From art and adventures, to beaches and bars, to cathedrals to cava: you'll never run short of ideas.
The city is packed with things to do, from beaches and bars to cafes and cathedrals. Here are a few tips for things to consider.
|What are you looking for?||Where to go?|
|Squares and old stuff||Bari Gothic: This gives you thousands of shops, cafes and passageways to amble through and get lost in. Among the less visited – the tea shops just up from the jewish synagogue (that’s so old it’s a heritage site in itself), and the Gothic Cathederal Sq is pretty darn cool. In general advice is not to walk late at night through the narrow dark passages of this medieval quarter. El Born: Great district the other side of Bari Gothic, with a lot of small artsy shops and independent bars and cafes. Placa de Sant Augusti Vell and Place San Pere worth checking. In the Centro Culturo El Borne there’s a Roman shopping street underneath one of the markets (now a museum complex that’s free to do).|
|Cafes||The nearest café: On the ground floor with good basic breakfasts and lunches. Relatively pricey, but fine if you’re in a rush. |
Second nearest café: Owned by same family) is better, go right out of the apartment and it’s on the corner. Free internet access makes it a must. Breakfast combinations like coffee+croissant are good value.
Saioa: a block away on Gran Via: Good quality simple breakfasts and an English menu, with English speaking staff (Marcela)
Ugot: 2 blocks along Diputacio, heading into town (awesome breakfasts and café vibe). It opened in late 2015 and is possibly the best café in the city – awesome to have it on the doorstep.
Oma: 7 blocks away in Conseill de Cents: One of the best brunch spots and worth waiting for
Cake: 10 blocks away on the corner of Enrique Granados and Conseill de Cents; white with tables outside. One of the current trendy cafes. For something more student head downhill to the bottom end of Enrique Granados in the paved area.
|Bars||Sky bars: Above the Arena shopping mall or the Axel hotel (evenings only to non-residents) |
Trendy Brooklyn style bars: Copastic is 2 blocks away
Cava-only: Cava bar / El Xiampaneria (on the edge of Barcelonata), and its sister near Picaso museum There are hundreds more suggestions in the guidebooks
W Hotel: Famed for the WetDeck parties throughout the summer (free guest list places are normally available online)
|Restaurants||Local great value: Flamant is a local institution (1 block past Hotel Axel), with jaw-dropping prices on their set menus, and packed massive rooms that mean it's worth booking in advance |
Tapas: With hundreds of tapas bars throughout the city, there's a massive choice. Granados (by Flamant) on the Enrique Granados junction is one of the most reliable for an up-market range of dishes with a twist
Vegetarian: Flax & Kale is totally recommended. Mostly veggie, but they do fish if you are still a bit of a meatasaur - really nice place, very well organized and fantastic good https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187497-d6996799-r230882204-Flax_Kale-Barcelona_Catalonia.html
Copasetic: A block away along Diputacio is a great bar / café / restaurant
There are loads more suggestions in the guidebooks in your apartment
|Supermarkets (big)||Nearest to your apartment is Mercadona. It's on the same block, simply turn left and left again from the front door |
Carpabo: past Mercadona, right and continue a few blocks
|Supermarkets (small)||There are several small supermarkets within a few blocks. The best deli is even closer than Mercadona - Casanova - and it does a great range of home cooked main courses and salads.|
|Wine specialist||Wine wholesaler: Right out of the apartment, left at the junction and it’s a few doors down on the right. Massive choice, though nothing is as cheap as the supermarkets,|
|Chemist||Local pharmacy: Take a left out of the apartment, 50m from the front door and it’s across the road|
|Sports gear||Take a right out of the apartment: go to the end of the road and take a right again and it’s 50m on your right|
|Jogging||Short distances: Parc Miro a block away is about a 1k circuit |
Long distance: If you’re feeling like longer runs, then the best route is down to the beach and then along the promenade that has designated cycle lanes for 5ks+. There are showers on the beach for cooling off.
|Gyms & fitness||Gyms: There’s one downstairs that does weekly membership, another on the edge of Parc Miro (nearest corner to the apartment, and a protein shop downstairs just past the gym), and 4 more within 5 minutes. |
Sailing and kite surfing: There are schools on the north beaches near Playa Marbella
|Top attractions||Guadi: Sagrada Familia and the Guadi apartments are must haves even on a short trip - do book online for this and any other Gaudi stuff as it saves ages for queuing and there’s usually times slots Guadi apartments: Fab Ramblas: Café-lined central street with great street culture |
City market: The biggest market is just off the Ramblas and worth a visit
Bari Gothic: Get lost wandering around the medieval old town (though not after dark)
Beaches: 10k of beaches going from the city centre northward
Marina: Barcelonata marina
|Top museums||Picasso (in Bari Gothic), Fundacion Miro, museum of modern art, Barcelona Art museum|
|Top beaches||Families: Barcelonata or the Olympic pool at Monjuic|
|Random stuff||Live music: the easiest way we’ve found is to use Time Out http://www.timeout.com/barcelona/music-nightlife ...and in general it’s way cheaper than the UK Ice creams: the city’s obsessed… http://www.timeout.com/barcelona/shopping/barcelonas-best-ice-cream |
Theme park: Kitsch, trashy, fun and you get spun around lots… http://attractions.timeout.cat/en/16587/tours/Barcelona/PortAventura-Day-Trip-from-Barcelona/d562-2140PORTAVENTURA
Safety and being smart
Like all big cities there are good parts and bad parts. Things to remember are that with high youth unemployment, Spain is a poor country, and there’s some street crime. We’ve never had any problems, but here are some tips for being streetwise
- Medieval district is beautiful and safe by day, but the thin passages can be dangerous at night
- Avoid late night cash machines near night clubs: In a city where clubbing starts at 1am and goes till breakfast, many people find themselves at a cash machine by themselves at 3am. Making sure you have money before you go out avoids the situation happening.
- Don’t leave mobile phones on tables at outside restaurant: A €500 iPhone is almost a month’s wages, so keeping valuables safe is smart
- Drugs at clubs:The city has a few big clubs and there is a drugs problem (any problems you see are likely to be drug related, and unlike here clubs don’t seem to have any responsibility for people so it can get messy).
Having said all that, the only safety and health problem we’ve seen is sunburn, as April-Oct it can be real strong and with a sea breeze you could go Rioja colour without knowing it!