SIGHTS in Barcelona:
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!
Barcelona is all about contemporary art, especially in November. At the BAC! festival everything goes as long as it looks good and is art. Examples include graphite, objects, sculptures, photography, painting and video art. The participating artists are international and their work is exhibited all over town in galleries and public spaces. The works are connected through a common theme that changes every year. The exact programme is constantly being updated and is published on their website.
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.
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
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.
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!
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.
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.
If you have a balcony with such a great view, then you should not care about the simplicity of the rooms. The view to the Plaça del Pi is best enjoyed with a San Miguel. Even if there is not much happening, there is always something to see. Caution: if you like lie-ins, you may be woken up too early by street musicians. Take the opportunity and start your day with a coffee on the square. Regular customers appreciate the location on the square, which is why the guesthouse is almost always fully booked. Double rooms are available from Euro 60 per night
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.
EAT in Barcelona:
What makes this restaurant so great? The perfect photo collection featuring people, neighbourhood oldies and Ronaldinho. The wine flows easier than you realise, the staff does not speak a word English and that makes it all so enjoyable. Jai-Ca offer Tapas in typical style. You can recognise insiders by their colourful skin and lots of metals attached to their faces. If you do look regular, don't worry, you are still very welcome here. Expect a surprise at the end of the night- the bill is so small that you will be tempted to have another glass of wine or two.
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.