TravelMaddie Ross

A Guide to Barcelona

TravelMaddie Ross
A Guide to Barcelona

I could write a full fledged novel about my recent trip to Spain, but I thought better of it. That would be a lot of work on both of our parts, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

Instead I have constructed a concise (or as concise as I could make it without skimping out on any of the good stuff!) list of recommendations of sites and eats for the city of Barcelona- a guide to Mallorca will be coming soon!


Things to do and see:

Walk through the Barri Gotic Neighborhood

The streets are filled with character; narrow alleyways give way to historic buildings adorned with whimsical graffiti. Small boutiques and tapas bars line all of the streets.


Venture down La Rambla

This is the happening place of Barcelona. Down this road you will find everything from fancy restaurants and specialty stores to the most european McDonald’s that you ever laid eyes on- they seriously carried macaroons and croissants in their display case.

Explore the Beach

My aunt and I spent our first day just walking around the city. After walking nearly half a marathon, we found ourselves on the coast. Just a fair warning though, the beach area is highly touristy and extremely crowded.

Check out La Vila de Gracia

This was recommended to us as “the hipster” neighborhood of Barcelona. Of course I fell in love with the sustainable fashion stores and endless spice shops along the streets. When I have the chance to go back to Barcelona, I would love to spend more time here.


Como Allá, Acá

Don’t ask me what the name translates to because I honestly have no idea; my spanish language studies have only just begun. This is the cutest little empanada shop you will ever see. My aunt and I both agreed that the spicy tuna empanada was the winner! The perfect spot for a light lunch and a great deal. The price of 2 large empanadas and a drink was 5 euro. Score!

El Nacional

This spot is an Instagrammer’s heaven. The layout is 1920s-esque with plants everywhere. I honestly spent 30 minutes in the bathroom just taking pictures of the gorgeous interior design. Aside from the stellar decor, El Nacional offers fantastic tapas and drinks. Pricey but worth it. (You also MUST get the Sangria).


La Boqueria

A foodie’s paradise. This large open-air food market is filled with fish straight off the docks, the freshest produce, and artisan cured meats. I highly suggest treating yourself to the delicacy that is serrano ham. You won’t regret it.



La Xula

Located in the hipster neighborhood of La Villa de Gracia, this taperia does not fall short of a gastronomic gold-mine. All of the tapas were spectacular. Our favorite was the Tuna Tataki. So good!


Federal Café

This is the perfect brunch/lunch spot. We arrived after 12 so we ate off the lunch menu, but when I go back, I definitely want to try out their toasts on the early menu. Everything offered sounded like a foodie dream come true.


This donut shop is right down the street from the Federal Café, therefore you must stop here for dessert. Their donut flavors rotate weekly. When I was there they had a raspberry donut with a white chocolate custard….i died of happiness on the inside a little when I tasted it. Pure heaven.



Although I didn’t get the chance to stop in here as I would’ve liked, this place looked like it was right up my alley. It’s located right next to the Donuteria, offering great coffee and healthy eats.


General Advice for Traveling the City of Barcelona:

  • Keep your wallet/money/ID’s on you at all times. The city is known for pickpocketing, but if you’re aware of your surroundings you will be a-okay!

  • Public transportation is your friend! We road the metro from neighborhood to neighborhood, and it was not only cheap but super easy. There was never a time that I felt unsafe.
  • Just walk the streets. On our first day, my aunt and I spent the whole day just wandering around the city. We had no agenda whatsoever, but we stumbled across some of the best sites.

Until next time, adios!