Because of the blog I receive many emails from readers requesting shop recommendations, but the most popular request, by far, is that I make a guide of Barcelona. I’ve been several times to Barcelona for work reasons and I hardly had time to visit the city (still, I couldn’t miss la Sagrada Familia). So ellaborating a guide with the best places of a of a city that I barely know was a quite difficult task.
The best way to visit a city is being accompanied by a friend that lives there, so to make this guide I wrote to four friends from Barcelona and asked them about the best restaurants, the essential shops, the monuments we have to visit, the most special art galleries, and those secret places that only people from Barcelona know. This is not a guide with the ‘it’ places, it is a guide with those addresses that are actually worth a visit. The places that they recommend to friends, the places they go to every week, their favourite spots. Some of them mentioned the same places, so those must be really great.
The four girls from Barcelona that helped me create this guide are: Francesca Tur, creative director of Tendencias.TV –and expert in vegetarian restaurants–; Estel Vilaseca, editor of ItFashion, writer and collaborator in several publications –like Smoda and Style.com–; Anna Tomás, journalist specialized in trends and travels, writes for La Vanguardia newspaper and the Lonely Planet guides; and Laura González, editor of Chiquita Ediciones. Four amazing guests. Here you have their tips:
YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS
- Bio Center (Pintor Fortuny, 25): In Raval, veggie & bio En pleno raval, veggie & bio
- Cornelia & Co (Valencia, 225): Fresh pasta, a vine cell, teas, homemade bread, seafood…
- Teresa Carles (Jovellanos, 2): Vegetarian food, breakfasts, brunches, fresh pasta, salads, and their best dish: black rice.
- Velódromo (Carrer de Muntaner, 213): Catalan food made by Moritz and Jordi Vilà.
- Iposa: (Floristes de la Rambla, 14)
- Mosquito: (Carders, 46)
- Federal: (Parlament 39 en Poble Sec)
- Cosmo: (Enric Granados, 3) They make great veggie sandwiches and ideal juices. Also, they organize very interesting exhibits too.
For special occasions:
- Somodó: (Ros de Olano 11): A mix of Mediterranean and Japanse food… Excellent!
- La Vietnamita: There’s two, one in Gracia (Carrer del Torrent de l’Olla, 78) and other in el Born (Carrer Comerç, 17). Vietnamese food. Noodles, Phò Bò Saigon…
- Koy Shunka (Copons, 7): The best Japanese restaurant in town. It got a Michelin star last year. It’s from the owner of Shunka. It’s amazing.
- El Filferro (Sant Carles, 29): Italian food and other Mediterranean dishes. Delicious sandwiches.
- Can Recasens (Rambla del Poblenou, 102)
PARA SALIR POR LA NOCHE
- Olimpic (Joaquin Costa, 25B)
– Betty Ford (Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 56): A famous cocktail bar.
– Sidecar (Plaça Reial, 7)
– El Molino con Dakota Club Parties (Vila i Vilà, 99)
- El Vinilo (Carrer de Muntaner, 6): I love hanging out around Gràcia and el Vinilo is a great meeting point for indie music lovers.
- If i’m on the center of the city, I go to Joaquim Costa street and visit el Negroni, el Tahiti and classics such as l’Almirall.
- El Smoll (Condesa de Sobradiel, 9): with second hand furniture that you can buy while enjoying a cocktail.
- Marula: (Escudellers, 49): to dance funky.
- La Macarena: in Nou de Sant Francesc for electronic music.
- La Paloma: it will oust all the others when they reopen it in Spring.
- Krizia Robustella (Montsió 6 bis)
- Galerías Flamingo (calle Tallers)
- Oh la la! Second hand Ibiza (Pl. Castella 2)
- Ena Macana (Portal Nou, 7)
- Otras Cosas (Séneca, 8): Decoración y objetos de diseño.
- I recommend a walk through these hidden streets full of small ateliers by young designers:
1. The area of Borne-Mirallers: Ivori - Colmado -La Tercera - Le Clinique
2. Banys Vells- Cotoners: (Iriarte Iriarte – Après Ski)
3. Esquirol: About Arianne
- Ivori (Mirallers, 7)
- Colmado (Mirallers, 5)
- Fantastik (Carrer de Joaquín Costa, 62)
- Zaoum (Argenter, 9)
- Oh La La! (Pl. Castella 2)
FOR A WALK…
- Everything around the Macba place (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) Plaça dels Àngels, 1
- The beach: specially when it’s not summer. You take the L4 (yellow) until Bogatell and walk through all the maritime promenade. Even by bicycle I love the beach in winter. Sit with my notebooks and magazines in the steel chairs and be illuminated by Lorenzo is very inspiring.
- The park in the mountain of Montjuic. I recommend going up with the funicular from the Paralelo and then go walking down until Poble Sec and have a snack in Bar Seco.
- You can’t miss Montjuic: (see above)
MUSEUMS OR GALLERIES THAT YOU LOVE
- The galleries from Consell de Cent
- Fundación Foto Colectania (Julián Romea, 6)
- Centre d’Arts Santa Mònica (La Rambla, 7): For emerging and conceptual art.
- La Fundació Miró (Parc de Montjuïc, s/n): They organize interesting activities. It’s the only center with private funding.
- La Fundación Miró (see above)
- CCCB, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Montalegre, 5)
A MONUMENT OR TOURISTIC PLACE THAT WE CAN’T MISS
Foto © Pearled
- La plaza Sant Felip Neri
- The three columns of Templo de Augusto (Paradís, 10): They are on the highest point of the Roman city. I was impressed the first time I saw them.
- La Sagrada Família (Mallorca, 401): Without doubt, and even more after the remodelling. Entering to la Sagrada Familia leaves you frozen and with Stendhal syndrome.
- Basílica Santa Maria del Mar (Santa Maria, 1): My second favourite monument is Santa Maria del Mar, with its salon interior.
- The market of Els Encants (Castillejos, 158)
A “SECRET” PLACE
Parque de la Creueta del Coll
- Parapark (Rei Martí, 33): A different kind of entertainment in the neighbourhood of Sants.
- Zaoum (Argenter, 9): The atelier-shop of my sister Marina. She treasures lots of special objects that have collected my parents through the years.
- My favourite place is the parque de la Creueta del Coll (Passeig de la Mare de Déu del Coll, 77): You can see all the city from there. There’s a beautiful Chillida, a small swimming pool, ping pong tables, you can picnic…
- The cemetery of Poblenou (Avinguda d’Icària, s/n)
- The garden Costa i Llobera (ctra. de Miramar, close to plaza de L’Armada): It’s a garden made of cactus.
Thanks to Anna, Estel, Laura and Francesca for their wonderful tips.