Bildschirmfoto 2024 02 26 um 15.28.54 - Insider’s Guide: Alberto's Top Tips for visiting Barcelona

Insider’s Guide: Alberto’s Top Tips for visiting Barcelona

As a Barcelona local, what are the absolute highlights and hidden gems that you believe visitors must see and experience in the city?

Barcelona is replete with extraordinary and imposing structures that are a must-visit on any city tour. One of my personal highlights is the Hospital de la Santa Creu. Originally conceived as a modern health center for the needy, it was constructed between 1902 and 1939. This architectural gem was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 and presently functions as a health and research center.

If your preferences lean more towards music, I highly recommend a visit to the Palau de la Música Catalana. This world-famous concert hall in Barcelona was designed by the same architect as the Hospital de la Santa Creu, namely Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The Palau is still used for concerts and performances and is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Would you like to admire the works of this renowned architect while indulging in culinary delights? Then, you must visit the Fonda España restaurant. Designed and decorated by Domènech i Montaner, this restaurant beautifully merges tradition with contemporary flair. Chef Germán Espinosa, a disciple of the famous chef Martín Berasategui, prepares the finest delicacies for your enjoyment.

For nature enthusiasts, I recommend Carretera de las Aguas. Literally translated as “Water Road,” it derives its name from the parallel water pipes that transport drinking water into the city. Carretera de las Aguas is a flat, wide path and a popular route for hiking and cycling. From here, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Barcelona, the Mediterranean, and the surrounding landscape.

Barcelona is renowned for its unique architecture, including the works of Antoni Gaudi.

In your opinion, which building or structure has the most significant cultural and historical impact on the city?

For me, the Sagrada Familia is a fascinating symbol of cultural grandeur and inspiration, undeniably popular among tourists. This world-famous church, a masterpiece by visionary architect Antoni Gaudí, has graced Barcelona’s skyline for over 140 years.

Construction began back in 1882 and continues to this day. 44 years after the commencement of this impressive structure, Gaudí died in a tragic accident involving a tram. Incidentally, he was taken to the Hospital de la Santa Creu, where he succumbed to his injuries. Thus, he never saw the completion of his magnum opus. However, the Sagrada Familia is expected to be finally completed in 2026, on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. This architectural marvel continues to attract people from all over the world, a testament to Gaudí’s brilliant legacy and unwavering dedication to beauty and creativity.

Barcelona offers a rich culinary diversity. What Catalan dishes or culinary experiences do you recommend to visitors to fully enjoy the local gastronomy? Which restaurants) would you highly recommend?

While in Barcelona, I strongly recommend trying esqueixada de bacalao, a traditional Catalan salad made from shredded cod, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and olives.

If you prefer a vegetarian option, let yourself be enchanted by escalivada. Often served cold, it consists of various vegetables grilled or roasted, giving the dish its memorable smoky flavor.

My top three favorite restaurants? Botafumeiro, Via Veneto, and Abac!

Are there any special events, festivals, or local traditions that, as a Barcelona local, you would recommend tourists to experience during their visit to the city?

If you’re in the city in autumn, I highly recommend participating in the La Mercè Festival on September 24th. This day celebrates Barcelona’s patron saint, whose veneration dates back to the 13th century. On this day, you can admire the Castellers, the human tower builders, join the Correfoc with fire-breathing dragons and devils, or accompany the parade of the Giants. The highlight of the festivity occurs after dusk, culminating in a firework that marks the end of the celebration.

However, my most favored festivity takes place in spring. On April 23rd, the city celebrates Saint George. It’s a celebration of culture, literature, and love. The streets are bustling with people celebrating creativity and relationships with their loved ones, creating a unique atmosphere. It’s tradition on this day for men to give roses to their partners and women, in turn, give books to their loved ones. The streets are filled with book and flower vendors, and authors hold readings and book signings. It’s truly a unique experience!

Bildschirmfoto 2024 02 26 um 15.09.17 - Insider’s Guide: Alberto's Top Tips for visiting Barcelona

What do you value the most about working with EMA Global?

I highly value the commitment of our partners, who bring many years of experience and a vast range of knowledge. We have an excellent relationship amongst ourselves, and our organization unites diverse cultural backgrounds in a strong and harmonious unit. We learn a lot from each other and can support one another.

After all this years as president of EMA Global, what was your most memorable experience working with EMA Global?

The regular meetings we convene prove to be extremely enriching. There, we not only share our work methods, goals, and expertise but also foster a long-standing relationship within the EMA Global network. Our connection goes beyond a purely business relationship and is characterized by depth and sustainability.

98A8775 - Deborah Lang
Deborah Lang

Executive Assistant

Deborah Lang works as an Executive Assistant for EMA Partners Switzerland AG.