Many authors who have created stories set in this city have drawn inspiration from its picturesque streets. Here are five of the best books set in Barcelona, whether you’re planning a trip there or just want to get a taste of its allure through reading. These works, which range from historical fiction to modern tales, will take you right to the heart of Barcelona and give you a taste of its energy.


The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is a compelling story of mystery, love, and literature that is set in post-war Barcelona. The narrative centers on Daniel Sempere, a youngster who comes upon a puzzling book written by Julian Carax, an unidentified author. Daniel becomes involved in a web of treachery and intrigue as he sets out on a journey to learn the mysteries surrounding Carax and his works. Readers are led on a tour of Barcelona’s secret lanes, historic libraries, and abandoned cemeteries by Zafón’s vivid prose, which brings the city to life.


The Cathedral of the Sea

The compelling tale of Arnau Estanyol, a young serf who becomes a wealthy trader against the backdrop of Santa Maria del Mar’s building is told in The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones which is set in 14th-century Barcelona. Falcones expertly blends historical facts with fictional folk to produce a portrait of medieval Barcelona. Readers are taken back in time to a period of social upheaval, religious strife and the continuing strength of friendship and optimism through Arnau’s trip.



In his book Barcelona, acclaimed art critic Robert Hughes presents a thorough and captivating analysis of the history, art, and architecture of the city. By tracing Barcelona’s development from its Roman antecedents to its current standing as a modern international metropolis, Hughes takes readers on a fascinating journey. He creates a striking portrait of Barcelona’s cultural landscape with a great eye for detail and a strong respect for the city’s artistic past. Anyone interested in learning more about the past and present of the city should read this book.



The City of Marvels

A fascinating historical book called, The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza, transports readers to Barcelona in the late 19th and early 20th century as it undergoes a makeover. The story centers on the life of Onofre Bouvila, a devout Catalan who overcomes adversity to ascend to prominence in the city. Mendoza expertly combines history, fiction and social criticism to offer a comprehensive overview of the social, political and economic developments that have taken place in the city. The City of Marvels is a fascinating investigation of Barcelona’s past with its vivid descriptions and colorful personalities.


The Invisible Guardian

Spanish novelist Dolores Redondo’s atmospheric, The Invisible Guardian,  is the first book of the Baztan Trilogy. The heroine, Inspector Amaia Salazar, travels to Barcelona to look into a string of horrific murders that bear uncanny resemblances to a case she worked on in the past, despite the fact that the crux of the plot takes place in the Baztan Valley. Readers will turn the pages of Redondo’s page-turning thriller as she deftly combines the ambient splendor of Barcelona with an intense crime story. This book provides a distinctive viewpoint on Barcelona’s shadowy side with its gripping plot and well-developed characters.


These novels provide a fascinating way to explore Barcelona from the comfort of your home or to improve your experience when visiting the city, regardless of whether you are inclined to historical fiction, literary mysteries, or compelling narratives. So pick up one of these books and book our Barcelona Segway Tour to experience the city in real life. You won’t be disappointed, it might even exceed your expectations based on what you’ve read!