12hrs in Barcelona

Palm trees, beautiful architecture and so much good food (Tapas! Cava!). Let’s go to Barcelona!

2pm // Splash


Time to grab some lunch! Take the L1 subway train from the nearest station, Urquinaora, two stops to Universidad. While you are walking to lunch, make sure to pass the Carrer Diputació and have a look inside house number 199. You'll find Splash, the most beautiful Laundromat we have ever seen. It looks more like a nightclub, actually. And while we don't propose that you wash your clothes now, you'd be missing out if you wouldn't see this shop. But now: food!

Splash // Carrer Diputació 199 // Mon-Sun 8am-10pm // website

2.10pm // Oval


Fancy burger restaurants are all the rage right now, we know, but hear us out. Because hands down, Oval serves the best burgers in Barcelona. And this is not your typical burger shack. Instead, it's a beautifully designed restaurant with a great selection of local wines that just happens to serve meat on buns. But what you put on them, and how it will be served to you is completely up to you. You have the choice between beef, chicken or veggie patties, you pick the bread you prefer (or choose your burger "naked" without any) and then you accessorize your meal until it meets (and exceeds) your expectations. Put fancy Iberico ham on it, or goat cheese, or garnish it with mushrooms and avocado. There are plenty of fresh, homemade sauces to choose from. Once your order arrives, you will have forgotten about all the other burgers you had recently. And do yourself a favor and order the sweet potato fries. You will thank us!

Oval // Carrer de València 199 // Sun-Wed 10am-12.30am, Thu-Sat 10am-2am // website

3.15pm // Lokavore


Before we continue our sightseeing tour, pay a quick visit to Lokavore not far from here. As the name implies, this grocery shop only sells local produce and items from the area around Barcelona. Even though you're probably far from hungry after your big lunch, it's a joy to look what's on the shelves here. There are some amazing wines for very little Euros, oils, sweets, fresh vegetablas and the obligatory canned fish that is so typical for this region. Maybe do some souvenir shopping here?

If you prefer some more traditional sightseeing, head around the corner to have a quick look at Casa Batlló, the most famous of several apartment buildings by Antoni Gaudí. The lines outside are always long and the entrance fee quite steep, so we'll skip this one and instead will have a look at some other building by the famous architect next.

Lokavore // Carrer Mallorca 241 // Mon 4pm-9pm, Tue-Sat 10am-9pm // website

4.15pm // Park Güell

Park Güell
Photo: Paula Gallardo

Take the L3 train from Diagonal to Lesseps to get to Park Güell. Once you step out of the train, don't only follow the signs up to the park. Instead, turn left before they tell you to in order to avoid the big and noisy main street. Your general direction is up, and almost all the roads that lead up the hill will get you there. This area is called Gràcia and used to be a village before it was swallowed up by the big city. Lots of its charm is still intact, though, so enjoy your walk and take in the sights.

The streets are getting steeper and steeper as you climb up the hill and eventually join the designated tourist route again. Luckily, there are escalators to help you with the ascend. You'll be happy to see them.

Barcelona's most famous son is probably Antoni Gaudí. The artist and architect left his mark all over the city and is responsible for some of the city's most popular sights. Park Güell is one of them. Sitting on top of the hill El Carmell, this giant garden complex is not your average park. Scattered throughout it are colorful little houses, terraces and statues in the shapes of animals. The whole place looks like a real-world Disneyland for kids and art lovers alike. There is tons to explore here and the park offers magnificent views over the city. You don't have to go in (and pay) to get an idea of the place, plenty of buildings are visible from the outside. If you do want to explore Park Güell more, buy your tickets online prior to your visit to save time and money.

Park Güell // Carrer d'Olot // March 24th-April 30th 8am-8pm, May 1st-October 26th 8am-9.30pm, October 27th-March 23rd 8.30am-6pm // Admission 8 Euro // website

5.30pm // La Sagrada Família


A bit of a walk away, but still quite close lies Barcelona's most famous sight and arguably Gaudí's biggest achievement, the Sagrada Família. This world-famous basilica is really worth seeing, even if you usually show no interest in visiting churches. Even though he wasn't even the one that was originally tasked with its construction, Antoní Gaudi soon took over the project and made it his own. Built in the styles of Gothic Revival and Modernism, the Sagrada Família took over 100 years to be built, and it is still far from being finished. Once the building is completed, though, it will have 18 towers and will stand even taller. Don't worry about the construction cranes, this is still one of he most impressive buildings in the whole of Spain (and possibly the world). The entrance fee is 14,80 Euro (without access to the towers), but it's definitely worth it. If you just pay to see one monument in Barcelona, make it this one! Again, purchase your tickets online if you can, that way you can avoid the long lines. Inside, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking interior. Colorful windows, delicate facades and intricate stone carvings. Don't forget to look up! The ceiling is stunning.

La Sagrada Família // Carrer de Mallorca 401 // 9am-6pm // Admission 14,80 Euro // website