Is 2022 the year the pandemic lets us get back to some semblance of an awesome life in Barcelona? We don’t know, but we sure as hell are moving forward full of the hopes and expectations that brought us to this city in the first place. It’s a brand new year so get back to exploring this gorgeous city with our curated list of 22 fun things to do in Barcelona in 2022.
1. The Paella Club
The first rule of the Paella Club? Talk about the Paella Club! In a tourist town lousy with cooking classes, Paella Club is more like cooking dinner with friends. The owner, Alex, is as passionate as they get about his love of food, cooking, music, and creating that familiar space where delicious food meets friendly company. Worry less about COVID and more about Alex’s infectious energy that will pull you into having a good time from the minute you walk in the door and are handed a glass of Cava.
Carrer del Dr. Dou, 5, Gothic
2. BORO Bar
There is no need to sacrifice chic when all you want is to sit on a sofa and unapologetically eat a big pastrami sandwich. BORO Bar is that cozy neighborhood corner bistro that lets you do just that. Settle into their turquoise and velvet sofa and tuck into any (or all – we don’t judge) of our three favorite items to order: steak tartare tacos, green bean salad, and, yes, a pastrami sandwich. You’ll know someone has been there when they mention the delicious surprise at the bottom of that green bean salad.
Carrer de la Diputació, 286, Eixample
3. IDEAL Barcelona: Frida Khalo
Sure, you’re familiar with her eyebrow, but there’s so much more to internationally renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She knew a thing or two about adversity, reclaiming your identity, and personal growth even while being trapped by poor health and life circumstances. IDEAL Barcelona’s immersive biography of this icon of realism, surrealism, and fantasy will have you appreciating the beauty in life, despite all of the pain.
Carrer del Dr. Trueta, 196, 198, Poblenou
4. Jardins de Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer
The sunny and crisp winters in Barcelona give the perfect reason to head to the large pond and sprawling grassy area at the Jardins de Mossèn on Montjuïc and soak up the sunshine. Take a picnic blanket, a good book, and a quiet friend to enjoy a relaxing day outdoors. See if you can spot a prince among frogs on that storybook walk up the wide stairs alongside the lily ponds.
Avinguda Miramar, 30, Montjuïc
5. Quilombo Guitar Bar
Your shower isn’t the only place where you can boldly sing off-key. This little cave of a music bar encourages boisterous singing at your table, dancing in your seat, and getting the lyrics wrong (because it’s just loud enough that nobody can hear you anyway). Reserve your table, bring cash, and leave your performance anxiety at the door.
Carrer d’Aribau, 149, Eixample
Sometimes you find a hidden gem and your first thought is to never tell anyone, but then that would be doing an excellent restaurant, such as Cierzo, a disservice. Small, unassuming, and tucked away near Plaça Tetuan, Cierzo appears out of nowhere and smacks you with excellent food, wine, and service. It’s only a two-man show here—Adrian is in the kitchen and Javier is the gracious and lovely host. The quality of food and service at dinner for the price exceeded expectations, so we returned for an equally pleasing and reasonably priced menú del día a few weeks later. Reserve your table in advance as the space is small.
Carrer de Bailèn, 56, Eixample
Ready to elevate your yoga experience? Barrefit is a yoga and fitness oasis that will challenge much more than just your core. Owner, Sidonie Geis, has created a positively posh fitness studio—you can’t help but want to return and get your sweat on. But make no mistake, her Barrefit classes will have you saying ‘Buenos Días’ to your muscles from the start. They are a blend of Pilates, dance, yoga, and full-body training. Sidonie, originally from Canada, leads classes in Spanish, French, and English. Barrefit is the first Barrefit studio in Spain and Sidonie also offers classes to become a certified Barrefit instructor.
Carrer del Consell de Cent, 259, Eixample
8. Paral-lelo Gelato
If you want a vainilla gelato, go to DelaCrem. But, if you love to take delicious risks, head to Paral-lelo Gelato. Their seasonal savory and sweet gelato varieties will make fans out of skeptics. Right now you can try the panettone, sorbet de yuzu, or lychees. There are also a handful of options to make vegans happy. And, yes, you can still get the vanilla, if you want.
Carrer de Seneca, 18, Gracia
9. Moco Museum
In Moco Museum we trust. The Amsterdam transplant to Barcelona just opened in October 2021, bringing another important addition to the contemporary and modern art scene in the city. With street art works by Banksy and modern heavyweights like Basquiat, KAWS, and Kusama, you can quickly spend a half-day here and forget the world outside for a while. That’s just the start of it; as any good modern art museum, Moco also tests the fringe through immersive art and technology experiences.
Carrer de Montcada, 25, El Born
If Gwenyth Paltrow was in town, she would be spotted here. Frizzant cooks up more than just daily healthy food and a great cup of coffee. With a yoga studio inside, it’s more like a mini-wellness retreat just off Gran Via. With a menu that changes daily, Frizzant serves up fresh, healthy meals right from their counter. Diners can mix-and-match everything from tasty vegetable dishes to perfectly roasted chicken and a variety of healthy side dishes and salads. Treat yourself to one of their all-natural, vegan, and gluten-free chocolate muffins afterwards (or before—no judgment).
Gran Via, 692
11. Montjuïc Cemetery
There is no better place to contemplate our fleeting existence on this lonely blue planet than a historic cemetery with outstanding sculptures and statues sitting in silent witness above the Mediterranean. The permanent residents of Montjuïc read like a Who’s Who list of Catalans, so taking a tour is a perfectly reasonable way to spend an afternoon here. But, losing your way walking through the countless little paths and roads through the hillside is even better (as long as it’s during the daytime, of course). While you can take a bus here, we recommend booking a taxi instead.
Carrer de la Mare de Déu de Port, 56, 58, Montjuïc
12. The Beautery
If we are facing the end times, then we may as well look gorgeous. The Beautery offers all of the body basics in a serene environment. Mani-pedi, facials, body treatments, massage, eyebrows, and waxing will leave you prepared (or at least looking like it) to handle whatever life brings your way, even if it’s only another quarantine curfew. If you prefer taking your skin-care routine at home and organic, check out these local options.
Carrer del Bruc, 41, Eixample
13. Lego Store
Taking the kids to a Lego store and overspending on boxes of Lego pieces that will soon end up having you curse as you step on them is a parenting rite of passage. Get this milestone under your belt and encourage that budding architect or engineer in your home (even if that’s you). Seeing the Barcelona-themed structures alone are well worth the visit. Here are some other options for things to do in Barcelona with kids when the flat starts feeling a little too small.
Passeig de Gracia, 9, Eixample
14. La Confiteria
The shelves at La Confiteria that were once lined with confectionary sweets now are lined with all of the ingredients needed for their flirty cocktails. This El Raval mainstay might be one of the most beautiful places to grab a drink in Barcelona, if architecture, history, and design is your thing (they are your thing, trust us). The cozy space is mostly true to its 19th century beginning and serves as the perfect setting for close conversations with your book club friends, visitors you want to impress with some old school Barcelona charm, or a nice start to a date night.
Carrer de Sant Pau, 128, El Raval
15. SLVJ / Restaurant Salvaje
SLVJ might just be the best dinner escape in Barcelona. From the decor, to the live DJ, dancers, and impressively presented and delicious Japanese fusion dishes, this place is definitely a Scene. Take their google and TripAdvisor reviews with a drop of soy sauce. You’re here with your closest friends for an evening of macro-dosing on kitsch and that sparkly Vegas-style magic that has you forgetting about the pandemic that must not be named, even if only for an evening.
Carrer d’Enric Granados, 86, Eixample
16. Funky Bakers Deli
This El Born favorite has a new corner location in Eixample and a new concept that has people lined up to get inside. Owner Seyma Ozkaya Erpul is no stranger to offering gourmet food products; at the deli it’s everything from pastries, bread, and Nømad coffee, to even flowers for your home. However, her warm hospitality to every person who walks in her shop is what has us returning to what we hope becomes an Eixample staple.
Carrer de la Diputació, 347, Eixample
17. Monastery de Pedrables
The ordered and peaceful space at the Pedralbes monastery gives your brain the perfect respite from a tumultuous world. Spend an hour at this medieval monastery walking through the inner courtyard and slow life (and your mind) down for a moment. You can also appreciate a small art gallery with changing exhibits. Free entry on Sundays. Five euros other days.
Baixada del Monestir, 9, Pedralbes
18. Te Quiero Verde
Kermit will be pleased to hear that it IS easy being green. The menú del día especially highlights all things vegetarian, with nourishing soups and flavorful mains that leave one satisfied and eager for a nap. The menu at Te Quiero Verde accommodates everyone, from pescaterians, vegetarians, and vegans to those who eat gluten-free. If you must have meat, the menu here will help you to appreciate the depth of flavor and satisfaction a well-prepared vegetable-based dish has to offer.
Carrer del Rosselló, 235, Eixample
19. Carolina Blue
If your home needs a little pick me up, and you could use a little retail therapy, shop small and head to Carolina Blue, a home goods store that’s beyond IKEA. This quiet, little shop near Mercat de Galvany has a lovely selection of charming home accents, rugs, light fixtures, kitchen and bath essentials and other decorative accessories for the home. The pieces are chosen for their natural, minimal style, although there are also plenty of eclectic and rustic items mixed in as well to make this well-curated store give you the inspiration you need to clear the clutter and create the stylish home surroundings you deserve.
Carrer de Santaló, 39, 41, Sant Gervasi/Galvany
20. Parc del Laberint d’Hort
We (mostly) guarantee that you will not come across Jack Nicholson wielding an ax in this well-tended hedge maze high above the city. Parc del Laberint has plenty to offer for the whole family, besides the maze. Walking paths wind their way through, with occasional water features like ponds and waterfalls. Neoclassical buildings with climbing vines and statues also may be found throughout. Their overall gentle disrepair just lends to a sense that you have left Barcelona far behind and entered a Jane Austen novel. It all makes for the perfect setting for an easy, slow Sunday stroll. Take a picnic lunch or enjoy some chips and a caña at the food kiosk in front of the entrance. Ticketed entry.
Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, Horta
21. OBBA Corea BBQ
There aren’t many opportunities to enjoy K-bbq in town. Fortunately, OBBA steps up to the grill with all of the usual meats, dipping sauces, side dishes, and the thrill of having a dangerously hot barbeque on your table. Friendly waitstaff and big tables make it easy to share a dinner with friends, although there are also tables for two here. The hidden star of the menu is the haemul pajeon, a tender seafood scallion pancake so delicious that it may have even Spaniards giving up their beloved tortilla. (Please direct all strongly worded opinions to the contrary to [email protected].)
Carrer de Nicaragua, 97, Les Corts
22. 33/45 Bar & Gallery
Cocktails, craft beers, a short list of tequilas, and a brief Mexican food menu thanks to the pop-up Metl is enough reason to head to 33/45 deep in the heart of El Raval. But, those are just to get you in the door. A DJ spinning everything from Japanese pop to Afrobeats and electronic music, an art gallery, and a variety of sofa-style seating make for an eclectic lounge atmosphere perfect for an evening of people-watching. This is a decidedly young clientele and international (ahem, tourists), but it’s an interesting place to remember all of the reasons that make Barcelona an exciting city.
Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 4, El Raval