Eixample, Barcelona from the air
“It was around 7-8 years ago when I first stepped into the world that is Barcelona. I didn’t exactly choose a great time of year to visit (it was December) and I wasn’t staying in a particularly touristy area (Gràcia), but nevertheless I ended up falling in love with the city, making it my eventual home.
It’s funny, because over the past 7 years the city has seen the economy go from an all time high to a low. The first restaurant I ever ate at in Barcelona is now closed, many new shops have replaced old ones that just couldn’t make it… A lot has changed… Yet the city is always the same as I remembered it the first time I came here. I call this effect the Barcelona Charm.
So how can you experience Barcelona Charm; a memory of the city that carries on like a flowing story, as if you never left, each time you visit? Maybe if you experience the city the way I have, you’ll see what I mean. Read the rest of this article…
The Bloody Mary at Picnic
“My brother and I sometimes play a travel game where you get points for the number of countries you have visited – I’m at 40 whereas he is at 60+ so it’s going to be a while till I catch up, however I do believe that extra points should be awarded if you manage to live in a foreign country; especially one with a different language! Therefore, as a sun-loving Australian and after spending 6 years in grey London, how could I pass up the opportunity to move to and immerse myself in the fabulous city of Barcelona (and try to add to my travel points!).
My perfect day in Barcelona is during summer and begins with brunch at Picnic (c/ Comerç, 1). This is the place where the friendly staff serve hearty Bloody Mary’s in gigantic rustic jars! Disclaimer: Picnic actually opens at 12:30 but as this is my fantasy day it opens early for me! Read the rest of this article…
The beach at Barceloneta
“I first visited Barcelona just under four years ago. It was an unplanned visit but one that would set me up to fall helplessly in love with the place. I was on a four-month sabbatical from my job in London to focus on my ‘other’ life as an artist. I had started off in a small village in France but it was there I realised it wasn’t the peace and quiet or nature that was inspiring me but the vibrancy and energy of a city. So I headed to Barcelona. I arrived in to BCN at Arc de Triomfand had a while to wait for a friend so I grabbed an ice cream and sat by the exit to the metro watching the city fall in to its afternoon routine. Coming from London, where everything runs at an acutely fast pace, I felt an extension of time in the way the people of BCN went about things.
The streets of Barceloneta
After I met my friend we grabbed a drink in the back streets of Barceloneta, an area which would soon become a real favourite of mine, and decided the only thing to do as a new visitor to the city was to head to the beach and jump in the sea. We quickly stripped down and threw ourselves into the water diving in and out of the waves. At one point I turned back to look at the city around us and felt a further sense of adoration for the place. Something about being in the water surrounded by the throngs of a city, but more than that, a sense of energy from the place that I couldn’t quite place yet. I felt it had welcomed me with open arms instantly. No judgement. Read the rest of this article…
“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.
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…
“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.
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…