12hrs in Barcelona


Beaches, museums and great views: Nuria takes us on a tour of her beautiful hometown Barcelona.

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BCN
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Welcome back to Barcelona! The sun is still shining, and we still have so much left to do! Because there is only so much you can accomplish in 12hrs, we made you a second guide to the Catalonian capital. If you have more days here, just combine this guide with our first one. And if you only have 12hrs, just pick the one that suits you best.

This time, we have a local Barcelonian showing us around. Meet Nuria! The first time we saw her, she looked at us from a giant billboard in London. A big airline was advertising city trips, and Nuria was just the face they needed for their campaign. She's a model, loves analog photography, and has one of the coolest Instagram feeds that we know of. Nuria also travels a lot, enjoys surfing and skating, and is vegan and generally just a really cool gal. She loves to hang out on the beach and to explore cities, and today, she is taking us with her. Here are 12hrs in Barcelona with Nuria.

9am // Hotel Praktik Rambla

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Hotel Praktik Rambla
Photos: Hotel Praktik Rambla

Photos: Hotel Praktik Rambla

Let's get this day started! This time, we are staying at the Hotel Praktik Rambla. There are several hotels of this Barcelonian mini-chain all around the city, but the location of Praktik Rambla is just perfect for our day today. And it has everything we are looking for in a city hotel: A great location (in this case: right in the middle of the Eixample district of Barcelona), beautifully designed common spaces and rooms, free Wi-Fi and a price tag that won't brake the bank.

Put on your trunks or your bikini, put some lotion on and grab your towel and skateboard. We're heading to the beach!

Hotel Praktik Rambla // Rambla de Cataluña 27 // website

 

9.30am // Barceloneta Beach

Photo: Paula Gallardo
Photo: Paula Gallardo
Photo: Paula Gallardo

Nuria loves to spend time on the many beaches of Barcelona, so that is where we start our day, too. If you can manage, wait an hour or so until our breakfast place of choice opens. Relax a bit in the sand instead.

One of the great things about Barcelona is its proximity to the ocean. There is just something special about big, cosmopolitan cities with access to the sea. We are at Barceloneta now, one of the most beautiful areas by the sea that lies just off the Ciutat Vella, the old town. Located in the traditional fishing district, this is one of Nuria's (and the city's!) best-loved beaches. It is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes as the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon in his book 2 of Don Quixote. In the distance, you can spot the fancy W Hotel at the shore.

11.am // Surf House Barcelona

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Suft House
Photos: Surf House

Photos: Surf House

Breakfast, finally! Surf House Barcelona just opened its doors, time to head over there and order some fresh juices and some snacks. Nuria loves to come here to grab a bite after a long day in the sun.

We just love the surfboard tables and the relaxed vibe in here, the healthy fast food and laid-back atmosphere. If you have time to spend a day at the beach, Surf House Barcelona organizes tons of fun outdoor activities such as paddle surfing, runs on the boardwalk and game nights. Have a look on their website to see the upcoming events.

Surf House Barcelona // Carrer l'Almirall Aixada 22 // Wed-Thu 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-7pm // website

 

12.30am // Harbor

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After a hearty breakfast, take some more time at the beach until the midday sun gets too hot. Then, around 12.30h, let's pack up our bags and take a stroll down the boardwalk. Passing the beautiful harbor, we make our way up to Montjuïc.

 

1pm // Montjuïc

Photo: Paula Gallardo
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Photos: Alan Díaz

Photos: Alan Díaz

Photos: Alan Díaz

Photos: Alan Díaz

Yes, it's a little walk, but really not a steep one. Plus, there is shade! And Montjuïc is definitely worth a wander. In summer, it is a few degrees cooler here than in the bustling city below, and its many parks and gardens are great places to soak up the view of the city.

There are also plenty of museums: the Fundació Joan Miró, for example, is as famous for its Corbusier-influenced building as its collection. You'll find Barcelona's botanical garden here, a castle, as well as lots of other amazing parks that are really worth the little hike. Don't miss the Mies van der Rohe pavilion at the bottom of the hill. It was built for the world exhibition in 1929 and boasts some of the architects' most famous trademarks. In it, you'll see the now famous "Barcelona chairs" that van der Rohe built especially for the Spanish king and queen during the event.

Fundació Joan Miró // Tue/Wed & Fri/Sat 10am-7pm (from July-September until 8pm), Thu 10am-9.30pm, Sun 10am-2.30pm, Admission 11 Euro // Fundació Joan Miró

Pavillon Mies van der Rohe // Avinguda Farncesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 7, Mon-Sun 10am-8pm // Admission 5 Euro // website

 

2.30pm // La Virreina

La Virreina

Time to head back into the city to continue with Nuria's tour of Barcelona. Take a metro, a rented bike, a bus or your skateboard, we meet back at La Rambla!

Right next to Barcelona's famous shopping mile La Rambla is La Virreina, one of Nuria's favorite museums in the city. The changing exhibitions focus on photography and video art, and the contrast between these modern pieces and the old, baroque architecture of this city palace is really exciting to look at. Take your time to explore the museum and cool down a little. If you want to know what to expect, check La Virreina's website in advance to see what their current exhibitions are. A nice bonus: admission is free!

La Virreina, Palau de la Virreina // La Rambla 99, Tue-Sun 12pm-8pm // Admission: free // website

3.30pm // La Boqueria

La Boqueria
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Step outside and walk around the building for the next stop on our tour. Like many Mediterranean countries, Spain is famous for its colorful food markets. Barcelona boasts many of them, each one of them worthy of a visit. If you just have time to visit one of them, take Nuria's advice and make it La Boqueria. It was voted one of the world's top ten markets, and you can easily see why.

Take your time to wander around the stalls and soak up all the sights and smells. There are fresh fruit on display, fish and seafood fresh out of the ocean, meats and dried goods. If it's a hot day, have a little pre-lunch treat. The homemade fruit popsicles here are a favorite of Nuria, and after trying them, of us, as well. They come in every color of the rainbow – and they're healthy, too!

La Boqueria // Rambla 91 // Mon-Sat 8am-8.30pm // website