The Eixample is the quarter designed during the middle of the 19th century by Ildefons Cerdà, expanding the medieval city of Barcelona into space left empty for defense outside the city walls. It's an enormous field of rectangular blocks in an continuously repeating layout, with the constant threat of getting lost (at least for those used to European cities). Eixample contains most of the modernist buildings, including La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Família. A very interesting example for planned urban development and subsequent re-planing and restructuring.
Driving a car in Barcelona/Eixample is quite easy, though you may find difficulties to find a decent parking place in peak hours. Note that there are two zones for paid parking and prices varies depending on demand. (Green Zone, 1.08-2.42€/h)
Sagrada Família. Getting up to the tower by elevator costs €3, and believe the signs that tell you that the wait could be 120 minutes to ascend. Previously, it was possible to go up the spiral stairs, but now, they allow you only to get back down. As of July 2011, children under 6 and elderly people with reduced mobility cannot go up into the towers. The most impressive thing is to see Sagrada Família at night with lights on, this is the time when you understand why people say that it is built of bones. Entrance costs €13. Get the audio commentary for €4 as it is well worth it. You will gain a much better appreciation of the Sagrada Família. Sagrada Família metro station. At busy times, you would be well-advised to take snacks, refreshments and maybe even a personal music player to pass the time in the queue. As of August 2010, there will be a new service of fast entering. Visitors can buy their tickets for future dates at any Servicaixa ATM (part of 'La Caixa' bank, easily recognizable by their blue logo and also because there is one just across the street from the entrance) or ticketmater.es, they will get a code with which they are going to be allowed to enter the Temple by a fast line. The service has a fee of 1.30€ extra.
Since November 2010, you must buy tickets for the lift at the same time you buy your entry ticket because they have time slots. Make sure you know which lift you are going to take. There are two: Nativity lift, lower but you get to walk on two different towers and you walk down so you can see the famous stairs and Passion lift, it goes up to 85m and it offers you a panoramic view of the city, you can walk down or take the lift down. If you go later than 10am, you are going to get tickets with at least one hour waiting, but they are worth and also there is no real waiting because you buy the entry ticket and the lift ticket for the following hour, you go inside and then to the museum and before you realize you may have even missed your ride, time goes fast inside. Take into account that if you ask for an audioguide, it lasts over 90 minutes. If you buy the ticket online or at the ATM respect your time slot, if you go early, you won't be able to get in and if you miss it, then you loose the money.
L'Illa de la discòrdia:
Casa Batllo, Passeig de Gracia 43 (corner of Correr de Provenca), . 9AM-8PM. Another Gaudi masterpiece along the same avenue as La Pedrera. Open to the public. No straight line or right angles appear anywhere in the house. Often overlooked for La Pedrera, (also by Gaudi), La Casa Batllo is equally as stunning with its unique architecture and infamous two ornamental pillars in the entrance to the terrace. Open for visitors from ground floor to a roof, and down by an old-time elevator.Entrance: adults €16.5, which includes an audioguide. edit
Casa Amatller. Passeig de Gràcia 41. By Josep Puig i Cadafalch
Casa Lleó-Morera. Passeig de Gràcia 35. By Lluís Domènech i Montaner
Hospital de Sant Pau
La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Passeig de Gracia 92 (Diagonal metro station), ☎ 644 291 481, . Another one of Gaudi's masterpieces, there is not one straight edge on the exterior and the structure is one of Gaudi’s most eccentric and enticing architectural creations. Tours of the interior and the incredible roof structures are available. Great views of the tall buildings (especially La Sagrada Familia) from the roof. Hosts a large exposition of Gaudi works, covering Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlio, not only La Pedrera itself. The exposition is a good place to start your exploration of Gaudi; it reveals many hidden details for the art novice.Entrance (adults): €16.50, audioguide: €4. edit
Hospital de Sant Pau (Saint Paul's Hospital), . Working hospital which is at the same time an architectural masterpiece open for visitors. Although some buildings are being renovated and wards are being moved to a new building of Nou Hospital, it still does not affect the experience. One of "small hidden features" is a network of underground passages where small carriages can be seen, you can get there near WCs on a central square, between Banc de Sang and Quiròfans.edit
Hotel Majestic Passeig Gràcia 68, +34 934 881 717, . Enjoy city views from the rooftop. Just enter the elevator right from the lobby, and head up to the top floor.
Fundació Antoni Tàpies, . C/d'Aragó, 255. Created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art.
Casa Amatller,  by Puig i Cadafalch, is a fine work of Modernisme. Open for visitors (free entrance), only ground floor. Check detailed photos and explanation of facade sculptures. It also has a shop that sells fine chocolate (the Amatller family made its money out of cocoa).
Courtyard in Catalon studies
University. The university has many interesting buildings, libraries and courtyards.edit
L'illa, . A nice modern shopping mall located on Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona's main transport artery. Contains many mid-range to high end brands. It can be a somewhat long walk if travelling by metro, but easily reachable by bus.
Cacao Sampaka (C/. Consell de Cent, 292), Xocoa or The Chocolate Factory are a must for chocolate lovers. There's also a Chocolate Museum in Carrer Comerç, 36. The Museum is rather lousy: it consists of just one room next to a cafe. Different sculptures made of chocolate build the core of the exposition. Do not expect much information about recipes or different chocolate types. This part of the exposition is really rudimentary and provides at most 3-4 text paragraphs.
Bolsos Turo - Pilar Guardia Located in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood, at 10 min from Ramblas and Plaza de Universitat you will find this Spanish leather bags and accessories shop. Calle Manso 76 (Cornering Ronda Sant Pau). Metro L2 Sant Antoni or L3 Poble Sec. Bolsos Turo is a shop for affordable and fashionable leather handbags, suitcases, travel bags, leather belts and more.
Jordi Labanda, C/del Rosselló, 232 (between Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia), ☎ +34(93)496-1403 (email@example.com), . Brand store of famous Spanish designer.edit
Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, C/ Consell De Cent 314, ☎ 932 155 288. edit
Desigual, Passeig de Gràcia, 47, ☎ +34 932 15 08 84. Different stylish clothes for men, women and children.edit
La Pedrera (Casa Mila). At the exit from museum part (same floor as The Pedrera Apartment), La Pedrera hosts a small toys store. Mid-XX century-style metal toys (including musical boxes and whirligigs); fascinating books with pop-up pages (especially check Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, €30 each). Check also several books How to Speak to Children About Art from several galleries (Tate Gallery, Metropolitan Museum). To get to the shop, you need to buy a standard ticket to La Pedrera.
Fres Co, Ronda Universitat, 29. A €10 all you can eat buffet including hot dishes and cold and drink. The bread isn't the greatest, although the vegetable quality is quite good, and the warm food isn't terrible either. Warm food includes whatever soup they have on display, some meats, and pizzas. The Maremagnum buffet has fruit juices for 1€, while the one on Plaza Catalunya has numerous desserts, such as an ice cream machine and flan, in additional to all kinds of beers, wines, and sodas.
Madrid-Barcelona, C/Aragó 282 (50m from Passeig de Gràcia), ☎ +34 93 215 70 27. So named because it was formerly a traveler's bar when the trains used to pass in front of it. This is a very convenient restaurant for three reasons: It's very close toLa Pedrera and the other monuments in Passeig de Gràcia, it serves good and quite typical food in a place with history, and the prices are very moderate for the zone where is located. Some dishes are fried things, such as pescadito frito. Large servings of seafood (mussles, snails); the main course with chicken looks promising.Mains generally €7-14, no menu del dia. edit
Lactuca, C/Provenza 427 (right next to Sagrada Familia), . All-you-can eat self-service restaurant offering a great salad bar, daily soups, mediocre pastas and pizzas, dessert and coffee for a flat price. You can also do take-away for a few euros per box.Weekday lunch €8.50, dinner or weekend lunch €10.30. edit
Lactuca Restaurant - Near Sagrada Familia on the Carrer de Provenca 427 (across from the church, and next to the McDonald's) there is a buffet style self service restaurant with large windows facing the Cathedral. You get a dinner (unlimited snacks, main dishes, drinks, tea/coffee, deserts) for €10.70 (weekday lunch €8.95) and credit cards are accepted. Lactuca has other locations in Barcelona - Rambla Catalunya 8, Ronda Sant Pere 17, Diagonal 549, Rosello 147.
A similar self service restaurant chain called Fresc Co has many outlets around the city.
La Periñaca, C/ Diputació 131, ☎ +34 93-4513685. Local joint serving up basic but tasty Spanish grub in low-key surroundings. The daily menus have a choice of options and include a starter, a main, a dessert, bread and half a bottle of wine.Lunch/dinner €8/9. edit
Qu Qu, Passeig de Gracia 24, ☎ 93 317 4512, . 8:30 am - 1:30 am. Full name is Quasi Queviures. Good tapas bar with available deli-style take-out/take-away. Individual items are inexpensive, but you don't get much for your money.€3-9. edit
There is a very nice ice cream, waffles and pancake shop located in the square surrounding La Sagrada Família. It serves freshly made products at a very reasonable price and looks directly at the masterpiece.
ba-ba-reeba, Passeig de Gràcia, 28 (Between Gran Via and Diputació), ☎ 93 302 21 29, . Cosy and comfortable restaurant & tapas bar along the main avenue.€ 10-25. edit.
La Flauta Carrer Aribau, 27. Many local business people come to dine here during the week. The ever changing menu del dia (menu of the day) costs around €10 and will fill you up with delicious Catalan cuisine that is well prepared and equally well presented. The Crema Catalana, similar to a creme brulee, makes an excellent choice for dessert. Arriving for lunch before 14:00 could save you from waiting for a table.
Gaya Cosmopolitan Lounge Restaurant C/Compte Borrell, 122 just above Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, . Original decor. Excellent food at a very reasonable price. Fridays and Saturdays they have chillout sessions with live DJ.
El Glop. Catalan meals. Allow about €20 per person, although you could get out of there for half of that if you let the price dictate your choice of dishes. See chain review in the Eat section of Barcelona.edit
El Glop dela Rambla, Rambla de Catalunya, 65, . edit
Origen 99.9%, C/Enric Granados 9, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 12:30PM-1AM Mon-Sun ('''no break for siesta'''). Eco-friendly chain of Catalonian-cuisine restaurants; organic only in some of products. Good choice of specialty liquors.main courses: fish €5.5-6; meat: 5.85. edit
Udon, Concell de Cent, 23 (Metro Passeig de Grac (line 4), Universitat (line 3)), ☎ 93 487 51 69, . Mon-Sat 13-24. A chain of inexpensive noodle restaurants inspired by a japanese chain Udon Ya, serving tasty Japanese cuisine. No reservations.edit
El Ùltimo Agave - Authentic Mexican restaurant. Aragó 193
Cinc Sentits, Aribau 58 . Named one of the '80 Hottest New Restaurants in the World' by Condé Nast Traveller shortly after opening in 2004, Cinc Sentits surpasses expectations. One of the few restaurants in Barcelona to offer a wine pairing, it features contemporary Catalan cuisine in a modern, warm interior. Restaurant for tourists, ask any local if they have heard of it and they will look at you like you are silly.
Cocoon Lounge Restaurant - C/Londres, 87/. Always packed, the Cocoon offers superbly inventive courses that impress in an ambient decor. Also a great place to have a drink. Awesome ambience, soft music, perfect for a cocktail or a smoothie.
Drolma at Hotel Majestic is one of the best places to eat, but is very expensive.
Gaig, Aragó 214 (Cram Hotel) . With a reputation for serving the freshest produce around, (there are even chickens wandering around the patio), Gaig focuses on classic Catalan cuisine, but in a modern, lighter sense. The decor is in a contemporary red and black design, and the staff are friendly and weloming. Was awarded a Michelin Star.
Moo- C/Rosselló 265. Renowed Catalan chef Joan Roca serves up tasty treats such as sea bass with lemongrass or a delicious suckling pig.
Eixample is the nightlife area of Barcelona. The famous zone Gayxample, around C/Balmes and C/Diputació has many gay bars and funky boutiques.
Arena Choose from three floors of dancing and don't stop dancing until the lights come on.
Smooth, Carrer Enrique Granados 73, . Upscale lounge style winebar located in central Eixample, offering a refreshing alternative to the usual wooden tables and dingy atmosphere. The focus is definitely on wine with a full and interesting range both from Spain and abroad, but also a light modern menu of small plates help you through the second bottle as you sit listening to laid back lounge tunes. Four table terrace on the traffic restricted street closes at midnight, but the bar is open to 1:30am (2:30am on Sat). Innovative in its day, the decor is getting slightly shabby but the central concept remains sound. Service can be the first to go if busy so grab a sandwich before if you're going on a Friday!
Sweet Cafe, Carrer Casanova 75, . The trendiest bar of the Gaixample, the gay area, its red decor and lights and electropop music makes it unmissable. Mostly gay, but everybody is welcome. On Thursdays, pop sessions with guest DJs. (Tuesday-Saturday 10:30PM-3AM). Monthly Bollywood parties on the 2nd Sunday of the month.
Bracafe, C/Casp #2, . Nice cosy cafe to sit and lounge over a cup of proper coffee.edit
L'Eixample is the place where most of the city's mid-range and top-end hotels are located. This quarter is very well connected with the rest of the city, although if you go by car it's impossible to park in the street.
Casanova Guest House, Carrer Casanova, ☎ +34 644 200 680 (email@example.com), . Located in a typical modernistic building. The gallery in the facade of the apartment is a chill-out area that looks out over Casanova street. Double and single rooms, air conditioner and heating, balcony in the rooms, coffee & tea facilities, microwave and fridge.from 50€/double room / breakfast and Wifi included. edit
Casa Maca Guest House, Carrer Bruc, ☎ +34 644 200 680 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Free access to the fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle, cups, plates and everything you will need for a self-service breakfast buffet.from 50€/double room / breakfast and Wifi included. edit
Hostal Residencia Australia, Ronda de la Universitat 11, ☎ +34 93 317 41 77 (email@example.com), . Run by a jazz musician, a local politician and an Australian, they have been around for 30 years taking care of guests. Good rooms, all the usual goodies, for couples, creative hearts and all those who want to get a feel of the creative edge of Barcelona in terms of Cuisine, Art, Music, Theatre, Dance. They love the city and have our own travel guide to show you around. The city is made up of cement buildings , what makes it tick are its people.From €22. edit.
Urbany Hostel Barcelona, Av Meridiana 97, ☎ +34 93 2458414 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . It's located in the Sant Marti district, but close to the eastern border of the Eixample. Twins, 4/6/8 person dorms - en-suite bathroms, fitness club and swimming pool, breakfast included, security lockers, wifi throughout the building, common room with cheap bar.From €12 up to €35 per person. edit
Centric Point Hostel, Passeig de Gracia 33, ☎ +34 93 231 2045 (email@example.com), . Opened in 2006. Doubles, twins and family rooms, quads, and 6/8/10 person dorms - all with en-suite bathrooms except the 10 person dorms. Kitchen facilities, common room with bar, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast. A very busy hostel lots of high school groups.From €14 for a dorm bed. edit
Pere Tarrés Youth Hostel. A hostel located near the top of Diagonal. It is very safe and good fun, offering a restaurant, bar, tv area, ping-pong tables, kitchen, free internet, and sheets and breakfast included in the price. Be sure to book online; there are often good deals on the hostel's website.
Hostel Barcelona Sant Jordi Alberg, . Part of local chain of hostels that operates five hostels in Barcelona. Offers full equiped kitchen, common room with DVD, books, cable TV, guitar and couches, computers with 24 hours free internet access, free lockers and storage room, laundry facilities, towels rentals and public phone.From €23. edit
Hostal Agua Alegre, Calle Roger de Llúria, 47, ☎ +34 93 487 80 32 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located in the center of Barcelona, 2 blocks away from the über chic Passeig de Gràcia, and 10 minutes by foot to Plaza Catalunya.From €23. edit
Hostal Que tal Barcelona, Mallorca, 290, ☎ +34 93 459 23 66 (email@example.com), . In the heart of modernist Barcelona. Gaudi’s Casa Batlló and la Pedrera are a five-minute walk away while las Ramblas, Plaza Cataluña and the Gothic Quarter are all at your doorstep.From €23. edit
Hotel Soho Barcelona, Gran Via, 545, ☎ +34 93 552 96 10, . A design hotel build in 2006. Offers 54 modern and spacious rooms and a rooftop deck with pool. Free Wi-Fi.edit
B-Hotel, Gran Via, 389, ☎ +34 93 552 95 00, . A modern urban hotel by prestigious architect Alfredo Arribas. On the 8th floor you can find the endless-pool with views over Plaza Espanya and Montjuic hill. Free Wi-Fi.€90. edit
Hotel Granvia, Granvia 642, ☎ +34 93 318 19 00, . Built in 1870 as a palace for the Serra-Chopitea family, the building that hosts the Granvía Hotel was converted into a hotel in 1935. Today it still stores countless pieces and works of art from the 19th century, making it at once a distinguished, elegant and unique hotel. Free Wi-Fi.edit
Hotel Villa Emilia, Calábria 115-117, 08015, ☎ +34 93 2525285 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A modern boutique hotel, built in 2006. The hotel is also home to the popular Zinc bar.edit
987 Barcelona Hotel, c/Mallorca 288 (Just a few minutes walking distance from Pedreda, Passeig de Gracia), ☎ (+34) 93 476 33 94, skype: reservations987barcelona, . New modern design hotel, free WiFi.from €152. edit
NH Constanza, C/ Deu i Mata, 69-99, +34.93.2811500 . A recently built hotel, designed by the world-renown architect Rafael Moneo. Located at the Avenida Diagonal/Numancia axies, Barcelona's commercial and financial centre.
Hotel del Comte, Diputació, 142-148 (50m from L1 Urgell, Autobus), ☎ +34 902393930, . 1 km from La Rambla. Renovated in 2007 and now boasts super-slick rooms with glass and marble bathrooms, flat panel TVs, free Wi-Fi. Problems with 3rd-party bookings reported, so book directly.From €80. edit
Best Western Premier Hotel Regina Bergara 2-4. Located next to Plaza Cataluña. About €100 per night for a double room with bath and breakfast.
Expo Hotel Barcelona, +34 93 600 30 00, . 425 wifi-equipped rooms, near Sants Central Station and Fira (Expo). €58-180.
Granados 83, Enric Granados 83, +34 902 244 246 . Set in a 19th century hospital, it has been converted into a Nouveau Art Decó styled hotel. Its structure of oxidised iron is reminiscent of New York's Soho loft, and it stands in contrast with the stone and glass façade and the elegant, minimalist zen styled interiors.
HCC Covadonga, Avda Diagnal 596, tel. (+34 93) 2095511 . Recently renovated. 2 km to Barcelona City Centre and only 1 km from Sants Rail Station.
Hotel Condado, C/ Aribau 201, Tel (+34) 932002311, . A 3* hotel located at the business and shopping hub of Avinguda Diagonal.
Hotel Gran Via, Gran Via Corts Catalanes 642, Tel. (+34) 933 181 900. Very central, and originally a palace, the public spaces of the hotel live up to that history. The rooms are large, but otherwise relatively modest. About €80 per night for a double room with bath.
Hotel Gran Torre Catalunya, Avda. Roma, 2-4, Tel (34) 93 600 69 99. Next to Sants Central Station. Restaurant on the 23rd floor, spa, gym. €100.
Hotel Silken Concordia, Avenida Paralelo 115. On a major street. The metro station "Poble Sec" is right across from the hotel. If you prefer to walk you can reach "La Rambla" and all the major atrractions in downtown Barcelona in just 15 minutes. The rooms are spacious, the furniture is almost like new, and the staff are quite friendly. €90 for a double.
Retrome, Barcelona, ☎ +34 0 93 1744 037 (email@example.com), . Boutique vintage hotel with double rooms, quadruple rooms and apartments 5 minutes walking distance from the Passeo De Gracia shopping street.From €75 per night. edit