Barcelona is one of Europe’s most distinctive and sophisticated cities. This hilly and colorful locale is famed for its eccentric architecture, remarkable cuisine and vivacious culture. It is a popular destination for foodies who savor Spanish and Catalan cuisine. Carnival offers a number of European cruises that depart from Barcelona. Between tapas and art pieces, look for these 15 unique things to buy in Barcelona.
1. Mosaic Lizard
If you’re looking to bring home a piece of Barcelona’s creativity, look no further than mosaic lizards. These memorable pieces pay homage to Antoni Gaudí’s famed, full-size mosaic “El Drac,” or dragon, that he built inside the city’s Parc Güell. Take one of these items back home to remind you of the beautiful art that surrounds the streets of Barcelona.
2. Anything Sagrada Familia
One of the most essential things to do in Barcelona is to visit La Sagrada Familia. If you have the chance to tour Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, there are plenty of souvenirs from the experience to bring home. Even if you prefer non-touristy souvenirs, it can be tough to resist choosing an awe-inspiring, commemorative item, whether it’s a 3-D puzzle, snow globe or miniature replica.
As a Spanish delicacy, the turrón is a sweet confectionery that resembles nougat. It is made from almonds and honey and is sure to leave you wanting more. Turrón is traditionally served in Spain during the Christmas holidays, but you will be able to find this tasty treat year round.
For a twist, try the Turrón de Crema Catalana and experience the rich flavors of this well-known dessert. If you plan to bring treats back home, make sure they’re pre-packaged and unopened.
4. Porcelain Figures
In addition to ceramic wares, you’ll find plenty of porcelain figurines throughout the city. The fine art of crafting porcelain figurines has a long history in Spain. Today, these items are made by companies all over Spain that have closely guarded their trade secret recipes of hard-paste porcelain and glazed finish.
Also called espadrilles, these casual canvas or cotton shoes with hand-woven soles are very popular across Spain. They originated in Catalonia’s Pyrenees area and are easy to find in the local artisan shops as well as high-end stores in Barcelona.
The name of these comfortable shoes comes from the word “esparto,” which is the resilient Mediterranean grass used to make their soles. Shop for traditional espadrilles, which are flats with a closed toe, or go for the more modern open-toed or wedge variants.
6. Avarca Sandals
Speaking of traditional Spanish footwear, avarcas are leather sandals that originated on the island of Menorca, Spain. You’ll see them on the feet of adults and children alike in Barcelona, especially in the warm summer months.
Avarcas cover the tops of the feet with a solid piece of leather and have a single strap that goes around the heel to keep the sandals snug to your feet. You can find avarcas in just about any color of the rainbow as well as sparkly or patterned styles, flat or heeled, so there’s bound to be a pair or two that will suit you perfectly.
You’ll find plenty of ceramics in Barcelona that are hand-painted in bright colors. Beautiful Catalan pottery dates back to prehistoric times, thanks to the wealth of high-quality clay found in the area.
Today, find ceramics throughout Barcelona, including its Gothic District, where you’ll find small ceramic workshops across the narrow, winding streets. Look for colorfully glazed decorative tiles, two-handled jugs and platters. You’ll also find terra-cotta flower pots and planters that show off the natural earthen color of Catalan clay.
8. Try a Famous Sauce
Take home one of the region’s famous sauces. Sauces from Barcelona are distinctive in their list of ingredients, including peppers and almonds. Try the aioli sauce, a kind of garlicky mayonnaise that may include egg yolk. This sauce is meant to be eaten on everything from fresh vegetables, fish and meats. Find precooked, unopened jars to bring back on board.
If you’re a fan of Spanish wine, or want to try one, choose from a number of well-known vintages. Barcelona is stocked with wine from the nearby region of Penedés, which creates some of Spain’s most unique wines.
Try cava, a sparkling wine famous in the region or find your favorite flavor during your trip. If you choose to bring a bottle back home, keep in mind that Carnival allows you to bring one 750-ml bottle per adult back onto the cruise ship, if you’re over 21 years of age.
10. Artisanal Chocolates
For a delectable food gift to bring home from your time in Spain, consider some handmade chocolate sculptures of Barcelona’s landmarks or gift boxes filled with beautiful artisanal chocolates.
11. The Porron
If you’re looking for an unusual item to buy in Barcelona, consider the porron. A porron is a drinking vessel from old-world Catalonia. It’s essentially an odd-shaped glass pitcher with a funnel and spout, to drink from.
Sometimes it is used to serve wine in Spanish restaurants and it is also used to and can also be used to store olive oil. Hand-blown versions by artisan glassmakers are easy to find in Barcelona.
Looking for a new and exotic fragrance to wear? You’ve come to the right place. Barcelona has its own league of small boutique perfumeries with lovely scents. You’ll find fresh floral and fruity fragrances that’ll have everyone back home asking you what you’re wearing.
13. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spain is the largest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world and serves as the perfect gift for you or a fellow foodie. Choose from a wide variety of olive oils and add it to your delicious cooking back home. Just make sure it’s well-packaged, unopened, so that it passes easily through customs and security.
14. Anything Soccer-Related
If you’re a soccer fan, then you know how important the sport is in Barcelona. Barcelona is home to one of the most famous soccer teams in the world and Barcelona natives are historically devoted to the game of soccer, which they refer to as Fútbol in Spain.
Barcelona, and Spain, in general, are historically devoted to the game of soccer. If you take a tour of the team’s stadium, you’ll likely find all kinds of soccer gear, such as jerseys, scarves, and autographed memorabilia in just about any souvenir shop in town.
Pimentón is a spice that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in the United States, yet it’s readily available in Barcelona. Pimentón is smoked paprika with a deep smoky flavor. It comes either sweet and mild or spicy.
Taking a Carnival European cruise from Barcelona allows you to see more of Europe than you perhaps thought possible. You can choose from multiple cruise itineraries that take you from Barcelona to points in Italy, Barcelona to New York or round trip to and from Barcelona with points in between that range from Marseilles to Dubrovnik.
Enjoy cruising to or from Spain’s famed city on either luxurious Carnival Legend® or Carnival Radiance™ ships. We will handle all of the details for you, so you can relax and simply enjoy the sightseeing, shopping and stunning experiences Europe has to offer.