What to do in Barcelona when you have a 3-day long weekend? Stop by Park Güell, then eat. A lot. (Photo: iStock)
It might take a little caffeine, but with a long weekend in Spain’s Catalonian capital, you can check off many of the city’s top sights. You can also eat. A lot. Here’s a fabulous foodie trip through Barcelona. Don’t worry; you can sleep off your food coma on the flight home.
Day 1: Caffeinate and Culture Up
What jetlag? Kick start your weekend with a little caffeine. The cafe con leche (espresso or strong coffee with steamed milk) at Bracafe is meant to be savored, so don’t look for a to-go cup.
Once you’re wired, it’s culture time. Start at the Picasso Museum; the works here are mostly from the artist’s early years, and there are a lot of them. Like, five palaces’ worth of art. A little pre-planning goes a long way here — if you buy a ticket for a specific time slot you’ll skip the line.
From here it’s about a 15 minute taxi ride over to the Sagrada Familia. Architect Antoni Gaudi’s influence can be seen all over Barcelona, but this trippy church is by far his most famous work. It might be the strangest looking church you’ve ever seen, with corncob-like bell towers and a technicolor interior. It’s also one of the most beautiful, so get your camera ready.
Day 2: Pregame With Seafood, Party ’til Sunrise
Barcelona’s seaside setting means one very yummy thing: fresh seafood! Start your day with a walk along the beach then head to El Xiringuito Escriba to chow down on a big bowl of paella or a plate of grilled marinated sardines. The airy modern eatery opens up onto the beach walk, so a meal pairs nicely with people-watching.
Yesterday you saw one of Barcelona’s major places of worship; today it’s time for another one — the football field. (Resist your American inclination to call it soccer!) Camp Nou Stadium is home to FC Barcelona, also known as Barça, a symbol of Catalan culture and one of the world’s more beloved teams. The season usually runs from August through May, but you can take a behind the scenes tour of the famous stadium when Barcelona’s not playing.
Cap off your day with a wild night out on Las Ramblas. Partying here is serious business, so gear up for a late one. The nightlife scene heats up around midnight and doesn’t let up until the groggy hours of the morning.
Day 3: Go Big, Then Go Home
First, sleep off last night. Then, finish off your visit and prep for your flight home by stretching your legs. Barcelona has some great walks, from the streets around the Olympic stadium to the hilltop Park Güell. Wander along the Gaudi-infused park’s colorful tile walls and stop for that iconic Instagram shot overlooking the city.
For your last meal as a Barcelona foodie, go big. Twelve courses big. The fantastical 12-course tasting menu at Uma will blow your mind. It’s basically a gastronomical playspace, where the chefs concoct foodie masterpieces, and then you stuff your face. Make reservations as soon as possible.