Gràcia in Barcelona is the neighbourhood where I’ve lived my entire and still short (hey, I’m still young, ok?) life. To me, it is the best neighbourhood in Barcelona (you could argue I’m a little biased), as it still has that sense of antiquity, that village atmosphere as though it wasn’t part of the busy, modern city that lies just a few minutes away.
If you are planning on spending a few days in Barcelona, Gràcia is, without doubt, one of the must-sees. I’ve prepared for you a one day trip in Gràcia, and all I can say is: I wish all my days were like this!
You could start the day having breakfast at La Nena, a chocolaterie where you’ll be able to taste one of the best hot chocolates in town (with a French croissant, just to make sure you take in all the calories possible).
After refuelling, you can head over to the Park Güell, a magnificent park designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and the best expression of Catalan Modernism. There, you can soak up the art and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
When you’ve taken all the possible photos you can imagine, you can start descending to the heart of Gràcia and maybe have an aperitif in one of the many little squares. My personal recommendation is to take a seat on one of the terraces in Plaça Virreina, one of my favourites due to its calm, lovely atmosphere. You can just imagine how life was 50 years ago while sitting in that terrace.
Now the time comes for what you’ve been waiting for all morning: lunch! Where should you have lunch? Well, Gràcia is full (and by full, I mean, literally!) of little restaurants from all over the world. I would feel bad just recommending one, so my advice for you would be to walk around Verdi Street (and its surroundings) and take a look at what you prefer: Egyptian? Syrian? Italian? Palestinian? You name it, you can find it. However, if you want to taste Catalan cuisine, I would suggest a visit to Cal Boter.
After eating properly, it wouldn’t be advisable to start wandering the streets again (especially if you’re doing this day trip in the summer!), so why not go to the cinema? Verdi cinema is my favourite theatre in the whole city. Wonder why? Well, first of all, all movies are shown in their original version, with subtitles – unusual in Spain as all movies are dubbed (I am a translator and I just hate dubbed movies!). Secondly, Verdi usually shows independent movies (as well as the occasional commercial one), so it gives you the chance to watch things that are a bit different.
Like to shop? Gràcia gives you that opportunity too. After the cinema, I suggest taking a walk in Astúries Street, full of little shops where you can buy jewellery (don’t get me wrong: Gràcia is kind of bohemian, so you won’t find the famous brands here – if you want that, go downtown!), clothes, shoes, natural food products, etc. I recommend taking a look at a shop called Olokuti. Apart from having sustainable products of all kinds, at the end of the shop there’s a little, lovely, calm garden where you can relax and have a drink.
If you fancy a drink before dinner, I suggest you go to La Cervesera Artesana, the best place to taste beers from all over the world – they are the experts! Although if you are not a fan of this drink, you could go to Canigó, one of the oldest bars in Gràcia (since 1922) – and always full of people.
Please also consider having a drink just a few meters away, in Teatreneu. A theatre/bar that is absolutely charming. After that, you’ll be right in the heart of Gràcia again, so you can choose among many restaurants to go to, and, to finish the day, check out Heliogàbal for a little music. Chill out… and enjoy.
(Only if you’re travelling in August: please don’t miss out the so-called “Festes de Gràcia”, when all streets are beautifully decorated!).
Emma is a blogger and content editor at only-apartments.com, a global apartment rentals specialist based in Barcelona.
If you’d like to write your perfect day in Barcelona then please get in touch via the email address at the bottom of the website. I’d love to hear from you. The more we have the better.