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Modernist style in the med: 36 hours in Barcelona

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A cutting-edge cultural hub with wondrous architecture and world-class gourmet bites, Barcelona appeals to all the senses with her enchanting Mediterranean appeal. Make the most of a whirlwind 36-hour Catalan capital adventure.


9:30: Just moments from Hotel Indigo Barcelona – Plaza Catalunya in the city’s historic heart, begin your day at La Esquina, a charming corner eatery run by London expat Alan Stewart. Serving only the finest seasonal ingredients with a British twist, breakfast specialities of the house include La Marzocco brewed coffee and Eggs Royal—salmon with spinach and arguably the best Eggs Benedict in the city.

10:30: Stroll to neighbouring Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s ritziest shopping street, vividly showcasing some of the best Modernist architecture in town. After viewing must-see treasures including Gaudi’s Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, take in lesser-known attractions: Casa Amatller—an ornate turn-of-the-century townhouse repurposed for visitors in 2015—and the Museu del Perfum (Perfume Museum), a secret backroom exhibit featuring the history of fragrance from ancient times to the present

12:30: Refuel at El Nacional, a onetime factory turned retro multi-zoned gastro experience. The vast, open plan space offers four culinary areas suited to all tastes—tapas, meat, fish and deli products are all delectably represented whilst the buzzy bar areas are reserved for oysters, cocktails, wine and beer.

14:00: While you’re here, go window-shopping on Passeig de Gracia for local designer brands like Santa Eulalia and Bimba & Lola, alongside Chanel, Valentino and Prada.

16.00: Before heading back to the hotel for a rest, take a whimsical coffee and homemade snack break at Brunch and Cake in the district’s charming tree-lined pedestrian street, Enric Granados.

19:30 Wine and dine at Monvinic, a modish wine bar and restaurant boasting an extensive menu of international vintages cleverly presented on state-of-the-art tablets. Follow a leisurely wine sampling with regional bites or switch gears at an atrium table in the restaurant, where hearty Catalan cuisine is expertly paired with exceptional wines.


10:30: Complement a leisurely breakfast at Hotel Indigo’s brightly hued breakfast area with a cosy java break paired with scenic views at La Rotonda, the 9th floor café of Barcelona’s signature department store, El Corte Ingles.

11:30: Enjoy some quiet reflexion time at Jardines de la Universidad, a botanical oasis of exotic trees, plants and manmade ponds tucked inside the city’s 19th century university.

12:30: Eat your way through the colourful Santa Catarina Market, Barcelona’s liveliest Modernist food market. Here, visitors can nibble on the finest regional cheeses, Jabugo ham, fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts or opt for a proper sit-down meal at the tasty tapas bar Cuines Santa Catarina, situated just outside.

14:00: Explore the Gothic Quarter and Old Town with its many labyrinth turns and surprises. Attractions of note include the Picasso Museum, housing the celebrated artist’s most personal works and the Museu d’História de Barcelona (Barcelona History Museum), displaying over 35,000 artefacts dating back to the city’s inception.

16:30: Before returning to the hotel to freshen up, take a breather at Paradiso, a delightful speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar accessible only through the fridge door of the quirky Pastrami Bar resto in the bustling El Born district.

20:30 Taxi it to Gallito, a shabby-chic surfers shack-inspired eatery overlooking the beach. Indulge in an artisan paella dish paired with cava-infused sangria. Afterwards, head up the coastline and dance ´til you drop at seaside stalwarts CDLC and Opium Mar.

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