If someone would come up with the idea of building, from scratch, a city for the urban tourism lovers, it would probably end up being Barcelona. Just do the math: the weather is friendly all year round. Plus the fabulous beach. Add up the glorious architecture and timeless art, Gaudi, Miro, Picasso, all in one place. Well, in our book, it equals… WOW. And the best part of the equation: you may return to Barcelona endless times without repeating any of your previous experiences.
These being said, we won’t go into details about La Sagrada Familia to Barceloneta, La Rambla and all – your first time must-sees. We’ll stick to sharing the places that you’ll just have to experience – give us credit on this one – after you’ve checked the city-guide objectives.
Where to stay
Mercer Hotel Barcelona is a five star chic boutique hotel in Barrio Gotico – one of the oldest and most lively districts in Barcelona – just 500 meters away from Picasso Museum. The old building was carefully renovated and brought to modernity, yet preserving all of its tradition and history. If you’re not yet convinced, this gem has a superb garden and an outdoor pool.
Address: Calle dels Lledo 7. Phone: 00 34 933 10 74 80.
If you’re a sports aficionado, pick W Hotel in Barceloneta: sea view, private beach, fitness, yoga, pilates and spa. Can’t ask for anything more.
Address: Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1. Phone: 00 34 932 95 28 00.
Where to eat
Jai-Ca, is this little place in Barceloneta, famous for its tapas – tasty and traditional is the name of the game here. Try the seafood ones or Pimientos de Padron – salty green peppers cooked in the oven. Some can be quite spicy, but that’s just part of their charm.
Address: Carrer de Ginebra 13. Phone: 00 34 932 68 32 65.
While in Barcelona, don’t miss its street food: Pastrami Bar/El Paradiso is a great choice. And, for heaven sakes, be nice to the cook. He might just let you into the secret path to El Paradiso, ingeniously hidden by the fridge. The bar lives up to its name: amazing cocktails and good music.
Address: Carrer Rera Palau 4.
Where to shop
Barcelona is unique even when it comes to fashion. The streets are packed with the local designer shops. Colmillo de Morsa is just one of them, a paradise of minimalistic outfits. The brand is famous for its local fabrics and handmade clothing.
Address: Carrer de Vic 15. Phone: 00 34 645 20 63 65.
Be sure you also stop at Vaho’s. They’ve taken recycling to a whole new level. Their chic bags are made from the old PVC advertising banners. Cool, isn’t it?
Address: C/Bonsuccés 13. Phone: 00 34 933 017 419.