This is just one of the cities that has it all, climate, beach, delicious food, culture. Sadly we did not have more than three days in Barcelona. But from what we experienced we concluded that there was so much more we simply have to go back and experience. Here is what we did, saw, and ate.
First, not sure why La rambla is found on the list of must visit places in Barcelona. We might have missed something, but from what we saw, it was a tourist trap nightmare. The whole streek was crowded with tourists and filled with stands with a lot of useless souvenirs and merchandise. Unless this is your cup of tea, we would advice to find other places in Barcelona to spend your precious time.
OK, so over to the more successful experiences. We started our day with a lovely sandwich and glass of cava at MasQMenos. it is a great spot for breakfast, lunch and brunch. If you are into sushi, try trendy and popular ‘Parco’ – not too far from Gaudis Casa Batlló.
Instead of La Rambla – try ‘Passeig del Born’, a much more cozy and less touristy area with loads of cafes, restaurants, shops and great architecture. It’s lively at night.
During the day we had a burger at this cool, laid back restaurant called Makamaka in La Barceloneta close to the beach. It’s an “organic” restaurant where the cutlery are made of recycled material. The place had good energy. We had a quick stroll through the Gothic quarter, however we did not have enough time to explore the area.
For dinner we tried to get a table at a very popular tapas spot called Tickets, unfortunately it was fully booked. It is a good idea to make your reservations some weeks ahead to secure a seating there. We went to the 41degrees bar/restaurant which was a cool, hip spot with good food.
Ikibana is also a spot worth visiting, it is a Japanese and Brazilian fusion restaurant with a good atmosphere and good food.
In the evening we visited Banker’s Bar, which is at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Normally we avoid hotel bars/lounges/restaurants, but this one was actually quite nice, as it was semi-detached from the ‘Hotel’. It was a bit quiet and low key though. Overall I would say that it is a good spot to start off your evening with a couple of drinks.
For more lively places, the area by the – Ciutadella / Vila Olímpica is busy and buzzing with lots of bars/lounges, restaurants and clubs. We were at the Carpe Diem or CDLC, which is a restaurant by day (oriental and Asian combined with Mediterranean) and eclectic bar/club during the late evenings. The decor is beautiful and the crowd a mix of locals and foreigners, the clientele – some more fashionable than others. But overall one would probably feel more comfortable wearing a high fashion outfit there than a laid back sneakers/jumper attire. We liked this place and would revisit when back in Barcelona.
If you are into museums, the Museum of national art was worth visiting. There is also a beautiful garden by the museum and you can get a splendid view over the city from here.