Markets

Mercat dels Encants Sprawling flea market with plenty of treasures and trash on the edge of Poblenou.

Mercat de la Boqueria One of Europe's largest food markets, packed with tempting delicacies and tapas bars.

Mercantic Make the pilgrimage to this market of markets, located in a smart Barcelona suburb.

Mercat de Sant Antoni A massive and beloved-by-locals food market that also hosts a flea market on Sunday.

Mercat de Santa Caterina La Ribera's bountiful food market, with its wavy roof and archaeological fragments from the 1400s.

Parks & Gardens

Parc de la Ciutadella Pretty landscaped grounds with dramatic fountain, curious sculptures, the Catalan parliament building and a zoo.

Park Güell Green wonderland with fine views over the city, and surreal sculptural architecture courtesy of Gaudí.

Jardí Botànic One of Montjuïc's many lush gardens, this one with Mediterranean flora and plants from similar climates.

Jardins de Joan Maragall One of the most stately gardens in Barcelona (and a royal residence as well).

Parc de la Creueta del Coll Near Park Güell, this is a family favourite with pool, snack bar and trails.

Parc de Collserola Vast scrubby woodland with trails for bikers and runners and superb views over the city.

Jardins del Laberint d'Horta Picturesque gardens with artificial lake and waterfalls and a challenging labyrinth, outside the city centre.

Museums

Museu d’Història de Catalunya Interactive exhibits cover Catalan history: Romans, Arabs, feudal times, Spanish Civil War and the post-Franco era.

Museu d’Història de Barcelona Stroll over Roman-era Barcino ruins, then see fine Catalan Gothic architecture inside a former royal palace.

Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya Learn about the many layers of Barcelona's past in this little-visited archaeological showcase.

CosmoCaixa Fun science museum that's a hit with families – especially its recreated patch of Amazonian rainforest.

Museu Etnològic A primer on folkloric traditions (still alive and well) in Catalunya.

Museu-Monestir de Pedralbes Peaceful old convent with a 14th-century cloister and old-world religious artwork.

Museu Blau Spacious natural history and science museum with interactive exhibits and huge animal collection – dinosaurs included.

Art & Design

Fundació Joan Miró Temple to the great artist, complete with outdoor sculpture gardens.

Museu Can Framis Outstanding collection of contemporary Catalan greats in a redesigned industrial space.

Fundació Antoni Tàpies Fascinating collection of a great Catalan artist set in a Modernista building.

Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona A must for art lovers, the CCCB hosts excellent cutting-edge exhibitions.

MACB Packed collection of 20th-century artwork in a modern Richard Meier–designed building.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya Stunning collection of Romanesque art dating back 900 years.

CaixaForum Inside a modernist building designed by Puig i Cadafalch, this place hosts fantastic exhibitions.

Contemporary Architecture

Museu del Disseny de Barcelona Barcelona's design museum lies inside this geometrical edifice that's also a symbol of Poblenou's rebirth.

Peix Sculpture Frank Gehry's Fish has become a waterfront icon.

Torre Glòries Jean Nouvel's striking cucumber-shaped tower dominates the high-tech zone of 22@.

Teatre Nacional de Catalunya This stately theatre is a perfect design medley of Ancient Greece with high modernism.

El Fòrum Blue triangular building by Herzog & de Meuron that is both organic and weirdly futuristic.

Panoramic Views

Bunkers del Carmel Gaze 360 degrees from a scruffy hillside that was once an anti-aircraft battery.

Castell de Montjuïc One of many great spots on Montjuïc to gaze upon city and sea.

Basílica del Sagrat Cor de Jesús It's worth the trip to the top of Tibidabo for the mesmerising view.

Teleférico del Puerto Old-fashioned cable car (with modern cables, we're told) affording sublime views from its dangling trajectory.

Mirablau Well-known Mirablau, at the foot of Tibidabo, has magnificent views out over the city.

Parc de Collserola Vast park with countless vistas (and wildlife, including roaming boars, to boot).

Staying Out Late

Guzzo Convivial drinking den in El Born with a funk-loving DJ owner.

Moog Small, fun and relatively attitude-free downtown club that's great for dancing.

Absenta Sip fiery absinthe in an art-filled lounge hidden in the back streets of Barceloneta.

Ocaña Perfectly positioned on Plaça Reial, with wildly designed interior and outdoor tables on the plaza.

Sor Rita Kitsch-filled extravaganza with a fun, festive crowd.

Harlem Jazz Club Hear live eclectic sounds till the early hours at this old-school Gòtic gem.

La Confitería A fin-de-siècle mural-covered bar that was once a confectioner's shop.

Marula Cafè Small, eclectic, dance-loving space in the Barri Gòtic with serious penchant for funk and soul.

Fashion

Amapola Vegan Shop Stylish clothing and accessories made entirely from sustainable, animal-free products.

La Manual Alpargatera Birthplace of espadrilles, and the world's best place to buy the iconic Catalan rope-soled canvas shoes.

Lady Loquita One of many hip boutiques in Gràcia selling womenswear crafted by local designers.

L'Arca Treasure chest of high-end vintage clothes dating back to the 1920s.

L'Illa Diagonal Top shopping mall for designer fashion, plus a good food court on the lower level.

System Action With a design house in Barcelona, this popular fashion outpost has serious local cred.

Adolfo Domínguez Browse for beautifully made men's and women's ready-to-wear at this elegant Passeig de Gràcia boutique.

Regia This perfumery has been around since 1928, and even has its own perfume museum on-site.

Bagués-Masriera Beautifully crafted jewellery in the architecturally stunning Casa Amatller.

Free Stuff

Rambla del Raval Wandering along this bustling boulevard is an essential Barcelona experience.

Platja de la Barceloneta Soak up some Mediterranean sun.

Mercat de la Boqueria A bustling food market on La Rambla.

Parc de la Ciutadella A central spot for a stroll or a picnic.

Centre de la Imatge Free photography exhibitions.

Parc de Collserola Gorgeous views from this park in the hills.

Jardins de Joan Maragall Stately gardens.

Palau Robert A tourist office that doubles as a Catalan exhibition space.