Heading to Barcelona for IBTM World? Here’s how to make the most of this city, from sightseeing and networking to sampling its best cuisine!
IBTM World inspires the events world to deliver exceptional experiences—and if you’re in town for the conference, your experience here should be exceptional as well. Barcelona is an outstanding city to visit, offering everything from iconic architecture to some of the world’s best dining and nightlife. Here’s how to take full advantage of it during the conference!
What to do in Barcelona during IBTM World
We’ve put together a guide to making the most of this city in your free time, including what to see, where to eat and how to enjoy everything it has to offer. These are our top recommendations for what to do in Barcelona before, during and after IBTM World.
Enjoy unforgettable networking opportunities
In Barcelona, business and pleasure aren’t mutually exclusive. This is the perfect place to forge and strengthen professional relationships, all while enjoying the local culture and cuisine. Head to one of Barcelona’s best rooftop bars for sunset drinks and socializing—new connections are more memorable with spectacular views in the background.
For a truly unique experience, book a team building activity like the Barcelona Tapas Challenge. We’ve created this activity specifically for groups of colleagues, clients or friends who want to enjoy the city to the fullest. Explore gorgeous neighborhoods and enjoy tapas like the locals, all while getting to know your team through hilariously fun foodie challenges.
End the evening with a delicious dinner
After a long day of meeting people and sharing knowledge, you deserve to enjoy the best of Barcelona’s cuisine. The city’s thriving culinary scene offers everything from traditional Catalan food to international fusion—the options are endless. But there are a few places in particular that are ideal for dinner with clients or coworkers.
Try Bardot Barcelona for exquisite Mediterranean cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, or Cal Boter for more casual dining and authentic local specialties. Bar Rafols offers menus designed specifically for groups, as does Casa Paloma.
For something especially fancy, there’s no shortage of Michelin stars; head to the legendary Disfrutar or the highly renowned Tickets for a meal that no one will ever forget. Just be sure to book in advance!
Explore the city’s streets on foot
The best way to enjoy this city is to wander among its iconic buildings, winding alleyways and wide avenues, letting yourself get wonderfully lost. It’s also a great way to get some fresh air before you head back to the Fira conference center.
If you’re wondering what to do in Barcelona, there are certain spots you simply can’t miss. Make sure you visit the world-famous Basílica de la Sagrada Família and other iconic Gaudí creations. Spend an afternoon exploring Park Güell, and hike to the top of Montjuïc Hill if you have time. Finally, don’t leave without getting some sun at the beautiful Barceloneta Beach—even in November, the sun is usually shining and the weather here is still warm.
If your time is limited, consider a tour that will take you straight to all the highlights. We recommend our Tapas, Taverns & History Tour. This evening experience combines dinner at three of the city’s most authentic tapas bars with a fascinating historical walking tour through the main sights and squares of El Born and the Gothic Quarter. If you only have a few other people with you, join other travelers on a small-group tour; if there are more than six of you, organize a private tour just for your group!
Grab a gourmet lunch to refuel
Discovering all the destinations of the world is hard work, and after a morning at IBTM you’ll have worked up quite an appetite. Head out for a good lunch to keep up your energy—there are plenty of quality options close to the Fira de Barcelona. One of our top recommendations is Espai Kru, offering some of Barcelona’s best seafood with a modern and international twist.
For a quick light lunch, try IAKNI, where you can mix and match different Lebanese delicacies like tabbouleh, hummus and homemade kafta. Or discover one of Barcelona’s best-kept secrets: CruiX, a casual place with creative tapas, traditional paellas and an exciting atmosphere in the heart of the city. All of these spots are just a 10-minute (or less) taxi ride away!
Take an extra day to enjoy it all
We know you’ll be busy during IBTM World, so if you’d like to make the most of Barcelona during the daylight hours, we suggest extending your trip. Take an extra day before or after the conference to enjoy everything this city has to offer at a more leisurely pace.
For a perfect morning or afternoon activity, check out one of Devour’s daytime tours for small groups. The Gracia Neighborhood Food & Market Tour will take you off the beaten path into one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods. You’ll visit eight different local spots and taste classic treats while rubbing shoulders with the locals.
If you have several hours to spare, consider taking a day trip to discover the beauty of Catalonia outside the city. Head to the wine region of Montsant to see the prized vineyards firsthand, and taste local varieties of Grenache and Tempranillo (among many others).
Or visit the town of Girona, famous for its fascinating architecture and home to the legendary restaurant El Celler de Can Roca. The waiting list is long, so you might have to book now for a table during IBTM 2020! If you want to experience a bit of the magic, Rocambolesc offers a glimpse into the sweeter side of El Celler through whimsical ice creams and desserts.
However you spend your time in Barcelona, we know you’ll fall in love with the Catalan capital. And if you’re heading to IBTM World this November, we’d love to see you there! Come visit us at stand C10, or send us an email at [email protected] to connect.
Melissa first moved to Spain to explore her interests in linguistics and communication, and quickly fell in love with its culture and cuisine. She’s particularly passionate about Spanish vermouth and canned seafood, and makes it a point to drench absolutely everything in olive oil.