Cal Pep is a well-known tourist destination, but don’t let that put you off: catch-of-the-day tapas are worth the wait.
Stop in at Eclipse Bar, on the 26th floor of the opulent W Hotel after dinner. Arrive late — the party won’t start until after midnight — and secure a seat by the floor-to-ceiling windows.
La Boqueria is a picture-perfect food market on the site of an old convent — go to eat, shop or simply absorb the sights and sounds.
Don’t leave town without a visit to Oriol Balaguer. A former El Bulli pastry chef owns the avant-garde chocolate shop, so you’re sure to find something extraordinary.
The name to drop in the Catalan capital? Antoni Gaudí. He’s the man responsible for much of the city’s art nouveau architecture. Don’t miss one of his most famous works: La Sagrada Família, the spectacular church under construction since the late 1800s.
Or check out Casa Batlló, an impressive building decorated with colourful glass fragments.
Another Gaudí landmark, Park Güell, is a hypnotic wonderland filled with glossy tiles and whimsical statues and fountains.
Finally see where it all began at Santa Maria del Mar — the Gothic architecture of this 14th-century church is thought to have greatly influenced the man himself.