SHOPPING in Barcelona:
If you are looking for young fashion at a good price, then you should pay a visit to Bingo Shop. Here, you'll find funny, cheeky, colourful and cool items. For example by Cecilia Sörensen, Club Volga, Ladies & Gentlemen, Pia Kahila, Wood Wood, A-Forest, Surface to Air and Cheap Monday. As a regular Barcelona shopper, you should know by now that the Spanish like to purchase magazines, books and small art items along with their outfit items while listening to great music - what else do you want? Tip: Excellent shoe selection for example by St. Vacant, Nokia, Karhu Originals and Gram.
If you are suffering from a headache after a long night out or feel a cold coming on, then Señora Francesca Ubach knows what to do- what you need is an extra large portion of herbs. The Señora took over the shop from her grandfather who opened Herbolari Llansa in 1907. He would be happy to know that his granddaughter left the interior exactly the way it was. The same goes for the herbs - what worked back in the day still works today. Nevertheless, time has not stood still at Herbolari Llansa. The selection has been expanded and adjusted to today's modern needs. Favourite topic of the owner? Natural cosmetics, aroma-therapy, tees and their effect, vitamins and diets, oils and more.
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.
EAT in Barcelona:
In July 2012 Albert Longán kicked off his restaurant Loft212 in Barcelona. The economic crisis has seized the country, unemployment rates are high. But in his restaurant business booms. The guests order tapas - including sushi - and drink Cerveza. In the kitchen Albert's son Daniel Longán creates Spanish bites with an Asian touch, he serves seasonal and regional cuisine for the main courses - from fish to meat (the latter is from the Valle de Cardener and therefore specifically tasteful). And all this embedded in the ambiance of New York lofts from the 1950s. The design comes from Carlos Martinez: bright and dark wood, whitewashed brick walls with black and white photographies, a mix of wooden and aluminium chairs at the bar - long, black, with a counter lighted in yellow colours. Quite comfortable indeed and therefore no surprise that the Spaniards love to spend their money here - for good food and good company. All crises aside!
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.
Ten years and not a bit tired! Designed by architect Juli Capella and interior designers Sandra Tarruella and Isabel Lopéz Hotel Omm in the Paseo de Gracia district celebrates the year 2013 extensively: with a freshly renovated restaurant and a new bar. The restaurant Roca Moo is now characterised by its open spaces, combing kitchen and guest room. In the middle you'll find a big counter. And on the lower ground (which also functions as the hotel lobby), the guests are now sitting at the new Roca-Bar - to have a cocktail or snack in-between. The creators of Roca are (the name already gives it away) the infamous Roca brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi, known for their restaurant El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona (99 kilometres away from Barcelona - also highly recommended!). In the kitchen of the Rocas' Barcelona restaurant the Michelin-starred chef Felip Llufriu swings the cooking spoon. He serves traditional, Catalan dishes and prepares them in front of the guests' eyes. We congratulate the Rocas for their anniversary gift!
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.
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.
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!
STAY in Barcelona:
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
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.
Designers and architects created a great ambience for sophisticated people. Dark corridors lead to light rooms where modern design meets natural materials leaving you with a great feeling. If you wish to do more for your well-being, then let yourself be pampered at the spa, have a fruit juice at the pool bar or enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant Moo. The Moo holds one Michelin star and features a wine cellar with 600 different types of wine awaiting the connoisseur. Double rooms are available from 230 euros per night.