No self-respecting Spaniard would eat paella for dinner there is an almost superstitious belief that rice is impossible to digest at night , but there are plenty of places that serve it to visitors.
T here's no better digestif than a moonlit stroll along the beach, but along the seafront you'll also find a line of bars, perfect for a seaside nightcap. Secure one of the day beds that sit alongside the dancefloor inside to see Barcelona's glam set at play.
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Have a coffee downstairs to sneak a peak at the lobby, or book a guided tour for the whole thing. Note that the museum has a little-advertised annual pass that costs more or less the same as a day ticket, and means you can skip the queue. Look for the separate ticket office in the building furthest from the main entrance.
It pays to book ahead, as it can get very busy.
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Inside, there's a cosy dining room at the back, but if you sit there you'll miss all the fun. Better to stand up at the bar and watch Pep and his men working the stoves. It's quite popular with tourists early on in the evening — arrive a little later around 10pm if you'd rather eat with the locals. It serves cocktails upstairs in its Modernista-designed bar and offers live music downstairs in a brick-walled basement.
The result really is fabulous. H otel Neri is a delightful little place to lay your head with only 22 rooms. It's housed in a 17th-century mansion and what it lacks in facilities no pool, no gym it makes up for in style and location — just next to the cathedral, it could not be more central. Its terrace on an atmospheric little square and its leafy rooftop bar are extra pluses.
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The common areas are clean and elegant, and there is a leafy terrace. W inter can throw up some azure skies and improbably warm days, while summer — though humid — is not as blisteringly hot as other Spanish cities. Spring and autumn are the safest periods, perhaps, weatherwise, though they are the most prone to sudden showers, particularly around October and November. The period from late-July to early-September is a strange one — most locals with the means to leave town do, which makes for a quiet, traffic-free experience but it also means that most restaurants are closed and cultural events are thin on the ground.
The busiest period is Easter, when prices of flights and hotels are correspondingly high. Drivers are required to keep a fluorescent gilet inside the car, to be worn if they break down or have an accident on a busy road and need to get out of the car they come as standard with hire-cars.
Glasses or contact lens wearers are legally required to keep a spare pair in the car though this is rarely enforced. T he Spanish can seem very abrupt, and use 'please' and 'thank you' minimally. There is little sense of personal space here, but that can mean that, for example, people will greet and say goodbye to strangers when they enter or leave a lift.
You can buy it at any of the participating venues. There are area codes 93 for Barcelona but they must always be included, even from within the Barcelona area.
48 hours in . . . Barcelona, an insider guide to Gaudi's playground
After stints living in Seville and Madrid, in Sally Davies settled in Barcelona's El Born, a stone's throw from Ciutadella Park and the Santa Caterina market, two of her favourite places anywhere. T elegraph Travel's best hotels, tours and holidays in Barcelona, tried, tested and recommended by our Barcelona experts. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page. Catalonia's colourful capital B arcelona combines everything that is most charming about Mediterranean cities — a relaxed pace, months of endless sunshine, unbeatable food — with the cultural and design clout of almost any city in the cold north.
With a red-carpet entrance and marquee lights, the restaurant promises to unspool a mesmerizing show of its own. Reservations essential. Midnight 3.
Nestled in the middle of the Barceloneta neighborhood is Baluard Carrer Baluard, baixos; ; baluardbarceloneta. Buy a baguet baluard 1. When selecting a patch of sand on which to bronze, note that the ratio of tourists to locals decreases the farther north you go. Sample luscious cheeses from small-production Spanish farms in the back room of Formatgeria La Seu Carrer de la Dagueria, 16; ; formatgerialaseu.
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Still hungry after a tasting five cheeses for 8. Continue nibbling — this time on anchovy tapas paired with cava — at El Xampanyet Carrer de Montcada, 22; in the Born neighborhood. This tapas bar is worth the wait. Inside, discover a trove of works from classical 20th-century Catalan sculpture to riveting contemporary figurative paintings.
The narrow, winding streets of El Raval are packed with cutting-edge boutiques and the creative types who frequent them. View all New York Times newsletters.
Most items cost 2 to 5 euros. Midnight Roll right across the street from Lolita to Xixbar Carrer de Rocafort, 19; ; xixbar.
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Catch the morning sun at a table outside Bar Lobo Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 3; ; grupotragaluz. Noon The Ohla Hotel Via Laietana, 49; ; ohlahotel. Faultless service and unadulterated luxury do come at a price: from euros.
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