EAT in Barcelona:
One should not give away a secret like this, but we are doing it anyway. Book a table at the Antic Bocoi del Gòtic and have a real taste of authentic Catalonian food (a reservation is essential!). The traditional ambience is underlined by a piece of city wall that is part of the restaurant. It is best if you take a look at this highlight first. As soon as your stockfish or the typical ?coca?, which is a very fine pizza, are served, you will forget about the impressive wall.
The Tragaluz is ahead of time. The kitchen relies fully on markets' fresh ingredients, has to be called incredible in every sense. A classic dish is the pig filet with figs and goat cheese. Otherwise, the menu is seasonal. Trendsetting is the glass ceiling that provides for endless daylight and star gazing in the night. Two hot tips: if you have no reservation, you won't get a table. If you manage to get one, make sure to dress appropriately, as the other guests of Tragaluz will be dressing up for the occasion.
What would Barcelona be without chocolate? Still worth a trip, we happily admit that. However, there still would be an elementary part missing to complete your happiness. We recommend whenever possible to take a break at a coffee house and eat a piece of cake and never ever to resist dessert in a restaurant. If that's still not enough than you should not miss out on Bubo?s. In this place sweets are treated like little treasures: chocolates, bonbons, chocolate cakes and cookies are displayed like jewellery in a show window. If you want to start nibbling straight away, you will be served coffee or champagne.
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Duduá is not a shop but a network for artists that haven't made it yet. If you are a creative person then don't hesitate to take your work to the Duduá. Here, you'll find like-minded people that will not only share their opinion, but will also organise interesting workshops. If you prefer to watch rather than create then you are also in the right place: small art pieces, limited music, shirts, magazines and a lot of this and that with artistic flair. Careful: time just flies in this shop!
Elena Castaudi and Michele Gilli are originally from Turin but have lived in Barcelona for so long that her fashion can now be called Spanish. The life in the fashion metropolis has inspired the duo to open their boutique. There, you'll find cool trousers, nice skirts, perfectly tailored jackets and great shirts all made by their label. Everything is trendy and comfortable with the license to become your favourite item. In addition, they sell items by Hergenhahn, IKKS or Svensson. In short: everything but regular fashion for men and women.
Happy tall day. That is the philosophy of the designer team that a few years ago started to transform everyday items into exciting home accessories. In Zeta a strainer becomes a lamp shade and an iron chair turns into comfortable padded armchair. The old-turn-into-new-principle is so successful that Zeta now offers an entire furniture collection. The waiting times for your orders are not long.
STAY in Barcelona:
The five Rooms
Yessica had to have this apartment. But because of its 400 square metres, it was just a little too big for one person and so she decided to transform it into a small hotel. How you do that? You take 5 large rooms, furbish them stylishly and wait until a traveller magazine mentions it alongside the luxury hotels of the city. If you are staying at Yessica, it is like you are staying with a friend who is happy to provide you with all kinds of insider tips that you won't find in any guide book. Double rooms are available from Euro 135 per night
No need for a spa, fitness room and hotel breakfast? Then perhaps an apartment is the right option for you. Inside BCN offers stylish apartments in El Born and Sants for everybody on a small budget: the apartment at the Carrer de Sants has 3 rooms and offers space to accommodate the entire family. Party people can get their short nights' beauty sleep in the king size bed of a studio apartment. If you are a business traveller, you just book a 2-room apartment and welcome your business partners in your living room. All apartments are fully furnished and are available for short or long stays. At the Sants Building, a studio costs 69 euros per night while a 3- room apartment is available from 150 euros per night.
How does a palace dating from 1892 become an exclusive 5-star hotel? You add glass, concrete and steel to the old walls and turn this into an architectural highlight in the middle of El Born next to the old town. The theme is pure elegance in the rooms, the pool terrace and the gourmet restaurant East 47. The terrace hosts Djs from June to October while guests like to enjoy their cocktails. The private Egyptian art collection is an evidence of how classy this hotel is. Double rooms are available from 170 euros per night.
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
If you are hanging out at the park of La Ciutadella, you will forget that you are actually in a city. A small lake ideal for canoeing, a grotesque fountain that Gaudi co-created and endless peace. Barcelonans love this green centre of tranquillity that is situated where once stood the citadel of Felipe V. The park was opened in 1870 and hosted the world exhibition in 1888. Today, the museum exhibits modern art and there is also a zoo. A bizarre piece of trivia is that they used to use parrots to keep away the pigeons. Today, no pigeon can be found in proximity of this park. However, the parrots with their green feathers are numerous and cheeky, flying from one palm tree to the next and back.
Creativity has no place in the underground - not true. At least in Barcelona. That becomes perfectly clear when entering the 1,500 square metre large subway station Drassanes in Ciutat Vella. The walls are covered with white, glass-like light concrete elements that are pulled over the subterranean waiting zone like a second skin. The clean and open area seems very compact due to the evenly high walls and the enamel-like surface conveys the impression of already being in the subway. The lighting increases this impression. An that's what the two young Spanish architects Eduardo Gutiérrez Munné and Jordi Fernández Río wanted to achieve. Because to their mind, the subway itself is everything needed at this place. A special granulate material in the white floor provides for suspension of the vibrations. You should check this on the spot by all means!
The most favourite, beautiful, colourful and best market hall is situated right at the Rambla. The hall was rebuilt in 1914 and is as busy as any high street. Michelin star chefs mix with hobby cooks, housewives and tourists while shopping for their produce. The vegetables and fruits stands are vibrant with their colours and inviting scents. Make sure you take a fresh fruit juice on your journey. Careful: the choice is huge! The fish section is very impressive and the produce very fresh indeed. If you cannot stomach seeing fresh fish that's still moving, you should stay well clear. In addition, there is an irresistible offer of cheeses, sausages, sweets, olives and snacks, which can be eaten straight away. Hot tip: the small restaurants around the market are the place to go to enjoy a glass of wine with some very fresh tapas.