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Top bookstore recommendations from locals

Park
“A green oasis located in the heart of the city, which has been a gathering point for life in the city since its creation in 1877. Indeed, when it first opened, it was only public park in the city. These days, it is home to an increasing amount of yoga groups, the Catalan Parliament and the Barcelona Zoo.Barcelona's vast city park houses a zoo, regional parliament, and plenty of sites and spots for lounging. Cascada Monumental, built with input from a young Gaudí, is a stunning golden waterfall that both wows and relaxes you. Ditto the serene boating lake beside it. Enter through the Arc de Triomf and the elaborate Modernist building to your right is Castell dels Tres Dragons, built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Currently closed for renovation, it was once the zoology museum. Another beautiful, yet no less mysterious, series of structures are the cast iron Umbracle (palm house) and Hivernacle (winter garden) in front. Go for an authentic slice of city-park life.  ✨To get there from our apartmets: take bus num. V19 or 19, bus stops are at the corner (all the trip about 16-20min).”
  • 744 locals recommend
Art Museum
“Surely "the" museum to visit in Barcelona. For the artist and for the building. Imagine Montcada Street, in the Gothic quarter, five mansions united to form a museum, lovely to visit. About Pablo Ruiz Picasso the museum is essential to understand his formative years. The genius of the young artist is revealed to us through more than 3,500 works that make up this permanent collection.”
  • 394 locals recommend
Entertainment
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“A street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with Colombus statue.”
  • 445 locals recommend
Church
“The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Catalan: Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The cathedral was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, with the principal work done in the fourteenth century. The cloister, which encloses the Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) was completed in 1448. In the late nineteenth century, the neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches. The roof is notable for its gargoyles, featuring a wide range of animals, both domestic and mythical. How to get there: 15 minutes walk.”
  • 290 locals recommend
Church
“Located just off the Via Laietana in the neighbourhood of El Born, the church of Santa Maria del Mar is a Catalan Gothic basilica that has existed in some form since at least the 10th century. Ask any local to pick their favorite church and we’d bet a glass of (sacramental) Catalan wine that Santa Maria del Mar would be it. If you’ve read Ildefonso Falcones’s thriller Cathedral of the Sea, you already know more about it than you think: the novel’s backdrop is the construction of this particular Gothic church, with the lead protagonist one of its stone workers. In real life, the church’s history is almost stranger than fiction: in 1428, it was shook by a major earthquake. Then, in July 1936, it was set on fire and burned for 11 days straight. Look inside, and you’ll still see the black scorch marks on the roof. The building has very tall columns, set 43 feet apart. Combine that airiness with vast stretches of stained glass and it almost feels like someone’s pulling you up into the sky. ✨To get there from our apartmets: take metro line L2 (purple) from "Sagrada Família" to "Passeig de Gràcia", then change it to line L4 (yellow) and take it to "Jaume I" (all the trip about 24min).”
  • 283 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“Originally a fisherman’s quarter, this quaint area can’t escape its small village feel: laundry hanging over the narrow streets, old ladies clamoring at each other from their balconies and elder gentlemen playing games on short wooden benches gossiping the day away, Barceloneta could double as a film set. Artists line the boardwalk displaying their magnificently detailed sand structures making this the most visited beach in the city (half-naked men working out might help too). There’s plenty to do, whether it’s having lunch at one of the many seafood and tapas restaurants, riding your bike along the palm tree-lined promenade, sunning on the beach or playing volleyball. If you want more privacy, wander down to Bogatell, a beach preferred by locals that has nicer changing facilities than La Barceloneta. You’ll also want to stroll around Port Olímpic, which was built for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Follow the aromas of garlic, wine, and fresh local fish to the various restaurants running along the marina. A grand bronze fish statue soaring high above serves as a beacon to those searching for the renowned Casino Barcelona or the extremely popular nightclubs which practically lie on the beach itself. Hotel Arts, one of Barcelona’s tallest and most luxurious hotels, is nearby, just steps from the sand. Even if you don’t stay there, be sure and have a drink (gin and tonics are a Barcelona tradition) at Frank’s, the hotel’s attractive and popular bar. ”
  • 225 locals recommend
Market
“Great market to find all the food you need to prepare a healthy and tasty meal at home. And the shopkeepers will always advice you about the best way to prepare it!”
  • 234 locals recommend
Concert Hall
“The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth).”
  • 125 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“It might be too touristic but is one of the little shopping centers opened on a sunday.”
  • 155 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“In 1888, Barcelona organized the Universal Exhibition. As a gateway to the fair, located in the Parc de la Ciutadella, was the Arc de Triomphe. A monument of classical form and proportions but with sculptural and decorative finishes, groundbreaking and full of symbolism, which is one of the icons of the city. At the top of Passeig Lluís Companys, the Arc de Triomphe stands out. Gateway to the 1888 Universal Exhibition, the arch presided over the then Sant Joan Hall, the walkway that led to the fairgrounds in Parc de la Ciutadella. The architect Josep Vilaseca conceived a work of classical character and proportions as an allegory of Barcelona's respect for the nations and provinces participating in the Exhibition. As a counterpoint, Vilsaeca chose to clad the monument with exposed work and give it a totally neo-Mudejar air, a fashionable style in the Spain of that time. The combination of the use of the brick with the set of friezes that surround the arch make it a singularly beautiful piece. A detailed look at this portal makes us understand that the Arc de Triomphe was the gateway to the modernity of Barcelona at the end of the 19th century. On the one hand, the frieze facing Paseo de Sant Joan represented Barcelona receiving the nations. On the other hand, we can see how the city gives the awards to the participants of the Exhibition. The side reliefs symbolize Agriculture and Industry on one side and Trade and Art on the other. And above the arch, the coats of arms of the 49 Spanish provinces are presided over by the coat of arms of Barcelona.”
  • 166 locals recommend
Zoo
“Barcelona Zoo is a zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The zoo used to be internationally known as the home of Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, who died in 2003.”
  • 119 locals recommend
Neighbourhood
“One of the oldest Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, this picturesque neighborhood with its iconic, old-Europe streets and alleys, is the very heart of Barcelona. It blends historic artifacts from its days under Roman dominion up through the Spanish Civil War with a vibrant modern-day culture of artisan shops and authentic culinary experiences. Here you’ll find century-old shops sitting next to Irish pubs and quirky souvenir shops. It’s a neighbourhood of contrasts, and a cool spot for a night out, where you can find an array of nightclubs and themed bars, particularly in the lower part of the neighbourhood, close to the marina. While the main parts of Barri Gòtic (like the area around the cathedral, La Rambla and Plaça de Sant Jaume) can be very crowded, you’re always sure to find some quiet streets to explore and small unique shops to discover. Fashionistas will be drawn to Portal de L’Angel, which is lined with well-known brand names and smaller boutique stands. 🔔It´s cool and authentic, but be very careful there at night, don´t walk on dark streets alone, especially if you plan to get drunk. The pickpockets are a huge problem, try not to look like a first time tourist travelling abroad! You need to be alert in order to enjoy it!”
  • 136 locals recommend
Beach
“ La Barceloneta is one of the most popular and most charismatic neighborhoods in Barcelona. It is a seaside neighborhood full of magic and history that is located in the Port Vell district.”
  • 122 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“The Palau Güell is a mansion designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell and built between 1886 and 1888. It is situated on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, in the El Raval neighbourhood of the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí". How to get there: 20 minutes walk”
  • 129 locals recommend
Aquarium
“The Aquarium in Barcelona is a great experience for the sea lovers. It's in Port Vell (Barceloneta underground L4)”
  • 67 locals recommend
Night Club
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“Opium Barcelona is placed on an incomparable location with views to the Mediterranean sea and the Barceloneta beach, next to Hotel Arts. As the beach club accoutered with the greatest terrace in Barcelona, Opium has turned into the most cosmopolitan leisure’s proposal of the city. Opium merges the benefits of a very select restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge, with a club where best international DJ’s and artists have left a mark on. Opium becomes daily the place to be in the Barcelona nightlife and the hub of the most exclusive people. A chic and very careful designed environment, unique style and decoration, plus our service’s quality, undoubtedly make the difference. ”
  • 80 locals recommend