I decided it would be best to do a little wrap up/mini-guide from my recent trip to Barcelona since I received a slew of emails requesting me to do such. So here you go!
1. Boqueria Market - Naturally your first stop will be Las Ramblas, but just off this street is a gastronomic temple which congregates all the phases in the food chain.
2. Everything Gaudí (if you are a first-timer) – One of the greatest architects to have ever lived! His work is intricate, colorful and makes you feel like you are experiencing psychedelic paraphernalia. My top hits are Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and Casa Batlló, though you will notice his work everywhere you go while touring the city.
3. Montjüic - A broad, shallow hill offering picturesque views of the city and houses sites summer olympics of 1992, the Palau Nacional, and the Castell de Montjuïc. Perfect place for a stroll and a picnic.
4. Museu Picasso - A large selection of his work.
5. El Born and Barri Gotic - my favorite little barrios in Barcelona. Fashionable for the Spaniards but also very authentic.
6. Sitges - If you have a free day, grab the train to this beach town just 35 minutes away. It’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona and offers adorable shops and vibrant beaches.
7. AquaBliss Fish Spa - They are not allowed in the US so might as well try it while abroad.
Eat: Besides for drinking mass amount of Cava (Spain’s version of Champagne):
1. Dos Palillos - Where Spanish Tapas meets Asian delicacies and the chefs hails from El Bulli.
2. Cervecería Catalana - Mouth-watering Tapas in a very hip part of town. Absolutely delicious and adorable. It’s also popular with the locals.
3. Cal Pep - Well made tapas in a traditional Spanish setting.
4. Pez Vela - Fancy crowd just below the W Hotel, but still holds court with their traditional Spanish cuisine. Perfect just before a night out!
5. El Quim - One of the many little restaurant bars in the Boqueria Market, but definitely worth it if you have the patience to find a seat.
6. Tickets - one of the impossible restaurants to get into in Barcelona, but with the name “El Bulli” behind it, there is no wonder why.
1. Eclipse Bar - top floor of the W Hotel with lovely views. Nice for a cocktail to start the evening. I prefer the crowd on weekdays vs. weekends.
2. Sutton Club - is one of the most exclusive and glamorous clubs of Barcelona… at least that is what they say. It is your fancy smancy bottle service club where many big djs spin their beats.
3. Opium Mar - located on the touristy beachfront in Barcelona long with a slew of other discotecas, Opium is considered the most posh and offers great djs.
Shopping: Barcelona is more of a discount shopping arena, so plan on finding many shops that try to knock of designer threads. Unfortunately the quality doesn’t match the look.
1. Passeig de Gràcia - Barcelona’s main shopping street with all the luxury shops.
2. Santa Eulalia - Spain’s answer to the luxury concept store. I must admit, it is pretty fabulous.
3. Zara: Since the brand originates in Spain, you can get a luxury look for a fraction of the price. Best part, in Spain the prices are considerably lower than anywhere else. 16 Passeig de Gràcia (best location of them all).
4. Massimo Dutti - Ralph Lauren with a gaucho flair.
1. Hotel Arts - Also check out their restaurant Arola.
2. W Barcelona - Fab views from the top floor of the beach sweeping into the city.
3. Mandarin Oriental - Also check out their restaurant Moments.
4. Casa Camper - boutique hotel in the center of everything.
Of course I know there are many more places to discover. These are just suggestions from my past experiences. Let me know what you think and if you would like to add any of your favorites. Venga! Besos NYS
p.s. – Very Important*** Walking, on trains, in restaurants – keep you wallets, purses and valuable very close to you as theft is rampant!