When I wanted to begin this section about travelling I wasn’t sure where would be the best place to begin with. Until I realized the beginning is always the point where you start from, in my case Barcelona. I’ve never really lived in the city, so I guess I can only talk about this city as a tourist more than as a local. I’ve discovered it along the years and through, as silly as it might sound, the friends who came visit.
The best way to discover this beautiful city is getting lost. I love mornings on a weekday to go to the city center, that might seem touristy but it’s not. The time just slows down when you go thru las Ramblas, la Boqueria Market and el Raval district.
My favorite area in the evening is el Born, little shops, design, art, culture and lots of gastronomy to discover. I also like walking around the streets in the Raval Area, by the city center, and see the contrast in the street life when the sun sets.
Where to eat: The menu of the day in el Universal, a casual restaurant in La Boqueria Market, as it’s a touristy area don’t let they rob you and ask for the menu of the day that will have fresh fish and seafood.
If you want to taste more of a typical Catalan cuisine and a fancier place but still affordable, a bit more down the street on the left side look for the Escudellers street and walk in the restaurant called La Fonda. Every time I go there I remember this book I read “The shadow of the wind” about Barcelona many years ago and it already talks about this place.
If you have a wallet full of cash you might want to go to the Olympic Harbor to eat some seafood and paella, then you need to go to “El Cangrejo Loco” or to “Can Majó” in el Port Vell (old harbor).
For the evening I would suggest somewhere more exotic… it’s called Mosquito and they serve Japanese tapas, they have a menu that you can’t understand but I recommend the dumplings, any of them, they are all great!
Where to stay: I would recommend Chic&Basic Hotel, cool place, not a 5 star hotel but it has the kind of luxuries we like nowadays. And it has a great location in el Borne.
If I could afford it I guess I would go try how’s the new 5 star Vela hotel and enjoy the views to the sea it has. If you can’t afford that either, I’ve heard they have a great bar & lounge on the rooftop. It might be a good option to experience the whole first class thing.
Where to go out: on Monday go to Club Apollo for the Nasty Mondays party. You can’t miss on that. And every night you can walk around el Born District and enjoy the many different and great bars. One of my favorites serves Mojitos and Chocolate Mousse.
Where NOT to go: Montjuïc Gondola. It’s just a waste of time and money. If you want a spectacular city overlook, head uphill to the Parc Güell or La Guineueta.
However, for as many things and places I recommend you to visit or to go, Barcelona is a mood city where you can do pretty much everything you want. What’s makes it special is the natural scenario as it’s placed between the sea and the mountain. I could write as many blog posts as times I’ve been there, because depending on who you go with and what you are aiming for, the city turns onto a white notebook where you write your own story. The only common denominator is the smell of good vibes.