Fernando Castillo, Concierge at Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, shares his expert advice on the best places to eat, shop, drink in Spain’s cosmopolitan capital.

The restaurant that best shows off Barcelona is…

Can Culleretes, in a narrow alley near La Rambla. The restaurant has been in the same family for three generations. It does excellent, inexpensive, home-cooked Catalan food. If you want five-star, head to Ca l’Isidre. It really shows off our local cuisine. 

A Concierge's Guide to the Best of Barcelona

The restaurant that’s a real hotspot for locals

La Dama is where the Catalan bourgeoisie used to go. It’s in a Modernist building – the architecture is amazing – and the cuisine and service are excellent.

The best tapas

The menu at Mont Bar is so innovative. I also go to La Flauta (Carrer d’Aribau 23; +34 933 23 70 38) with friends because it’s inexpensive. They don’t take bookings so you wait in line with a glass of wine. Everybody is happy!

A Concierge's Guide to the Best of Barcelona

A great place for brunch

The Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona [a Leading Hotels of the World property] is marvellous – you have oysters, a ceviche and sushi selection and all the Moët & Chandon you want. Then dessert and cocktails. Brunch goes from 12.30pm to 4.30pm on Sundays.

The best food market in Barcelona

La Boqueria is where I go with my mother. Sometimes you’ll find a chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant waiting in line with you. 

If you like flea markets

Head to Encants Barcelona, about 10 to 15 minutes from the city by taxi. Only locals go there and you can get souvenirs at a good price. For fashion, I go to… the Born area. It’s bohemian, with lots of small shops and new Catalan designers.

For vintage shopping

El Raval, west of La Rambla, used to be very dangerous and it’s still not very safe at night but during the day you can find a lot of vintage stores.

For a romantic experience

La Dolce Vitae rooftop bar at the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona is a good start. The hotel offers the Romantic Experience, too, with a massage and roses in your room and a limousine tour of the city.

If it’s raining

Go for tapas and drinks. We also have interesting museums such as the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the Museu Picasso and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. To see emerging artists, head to the street Carrer de Petritxol. The best daytrip out of Barcelona is… the Costa Brava. Salvador Dalí had a house near Cadaqués, a white village near the French border. Girona has a well-conserved Jewish quarter. And there are the medieval towns of Cardona and Olot.

The city’s best-kept secret

Monvínic, a wine bar and restaurant with 3000 wines from around the world in the most amazing cellar.

A Concierge's Guide to the Best of Barcelona

SEE ALSO: Explore Spain's Wine Region on a Bike

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