tourist attraction in Barcelona. The exhibition changes ever 3-4 months so it’s always worth checking out their website to see what exhibitions are being staged. The museum is within easy walking distance of Catalunya or Universitat stops on the metro and opening hours depend on the season.

Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.macba.cat/

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Fundació Joan Miró

This museum is dedicated to the art work of Joan Miró who was born in Barcelona in 1893 and lived to the age of 90. The museum houses a wonderful collection of his paintings, as well as early sketches, sculptures and tapestries. The nearest metro stop is Espanya, from where the gallery is a 20 minute walk, which is largely uphill. Opening times vary according to the time of year.

Parc de Montjuïc s/n 08038 Barcelona, Barcelona

http://www.fundaciomiro-bcn.org/

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Galeria Joan Gaspar

Galeria Joan Gaspar is one of Barcelona’s most prestigious galleries and it was Joan Gaspart and his father who brought Miró and Picasso back to Catalunya during the 50’s and 60’s along with an assortment of other artists who at the time were considered politically taboo. Today it houses the work of many contemporary artists including Rafols Casamada, Susana Solano and Joan Pere Viladecans.

Plaza Dr. Letamendi 1, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.joangaspar.com/

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Picasso Museum

Even if you’re not a great art lover you’re bound to be familiar with some of the work of the renowned artist Pablo Picasso who was born in Malaga in 1881. The Museu Picasso is home to the world’s largest collection of Picasso’s artwork and is the most visited gallery in Barcelona, receiving over a million visitors per year. Interestingly, the collection is arranged in chronological order from his early work to his final pieces, which gives a fascinating insight to Picasso’s thinking and the direction his work took.

Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/

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Museu Nacional d’Art de Cataluyna

This museum makes it into the top 5 art galleries, Barcelona, not just for its wonderful collection of modern art, but also for its stunning view of Barcelona. The museum houses the biggest collection of Catalán art in Spain as well as a vast assortment of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque artwork and artefacts including paintings, sculptures, carvings, enamels and metalworks.

Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

http://museunacional.cat/ca

5. NightLife

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Balius Bar

Right by the beach, Poble Nou has been labelled up-and-coming and Barcelona’s next hot neighbourhood since, well, if not the beginning of days, then the ‘92 Olympics. But, blame or praise the stubborn resistance by locals, it’s mostly retained its slightly villagey feel rather than adopt Barrio Gótico’s touristy Disneyland vibe.

However, even villagers need a proper drink and for that there’s Balius Bar. Retro sleek, iconic – it’s named after the historic hardware shop that used to be here – and with a decent drinks menu, it’s the kind of place where you feel naturally compelled to order a Hendricks, a vermú or a quality cava rather than pitchers of sangria.

Pujades 196, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

http://baliusbar.com/

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L’Atlàntida Beach Club

The iconic Sitges beach club has moved to Sant Adrià de Besos. Forced out of its original venue, L’Atlàntida has taken over the former Ghoa Beach Club on the other side of Barcelona. It’s a huge 5,000 square meter space by the beach, though walled off from sand and sea.

Dolores Ibarruri S/N, 08930 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.clubatlantida.com/

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Ocaña

With a pleasant outdoor terrace on the touristy Plaça Reial and holding a decent restaurant, the good-looking Apotheke cocktail bar, and a great club space inside, Ocaña is understandably a popular venue for corporate and sponsored events and you’re likely to eventually spend a night here. But whereas everybody loves an open bar, don’t bother coming back on a ‘civilian’ night.

Plaça Reial 13-15, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.ocana.cat/

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Eight Bar

This little cocktail bar is run and owned by Charles Hampton Brown, a gringo who shakes a mean cocktail, spins some great tunes – he also regularly DJs on Barcelona’s hipster circuit – and is capable of charming the pants off anyone. Largely filled with friends of his, it’s usually a pretty cool, worldly and gay-friendly crowd gathering here.

Poeta Cabanyes 8, 08004 Barcelona, Spain

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eight-Bar/212081155564145

6. Agenda

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BCN Design Week

BCN Design Week, organised by BCD Barcelona Design Centre, is an international event focused on design, innovation and business addressed to those companies and professionals in any industry or productive services that use knowledge and creativity as a driver of its business activity.

Pl. de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

http://www.barcelonadesignweek.es/

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080 Barcelona Fashion

Barcelona’s fashion week, featuring established and new designers sending their models on the catwalks for a look at the coming season.

http://www.080barcelonafashion.cat/

Sónar Festival

Sónar is Barcelona’s massive celebration of electronic music, featuring DJs, exhibitions, sound labs, record fairs and urban art. The programme at this super-cool city-based festival is split into ‘Day’ and ‘Night’ listings. ‘Day’ features new and up and coming acts, while the ‘Night’ programme features the big headline names, which this year include Massive Attack, Rudimental and Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. With venues around the city centre, you can take in the tourist sights between your preferred acts, but be warned – finding affordable city accommodation can be tricky.

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When: 12-14 June 2014
Getting there: there are frequent buses from Barcelona’s El Prat airport and buses from Girona and Reus airports are timed to coincide with Ryanair flights. Venues are connected by metro and local buses.

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Blue skies, sunglasses and big speakers, the perfect ingredients at Sónar Festival. Image by Matthias Mueller / CC BY 2.0

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Oktoberfest Barcelona

Oktoberfest Barcelona in true German style and modelled after the original Munich Oktoberfest with a huge tent with many bars, 30 beer taps serving ice cold German Paulaner beer in huge glasses, live music with polka bands and DJs, delicious traditional Bavarian food and lots of fun for all the family including a children’s area, playroom and other attractions.

Plaça de l’Univers 08004 Barcelona, Spain

http://oktoberfest-barcelona.es/

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Sitges Film Festival

This film festival is one of Spain’s oldest film festivals dating back to 1968. Today the SITGES Film Festival is considered the leading fantasy film festival in the world and is now in its 47th year. Highlights of the Sitges Film Festival include the Grand Honorary Award which is presented at the Sitges Film Festival opening gala.

Sant Honorat, 32-34 08870 Barcelona, Spain

http://sitgesfilmfestival.com/eng

This is just a brief guide to the most popular attractions. Barcelona is rich with choice so get out there and embrace them.

We hope you enjoy this Barcelona city guide! Best Design Guides wants to be an inspiration for all the travelers and design lovers!

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