Where To Stay, Play, And Eat in Barcelona

European Summer Packing List, Casa Mila, Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Barcelona is the city of my dreams which is why I have decided to make it my new home; at least for a while. I first came to Barcelona in June for a one-week trip, but found myself thinking about the city everyday. I came back in August and again in September, this time to make it my home. Putting together this little guide to Barcelona has actually been extremely difficult for me because it’s hard to narrow down what I like here (I like everything!). Due to this, I will be creating a separate category on Little Black Shell dedicated to sharing my favorite spots in Barcelona, but for now, I am sharing these must-visit spots for a vacation in the city. Keep reading to find out where to stay, play, and eat in Barcelona!

Hotel MiraMar Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Where to Stay

Hotel MiraMar Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Hotel Miramar – This is my favorite all-around hotel in Barcelona. It is a 5* hotel located in Montjuic which means it has outstanding views of Barcelona. The hotel itself is beautiful and has an awesome pool, spa, and modern rooms. The breakfast here was one of the best I’ve ever had at a hotel as well. You can read the full blog post on my experience here.

View from Barcelo Raval - Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Barcelo Raval - Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Barcelo Raval – located in El Raval neighborhood, this hotel is close to some great local foodie spots and a short walk from Barrio Gotico. Barcelo Raval is a hip hotel with amazing rooms, and an even more amazing 360 degree rooftop bar. Stay here and drink wine at rooftop for sunset for an unforgettable evening.

Hotel Crowne Plaza Barcelona - LITTLE BLACK SHELL IG- @karen_farber

Crowne Plaza – I always love staying at Crowne Plaza hotels because they are good, reliable, and in great locations. Barcelona’s is no exception. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in a central, but quiet location and want a great experience without the extra fuss. Perfect for both business or leisure. Read my full review here.

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Primero Primera – This place is perfect if you want a place that feels like home. Primero Primera is a hotel that offers rooms that are really more like apartments. They are spacious, offer kitchenettes, and have an overall home-y feel. The patio for breakfast is gorgeous and the breakfast is simple but delicious. Primero Primera is located farther away from the center in a residential area giving you a more local Barcelona experience.

Hotel MiraMar Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Where To Play

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Sagrada Familia – If you only see one place in Barcelona make it Sagrada Familia. This is Gaudi’s most famous masterpiece, which is still not finished…after 100 years. It is an astonishing church inside and out that will make your jaw drop. Try to go on a sunny day for an impressive display of light, and be sure to book your tickets ahead of time! This is the most popular tourist spot in Barcelona and it is always PACKED with people.

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Parc Güell – Another Gaudi masterpiece that is worth the visit. This park is located somewhat close to Sagrada Familia and is a sight to see. Stroll around the park and get some good photos overlooking Barcelona. You have probably seen this spot on Instagram many times.

European Summer Packing List, Casa Mila, Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Casa Batlo & Casa Mila – The Gaudi houses are located along Passeig de Gracia and are also a great stop. I have not gone inside either of them yet, but I’ve been told Casa Batlo or “La Pedrera” is worth a visit. Even if you don’t go inside be sure to walk by them when you do some shopping along Passeig de Gracia.

Buy tickets for all the Gaudi attractions here!

Mercado de la Boqueria – Barcelona’s most popular market located on the famous street of La Rambla. I personally loved going to el mercado, although I consider La Rambla to be the worst tourist trap in the city. Come to Mercado de la Boqueria anytime of day and get a fresh fruit juice while checking out the colorful stands.

Gothic Quarter Barcelona, Airbnb Experience - Little Black Shell | IG @karen_farber

Barrio Gótico – One of the coolest areas of Barcelona. These winding old streets are what made me fall in love with the city during my first visit in June. Come here without a plan and just get lost. You will find some great photo-ops, cathedrals, shops, and cafes along this area of Barcelona.

Check out my photoshoot in Barrio Gotico With Airbnb!

El Born – located next to Gotico (just cross Via Layettana). This area is my absolute favorite in Barcelona! El Born is much like Barrio Gotico with winding old streets and charm, but has even better cafes, shops, and tons of tapas places. This is the place to go for tapas and wine at night. Basically every place in this area is great.

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Barceloneta – Barcelona’s closest beach and most popular with tourists. While most locals wouldn’t come here for the beach, it is still a great area to explore. The beach itself is typically very crowded, but the water is calm and blue and still a beach! The town is very lively and has lots of cafes, restaurants, and bars. It is also a popular party spot with its many nightclubs.

Explore Barcelona’s Neighborhoods!

Hotel MiraMar Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

Where To Eat

Teddy’s – if you’re looking for a quick, but healthy and delicious, bite around El Raval be sure to stop here! They offer bocadillos and wraps – all made fresh to order and for less than 6.5€ Be sure to try the new hummus wrap! It’s delicious! I swapped the cucumber for avocado at no extra cost ?

Flax & Kale – amazing healthy restaurant offering a wide variety of vegan & raw foods. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so come by anytime! Try their green raviolis if you go for lunch – they’re vegan & super tasty!

Lulu Barcelona Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Lulu – A great brunch spot in the heart of Barcelona. They offer a variety of healthy dishes like Avocado or hummus toast, quinoa salads, and smoothie bowls! They also have great coffees and offer matcha! Dairy alternatives include soy & almond milk.

Brunch & Cake – This place was recommended to me by virtually everyone that’s visited Barcelona. It’s name is self-explanatory, it’s popular for brunch. Healthy options and beautiful decor are what make it stand out. There are several locations throughout the city including one by the sea (my favorite!).

Check out more food & wine options in Barcelona here!

European Summer Packing List, Montjuic, Barcelona - Little Black Shell // IG: @karen_farber

TIP: If you’re visiting Barcelona for a limited amount of time I also recommend you get the Barcelona Card! This card gives you free or discounted entry to many of Barcelona’s most famous attractions (Sagrada Familia, Gaudi houses, museums, etc) and includes free transport around the city! With this card you’ll be able to take all the buses, metro, trams, and even the airport train and metro. You save LOTS this way if you’re planning on packing a lot of sightseeing in just a few days. This card also lets you move around the city the same way a local would!

Find more information and purchase your Barcelona Card.

Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Barcelona - Little Black Shell | IG- @littleblackshell

Have you been to Barcelona before? Did you love it as much as I do?! Let me know in the comments below!

xx, Karen

Also, check out my Barcelona Vlogs if you haven’t already!


** This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something through them I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting this blog <3 **

  • Pentené Woolen

    Now I have to get to Barcelona like asap. Your photos of the city is great! Love all of your tips on where to stay, play and eat.


  • I love Barcelona so much! <3 Great photos 🙂


  • This is amazing, barcelona is so beautiful! This is such a great informative post, now I have to travel to Spain!

    Thanks for the tips, looks amazing!

    Tsehay Canning

  • Lara Kapović

    I loveee Barcelona! And your pics are amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Barcelona is one of the cities on my (way too long) bucket list. I’d love to visit it one day! All these photos are beautiul, and you look stunning. Great post xx

    Valentina from https://psminimalist.blogspot.com

  • This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing about the barcelona card, I will be there over the new year for only a few days and I know we want to pack in as much as possible. This card will be so helpful!


    • So glad you found it useful!! The Barcelona card is definitely the way to go to experience the city in a more “local” way, but still get to pack in and see the tourist attractions 🙂 It’s a perfect balance! Let me know if you need more tips for your trip xx

  • Barcelona is such an incredible city!! All your pictures look amazing!!

    Thanks for sharing this guide 🙂


    Seize your Style

    • Ah thanks Andrea! Glad you love Barcelona as much as I do 🙂

  • I visited Barcelona when I was in college and absolutely loved it! Your post makes me want to plan a trip back!

    District of Chic

    • Barcelona is the best!! You definitely should come back! There’s always something new and exciting to see in this city 🙂