Barcelona is considered to be the design capital of southern Europe, and there's even a whole museum devoted to the subject!
If you’re a fan of great design, Barcelona is THE perfect place for a holiday! Follow our tips and spend a weekend exploring the city from a design perspective.
Your favourite quarter of Barcelona is likely to be Poblenou, a former industrial area which is now home to freelancers and fashion, design and architecture students galore. Better still, it’s practically on the beach!
To get to the heart of Poblenou, stay at the Silken Diagonal. With a terrace, pool and sophisticated décor, you’ll want for nothing! It’s also right next to Jean Nouvel’s Agbar Tower, which is lit with colourful beams come nightfall, and you’ll be in the best possible place to enjoy the show.
Looking for somewhere a little more central? The Barceló Raval, just off las Ramblas, is just as attractive, with colourful, futuristic interiors and a panoramic 360º terrace.
If you’re on a tighter budget, how about the Generator? This huge youth hostel is particularly original and the décor is fabulous, as you’ll see from this article.
Renting a holiday apartment is another budget-friendly option if you’re travelling in a group. Take a look at this site, there are often great deals to be had.
Design-focused attractions in Barcelona
The Design Museum
Obviously, if design is your thing, you’ll want to visit the Design Museum! Each floor is devoted to a different aspect of design: industrial and domestic design, fashion, graphic design and decorative arts, from 3rd – 20th Century.
Everybody knows about Barcelona’s art nouveau architecture, but design has continued to play an important role in the city’s history. Since the 1950s, world-renowned architects have been involved in creating daring and innovative edifices across the capital, which are well worth a visit. Find out more in our article on contemporary architecture in Barcelona.
A guide in your pocket
Don’t forget to download the free BCN Design Tour app before you visit, giving you a quick and easy way of finding the most interesting sites. The principle is simple: it finds your location, then indicates shops, bars, restaurants, hotels and other buildings in the area which are interesting from a design perspective. That way, you’ll be sure not to miss anything!
Our article on furniture and design shops contains a list of places where great design is the order of the day. Take a look, the stores in question are truly fascinating!
Shops in the Raval and the Born
You’ll also find plenty of great surprises in the Raval quarter. There are lots of quirky shops, and a number of hip designers have opened stores in the area. Take a stroll down the Carrer Joaquín Costa, Pintor Fortuny and Peu de la Creu to see for yourself. From decorative accessories to furniture via urban clothing, you’re sure to find something for you.
The Born quarter also has plenty of places of the same type, mostly around the Carrer dels Mirallers. Well worth a visit!
Stylish cafés and restaurants
Tortillas at Flash Flash
Want to discover the local food scene? Head to Flash Flash, a great little restaurant with a simple and original concept, offering tortillas in all shapes and forms.
The place is also popular with design students and architects for its original and graphic décor, which has a definite ’70s vibe.
Tapas at Moritz
For something completely different, try the tapas at Fàbrica Moritz, a former brewery converted into a hip venue by Jean Nouvel. As you might expect, you’ll be able to try Moritz, Barcelona’s local beer, alongside Catalan- and German-inspired tapas.
- For more details, see our article on the Fàbrica Moritz.
Brunch at Barceló Raval
As we mentioned at the start of the article, the Barceló Raval is a unique location with a clear focus on avant-garde design. Every Sunday, a fantastic all-you-can-eat brunch is available from noon to 4pm. For more information, see our article. Bon appétit!
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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?