Perfect Days

Hope's Perfect Day in Barcelona ...

Living in Barcelona feels to me like living on holiday, with palm trees, beaches and sun on tap it’s easy to feel that way. So my aim is usually to spend as much time outside as possi [...]

Day to Day

Check out the Gaudí and Modernisme Free To ...

I have been living in Barcelona all my life, so I know the city like the palm of my hand: from the best cafés and cheap traditional restaurants to the most underrated city attractions, [...]

Food & Drink

WSET Wine Courses in Barcelona from Rack and Return ...

I never really drank a lot of wine before coming to Barcelona. But since being here it seems rude not to. And Catalonia, I have learnt, has some of the best wines in the world when it c [...]

Out & About

A Kids & Family Walking Tour of the Gothic Quarte ...

There are many walking tours in Barcelona. But I didn't know of any that had a specific tour for children. After all, what did American actor and writer W.C. Fields say, "never work wit [...]
2012 28/09

Joel’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

photo of Playa de la Mar Bella

Playa de la Mar Bella

“Barcelona… the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.

The perfect day in Barcelona would fall in late September, when the stinging heat gives way to long barmy nights. Barcelona is the only global city with access to incredible beaches via public transport (Sydney and Rio de Janeiro also come to mind), so a morning swim at Playa de la Mar Bella is obligatory.

Breakfast in Spain does not hold the same status as it does in the UK (Full English) or Latin America (Calentado), but a slice of melon draped with jamon, some fresh mato cheese with honey and the caffeine kick of a cortado is a nice way to start the day.

Shops and galleries begin opening at 10am in Barcelona so a visit to the Picasso Museum, the Ferran Adrià & El Bulli exhibition and Roca Gallery will easily fill a few hours and have you thinking about lunch. Read the rest of this article…

2012 26/09

Festa al Cel 2012

Festa al Cel 2012

Festa al Cel 2012 – Let your imagination fly away

Did you think La Mercè was over? Think again. There are events running right up until the end of September. And the annual Barcelona air show, the Festa al Cel, is one of the final events of this year’s festival. Between 10am and 2pm on September 30th the beaches of Mar Bella and Nova Mar Bella are the place to be. The skies above the sea host a spectacular display of all types of flying machines.

The Spanish Air Force, the Spanish Navy, the Spanish Army, aerobatics champions, and international performers both civilian and military take to the skies in light aircraft, helicopters, sea planes, state-of-the-art jets and even a passenger plane for a colourful and sometimes ear-splitting show of flying technology both old and new. Read the rest of this article…

2012 24/09

Barcelona Comedy Festival 2012

Barcelona Comedy Festival

Barcelona Comedy Festival

UPDATE: Due to the government’s recent tax rises Giggling Guiri comedy events that go on throughout the year have come to an end. The only place to see multi-language comedy in Barcelona will be the Barcelona Comedy Festival. This year’s event is still taking place. And hopefully will continue to do so in the future. Even more reason to check this years festival out!

Barcelona Comedy Festival logoComedy in Spain, organisers of the popular Giggling Guiri comedy nights in Barcelona, are yet again attempting to defy the ‘crisis’ with this year’s Barcelona International Comedy Festival (Festival Internacional de Comedia de Barcelona).

The comedy festival runs between the 27th September and 21st October. That’s 4 weeks of comedic entertainment right here in Barcelona.

The World’s Only Multilingual Comedy Festival

Since 2007 Comedy in Spain have hosted live comedy shows in 8 different languages – Catalan, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, German, French and English. This year’s shows are mainly in English but there is also a show in Dutch and one in Swedish.

So who is at this Barcelona Comedy Festival?

photo of Rich Hall

Deadpan American comedy legend, Rich Hall

The two headline acts have to be Ireland’s Sean Hughes and Rich Hall from the US. Sean has the first Saturday of the festival, September 29th. Rich Hall closes proceedings in Barcelona on October 20th. These are two huge acts and I know that Comedy in Spain have been trying to pin down Rich Hall for years. You can see these two great acts for only 15€ each! Or even better value is 25€ for both nights. You wouldn’t be able to see these guys in London for twice the price. Read the rest of this article…

2012 19/09

Helen’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

“What is a perfect day? Is anything perfect? Well even if there is no such thing as perfection, it’s possible to get near perfection! Having lived in Barcelona for 5 years, I can safely say that there are many things to see and do which makes up a perfect day for me. However my perfect day involves food and drink with lots of relaxing, one of life’s pleasures!

Food and drink are a passion of mine so it’s important to start the day off on the right track with a good breakfast. Barcelona has an abundance of bakeries and breakfast emporiums where one can enjoy a variety of food. However, one of my favourite places to have breakfast is at the Pastisseria Mauri (c/ Provença, 241). This is a traditional pastisseria which has been open since 1929. There are plenty of things to choose from, ranging from sandwiches to pastries.

photo outside Cacao Sampaka

Cacao Sampaka, c/ Consell de Cent, 292

After breakfast, I would go for a walk down Rambla de Catalunya and soak up the ambience, rummaging through the shops and small boutiques of L’Eixample. If one works up a thirst, then the chocolate shop, Cacao Sampaka (c/ Consell de Cent, 292), is the ideal place. With chocolate from all over the world, the smell is overwhelming. There is a little café at the back of the shop which serves up the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. Try the dark hot chocolate. It’s delightful. Read the rest of this article…

2012 17/09

La Mercè Barcelona 2012

photo of the Correfoc

The Correfoc at La Mercè

After a summer of festivals for each barrio it is all brought to a close with La Mercè – Barcelona’s very own festa major. The festival is a celebration of the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, (La Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan) on September 24th. This first became an official holiday in 1871 but most of the present day events really began to take shape in 1902.

This year the festival runs from the 21st – 24th September 2012. Although there are many events either side of this.

La Mercè 2012 Programme

Gigantes-y Cabezudos

Gigantes-y Cabezudos

There are many hundreds of events this year. So do check out the festival programmes to make sure you get to see the things that interest you. Unfortunately they seem to have only produced it in Catalan this year.

Expect to see the Sardana, the popular Catalan dance, performed throughout Barcelona. The castellers produce their incredible human towers. And the papier maché giants parade around the city. Sounding strange enough yet?

32a Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya

There is the Catalan wine and cava fair at Arc de Triomf that is well worth a visit. This is a change of location from previous years when it was down at Port Vell. The 32a Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya is on Passeig de Lluís Companys, the bit between Arc de Trimof and the park, all weekend. Buy a glass and some tickets and take your pick from the many wines and cavas on offer from the region.

Read the rest of this article…

2012 14/09

El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim de la Boqueria

Quim at the bar of El Quim de la Boqueria

El Quim de la Boqueria is a tapas bar in the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona. Most places in the Boqueria are good to eat. But El Quim de la Boqueria and Bar Pinotxo I’d heard were the stand outs.

I was reminded of Quim’s place by Rachel. She did a stint there as a chef and it sounded like hard work. And you see why. All of the eateries in the Boqueria are small cramped affairs for the staff. They comprise a central area where all the staff work and serve the customers sitting at the bar around the outside. You’re separated by the counter which houses all the good things to eat in cabinets. Read the rest of this article…

2012 12/09

Rachel’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

Forn de Sant Jaume

Forn de Sant Jaume – photo © La Florinata

“My perfect day in Barcelona is a walking and eating day.

It starts on a sunny summer day at about 7:30 am with a run down the center of Rambla Catalunya, through La Rambla, down to the pier and over to the W Hotel. This is a great time to be out, as there are not a lot of cars and almost no pedestrians on La Rambla, and it’s a great running route if you’re staying in Rambla Catalunya.

As I head back, I stop a ½ block from my apartment at Forn de Sant Jaume (Rambla de Catalunya, 50) bakery and pick up a post workout snack – the best chocolate croissant I’ve found in Barcelona. It has to be the one with the powered sugar on top, not the chocolate covering the outside. It is perfectly buttery, yet like and flakey. If you get them early enough after they come out of the oven, the chocolate is still oozy. Yummmm.

El Quim de la Boqueria

Rachel & Quim at El Quim de la Boqueria

After a shower, I head back down La Rambla to El Quim de la Boqueria for breakfast at around 9:30-10 am. Quim makes the best potato tortilla (Spanish omelette) in town, but I’m torn as my favorite is actually the huevos con setas (eggs with wild mushrooms).  He uses olive oil for everything, so it’s 2 fried eggs in olive oil, topped with a mix of mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, all topped with a balsamic reduction. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. and perhaps a plate of either razor clams or gambas con cava to round out breakfast and I’m set for at least 2 more hours. ;) Read the rest of this article…

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