Barcelona

Nine things you haven’t done in Barcelona

Whether you want to tour the Sagrada Familia, or Camp Nou, Barcelona has more than its fair share of must-dos. But beyond its (rightly) celebrated attractions, the Catalan capital brims with unique experiences for the curious traveller

Exterior of the Design Museum, Barcelona

Explore the Design Museum

In a city that knows a thing or two about stylish aesthetics, the Museu del Disseny houses a permanent collection of some 80,000 intriguing objects – from Balenciaga clothing to Patricia Urquiola lamps – as well as hosting noteworthy temporary exhibitions. You’ll find it in Poblenou, the formerly industrial neighbourhood that has in recent years been reborn as – you’ve guessed it – a district of artists, designers and tech companies.

View overlooking El Carmel neighbourhood

See the best view of Barcelona

In the neighbourhood of El Carmel, it’s worth ascending the hill of Turó de la Rovira to reach the former military site of Bunkers del Carmel. Claustrophobics have nothing to fear as despite the name there are not, actually, any bunkers at this former military site and never have been. What you will find is a 360°-view of the whole of Barcelona. Post your Instagram pic and wait for the 'likes' to pour in.

Interior of Moments restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Take your seat at Moments’ Chef’s Table

The best way to enjoy dining at Moments, the two-Michelin star restaurant helmed by star chef Carme Ruscalleda and her son Raül Balam, is at the Chef's Table. Every night, up to 15 diners can take the best seats in the house to see how the restaurant’s famously theatrical, extravagant dishes are created.

Inside the speakeasy bar, Paradiso

Slip into a speakeasy

Even for a speakeasy, the very point of which is to be hidden (though not truly), the location of Paradiso is an imaginative one: its entrance is behind the fridge door of a pastrami outlet. A bar this beloved is not much of a secret, though. Paradiso’s Italian mixologist Giacomo Giannotti has won awards for drinks such as his Mediterranean Treasure, served in a seashell.

Shelves of espadrilles at La Manual Alpargatera

Buy a pair of espadrilles

Founded in 1941 and frequented by tourists and locals alike ever since, La Manual Alpargatera espadrille workshop offers the incredible array of handmade style and colour choices you’d expect. If in doubt, choose former customer Salvador Dalí's favourites, the classic pinxos.

Treatment room at the spa at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Try the celebrities’ favourite pedicure

French podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez is beloved of A-listers for his signature pedicure, which promises to restore your feet's natural beauty and undo some of the damage done by pacing all those red carpets (or simply pounding pavements). Try it yourself at his Pedi:Mani:Cure studio at the spa at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona.

Bird's eye view of Sant Antoni Market, Barcelona

Buy some botifarra at the locals’ market

Many who browse  the stalls of Sant Antoni Market – which attracts less tourists than the better known La Boqueria or Santa Caterina – are ultimately in search of one thing. The botifarra, a famously tasty sausage. If you are a carnivore who hasn’t tried it yet, now is the time.

Laberint d'Horta Park

Get lost in a labyrinth of cypresses

Barcelona has myriad green spaces, but the oldest garden in the city is Laberint d'Horta Park. It’s fallen into a slightly under-maintained state, which only adds to its air of romance. And its neoclassical sculptures, decadent pavilion and maze of cypresses have lost none of their charm.

Casa de les Punxes

See the sunset from a Modernist landmark

Catalan Modernism extends well beyond Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. In Eixample, the Casa de les Punxes is another icon of Art Nouveau. In 2016 this masterpiece building by architect, Josep Puig I Cadafalch reopened to visitors for the first time in 100 years. Choose the visitor package that includes a glass of cava and experience a Barcelona sunset from its rooftop.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Come Stay with Us
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40 , Barcelona 08007, Spain

+34 93 151 88 88

Be an instant expert on... cava

Be an instant expert on... cava

Discover everything you need to know about the Spanish sparkling wine