Barcelona!

Barcelona! I travelled for the first time to this city 7 years ago with a girlfriend. I remembered we had such a great time wandering the bars of Puerto Olimpico and drinking chupitos at every door! We had a wonderful time and I was excited to take my boyfriend this week end for his birthday!

Street Art Barcelona

Street Art Barcelona

 

1- Getting there

We travelled with Easy Jet and made it to the city center with the “aerobus”. It was 20€ for the return ticket and it took 20 minutes to get to the city center.

Be careful when you take the return because there might be a line waiting and you get a bus every 10 minutes.

 

2- Sleeping

We booked at the hotel “Ciutat de Barcelona” and to be honest I do not recommend this place at all! We paid 450€ for 3 nights. Our room (302) had no light, the furniture is very cheap and they were not replacing the products we used in the bathroom. The swimming pool only looks great on pictures and there was a lack of staff to take care of breakfast.

However, the location was perfect! Loved to be in the center of Barri Gotic, close to a metro station (Jaume I) and to tapas places!

View from the rooftop - Ciutat de Barcelona

View from the rooftop – Ciutat de Barcelona

 

3- Eating

To chose the places where we’ve been, I trusted this website “Barcelona.com” and we also asked local friends.

El Xampanyet is mentioned in many guides so I was scared to get tapas with pour quality. It’s not easy to get a place since it’s packed as soon as it opens! We got lucky to find a little space at the bar only few minutes after our arrival.

– “Un vaso de cava, una cana y sus mejores tapas por favor”! 🙂

You have to speak loud to be heard but for sure you will enjoy the local atmosphere and the delicious tapas! We actually went there twice during the week end and enjoyed every moment!

Everybody goes for the anchovies but the “pan con jamon” is awesome! and so are the piquillos and the grilled calamaris.

El xampanyet

El xampanyet

We have been recommended to try Cuines de Santa Caterina which we tryed on Friday night with no reservation. We got a sit at the bar and enjoyed the multicultural staff preparing the dishes.

Sorry for the poor quality picture, but this is how the menu is made: you can choose what you’ll eat depending on the main ingredient and then how you’d like it prepared.

Cuines de Santa Caterina

Menu Cuines de Santa Caterina

We had grilled calamari with asparagus and a green thaï curry with chicken! Loved the calamari ❤

Cuines de Santa Caterina

Cuines de Santa Caterina

We didn’t enjoy this place that much… Didn’t have this warm Spanish welcoming. The service was average and the food was not typical. So if you have other options, do not stop here.

La boqueria is a place where you’ll probably stop by. It’s a great spot for lunch. You’ll find many options inside the market but also in the surroundings. Barcelona.com recommended “El Quim de la Boqueria“.

Croquetas, olives, batatas bravas and tortillas! It was awesome to savor them in the middle of the market. => you should totally try to stop by

El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim de la Boqueria

 

On another hand, if you are in town during the week: a tour in Barcelonata is compulsory! El Raco del Mariner was the beeeeeeest experience!!! I’m so glad I got the chance to go there. Can I exagerate a bit by saying it’s the ultimate fisherman spot? 🙂 Of course I can, it’s my blog! I loved the location a bit hard to find (makes it “insiders’ place”) in the middle of the harbor. The restaurant with the TV on and the ladies who did the service.

El raco del Mariner

El raco del Mariner

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the paella that day but we have been recommended another Spanish specialty that I am glad we tasted: fideua. Small parenthesis, I loved their sparkling water “Vichy Catalan“: a taste definitely unique.

El Raco del Mariner

El Raco del Mariner

 

To celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday we had diner at “Arume Barcelona” which was opened on Sunday night. It’s a bit far from the hotel and I’m not fan of the high ceiling in a small place.

But besides this, everything was amazing!!!!! The menu: octopus and shrimps for the apetizer and black rice as main dish. YUMMY!!!!  For desert, we had the chocolate cake and they even shut the lights and sang “Happy Birthday” 🙂 We’ll remember this moment for ever and are very grateful they had this attention to us. So a big thank you to the staff and I do hope you get a chance to visit this place. I really wished there were many restaurant owners like them!

The delicious chocolate cake at Arume

The delicious chocolate cake at Arume

 

Many articles have been written about “Dos Palillos” and since we come back from a recent trip to Japan, we were excited to try these fusion tapas with an Asian twist!

We booked our trip a month in advance and we got two sits at the bar. You get to choose between 2 menus: one at 75€ and the 2nd at 90€.

We hat the 75€ course and got wine by the glass (surprisingly cheap: count 4€ maximum per glass). Very surprising experience. The little burgers were to die for! The staff was professional and the atmosphere warm.

However could spot only English-speaking tourists in there.

Dos Palillos

Dos Palillos

 

4- Sightseeing

The first place we walked to was “Parc de la Ciutadella” because it was close to our hotel and we had a very sunny day. It is a beautiful place to walk, or run!

Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella

 

 

Saturday morning, before going to “La Boqueria“, we headed to Palau de la Musica Catalana where we booked a guided tour in French through the web.

The tour lasted one hour and started with a movie which shows how the construction started. Then, our guide took us to different places in the Palau. I was happy to listen to the orgue in the main area.

This place is astonishing and worth the tour!

Palau Musica Catalana

Palau Musica Catalana

 

There is a place in the middle of Born called “El born CC”. Go there before or after your visit of Picasso Museum.

How amazing is it to witness this!

El Born CC

El Born CC

 

On Sunday morning, we went to Picasso Museum after booking the 1-hour guided tour in English through internet.

The guide was awesome! we were so glad we did the tour with her. She explained so many things about Pablo Picasso, we leaved the place feeling that we really learnt something.

Not only the paintings are beautiful but the story is fascinating.

It is forbidden to take pictures… so you’ll be even more concentrated to remember all the beauties. 🙂

 

 

La Sagrada Familia is a highlight during your trip to Barcelona. You can not miss it! But if you are like me and you hate spending hours in queue, booking your tour through the web is not an option! Seriously, when we got there on monday morning, we saw people who probably would spend hours waiting to get in.

I would never do that… so you can avoid this by just booking your ticket. If you do it in advance, you might have a guided tour.

We did the audio-guide and it was ok.

There are few places on earth where you get the “waouh” effect. Well… this is one of them!

La sagrada familia

La sagrada familia

We also booked to take the elevators to the towers. We did the tower “de la pasion”. Amazing views on the city and also a way to see the towers’ details from closer. Very interesting.

That’s it for this time: I hope these tips will help on your upcoming visit!

Have fun!

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