ME HOTELS- Located just a few steps from the famous Passeig de Gracia avenue, the Me Barcelona terrace offers a breathtaking view of the Plaça de Catalunya and the famous dome of Spanish architect Gaudi’s cathedral, the Sagrada Familia. In summer, after walking around all day, it’s a pleasure to cool off in the rooftop pool while sipping a (delicious!) white sangria. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. A special mention goes to the breakfast buffet in the main restaurant, which offers everything from fresh juices and Spanish omelettes to yogurt and granola, eggs, fresh bread and pastries. All this can be enjoyed on a  magnificent tree-lined terrace.


The best way to discover hidden gems and cover the main attractions of the city is on foot, but you can always make use of the well-connected metro, trams, buses and bike lanes, which prioritize clean energy.

Want to explore even more of the city and its picturesque outskirts? Try renting a car in Barcelona. If you’re looking for a vehicle that keeps your travels as eco-conscious as possible, the Volvo EX30 is designed to have the smallest carbon footprint of any Volvo car to date and reduces waste by using upcycled, recycled and renewable materials in its interior and exterior. And if you’re a first-time driver in Europe, it’s a perfect pick: Volvo has a reputation of being one of the safest vehicles around, and the EX30 is no different. This electric vehicle has an advanced safety feature to prevent you and any passengers riding to avoid opening its doors while cyclists and bikers approach from behind (a must in Europe). Plus, with built-in Google maps and Google assistant you’ll never get lost, and the park pilot assist feature helps steer, accelerate, and brake to make parking in the city that much easier.


TAPAS 24 BARCELONA- Developed by famous chef Carles Abellan (who worked at El Bulli, one of the world’s best restaurants), this small Spanish chain presents typically Catalan tapas. Even if the menu changes daily, you’ll still be able to try classics like Iberian ham, tomato bread, ham croquettes and patatas bravas. This little eatery—with around 15-minute wait times—is perfect for a lunch on the terrace between visits to Casa Batlló and shopping sprees on Passeig de Gracia.


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BAR MUT- Even though it’s on my trendy friends’ list of good places to eat, this little Spanish bistro is charmingly authentic. Locals gather here throughout the evening to liven things up until very late. We ate some of the best grilled fish of the trip and drank delicious—and affordable—Spanish wines from the Rioja region.


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PINOTXO- This bar counter in the Boqueria market is the perfect place to start the day and try xuixo, Catalan pastries fried and topped with cream. Next, visit the market, where you can wander through spectacular stalls filled with fresh produce, citrus fruits, cheeses, ham, fish and more. Although frequented by tourists, Barcelona locals still do their shopping here. The place is festive, colourful and so lively! Don’t miss it.


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MARVEL AT CASSA BATLLÓ- Of all the places designed by Gaudi, this house is my favourite. In 1903, the wealthy Batlló family gave the architect carte blanche to design a place where they could entertain their many guests. The decor feels modern: Antonio Gaudi drew inspiration from the backbone of certain sea animals to design the staircase, handrails and ergonomic handles. From the light to the shape of the rooms and the windows, this house is a total work of art.

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Translated and with files by Melissa Fejtek.

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