STAY in Barcelona:
The urban Suites
These apartments are as beautiful as your apartment back home. Urban Suites offers 16 suites and 4 apartments in the lively Sants district. The best is that even the suites have their own kitchen. If you wish to have your breakfast coffee or cook a delicious dinner with all the tasty produce you bought at the market, you will certainly appreciate it. The community terrace invites you to drink one or two San Miguels in good company. Suite for 1-2 people with kitchen from 117 euros per night. Insider tip: book early or stay long.
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.
EAT in Barcelona:
It's all about the delicious Catalonian appetizer that Barcelona offers in every possible variation. Particularly delicious are the tapas at Santa María: Chef Paco Guzmán moves away from classical tapas recipes and serves unusual creative combinations. The delicious ideas range from Spanish pig roast on sauerkraut to tuna with eucalyptus and pomegranate. We guarantee: every experiment is a triumph!
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.
The combination of Bar Lobo/El Japonés includes everything that turns a restaurant visit into an event. The interior is very stylish, but still very comfortable. The people are cool, but very friendly. The food is creative and the offer is huge and colourful. Upstairs they show art exhibitions that change regularly, while serving delicious Japanese food in the evenings. Speaking of evenings: don't leave this place too early on weekends and enjoy a cocktail after dinner. At midnight the restaurant turns into a disco with DJs putting on music..
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Everybody in search of something special will make a find at Pinzat. For ten years, the creative heads behind the trendy label have worked on their ideas and a considerable range of products. The result: unique bags and backpacks made of vinyl, one of the oldest customary form of plastics. But don't think of stiff and grey plastic bags. The offer ranges from small, medium-sized to big bags which were designed by graffiti artists from all over the world. From motifs with flamenco dancers to landscapes - everything is possible and makes each and every piece unique. In order to guarantee a longer lifespan, the products are sewed twice and an additional strap enables you to wear your bag at the waist and attach it to your bike's handlebar. Also available: more vinyl pieces for the safe transport on your bicycle.
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!
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!
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
The times where El Raval was avoided are definitely over. In previous times, there were many cheap and cheap-looking apartments that immigrants used to start off their lives abroad. Today musicians, sprayers and artists have discovered the beauty of the darkness that surrounds this area. As an example, the mestizo sound of Manu Chao was born here. After the opening of the three temples for contemporary art MACBA, CCCB and FAD, the area was upgraded and turned into a hot spot for tourists, creative and trendy people. Meanwhile, there are many trendy and hip bars and restaurants. Nevertheless, there are still some dodgy people, cheap restaurants and 24-hour shops that keep the area exiting and trendy. Tip: avoid the side alleys especially at night and if you are dressed smart.
The smallest part of Barcelona lies between the old harbor and the Platja de Barceloneta. Ahead is just endless sea. Once upon a time, this used to be a very small fishing village. In the 18th century, however, a man arrived with a drawing table and he re-organised the area. That is why the area is full of two-storey buildings with a footprint modelled on a chess board. The beach of Barceloneta is the nearest to the city and therefore popular on a nice day. However, we still recommend it. Especially the proximity to the sea shows the high quality of life of this metropolitan. Tip: in the evening there is a lot happening on this promenade. A few night clubs, bars and restaurants are situated here. If you would like to eat fish ask the locals for their current restaurant recommendation.
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!