On The Ground

Insider tips for travellers to Barcelona

Destination advice from passionate travellers – Cathay Pacific’s own people

Barcelona, Wilma Perez, On the Ground

Wilma Perez

Cargo sales and services executive

The foodie

Barcelona has so much to offer foodies – but here are some of my favourite restaurants that are guaranteed to please.

In the city’s Gothic Quarter, Els Quatre Gats (meaning ‘four cats’) serves Mediterranean food in a quaint building, which is worth a visit in itself for its colourful history as a hangout for Picasso and other artists. Also in the Gothic Quarter is Can Culleretes – the city’s oldest restaurant – which has been serving authentic Catalan cuisine since 1786.

For tapas, chef Albert Adrià’s Tickets does some of the city’s best and most innovative; and for paella and seafood in an elegant restaurant by the port, I love Set Portes.

However, the best way to start the evening is with a drink at Mirablau, on Tibidabo hill, overlooking the city.

Interior of the Els Quatre Gats cafe, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Stefano Politi Markovina / Alamy Stock Photo / Argusphoto
Barcelona, Magda Briet, On the Ground

Magda Briet

Sales executive

The shopper

With such wonderful weather for most of the year there’s nothing better than walking along Passeig de Gràcia, eyeing the top brands and the art nouveau architecture, including Casa Amatller and Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.

For handmade crafts and jewellery, visit the ateliers hidden between the gothic palaces, the cathedral and the narrow streets of El Born. Don’t miss Petritxol Street, famous for its chocolate; or Montcada Street, where the Picasso Museum is located.

If you love classical music, catch a concert at the Liceo, on Las Ramblas, or at the Palau de la Música – an art nouveau marvel in the Gothic Quarter.

Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to La Boqueria, a market on Las Ramblas; and a visit to Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Família.

La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Spain
Driendl Group / Stockbyte / Getty Images
Barcelona, Mercedes Tejero, On the Ground

Mercedes Tejero

Assistant people manager, Spain

The explorer

Barcelona is big on charm, history and architecture – and it’s the perfect size to discover on foot.

Spend a day away from the metro and the tourist bus and take your time strolling around the old city – the Gothic Quarter, El Born and El Raval. Recharge with stops for tapas, pintxos and vermouth.

Barcelona also has some interesting parks to explore: you’ll want to see Parc de la Ciutadella, near the port; Parc de Joan Miró, which has sculptures by the native artist; Park Guell, which is full of Gaudí’s whimsical designs and buildings; and Montjuïc Castle, an old fortress dating back to 1640 that is now full of gardens.

There’s also a Barcelona you won’t find in guidebooks. Head up to Horta to experience the village-like charm of the Sant Andreu district and enjoy the views down the hill over the city.

Tapas at Tickets, Barcelona, Spain
Gunnar Knechtel/laif/IC

Cathay Pacific now flies year-round to Barcelona from Hong Kong, and becomes a four-times-weekly service from 1 July

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