The Barcelona art and design scene.
Anyone who has spent time in this beautiful city next to the sea knows that it is a thriving hub of creativity, where artists and chefs are inspired, where fashion designers create unique pieces and writers are enchanted by its gothic lanes and elegant boulevards, the glittering Mediterranean and the soaring mountains.
In fact, Barcelona is considered one of the 10 most creative cities in the world and the fourth most innovative in Europe. Here culture erupts in its many forms, in museums and on the streets themselves. Startups bring to life big ideas, Barcelona design is fundamental to both the fashion and architectural world and Barcelona art inspires people around the world. That creativity even feeds into the unique quality to life that attracts so many foreigners to our shores.
So what does that mean for us? The lucky ones who live in this city and those who come to visit? It means we get to enjoy cuisine from some of the world’s most cutting-edge chefs, who are always experimenting with flavour, with our distinctive cultural mix and our phenomenal local Catalan produce.
By day we can sip speciality coffee (see our guide to the best coffee shops here) and come the evening our cocktail scene is second to none. Just walking around the city is a balm for the eyes, Barcelona art ranges from our Gothic roots to the modernist buildings spearheaded by Antoni Gaudi, and that’s without visiting the Picasso Museum, the Joan Miro Foundation and the National and Contemporary art museums in the city.
If fashion is your thing, then you have your chance to shine in unique designs here. This is the city of individuality and style, where each inhabitant has the freedom to express themselves. Forget Zara and instead embrace designers such as ethical fashion brand Rebel Root, or pick up bags and accessories from bohemian Gabriel for Sach. It Girl of the moment Blanca Miro is behind the vintage-style brand La Veste while Petit Comité is ideal for casual-chic attire and was set up by two Barcelona design school graduates.
When it comes to restaurants, you can experience this same sense of creativity whether you are visiting a local market or discovering the best signature cuisine from the city’s most inventive chefs.
Of course, La Boqueria is the first stop on many tourist itineraries, but historically (the first mention of it was back in 1217) this has also been a bustling local market, where locals go to chat to stallholders they’ve known for generations.
Then there are the eateries. Think traditional Catalan dishes with a twist at Petit Comité (not the same as the clothing brand!) and 10 Michelin star-holder Martin Berasategui’s Lasarte restaurant in the Monument hotel, with its own three Michelin stars. The Adria brothers – you’ll know Ferran Adria as a chef at what was the best restaurant in the world El Bulli – take you on an inventive tapas journey at Tickets, while upstart Terminal 42 is an international tour of flavours using local Catalan cuisine.
Restaurants here aren’t just places to eat, they are hallowed spots where you can indulge your senses, where each chef’s creativity is free to roam and customers can expect the unexpected.
In the same vein, streets aren’t just streets but glorious canvases to art, with some spectacular street art particularly in the Poblenou part of the city. There is even an art gallery dedicated entirely to Barcelona’s dynamic street art scene at Base Elements.
Wherever you go in Barcelona and whatever your interest, the city’s creativity blankets it all with a little magic. It is a city that inspires, one that invites us to explore and discover, to be individuals. It is a city we are lucky enough to call home.
At Terminal 42 we embrace what is known ascocina de autor, or signature cuisine, an authentic expression of chef Alejandro’s creativity and technicism inspired by his life and travels but firmly rooted in the rich products and freshness of Catalonia. Come and visit us to taste a little creativity.