Sundays in Barcelona are a bit sleepy, but that's not to say that there is a shortage of awesome things to do. While many of the smaller shops are closed, this is your chance to sleep in, eat excessively, and do things you would only do on a Sunday.
The Sunday brunch is alive and well in Barcelona, but expect longer lineups at the popular places. Federal Cafe or Caravelle are hot spots for locals in the Raval and offer great coffee, hearty breakfast options with all of the usual Catalan fixings (read: Pan con Tomaquet and Jamon Iberico).
Hobbyists exchanging every kind of trading card under the sun, including the obvious favourite of European football, line the street near the Sunday Library at Mercat de Sant Antoni, bartering with each other for the best trade. Underneath the canopy of the Sunday Library, a giant literary themed flea market, hordes of people look for old postcards, books, comics, vinyl records, and even pornographic DVDs. If you feel inclined you could learn the local language the hard way and buy yourself a copy of Dante's inferno in Catalan.
Yes, it is Sunday and everything is closed, so you should eat donuts. Lukumas and Chök are both in the Raval and both excellent.
Gaudi’s masterwork of outdoor relaxing space is the perfect way to spend an afternoon away from the shops and the city. Take some time to walk through the forest and explore the area beyond the famed tile mosaic catacombs and hike up to one of the best views over the city.
Afternoon Tapas and Drinks
Ocaña in Plaza Reial makes a mean gin and tonic with variations on the theme featuring coriander, dandelion, basil, citrus, cinnamon, and an assortment of other ingredients mixed with gin and splashed over ice with fever tree tonic water. Pricey, but well worth the effort.
Barceloneta is alive and well on Sundays. Stop by to relax, perhaps have another coffee, and if the weather suits it — hit the beach.
Sunday nights are good for eating in more touristy locales, and sometimes somewhere trendy isn’t the best place. For a touch of old Barcelona fare, good service, and reasonably priced Paella, hit up the Gran Cafe on Carrer d’Avinyo for a meal before wandering onto the next stop.
Chris Stenberg is a photographer, filmmaker, occasional wordsmith, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him hanging out with his family and/or biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.