My BARCELONA travel guide – must do’s and eats

Barcelona

It is like in a movie: In Barcelona every evening all different kind of people sit around and cook together. There is always something happening everywhere. Here are my top tips for you for this wonderful and vivid city on the Mediterranean coast wich is full of the joys of life:

Where we stayed      Transportation       Culinary Highlights & Bars

Seightseeing       my advice

Barcelona
Barcelona Downtown
Barcelona Downtown
Barcelona Downtown

Where we stayed:

We found our wonderful city appartment on the website AirBnB! The hosts originally came from Barcelona and could give us many insider tips which I will share with you of course below.

Barcelona AirBnB Appartment

Transportation:

It’s super easy to walk through the whole city. It brings the advantage of exploring all kind of unknown places which you would never see while taking the public transport. The straight street system of squares makes it easy to keep the orientation. If you decide to buy the Barcelona card – which brings many privileges and free entrances on sights – you will be able to use the metro and bus services for free. Otherwise I would suggest you to buy a ten-journey ticket. It only costs 10€, so just 1€ per journey. My boyfriend and I, we didn’t use the Barcelona card. It is really not necessary to buy it.

Culinary Highlights & Bars:

Of course most of the good bars and restaurants are super crowded, but you just have to experience this while you are in Barcelona. In the tiniest places people will drink beer and sparkling wine and eat tapas. It is in common to go to dinner very late. On 6 PM the restaurants will be almost completely empty. Starting from 9 PM you will always have to make a reservation!

tapas-bar-restaurant “Bosque Palermo”

Restaurants:

The first evening the hosts recommended a traditional tapas-bar-restaurant “Bosque Palermo” where we ordered the famous Paella which originally comes from Valencia. It is a Spanish rice dish which is made in a hot metal pan with lots of olive oil. Therefore, the name is originated by the Latin word patella which means big metal plate or bowl. Traditional and fresh made Paella needs at least 30 minutes to be cooked. In this restaurant they even wrote this fact on the wall. In very touristic areas of the city they will just take the Paella out of the fridge and heat it up. Hence you will always now it is a ready-to-eat meal when they serve it too fast. The ingredients are seafood, meat, green beans, red paprika called “garrofones” , whole and unpeeled cloves of garlic, unpeeled tomatoes and rice. Our hosts said this paella here is the best in town. And I believe him because it was super delicious! I can definitely recommend this place! We actually went there twice during our city trip!

Bosque Palermo Adress: C/Valencia, 163, 08011 Barcelona

Tel: 93 453 10 09

tapas-bar-restaurant “Bosque Palermo”
tapas-bar-restaurant “Bosque Palermo”
tapas-bar-restaurant “Bosque Palermo”

The second night we went to the “MAITEA Taberna” – a hot & cold pintxos bar. A Spanish friend recommended it to me. A pincho is a small meal which is served with drinks in Spanish bars. Pinchos are more lavish than tapas and are usually placed on the bar counter. It’s common usage to ask for a plate first and then take the pinchos by oneself. The name pincho comes from the Spanish word for “skewer”. In this bar you had to pay the amount of sticks (which hold the pinchos together) you ate in the end. One stick cost 1,70€. The next time I will come to Barcelona this will be the place to go first for dinner! Such a fun bar!

MAITEA Taberna Adress: Casanova, 155 (Còrsega-Paris), 08036 Barcelona

Tel: 93 439 51 07

pinchos bar MaiTea in Barcelona
pinchos bar MaiTea in Barcelona
pinchos bar MaiTea in Barcelona
pinchos bar MaiTea in Barcelona
pinchos bar MaiTea in Barcelona

Another night we went to the hidden local restaurant “Restaurante Rincón del Angel Cervecería”- also recommended by our AirBnB hosts – where we ordered a 3-course menu for two persons (you can only order this for at least two persons). We would never ever have passed by if they hadn’t told us! The first dish was a HUGE paella soup with a whole lobster and many mussels. For the second one you could choose between a fish or a huge lamb steak. We decided for the lamb steak which was about 1kg and very tender and which had a great taste. For the third course you could choose in between the daily cake offer and we took a tasty lemon cake. We couldn’t believe how cheap it was!! We just payed 20€ per person for this including a whole bottle of wine!!! In this restaurant there won’t be very many people which might seem a little odd at first, but that is just because it is not in the center of the city. Don’t let this frighten you. This place is my best culinary tip for you!

Restaurante Rincón del Angel Cervecería Adress: Urgell, 160, 08036 Barcelona

Paella Lobster Soup
1kg lamb steak

While walking through Barcelona, I discovered another great tapas bar called “Cervesería Catalana”. It seems to be quite popular in Barcelona. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to try it, but next time I will check it out. But what I can tell you, it looks amazing, it is super crowded and you will definitely have to make a reservation. It is one of the best places in Barcelona to try tapas, but quite expensive.

Cervesería Catalana Adress: Mallorca 236, Barcelona

Tel: 93 216 03 68

Bars:

Rooftop bar in the W-Hotel near the beach:

the W-Hotel in Barcelona
Alina Spiegel in the W-Hotel bar
Alina Spiegel in the W-Hotel bar
cocktails in the W-Hotel bar
beach next to the W-Hotel bar
beach next to the W-Hotel bar
beach next to the W-Hotel bar

On Saturdays you can listen to Flamenco music in the bar Robador 23 which is the name and the adress of the bar at the same time.

Café:

Bubó café

Bubó café in Barcelona
Bubó café in Barcelona
Bubó café in Barcelona
Bubó café in Barcelona

As well we tried the common flaky vanilla pastries:

Vanilla pastries

Seightseeing:

Las Ramblas     la Boqueria      Sagrada Familia      Parc Güell

Casa Battló      Casa Milà      the Montjuïc      Old Hospital

“Las Ramblas“:

In my opinion “las Ramblas” is one of the most touristic spots in Barcelona. Especially at night it is fun to watch because there are tons of people standing around and drinking from red cans. First it looked like coke cans to me, but then I realized it was the Estrella beer :D. One time you should definitely check it out, but after that I would try to avoid this area. It is full with touristic shops, H&Ms and pickpockets. I found it a little boring and not special at all. Avoid the restaurants there. Like I said before, there you will get ready-to-eat paella from the fridge for sure and super expensive.

Astonishment in “la Boqueria”:

If you like to taste traditional food you MUST go at least once to Barcelona’s biggest food market “Mercat de la Boqueria” next to the Ramblas. It is absolutely worth a visit! It was one of our favourite spots and we almost went there every day! Some families there have their food stall for centuries!

 La Boqueria

Here you will find an excellent selection from salmon and meat to all kind of vegetables and fruits at fair prices. A good place if you rent an apartment (like on AirBnB) and love to cook by yourself. If you love fruitshakes, you will definitely have to try the ones there!! They were one of the best ones I have ever had in my entire life! My favorites were the avocado coconut, papaya coconut or pure coconut one! Still in love and I miss these shakes SOOO much here!! Also there are a few really good looking and crowded tapas bars in between.

 La Boqueria
 La Boqueria
 La Boqueria
 La Boqueria

Sagrada Familia:

In my opinion the Sagrada Familia is the number one must-see in Barcelona. It was the most astonishing and impressive church I have ever seen. For me it looked like a temple made by elves. Thousands of tourists gather together there every day to admire this incredible and unique building! Therefore, I recommend you to buy a ticket before online! Otherwise you will have to stand and wait in line for at least 2 hours before you can enter! Also I would suggest taking a guided tour including the towers. The Sagrada Familia is still not finished. The highest tower which will have a planned height 170 m is still missing and for the main entrance a few houses in the surrounding neighborhood need to be removed first. A beautiful park with fountains will be built in front. The final date for finishing the church is set in 2026. I am excited if they will make it. The whole project is financially covered by the entrance fees. So the visitors with all kind of nationalities help to finance the church’s constructions and renovations. Basically this is why it became an international project.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Sagrada Familia

The architect Antoni Gaudi created an upside down model in a 1:10 scale of the arched forms of the church. He devoted ten years of his life to a „hanging chain“ model made of weights on strings. He hung cords from the points where columns should be placed. The next step was forming the cords. Therefore, he added small sacks filled with pellets, weighing one ten-thousandth part of the weight the arches would have to support. After finishing the model, he photographed it and turned it upside-down. He thought when the natural, physical rules create the perfect tension of curves upside down they will have to work the other way round as well – and indeed he was right. This model was extremely time consuming and labor intensive. His original model can be seen in the basement of the church in Barcelona (see photo).

Parc Güell:

Also here you should definitely buy a ticket online before you travel to Barcelona. The Parc Güell is one of the major works of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona. A small tip for you: In the very early morning it is even for free and not so crowded.

Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell
Parc Güell

Casa Battló:

The Casa Battló is one of the most interesting buildings of Antoni Gaudi. It is a must-see in Barcelona and I loved the audio guide with a smartphone like use. It was one of my personal top places to visit in this city.

Casa Battló

Casa Milà:

Casa Milà
Casa Milà
Casa Milà

Climbing the Montjuïc:

Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc

The Montjuïc is basically the nearby mountain of the city. Most of the tourists go straight to the castle. My boyfriend and I though, we took the cable railway starting from the harbor. There is also another cable railway starting from the metro-station Montjuïc. On top of the “mountain” there is a quiet parc – perfect for a picknick in the sun. Also the castle is nice to watch and from there you will have an amazing vire over the harbour and the city.

Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc
Climbing the Montjuïc

The old Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau:

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

To finish this post please follow my advice: Be careful with thiefs!

In Europe Barcelona is the number one city with pickpockets – even before Rome! Therefore, never bring too much cash with you, or your pass. Better leave your purse in the apartment! The thiefs are very skilled and clever. Once you are not paying attention your belongings will be gone. So better don’t stop by if someone is trying to chat up on you – especially not at night and not drunk!

¡Que os lo paséis bien!

Yours,

Alina 🙂

Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona

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Did you like this blog entry? I hope you enjoyed this post, check in next week for more tips or have a look at my other posts. Please feel free to share them and to leave a comment. You can subscribe to my website or follow me on Instagram or Facebook. On Instagram you also will find simple snapshots of my daily life taken with my cellphone besides professional photography and fashion themes.

See you soon, XOXO

By | 2017-09-19T12:41:02+00:00 Juni 30th, 2016|Blog, Travel Blog|2 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Alina Spiegel. People call me "Miss Mirror" because of my last name "Spiegel" which means mirror in English. I love to express myself through fashion every day in a new way depending on the mood I feel. I have always been fascinated by fashion and I have designed my own clothes since I was ten years old.

2 Comments

  1. Lynn 17. Februar 2017 at 9:07 - Reply

    Hi there! I know this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established website such as yours require a
    lot of work? I’m brand new to operating a blog however I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you ave any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring bloggers.
    Thank you!

    • Alina Spiegel 17. Februar 2017 at 13:10 - Reply

      Dear Lynn,
      of course it takes a lot of work, effort and courage to do this. It is not as easy as it seems. I started about 2 years ago. It took me many, many hours so far and I am still working on it almost every week! In my opinion it is important to create own content such as photos and copies and to tell your readers your own experiences. Give them tips!
      Best,
      Alina

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