No more pictures, go and check the rest out for yourself!
Barcelona, like the rest of Spain, has wonderful food. I can't remember the names of all the places I ate and I massively regret not making a note of the names of some of my favourite spots -word of advice, when travelling with a friend who knows their way around, make sure to take a note of places you love so that you have your own reference! Places I did make a note of, probably because they were a little unorthodox and out of keeping with all the lovely fresh sea food and paella I ate elsewhere include:
Bun Bo Vietnam
This place was amazing. The decor is wonderful, vibrant, cosy and with a ceiling full of lanterns! Though I appreciate that it's tempting to dine outside in Spain, the interior is well worth a visit.
Tip: my friend, who's vegetarian, often struggles to find things to eat in Spain but she was well catered for here. It also has a fairly young/trendy vibe.
If you're a fan of Japanese food and sushi check out Zuka Japones in Sant Cugat (a short train ride out of Barcelona but well worth it for the patisseries, shoe shops and the Medieval Monastery.)
Tip: for those on a budget they have an amazingly affordable lunch deal which includes 4 courses, coffee and a glass of wine!
There are so many other places that were great and as previously mentioned, I wish I'd made a note of their names. My other tips would be frozen yoghurt which is delicious, refreshing and low calorie. There's also a lovely pizza/seafood place in Tossa de Mar which my friend's family have been eating in for decades which has lovely food. The family go fishing every morning and serve their freshly caught goodies that day. I can't remember the name but could hunt it out if anyone was dying to know. I'd recommend, as weird as it sounds, their salmon pizza. Yum.
|Delicious tapas goodness|
ALSO - I'm not sure what they were called but green mild chillies roasted and sprinkled with loads of salt were so so very good!
Tip: apparently every now and then you get a really spicy one so beware
My three favourite spots are:
Hotel 1989 on Las Ramblas
Their chilli mojito is delicious and they have incredible views across the whole city by night. If you can't afford to stay in the most beautiful hotels, then lounge around their roof terrace bar in your prettiest dress and pretend for an evening that you can.
Black Rose. This is a fabulous Mexican bar/restaurant with cheap, very strong mojitos and a kind of manic but really impressive decor. Packed to the seams with young people and with a really lively ambience, this place is totally worth checking out. It's also only round the corner from Bun Bo Vietnam. Here's their website:
This place is beautiful. I mean truly stunning.
It's also a restaurant which is supposed to be amazing but on my kind of budget, a couple of cocktails upstairs was all we could afford each. Fortunately, the bar staff took pity on our student status and free cocktails and shooters were slipped our direction all night. It was a quiet night and we were very well dressed, I can't imagine that such treatment is usual. Additionally, my friend being gorgeous, blonde and fluent in Spanish certainly helped. Anyway, the place is glorious and the drinks divine. It's the kind of place where they ask what kind of mood you're in and they make a drink to suit you. I had a lovely gin based cocktail, a whisky one which came in a metal tumbler covered in shards of ice and a lemon and cinammon liqueur poured out of a little tea pot plus complimentary shooters and raspberry mojitos. Even the bathroom is just phenomenal. Dozens of vintage mirrors in all shapes and sizes cover the walls which reflect the hundreds of candles which illuminate the room. There's a water fountain in the centre, mirrors on the ceilings of the toilets (which are unisex) and a dj booth in the corner. Yes, a dj booth. They actually hold parties in the toilets.
If you're in Barcelona it's worth making a trip out to a beach. I know Barcelona city has its own beach but it's artificial, and frankly, awful compared to some of the real gems that are only a short journey away. Many are accessible by train with delightful views along the way to keep you entertained. Alternatively, hiring a car between friends provides another fun way of seeing a bit more of Spain and reaching a beach. My two favourite are Tamaru and Tossa but Sitges is very popular and has a busy nightlife.
Barcelona has plenty more wonderful things to offer. I particularly enjoyed the Fundació Joan Miró which currently has a guest exhibition of Mona Hatoum's work. If you're not familiar with her art I'd recommend checking her out.
If you end up outside Barcelona, say around La Floresta, head to the swimming pool by day and feed the wild boar by hand at night (ok I probably shouldn't recommend doing that and it is potentially very dangerous but it was an amazing experience at the time).
Of course there's the Picasso Museum to visit, Tibidabo to check out the vintage fairground, basilica and amazing views, plus plenty of shops to keep you busy. Happy holidays!