My happy place
After seven solid years lived in the Catalan capital I am proud to share some of my knowledge on food and places to explore in Barcelona.
Let me cut to the chase here and say that this post is about one of my favorite cities in the world, the one I chose seven years ago to live in. [Vicky, Christina, Barcelona movie theme plays in the background…]. It’s not by chance that Barcelona is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, as it claimed first place many times for remarkable architecture and outstanding cuisine. The city of the Modernist buildings of Gaudi has a reputation for fantastic design intertwined with the beauty of natural landscapes such as Jardins del Monjuic, Parc de Corserolla and the opening to the Mediterranean. But let’s get down to business. I got your attention all the way to this paragraph just because I want you to take something out of this blog post, which is information on how to enjoy this city and maybe look at it from the perspective of the local peep.
If you plan to come this summer, get accommodated in a boutique hotel with easy access to restaurants and the beach area so you can explore the reality of this city. Some examples of accommodation hotels: The Wittmore, stylish boutique hotel in the Gothic quarter; Cotton House, a superb boutique hotel in the heart of Barcelona with a beautiful rooftop garden; In the center of the old town lays this beautiful 5***** hotel with amazing views over the city, this is The Barcelona Edition.
I put together a 48h mini-guide about things to do, eat and enjoy in Bcn:
8AM: Morning walk by the Paseo Maritimo, pass the Port Vell and enjoy the sailing boats masts soft raffle in the wind. Speed up into a light jog and why don’t join a workout with SamFiT Club by the port.
9AM: After you stretched your legs, enjoy some breakfast either at La Cala Barceloneta – great coffee and avocado toasts with mozzarella; or walk a bit more on the beach side to Barna Beach Bar for a vitality smoothie or supercharged quinoa bowl.
10:30AM: Continue the walk towards Port Olimpico, pass the (once busy) clubs area and continue straight leaving the port to your right. Enjoy this beautiful walk, building up an appetite for lunch.
1PM: Lunch with a view at Xiringuito Can Fisher. Try the seafood or black rice paella with a bottle of white (go for a verdejo grape specialty). The views and sea breeze will match perfectly with the food and wine.
4PM: Now after rolling off your seat and taking the long stroll back home you can enjoy a much deserved siesta. 😉
7PM: Dinner can now be served in Barcelona from the 10th of May as restaurants are allowed to reopen until 10PM. Go explore the tapas bars in El Born. Why choose one place, when you can go to two or even three places and try various small dishes? Some examples of bars which offer these small dishes (tapas): El Xampanyet, Bodega La Puntual, Bar del Pla and Bormuth.
Enjoy sunset with an aperitivo before the day ends. Recommendation by the Port Vell area, best at Sagardi 1881 on the rooftop terrace of Palau del Mar. Other rooftop bars which are also great and have amazing views: Goja at Renaissance, Cotton House , Ohla L’Eixample, Bar Veraz and the terrace at Barcelona The Edition.
Bona nit! 🙂
7:30AM: Start fresh with a morning YOGA session either on the beach by the W hotel there are many tranquil spots to practice; or why not try one of the yoga classes online or in studios. More info on Urban Sports Club.
11AM: Walk up Paseo Sant Joan to Gracia and explore the more Catalan traditional way of living. Gracia (not so long ago) used to be its own standing city. Nowadays a picturesque neighborhood with much to offer from food, arts and crafts to a cosy cinema and live music venues. Authors -Gabriel Garcia Marques and
Mario Vargas Llosa used to be neighbours in Gracia, their friendly and at the same time surly relationship made history on the streets of Gracia. Let youself carried away by the history and anecdotes and visit a bookshop while you’re there.
1PM: Eat some good lunch (tapas!) in one of the squares seated in the sun. Some place like Plaza del Sol will have some good options. But if you want a vermut and tapa to start your lunch experience then go to Extra Bar.
3PM: Save room for desert. Not a Catalan, but a Portuguese one. Pasteis de nata or custards are at their best at La Casa Portuguesa. Have a coffee with them too.
4PM: Who needs a siesta when it’s so much to explore? Head back to the center, Eixample district and do some shopping and a nice stroll on the Modernist side of town. Admire the Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and Casa Amatller all located within blocks of eachother on Passeo de Gracia. Really focus on visit the Casa Amatller. Everyone talks about Gaudi’s art, but THIS house…. it’s an unmissable gem. Try to identify how many architectural styles you can see on the façade alone. Go inside and try the chocolate. Ultimately this house used to be of one of the best chocolatiers in Barcelona. They have a cute cafe at the back as well.
Without leaving Passeo de Gracia, walk a bit more down towards Plaza Catalunya and few oysters and cava at El Nacional.
Finish your 48h exploration with a nice stroll or why not put your feet up and enjoy a massage and a circuit of waters at this ancient baths SPA: Aire de Barcelona.
Barcelona has endless possibilities for making your 2-days city break into a wonderful experience. Have an awesome time in Barcelona 🙂