My perfect day in Barcelona would be sunny, of course. Not too hot, but most definitely warm, and with a light breeze freshening the air.
It’s a Saturday, and I wake up early to take the opportunity to wander around the Gothic Quarter when most of the residents are still sleeping off their hangovers. Even walking up La Rambla at that time is pleasant, as before the stalls open and the restaurants are still closed you can really appreciate what it was like to take a stroll among the wealthy families of yesteryear. Early morning is also the best time to take photos of the streets around the cathedral; the faux Gothic arch, Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, and Plaça Reial are all peaceful and quiet.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri (credit: talesofbarcelona.com)
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Three years ago I left Barcelona, my home town, to start a new adventure with my family in Stockholm – a welcoming, beautiful and amazing city! However, my genes are Mediterranean, I can’t help that. And as time goes by, I have begun to look at Barcelona with different eyes: with those of a local but with a slight nostalgia and admiration which makes it magic. Every time I’m there I try to get the most out of it, so I think I could write a perfect week instead of just a perfect day!
Cristina at the top of the Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel
Let’s see where my inspiration takes me on my perfect day in Barcelona. It’s almost Christmas and the city is gorgeous so I think I will walk everywhere; I don´t want to miss a single thing. I’ll start early by having breakfast at Dole Café (Manuel de Falla, 16-18). My favorite breakfast is freshly squeezed orange juice, a Popeye baguette and a café con leche. Read the rest of this article…
One of my favourite writers, Sally, champions the district of El Raval in Barcelona.
Sally at the Barcelo 360 Bar
‘…the district of sinners, crooks and toughs, a maggot hill, a cesspit and cavern, a den of criminals. It is fetishized, endowed with causal powers, apparently destroying all moral and physical life within it… a terrible centre for infection, the pestulant bottom of a sewer, with its smell of sin and affliction. Many of the area’s inhabitants mutated into a subhuman race. Everyone has funereal features, the look of having recently been in hospital, the appearance of death. They don’t eat. They nourish themselves with alcohol, morphine, ether, ‘coke’ and wine’
An Imagined Geography: Ideology, Urban Space, and Protest in the Creation of Barcelona’s ‘Chinatown’ by Chris Ealham, c.1835–1936 Read the rest of this article…
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria
He doesn’t sound Spanish, he doesn’t even look Spanish, but second-generation Catalan, Joel Serra Bevin certainly knows Spanish food. Papa Serra was his grandfather and after living in New Zealand, Australia, London and New York, Joel has come back to his roots and started his Barcelona Culinary Adventures.
Barcelona cooking classes
His Spanish cooking classes and food market tours in Barcelona are a fantastic introduction to this fascinating cuisine in the city that Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations fame described as “the most exciting place to eat in the Western world”.
The Boqueria Market Tour
Joel was kind enough to invite me along, so I met him, and the rest of the group, at 9am one morning at the entrance to the Boqueria market. Joel furnished us with glasses of cava and explained a bit about the history of the market and how it had developed over the years. I’d never been to the market at such an early hour and it was such a joy to see it a lot less crowded than I’m used to. Read the rest of this article…
An article from the cava lady, Anna Wallner, on the delights of drinking cava in Barcelona.
Cava tasting in Barcelona
The first time I visited Barcelona, I had already fallen in love with cava during my sommelier studies. It was in the beginning of April and it was still very cold in Sweden, but when we stepped out of BCN Airport the sun was on my face and the warmth was in the air (at least if you compare it to Sweden). Since that first visit I have come back as often as I can, usually 2-4 times a year. But even so I miss Barcelona when I’m at home in Sweden and especially now during winter when the snow builds high outside my door and the darkness is so thick it feels like you can cut it with a knife. But a glass of really nice cava on a Friday when I come home from work, really lights up even the darkest November day.
Barcelona makes me happy because the city embodies everything I love about life, fantastic food, great weather, the sea, wonderful architecture and history, great and friendly people and of course Cava. When visiting the city I feel free, and my husband and I can use our days for exactly what we want. Read the rest of this article…