Less is more ... rather than overwhelming you with volumes of travel tips, here is a specific list of exclusive recommendations with Mr & Mrs Crystal's stamp of approval.

insider tips

  • Marvel at Gaudi’s most astonishing creation at La Sagrada Familia.
  • Pack yourself some beers and fruit from La Boquiera Mercado and chill out on a serpentine bench at Parc Güell’s garden complex.
  • Treat yourself to a spontaneous massage on the beach in front of Hotel Arts.
  • new!   Barcelona's cultural character can be explored at Barri Gothic, an area with a labyrinth of pedestrianised twisting streets, quaint plazas and buildings from medieval and roman times.
  • new!   the museu d'art contemporani de barcelona (MACBA) is a great place to get a feel for Barcelona's contemporary art culture.

what we think

You may recognise Gaudi’s masterpieces of La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, La Pedrera and others from the plethora of photos splashed across travel guides. These colourful images are captivating. However, photos do not evoke the same emotions as actually being in Barcelona, a city with an electric energy - morning, noon and night. Its shopping districts are diverse, combining charm and trend and the small cobblestone streets hide many undiscovered gems. Some of the world’s most imitated tapas bars were created in Barcelona and manage to combine tradition with contemporary design and a hip crowd. The beach is certainly worth discovering, either during the day to soak up the Spanish sun or at night when the marina transforms into a buzz of beach-fronted clubs with famous DJs. Add to this, the funky shopping, hip bars and the emerging luxury boutique hotels – many with rooftop sanctuaries - and you’ll agree that Barcelona is a hedonist’s paradise.