Houses in Carrer Campoamor, Horta-Guinardó
Being born and raised in Barcelona has given me the chance to enjoy this wonderful city in many ways. Now that I live abroad, I still regularly come back to Barcelona, to see my family and friends, to enjoy Barcelona’s culinary and cultural hotspots, and of course, the nice weather and the sun! For my perfect day in Barcelona I’ve made a summary of my favourite places and local spots, which I always enjoy visiting.
My perfect day would begin in Horta, which is the neighbourhood where I grew up and where my family lives. At one of the terraces in Plaça Eivissa I would start my day with a café con leche (a cup of coffee with milk) and some sweet pastry. At Plaça Eivissa there’s also a churrería. Pick a handful of churros and eat them while you discover Horta! Carrer del Tajo is the main shopping street with a local market you cannot miss. A bit further you can discover Carrer d’Aiguafreda, where in the past century clothes from Barcelona’s upper-class members were cleaned. Read the rest of this article…
Barcelona is a city of perfect days. Among all the cities I’ve visited, I consider it to be among the most liveable and lovable metropolises on Earth. Blessed with warm weather more than six months a year, flanked by the ocean and mountains, great nightlife and culture, dozens of parks, loads of good museums, bike lanes, citywide free wi-fi, and a broad variety of people from all over the world, each day in Barcelona is better than the last.
Which makes it hard to pick a ‘Perfect Day in Barcelona,’ but for the purpose of this article, I will try. In this edition of A Perfect Day in Barcelona I will try to illustrate not only Barcelona’s variety—food, culture, nature and wide open spaces—but its infrastructure as well.
Barcelona’s city planners prioritize pedestrians over cars. You can see this with its sidewalks that are as wide—if not wider—than the roads for vehicles, and there are lanes and parking stands for bikes everywhere. A city not so big, you can get everywhere on foot, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, or scooter, if you are so inclined. But should your feet fail you, there is Barcelona’s public transport system with buses, trams, and metros which are well-run and are relatively cheap.
Barcelona is a city that is centred on life. Tired? Here’s a bench to sit on. Thirsty? There are water fountains everywhere. Bored? Just go to any plaça and you will find buskers and performers so talented you wonder why they aren’t on television or on stage. Libraries and parks are open to the public so that people can exercise their body as well as their minds. Dogs are welcome in many establishments, and those that don’t, provide cute little leash hooks outside their doors so that man’s best friend doesn’t wander away. Read the rest of this article…
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…
Pi d’en Xandri, oldest pine tree in Catalunya
“My ideal day in Barca would be to get up for sunrise and make my way down on bicycle, all groggy and sleepy eyed, to the beach, to watch the sunrise, and if it is summer to go for a swim. Then I would head to the Cafe De L’Opera (La Rambla, 74) and grab a coffee and some breakfast which would probably take the shape of one of their delicious cakes they have on offer. And their coffee is hot. I have never had a cold or luke warm coffee there yet. Lovely good hot coffee, a great way to set you up for the day.
Then I would take my bicycle and head off to Sant Cugat for a bike ride. A great route is ‘La Ruta de les Ermites’. It does not take long and you can be back in Barca for lunch. The cycle up Collserola is tough (for me) but there is a petrol station halfway up that you can stop at and buy chocolate treats, water and anything you need to quench your thirst or top up the energy levels. Then the route winds through the Collserola hillside past some ancient ermitages ending in Sant Cugat with the finale being the oldest pine tree in Catalunya. 250 yrs old. Lovely great big tree, worth a hug! Read the rest of this article…