10 romantic things to do in Barcelona

10 romantic things to do in Barcelona

Katherine Price and Tom Whitehead guide you through the Catalonian capital's most romantic things to do

1. See the city from La Sagrada Familia's bell tower

Get one of the best views over the city from the top of La Sagrada Familia's bell tower. The ascent is easy enough, a lift takes you all the way from the ground floor to the top of one of the Sagrada's spires. Share the moment of breathlessness as you step out astride two of the spires, and take a minute to appreciate the view together over the bustling cityscape and the rolling green hills in the distance.

Romance it up: La Sagrada Familia is high - it's not for the faint hearted! But it is the perfect opportunity for some chivalry, or an excuse to hold your other half's hand on the way down!

2. Take a cruise

If you prefer the waterways, then Barcelona is perfectly situated for a nautical adventure. Charter a boat and head out into the waves, swim in the Mediterranean sea and soak up the glorious sun together. Out on the water makes a brilliant setting for romantic company and you'll feel like royalty as you sip chilled wine, while your boat cruises through the clear waves.

Romance it up: Meridian Charter lets you rent sailboats for full or half days so you can explore the surrounding coastal towns, stopping for tapas and sangrias; as well as admire Barcelona from an alternative view.

3.Stroll along Port Vell

The Passeig de Colom around Port Vell is a gorgeous seafront walk, passing some of Barcelona's most beautiful architecture. The path, which leads to Barceloneta, passes the Mirador de Colon (a 60m monument to Christopher Columbus), the Museu Marítim, the Museu d'História de Catalunya, and Roy Lichtenstein's Barcelona Head sculpture.

Romance it up: This walk is incredibly romantic at sunset; take your time to enjoy the palm-lined pathway, and build up an appetite for your next serving of tapas.

4. Tuck in to tapas

Food is a massive part of the Catalan culture so be sure to make most of the arresting dishes on offer. Tapas is the perfect way to sample a range of tastes and you can keep ordering until your waistline or wallet sees fit.

Romance it up: Cera 23 is a cosy gem tucked down a side alley with  - make a reservation in advance (Cera 23, 08001 Barcelona - email reservas@cera23.com or tel: 934420808) and try the mojitos. Tapeo, anem de tapes (Carrer de Montcada, 29, 08003 Barcelona, +34 685 83 36 60) is on the same street as the Picasso museum opposite local hangout El Xampanyet, again reservations are necessary.

5. Picnic in the park

There aren't many things more romantic than a picnic, and Barcelona is the perfect place to stop for one. Stock up at the Mercat de la Boqueria if you're near La Rambla or the Mercat de Santa Caterina with bread, olive oil, Machego cheese and jamón ibérico for a truly Mediterranean picnic.

Romance it up: The beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella is the perfect setting for a picnic in the sunshine. Wander in the shades of the Castle of the Three Dragons, lounge on the green grass near La Cascade or listen to local bongo players congregate on weekend afternoons. Entry is free and is open all year round.

6. Experience sunset under a cathedral

One of the best sunset experiences you can find in Barcelona is at the Plaça de Santa Maria, with the looming Gothic façade of the Santa Maria del Mar stretching up to the sky above you. When the sun goes down and the lights come on within, the cathedral positively glows, and it's a truly beautiful sight.

Romance it up: Skip the cheap sangria and the overpriced tapas at the Santa Maria del Mar restaurant, and get to the Plaça early to nab one of the two balcony seats from La Vinyor del Senyor. Savour the privacy and the excellent view over quality wine - cava, if you like it local - and take your time to enjoy the moment. Moments like this don't come around often.

7. Soak in a Bath

Cities can be draining so it's good to put some time aside to recharge your batteries.  Aire de Barcelona, in the El Born neighbourhood is an exquisite spa/traditional bath set in historic underground wells, which combines the ancient traditions of Roman baths and hammams. There's a warm pool (Templarium), hot pool (Caldarium) and a Frigidarium as well as steam and salt water baths.

Romance it up: Relaxing massages (not theraputic) are on offer, and there are regular offers for couples. And the insistence on quiet throughout the spa means you'll be able to concentrate on relaxing, and indulging your senses.

8. Dance to a new rhythm 

The Spanish are known for their passionate and fiery dancing. Flamenco and salsa dancers strut to the rhythmic sounds of guitars - try it out together and take a Spanish dance class. You can look on in amazement or maybe you too want to become a salsa dance-floor god. If you want to learn then join this 60-minute workshop that is taught by an expert dancer who will lead you through the basic moves. Before long you will be looking like a pair of Flamenco masters.

Romance it up: For couples who already know how to dance together head to Tarantos (http://www.masimas.com) for passion-fuelled Flamenco performances (shows at 8.30pm, 9.30pm and 10.30pm. Stay later and recreate the performance or smooze your way through the club's funk, swing and hip-hop musical performances.

9. Slurp luxurious ice-cream

This is no ordinary ice-cream. This is Belgious ice-cream. Over-priced 99's will seem a distant memory when you devour some of the divine creamy blends on offer. If it's too cool for an iced treat pick up a chocolatey crepe or waffle. The choice of flavours are mind boggling and range from Dijon mustard to cannabis... There are also the regular choices of chocolate and fruity flavours

Romance it up: To keep things sweet on your trip we'd recommend something that won't leave your breath unbearable (Indian curry flavour should be off the menu). To spice things up in the evening, lick your way through a Gin & Tonic, Baileys or Belgian Leffe Blonde beer cone.

10. Shop till you drop

Barcelona's a great city to shop in, from El Corte Inglés (Spain´s largest department store) to a multitude of markets. If flea markets are your thing, poke around for bargains at Encants Mercat (also known as the Mercat Fira de Bellcaire). It's Barcelona's largest open air market, and you'll find anything from antiques to old records at the stalls. It's held at Calle Dos de Maig, open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9am-6pm.

Romance it up: If you´re looking for a one-of-a-kind, head to Gracia. The neighbourhood has retained a village-y feel and it's full of restaurants, bars, plazas, and unique shoe and clothing boutiques. It's not cheap but you'll find plenty of creative and original things. Take the metro to Fontana, start your shopping on Carrer d'Asturies and keep walking until you hit Verdi.


Image copyright Moyan Brenn

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