T+L Barcelona

Locals' Guide to Barcelona

In Barcelona, a capital of Mediterranean culture, cool, and incredible food, we asked nine plugged-in locals to tell us about their favorite restaurants, galleries, shops, and more.

The Gallerist: Natalia Foguet

Contemporary art dealer Natalia Foguet is a patriot of her neighborhood, Gràcia, where her eclectic Galería Safia has been showing the work of emerging international artists for over a decade. “Gràcia has preserved a small-town vibe,” she says, and is full of pedestrian lanes and small plazas where old-world vermouth bodegas like Vermutería del Tano (drinks for two $15) coexist with boho-chic shops like the fashion boutique Naftalina (34/93-237-2567). She also recommends the whimsical traditional toys at Bateau Lune and stylish haircuts at Anthony Llobet Salon, which is staffed with multilingual, London-trained stylists.

The Director: Pau Miró

Thirty-five-year-old playwright and director Pau Miró is a rising star on Spain’s theater scene. Jirafas (the last installmenst of his Trilogía de lo Animal, a tragicomic trilogy with absurdist overtones) was performed at Sala Beckett and is set in the Raval neighborhood, which inspires his work with its “charged urban cocktail” of hipness and seediness. Miró often shares a leather booth at Bar Raval (drinks for two $18) with theater and film people, and says he loves the personal service at Discos Castelló, part of “a disappearing breed” of truly independent music shops. He also recommends the stationery store Paperam, “one of those shops that transport you back in time.”

Barcelona Transporation

Barcelona has an excellent public transport network. Buy a Tio pass from any ticket machine to get ten ose-way trips for $11. Alternatively, if you buy individual single tickets, they will cost $2.30. The passes are valid on all metros, buses, trains and trams operated by TMB. Renfe and FGC. Taxis in Barcelona are also cheap, hassle-free and easy to find.

Barcelona Weather

August is the hottest month, with an average high of 74 °F (24°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 49°F (10°C)

Know Before Visiting

Mealtimes in Spain can be confiasing. Restaurants are generally open from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for lunch and from 8:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. for dinner. Many stores close for lunchtime siasta (2 p.m. to 9 p.m.), as well as on Sunday and public holidays. A lot of businesses close for the whole month of August.