A boho weekend in Barcelona
Article updated 10 May, 2017.
Want to discover the bohemian, arty side of Barcelona, packed with local culture and authentic experiences? Step away from the tourist trail and enjoy!
Barcelona is a city of many faces: a seaside resort, the capital of art nouveau, a design paradise… its mediterranean feel and cultural heritage also give it a bohemian, liberal, artsy vibe. Follow our guide to spend a weekend discovering Barcelona’s “boho” side.
Find somewhere charming and authentic to stay
Try apartment-swapping for an unforgettable experience
A great option for finding comfortable, free accommodation in Barcelona is apartment swapping. As well as being cost-effective, it also gives you the means to discover the city “from the inside”, like a local, as you’ll receive plenty of advice and recommendations from the owners before your trip.
Rent an apartment
This solution is more flexible and cheaper than a hotel room. We recommend taking a look at this apartment rental site.
The best option is to focus on the Vila de Gràcia and Born quarters, which are sure to please!
Charming hotels and hostels
Why not stay in a youth hostel? The ambiance is always great, and you’re bound to meet lots of interesting people! We like the Casa Gràcia, with its fabulous interiors.
In addition to the classic “dorm” option, the Casa Gràcia also offers hotel-style private rooms. If you’re travelling as a small group, check out the triple, quadruple or quintuple rooms. There are even apartments for groups of 6.
Wander Barcelona’s bohemian quarters
Gràcia is Barcelona’s bohemian quarter par excellence. It has a villagey feel, far from the hustle and bustle of the city… or at least it does if you know where to go, since some areas of the broader Gràcia district are rather lacking in charm.
Focus on the area around Vila de Gràcia, and visit some of the little shops around the Travessera de Gràcia, Carrer Torrent de l’Olla and Carrer Verdí. These streets are packed with vintage boutiques, shops selling products made by local artisans, cosy and charming cafés, and little squares surrounded by tapas bars… plenty of reasons to fall in love with Gràcia!
Explore the Born
The Born is another arty quarter, with a happy, joyful feel to it. It’s part of the old town, full of little side-streets and alleyways to explore. There are plenty of art galleries and pretty little shops to visit, too. Drop into Ivori to discover their fabulous collections of clothing and accessories. A number of other original and hip shops can be found on the same street.
Don’t miss the Galería Maxó, for arty souvenirs, or even a painting to take home with you. Finally, the Born is also home to the Picasso Musem– an essential stop on your itinerary! Broke? That’s no excuse, the museum is free from 3pm on Sundays.
Immerse yourself in local art
Barcelona is like an open-air museum in its own right, with works of art scattered across the city’s public spaces. Read our articles on art in public spaces and on street-art to discover original ways of exploring the city!
Dive in to Barcelona’s nightlife
Discover a bodega with a boho vibe
Ready to kick back and relax? Try Gran Bodega Saltó, a budget-friendly tapas bar with fantastic live music. It’s one of the most iconic nightlife venues in the popular Poble Sec quarter, great for eating, drinking, singing, dancing, and generally spending an unforgettable evening.
- For more information, see our article on Gran Bodega Saltó.
See a show
In the warmer months, you’re bound to want to make the most of the soft summer nights. We suggest an outdoor film screening! In summer, Barcelona plays host to several al fresco film series, and some of them are even free. For more information, click here.
Discover unusual bars
Finally, it would be silly to visit Barcelona without trying out some of the local bars and experiencing the city’s nightlife. Make like the locals and wander from bar to bar! We suggest starting at the Marsella for its roguish vibe, or the unique, quirky Sor Rita.
After all that, if you still haven’t fallen in love with Barcelona, then it’s obviously hopeless, there’s nothing more we can do for you!
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