I want to live like the Catalan’s do; relaxing on the beach with a pitcher of sangria after spending the day riding through the streets on my moped. Everything is a little more relaxed and happy, even the sun shines a little longer and a little brighter.
For those that have been following my voyage on Instagram, you know that we recently had the divine pleasure of taking our first Euro-trip. We travelled around the beautiful Mediterranean, our first stop being Barcelona. You could spend weeks or years in Barcelona and never see it all. It’s hugely beautiful place and we were disappointed to leave.
El Poble-Sec or the barrios of El Born & Eixample. We stayed in an Airbnb in El Poble-Sec, which is a little bit outside of the “DownTown” Gothic Quarter and a 10 minute walk from Las Ramblas. We really liked this location because it was a little more quiet and less crowded, yet still an easy walk from Downtown. I love using AirBnB because you get to experience the city more like a local in more ways than one. For one, you get the pleasure of a private space with a kitchen if you so choose to go to one of the many markets and the quaint amenities of borrowing someone’s home. For example, our AirBnB had two balconies that opened up like huge windows to the street, we even left them open during the night for the perfect breeze. The hosts are also always willing to tell you where to go
Renting a bike (the city bikes are for natives only) and pedaling around the city. Genova, from a Pair and A Spare, recommends Vespa Soul because ” the bikes are cute without any crazy ‘please rob me I am tourist’ branding and they gave me a basket”.
Hang with Gaudi at the Parc Guell. They were sold out at the door at 10 am, but, luckily, we bought our tickets online the day before. Of course, La Sagrada Familia is a must-see.
If you’re a lover of vintage, so are the natives, and there many tiny shops on these streets: Carrer de Tallers and Carrer de La Riera Baixa.
…our personal favorite: If you’re looking for a the perfect, hand-made Spanish espadrille shop complete with a grandma making your shoes in the back than La Manuel is THE place for you.
To be honest, there’s no wrong answer here. All the food we had was divine, but these meals really stood out:
For paella we walked along the beach and got paella here: Pez Vela (right on the beach)
El Nacionale is a popular spot for a pitcher of sangria in the middle of Las Ramblas … or go down to the beach and enjoy some liquid relaxation.
If you’re looking for a good beer, The Black Lab is a cute little brewery by the water.
Bar Marsella for a spot of absinthe and a whole lot of fun
- If like coffee with milk and not plain ‘ol expresso, than be sure to ask for a cafe con leche
- We never had a problem using our high school Spanish or regular ‘ol English to get by, but it doesn’t hurt to try out a few words!
- Siesta is a real & wonderful thing, while most stores and restaurants do not close, family run stores DO – so make sure to plan your shopping trip accordingly
- Everything is a little more lax. You can count on your waiter/waitress being just as courteous but much less attentive, so don’t be in a rush for the check. – They also are not paid by tips, so the bill IS the bill unless, of course, you feel your service was stellar then feel free to express your gratitude!
Have you been to Barcelona? What would you add?