SIGHTS in Barcelona:
We can guarantee you this - on this walk, you won't be able to relax at all. The Rambla is the shopping street of Barcelona and very busy indeed. You can find anything but tranquillity on the street. Start your walk at the seafront. You will find many souvenir and postcard shops. Continuing this way, you'll meet the artists that paint tourists and tourist traps. Afterwards, you'll get to the flower stands and the sad small animals in cages that hope to be purchased and released by someone who takes pity on them. You'll be entertained by pantomimes, musicians and dancers. You can easily spend and lose your money on Rambla and that not only by your own free will - so be careful. Tip: Rambla is a must, however bring little cash and certainly don't bring your favourite handbag along.
Parc Güell is very untypical for a popular attractions point for tourist as there are no costs, no waiting time and endless room to enjoy nature and culture. You should be thankful to Eusebi Güell that you can enjoy a beautiful afternoon in this park. The son of a wealthy Barcelonan family wished for a large leisure oasis, where Antonio Gaudí actively contributed the art displayed in the park. Gaudi in fact was so enthusiastic about the idea that even when the city decided to stop the work in 1914, he continued to further develop the park on his own. The result is an amazing mix of nature and art. One can spend hours at the park in peace. The only spot where you could potentially find a crowd of people is in front Gaudí's most impressive building.
Barcelona had to wait a very long time for its first contemporary and international art museum. Only in 1995, the MACBA was opened in the Raval district. Architect Richard Meier designed this pure and cold building in white creating a contrast to the rest of rather dark Raval. Some see this as a true highlight, while others rate it a little over the top. Most of the locals, however, enjoy the building. On the square in front of the building you'll find skaters and tourists who are interested in culture. The art in the Gammel district contributed to the image of El Raval being the creative and alternative district. At the MACBA, you'll find different exhibitions of various famous artists, including sculptors, painters or video artists.
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Probably the most famous fashion export Barcelona's is mainly one thing: colourful. The eye-catching prints are recognised by everyone who has seen them once. Famous people like Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts helped the brand gain international fame. Nevertheless, Custo's flagship stores are a rarity in Europe. Take the opportunity to shop in one of the three Custo shops in Barcelona and your friends back home will envy your purchases for sure.
The decoration of the shop is very colourful indeed: green walls with red highlights and chess-coloured black and white tiles. The loft is as trendy as the hair cut you will get at this place. The exclusive young hairdressers also know exactly what to wear at the next clubbing event and they know where it will take place. If you ask them nicely they will be happy to share their insider tips. If it is just tips you need but no haircut, just go by for a head massage. Mmmh!
To be honest, this has nothing to do with Catalonian and not even with Spanish fashion. However you should still pay a visit to the store of the Korean fashion designer Julie Sohn if you are doing a shopping trip. The store is very Asian with its little bit of Zen, little bit of Feng Shui but also a touch of cool New York style. The mix makes it somehow perfect and distracts you briefly from the fashion items presented. This is no surprise as the interior design of this shop has won an award. The fashion also deserves an award: discrete and simple, but never boring and always stylish.
STAY in Barcelona:
The grand building dating from the 19th century is situated on one of the most beautiful streets of Barcelona. In 2009, the hotel underwent a complete renovation and designers combined and contrasted details of the past with contemporary stylish elements. Elegance meets style, mosaic tiles mirror light installations, playful twirl contrasts with clear furniture design. The sum of those beautiful parts results in a charming boutique hotel. A highlight are the Jugendstill balconies, as most of the rooms have a view to the Rambla Cataluna. Would you like to experience a local habit? Then grab a drink and enjoy it on the roof terrace of a typical Catalonian inner courtyard. Small hint: There is one room overlooking the courtyard. Book it! It is the biggest and most beautiful room of the hotel. A double room is available from Euro 80 per night.
Altogether there are three of them. Two 987 Hotels are located in Prague, one in the historical centre and the other one is called Soho. The potential mix-up is intentional! The third 987 Hotel can be found in Barcelona, only a few minutes away from the Passeig de Grácia and the Sagrada Familia. From the outside, on the basis of the facade, the city's architectonic heritage cannot be missed. Several architects including the designer of the Barca stadium Camp Nou, Francesc Mitjans have jointly renovated the building in the course of the past century. Inside the 987 delivers what a stylish design hotel in Barcelona promises. Elegant wooden floors, pink light and eye-catchers like the mysterious glitter lamp and the plush chair in the entrance area. The 88 rooms in the Eixample hotel also play with contrasts: stuccoed ceilings and heavy upholstery give the suites a royal touch, colourful glass and matching accessories appeal to the design-oriented Barcelona visitor.
Don't be scared off by the name: If in the morning, you don't remember whether you are staying in a hotel or a castle, then you are in the La Florida. The grand hotel does not hold back with luxury and has been the accommodation of choice for the rich and beautiful. Service and rooms are top class since the early 20th century. A highlight is the generous private terrace that provides great views of the city. In addition, you'll have a beautiful spa area for relaxing. Double rooms are available from Euro 227 per night.
EAT in Barcelona:
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.
Vegetarians in Barcelona do not have a particularly difficult life. However, if you don't want to order what's the only vegetarian dish left on the menu but would like to have a choice from an entire menu, you should pay a visit to Venus Delicatessen. Every now and then you'll find a meat dish on their menu, but that is rather an exception. From Bulgur with vegetables to meatless lasagne - everything tastes so wonderful at Venus. In fact even your non-vegetarian friends will be happy to eat here. Additionally this is a perfect spot to watch the world go by as the entire window wall can be fully opened.
The Tragaluz group owns only on the best, most exciting and stylish restaurants. Omm, El Japones and Negro-Rojo are names that everyone in Barcelona knows and associates with the Zeitgeist of good cooking. The Bestial, which is their satellite of the sea, has earned without a doubt its position between those names. Right under the Frank O. Gehry fish at the beach of San Sebastián, guests enjoy dinner on the amazing terrace with breath taking views onto the sea and beach. The cuisine fits the beautiful location right at the beach of San Sebastián: light, Mediterranean with a preference for fish and Italy.