Famed for its avant-garde architecture, cool crowd and world-beating tapas, Barcelona’s city-break credentials are legendary. With Primavera Sound and Sonar festivals about to kick-start summer in the Catalan capital, here’s a timely guide to navigating its best bits in style.
STYLISH CITY: BARCELONA
By Ben Olsen, 30 May 2017
One of Europe’s sharpest-dressed cities, Barcelona’s style-savvy locals know their fashionistas from their turistas. Keep it chic by pairing a long-sleeve Breton tee or an on-point revere-collar shirt with Dickies’ versatile black work pants and show off your indie cred with a contrast-panel denim jacket when the temperature tails off at night. New Balance’s ice-white CRT300 kicks will go the distance as you hit the city’s hotspots while a bum-bag, sunnies and baseball cap are tried-and-tested city-break essentials.
The lure of the beach is strong in Barcelona but instead park yourself in the El Raval district to make the most of Barcelona’s buzz. As well as the history-heavy Gothic Quarter on your doorstep, be sure to check out the huge Keith Haring mural at contemporary art hotspot (and well-known skate hangout) MACBA before embracing the area’s endless selection of tapas spots and late-night dive bars. Plus, the morning after the night before, you can fill your boots at the cavernous La Boquería food market.
One of Barcelona’s OG creatives was modernist icon Antoni Gaudí, whose eye for pop colours and off-the-wall architecture earned him cult status. Check out two of his statement buildings – La Pedrera and Casa Battló – on the glitzy, boutique-laden Passeig de Gràcia, or hit the hills and head up to the peaceful Parc Guell: another Gaudí masterpiece where vivid mosaics, ice-cream vendors and knock-out views over the city's rooftops more than justify the hike.