EAT in Barcelona:
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.
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.
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!
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Probably the sweetest shop in the world and a must-visit for people with a sweet tooth. The staff wears hats and headbands made of sugar only on the website and does not exclusively eat caramel sushi; however, these people are real artists with sugar. The colourful and tempting bonbons are presented in a stylish silver bag. Beautiful to look at, but they only last for a short time. Better to buy them in a jewellery glass or trial tube as this way, you get a lot more. The bonbons are funny and colourful but a lot more impressive are the lollipops and ring fingers. A sweet testimony to your love with an expiry date. At Papabubble they are now working with 30 different flavours; everything is colourful and wonderful!
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.
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.
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
Yes, in Barcelona everyone knows what good looks like. Before Picasso's art was recognised in Paris, he celebrated first successes in Barcelona and built inspiring friendships with other artists. The museum is a must-visit for Picasso fans, while the building itself is very beautiful dating from the Middle Ages. Some of Picasso's early work up until the famous blue and pink periods as well as the studies of to ?Las Meninas' are exhibited here. The first attempts of the young Picasso are so fascinating and are bear witness of the genius that was lurking from within: at just 15 years of age, the artist created a huge oil painting of impressive realism.
We can guarantee you this - on this walk, you won't be able to relax at all. The Rambla is the shopping street of Barcelona and very busy indeed. You can find anything but tranquillity on the street. Start your walk at the seafront. You will find many souvenir and postcard shops. Continuing this way, you'll meet the artists that paint tourists and tourist traps. Afterwards, you'll get to the flower stands and the sad small animals in cages that hope to be purchased and released by someone who takes pity on them. You'll be entertained by pantomimes, musicians and dancers. You can easily spend and lose your money on Rambla and that not only by your own free will - so be careful. Tip: Rambla is a must, however bring little cash and certainly don't bring your favourite handbag along.
Antonio Gaudí has left his characteristic footprint on many squares of the city. Give the eternal Sagrada family, where most tourists tend to queue for an eternity, a miss if you are short on time. Casa Milà, on the other hand, is a must-see. The building, which houses several apartments and business locations, was built between 1906 and1910, but still feels contemporary and modern. The fascinating building surprises with its stretching metal fence and sinuous balconies. The best part is the walk over the roof terrace. The bizarre and often photographed figures can be visited at midnight during the summer months. The walk on the roof and the view of the city at night are just unique.
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.
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
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.