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 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.
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..
STAY in Barcelona:
Chic & Basic Born
They love white and you'll soon find out why: nothing is more relaxing after a colourful day in the city than to rest your eyes in this discrete and minimalistic ambience. Colourless does not mean boring. The rooms are vibrant with colours that are created through a Led effect. In the middle of the room, you'll find a shower made of glass that puts the room in the categories of sexy and stylish. Rooms are available in the sizes of X, L or M. If you decide to go for small, you can spend some leisure time at the White Bar, whose name keeps all the promises. A double room is available from 86 euros per night.
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
Only 500 metres from exciting Rambla, in a small pedestrian zone of the old town, you will find one of the most charming hotels of the city. The building dates back to the 18th century and has 43 rooms and suites that create a nice family feeling. The rooms are not extraordinary, but are furnished low-key. Banys Orientals is a friendly alternative to top-end hotels and hostel. Double rooms are available from 99,75 euros per night
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
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.
The nice side of Place Reial is that you just can't get it under control. In this square, the Catalonian joy of life is celebrated day and night. It can become rather noisy here and only recently the locals took to the streets with huge posters to stop the noise at night. Admittedly, they weren't very successful. It is still rather noisy but somehow the sound has become nicer. The street musicians need to proof in a casting that they are actually able to play before they are allowed to perform on the square. Drug dealers have disappeared, as police officers take more frequent walks through the square. In other words, be it day or night, a coffee or a beer on one of the many terraces is always worthwhile.
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 name Rovira is widely known in Barcelona. Father Pedro runs a patisserie in the heart of the city, his son Enri creates art works made of chocolate, like Dali did with his paintings. One of his first chocolate masterpieces was the facade mosaic by Catalan architect Gaudi. This was his breakthrough. Today he supports young artists himself and translates their concepts into chocolate. In doing so he does not only focuses on the taste but also on the form. Bilious green ginger chocolate and orange cocoa corn mixtures - which do not appear tasty at first sight - bear witness of that. All chocolates are produced without any preservatives. If you fancy even more chocolate, then you should visit the chocolate museum near the Parliament afterwards!
Jeanne Weis attempts an experiment that cannot fail: she combines beautiful African textiles with modern European cuts. The idea, she says, is not that everyone is dressed like an African, but that there is more colour in the wardrobes of the European households. If you like sewing, you can also purchase the textiles by the metre and tailor your own African dream. If you have never tried, you should give it a go anyway- the outcome won't matter that much, as everyone will be starring at the colour not the tailoring.