Authentic Barcelona: a weekend off the beaten track

Published by in the category Visits, Weekends, shopping, romantic.... Article updated 15 May, 2017. 0 comments

Our advice for seeing the real Barcelona and taking a few less traveled paths. There's nothing like wandering around to help you uncover a city's hidden gems!

authentic barcelona

Barcelona is an increasingly touristic city, and for good reason: with its incredible architecture, its pace of life and its beaches, it’s the ideal holiday destination.

However, there is a side of Barcelona that is less well-known but just as exciting to discover: local life, customs and areas that are popular with people from Barcelona but unknown to tourists… Here are some ideas for a more authentic stay in Barcelona.

Stay in the apartment of a local


If you want a real Barcelona experience the best thing is to rent the apartment of someone who lives there. What better way to learn about someone’s life than to stay in their home?


To find your accommodation, why not take a quick look at the site Wimdu, the European equivalent of Airbnb? One upside is that it’s less expensive than staying in a hotel. You can choose to rent an entire apartment (like the one illustrated in our article) or a room: a great solution for smaller budgets.

Visit the city with a Catalan guidedetail facades

But the best way to experience the city like its residents is to have a local guide. Let yourself go and our guide will take you in hand to help you make the most of your holiday…while discovering the best places in the city and all its secrets. Read our article on tried and tested personalised guided tours of Barcelona to find out what private tours are on offer.

Try the Catalan cuisine

Eat in good restaurants

pepita sea bream and strawberries

Avoid the tourist trap restaurants at all costs! Instead go to one of our favourite venues offering mouthwatering food at La Pepita or our list of paellas for those in the know.

If you love a traditional typical atmosphere, then do not miss la Cova fumada or Jai-Ca two of the most picturesque bistros in Barcelona.

Take a tapas tour

And if you prefer to let your inspiration guide you to a good table wherever you are then we suggest you try to be in Poble Sec, as there are many authentic tapas bars around Blai street and the Plaça del Surtidor.

If you need a few more ideas, check out our tips for seeing Barcelona like a local.

Absorb an authentic atmosphere

If you are a Jazz lover, we have the perfect place for you! Head to Harlem Jazz Club in the Gothic district and be won over by the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Or if you are in the mood for exotic Latin flavours, head to Mariatchi, whose owner is none other than the famous Manu Chao! For electronica fans Razzmatazz and Moog are two exceptional clubs that are very popular with people form Barceloana.

And a final piece of advice: there’s nothing like wandering and losing yourself in the city to discover all of its attractions. Happy exploring!

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About the author


Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?