SIGHTS in Barcelona:
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 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.
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.
EAT in Barcelona:
The small tapas bar pays homage to the traditional ancestral eatery where Catalonians meet to gossip while eating a snack. Tapas 24 is a modern variation that attracts young people from all over town. If you like lively and authentic places, you will enjoy spending time here. It does not matter if you show up for a coffee, a warm breakfast or a large portion of tapas. You can satisfy your hunger any time as the kitchen is open from 9 in the morning to midnight.
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.
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!
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 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.
STAY in Barcelona:
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.
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.
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.