Best for City Strolling: Diagonal to Drassanes
Approx. 40 mins
This easy urban amble will take you past many of Barcelona’s most memorable sights, making it a perfect introduction to the Catalan capital. Begin at Diagonal Metro station, heading downtown on the Passeig de Gràcia. This wide promenade – favoured residence of Barcelona’s elite bourgeoisie during the city’s belle époque – evokes Paris’s Champs-Élysées and is now home to high-end hotels, exclusive stores and iconic modernist buildings. Stroll southwards, eyes peeled for Gaudí masterpieces as you go – spot La Pedrera on your left and Casa Batlló on your right. Cross Plaça de Catalunya and continue down Las Ramblas, diving into La Boqueria food market as you pass. Finish just past Drassanes station at the Columbus monument, where you can take the lift inside the column to enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of the city.
Best for Beachtime: W Hotel to Parc del Fòrum
Approx. 1 hour 15 mins
Barcelona’s beaches are where you’ll see the city at its most carefree. Offering everything from volleyball to chic bars and chiringuitos, the seafront atmosphere feels a world away from the city centre. The sail of the W Hotel makes a good starting point for a stroll, but rather than immediately heading along the main beach boardwalk, head up the steps behind the hotel to explore the brand new Nou Passeig del Trencaones – a spectacular walkway extending into the sea. Make your way back to the beach for endless people-watching possibilities, then around the Port Olímpic to reach Playa Nova Icària, from which point the sands become far less crowded. Venture as far as you fancy, perhaps passing each of the seven beaches and making it all the way to Parc del Fòrum. Hop on the Metro here if you don’t fancy the walk back into town.