The Honeymooner's Guide to Barcelona
Eat, drink, and be married in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.
If you've booked a honeymoon to Barcelona, Spain, you're essentially guaranteed the trip of a lifetime. A bustling city, rich with history, art, and passion, Barcelona is the ultimate destination for adventurous newlyweds who want to explore. If you've booked your flight, but still need to nail down the finer details—like accommodations, dining, and day-to-day exploring—let the following recommendations be your guide.
First up? Finding a hotel (a home away from home!) that's elevated and sleek, but true to the city's aesthetic. We've rounded up five hotels that will make you feel right at home, even when you're halfway across the world. The Cotton House even comes fully endorsed by a Barcelona native. As for the restaurants you must visit, our list is packed with the city's tried-and-true classics. Each menu, full of paella and seafood, will have you searching for authentic cuisine when you do finally return home.
Of course, there's more ways to get to know Barcelona than by eating your way through it—although, we absolutely support that option. Spend a day shopping at the finest antique boutiques, sampling the region's best wines, and meandering through magnificent museums of modern art or streets filled with medieval architecture. However you choose to spend your days abroad, you'll be making honeymoon memories in good company, with your new spouse—and the beautiful city of Barcelona—by your side.
Where to Stay: Almanac Barcelona
Since opening in September, this 91-room hotel has raised the city's glam factor, with interiors by Jaime Beriestain that use gold leaf and mirrors abundantly throughout the lobby and public spaces. For something more low-key, head to the cozy cocktail bar or chilled-out spa. From $542 per night.
Where to Stay: The Serras
Local entrepreneur Jordi Serras took copious notes during decades of business travel before opening his dream hotel in 2015. Expect 28 super-spacious rooms with plush fabrics and views of the city's newly improved marina. The boats, beaches, museums, and shops of the Gothic Quarter are just steps away. From $355 per night.
Where to Stay: Casa Bonay
With its groovy vibe, the vast lobby-bar is the buzzing heart of the hotel, which has 68 rooms featuring original 19th-century tile floors. Three restaurants, including one on the breezy rooftop, are helmed by Argentinean chef Estanislao Carenzo, an organic and bio-dynamic enthusiast. From $157 per night.
Where to Stay: Soho House Barcelona
Locals were as excited as visitors when this private-club outpost opened (complete with Cecconi's Italian restaurant) in 2016. Nonmembers can book any of the 57 rooms and take advantage of the screening room, gym, and rooftop and indoor pools. From $313 per night.
Where to Stay: Cotton House Hotel
"I revamped the Cotton Textile Foundation headquarters into the modern Cotton House Hotel. One step inside and you'll escape your hectic life," said Lázaro Rosa-Violán, an in-demand interior designer of hotels and restaurants in Barcelona.
Where to Eat: Disfrutar
Overseen by three alums of Ferran Adrià's legendary El Bulli, this is the spot to sample the current state of molecular gastronomy. The chic but casual dining room is the perfect setting to enjoy—disfrutar, in Spanish—one of the extensive tasting menus and splurge on the equally creative wine pairings.
Where to Eat: Enigma
Albert Adría (Ferran's brother) recently opened this otherworldly restaurant designed by 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize winners RCR Architects; think metal-mesh cloud ceilings and floating, translucent walls. Diners move to different areas as they make their way through a 40-to-50-course menu full of surprising combinations of tastes, textures, and temperatures.
Where to Eat: Gresca
Rafa Peña's tiny, unpretentious restaurant has been a cult favorite of local chefs for years. Now he's added a wine bar with an astonishing range of natural wines and small plates like a grilled "bikini" sandwich with Iberian pork loin and Comté cheese.
Where to Eat: Pez Vela
Step off the sand and into this upscale chinguito
, or beach bar, tucked beneath the resort-like W Hotel on San Sebastian beach. It's known for outstanding paellas, like the one flecked with succulent bits of squid, prawns, and clams, as well as tapas, such as grilled asparagus with zesty romesco sauce. Wash it all down with chilled sangria.
Where to Eat: Estimar
"I love the intimate Estimar, hidden behind the Santa Maria del Mar church. The chef prepares simple, fresh seafood with a touch of modernity," explained Rosa-Violán.
Where to Eat: Roig Robí
Book a table in the pretty garden at this seasonal spot, which is popular with the publishing crowd and arty types. The three-course prix-fixe menu is a bargain at $41.
Where to Eat: Parallelo
Whatever you're craving, you can find a flavor of artisanal gelato to suit your palate at Parallelo. A few to try: pineapple and basil, coconut and chocolate, and Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.
What to Do: Antique Boutique
At Antique Boutique, pick up a few things to fill up your home, including vintage ceramic Manises lamps, porcelain tea sets, and other decorative objects.
What to Do: Galeria Miquel Alzueta
An old factory has been transformed into a space that hosts rotating exhibits of contemporary art, plus 20th-century architecture and design.
What to Do: El Born
"The neighborhood of El Born is my favorite for window-shopping," said Rosa-Violán. "It's like a medina—you can wander through small streets and get lost in boutiques and wine bars."
Plan a Day Trip: Sitges
About 20 miles south of Barcelona and easily accessible by train, bus, or taxi, this charming town is usually cited as a beach resort. (Picasso used to spend summers here.) But it also has a thriving art scene, home to medieval architecture and cutting-edge contemporary galleries. Don't miss the Museu Maricel and Museu Cau Ferrat.
Plan a Day Trip: Clos de l'Obac Winery
The area is surrounded by grape-growing areas that produce some of Spain's best-loved wines, from crisp whites to the bold reds of the Priorat region. That's where you'll find this welcoming vineyard owned by the Pastrana Jarque family. Reserve a visit online for a chance to sip four of their beloved bottles.