The nearest airport is Barcelona Airport, known locally as El Prat, which is served by EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) and Spanair (www.spanair.com). It’ll take roughly 20 minutes to reach Hotel Omm by car. You can take a taxi for around €25. There’s a train station a short walk from the airport, connecting Terminal A and the city centre every 30 minutes for around €3 for a single ticket. The Aerobus service is even more regular, leaving the airport for central Barcelona four times an hour.
The city is served by an excellent metro and bus network, but if you plan to venture beyond Barcelona, there are links to Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza or Bilbao from Barcelona’s main railway station, Estació de Sants.
Hotel Omm is very central, so stick to metro and bus routes for travel around the city. If you do decide to drive, the hotel offers valet parking. If you’re driving to Barcelona from France, take the AP-7 from the French border down to Barcelona. Driving from Madrid will take a little longer: six hours on the A2, via Zaragoza.
Worth getting out of bed for
Viewpoints From Montjuic, the hill next to the old town with a cable car to the top; Parc Güell, which was designed by Gaudí; Mount Tibidabo – take the blue tram to the foot of the hill, and then the funicular railway to the top. Or have drinks on the striking surreal roof of La Pedrera, with views over the city.
Arts and culture Antoni Gaudí left an incredible legacy in Barcelona, from his undulating apartment block La Pedrera to his swan song, the Sagrada Família, still under construction. The city pays tribute to other great artists with the Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró. The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona focuses on 20th-century Catalan artists. The Gran Teatro de Liceu is up there with Europe’s great opera houses.
Something for nothing At the weekends, drummers play in Ciutadella Parc, where locals hang out. Las Ramblas is full of street entertainers (and pickpockets) every day. The Catalans have a tradition of building human towers, up to eight people high, during the summer months.
Shopping For designer labels, head for Paseo de Grácia. You’ll find boutiques and more unusual shops in the El Born area. Our favourite shop for foodie souvenirs is Colmado Quílez Avinyó on Rambla de Catalunya. Salva G on Avinyo is a hairdressers, bar, music store and cosmetics shop all rolled into one. One of the best food markets is Bocadilla, just off the Ramblas
7 Portes on Passeig d’Isabel II (+34 93 319 30 33) is Barcelona’s oldest restaurant, and serves an authentic Catalan menu in a formal environment with a pianist from 22h30. Fish-lovers should head to traditional La Barra de Botafumeiro on Gran de Grácia (+34 93 218 42 30). Commerç 24 on Carrer Commerç (+34 93 319 21 02) is a fashionable, modern tapas restaurant: great for dinner. Passadis del Pep on Pla de Palau (+34 93 310 10 21) does good seafood – they call the shots on what you eat, which can be fun. Acontraluz is a bit out of the way, uptown on Milanesat (+34 93 203 06 58), but it’s a cool, contemporary restaurant with a lively atmosphere and great Mediterranean food; ask for a seat in the conservatory. Agua on the beachfront (+34 93 225 12 72) is fab for seafood, and is especially pleasant in summer if you get a table on the terrace looking out to sea; booking well in advance is advisable.
Our favourite tapas bars are: Cal Pep on Plaça de les Olles (+34 93 310 79 61), a traditional tapas bar with all the favourites – cured hams, daily specials and a bustly atmosphere in the evenings; Cervecería Catalana on Mallorca (216 03 68); Ciudad Condal on Rambla de Catalunya (318 19 97); Flash Flash on La Granada del Penedès for its tortillas (237 09 90); and Santa Maria on Commerç (315 12 27).
Stop at La Vinya del Senyor on Plaza Santa Maria for a glass of wine before hitting the shops in the Gothic Quarter. For after-dinner drinks, head for El Born district. Or head uptown to Carrer Maria Cubi, where there are several lively bars; our favourites are Universal and Mas y Mas.