They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day so you’ll want to be sure to start things off in the right way. Barcelona is home to a number of cool cafés and trendy brunch spots serving everything from healthy smoothies to home-made cakes and local pastries. There’s something about taking time to enjoy breakfast together which is rather appealing in the era of takeaway coffee and notes left on the fridge.
Located in Sant Antoni, Parlament Street is home to some of the best breakfast spots in the city such as the incredibly cute Cafe Cometa. Try a slice of whatever incredible-looking cake they have fresh in that morning: red velvet, carrot cake and raspberry with white chocolate are just some of the best. Grab one of the tables in the corner downstairs and be serenaded by blissful indie pop as you admire the artwork on the walls.
When you’re done be sure to walk past the Sant Antoni food market. Dating back to the same era as the famous Boquería market, it is currently being entirely renovated and promises to be one of the most impressive food markets in the city when completed.
Located to the south of the city, Montjuïc hill is home to a number of beautiful parks and gardens which are all free to enter. Starting in Poble-Sec, walk up through the Grec garden, so-named because of the Greek-syle amphitheatre carved in to the hillside. Then walk up the Generalife Stairs, bordered by trickling waterfalls and inspired by the spectacular Generalife Gardens in Granada.
At the top of Montjuïc you’ll find the historic castle and surrounding grounds from where you can enjoy some impressive vistas of the city and the Mediterranean. There are plenty of scenic spots where you can lay down a blanket and enjoy a picnic of local cheeses, cured meats, fruit and – why not – a glass of Cava, the local sparkling wine.
However there’s more than just the scenery to admire on Montjuïc as you’ll also find the Joan Miró Foundation here. Founded by the artist during his lifetime, the foundation is both a museum dedicated to the artist’s work as well as a cutting-edge contemporary art museum with work by up-and-coming artists. Be sure to check out Alexander Calder’s mercury fountain, a mesmerising artefact both beautiful and deadly.
The Old Town of Barcelona is both one of the most touristic areas of Barcelona and one of its most fascinating. The key, really, is to know where you’re going and what you’re looking for. Arm yourself with a guide to the Gothic Quarter’s most remarkable landmarks and sights, some of which are steeped in mystery and intrigue, and you’ll be able to recreate your own personal guided tour of the area.
Those with a taste for chocolate will want to make sure they pass by Petrixol Street, the historic home of the Barcelona chocolate-maker’s guild. These days some of the best chocolate confectioners in the city can be found here and a mug of rich hot chocolate and a few fried donuts or churros is a great treat to share.
Then, skip the high street shopping around Portal de l’Angel and head to the independent boutiques of El Born where you can find artisan jewellery, clothes, accessories and home décor. Start outside the Born Cultural Centre on Commercial Street before winding your way through Rec Street, Esparteria street and the other adjoining side streets. You don’t need to be a fan of shopping to appreciate the charm of this trendy neighbourhood.
Finally, although the sun never sets over the ocean in Barcelona, taking a stroll along the Barceloneta‘s beach front at dusk is a nice way to end the day. There’s something beautiful about the way the sky changes colour as the sun disappears behind the hills and you can generally admire some impressive hues of pink and purple on the horizon.
For suggestions of where to enjoy a romantic dinner, check out our guide to Barcelona’s most romantic restaurants.
For places to stay, check out our guide to Barcelona’s most romantic hotels.