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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Seeing Barcelona from above is a must in this city. With all the range of architecture from the Modernista buildings in Eixample, to the modern Torre Agbar, Gothic Barcelona Cathedral and the way they are sprawled across the city in a grid system before meeting the sea – it is all quite spectacular! So we have put together a few of our favourite places to enjoy the incredible vistas.
If you consider yourself young, brave and somewhat a raver, Sala Apolo is a nightclub you need to head to. If you haven’t already seen the ads for their Nasty Mondays, you’ve certainly missed out (provocative beyond belief). Each night has a themed party with other nights including, Crappy Tuesdays, whilst Wednesday is Mundo Caníbal with reggae. There is certainly something for all and it is known to be energetic, eclectic and a little crazy.
During the first week of August, Teatre Grec will host OPERAir Barcelona Festival provides a full production of Bizet’s world famous opera ‘Carmen’. Unlike the Grec festival that takes place every July, this will be one of the first open air opera festivals, which has already proven to be popular worldwide. The ‘Orquestra de Sant Cugat’ and ‘The Amics de Coro Terrassa’, will be performing and are sure to captivate the audience with a chilling and unforgettable performance.
When El Mercat de Born was inaugurated late last year and it is safe to say that it wasn’t your average market opening in Barcelona. The market was designed by municipal architect Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1874 and 1878. In it’s former day, the market was a pivotal part of the wholesale trade, with merchants buying and selling but was closed in 1971. Much was said about a re-inauguration, but all to no avail. In 2013 it finally remerged, but instead of returning as a market, it is a museum, with the original ruins impressively showcased under the glass flooring of the space.
Sure there’s Barcelona’s Barceloneta beach but when you feel like venturing a little further out we suggest you head over to Ocata. It is approximately 20 minutes away from Plaça Catalunya and is long stretch of golden sandy beach. Unlike the city beach, you can find a nice little space to relax, and you’re more likely to find yourself surrounded by locals. Ocata is quiet, pristine and very flat, with plenty of space.
The Sant Joan festival otherwise known as the “Nit de Sant Joan” refers to St John’s Night or St. John’s Eve. It marks the midsummers eve that takes place the evening of the 23rd June. Midsummer solstice is a tradition from ancient times. The summer solstice was considered the most important event of the solar year in ancient times. Fire was celebrated on this day as the symbol of abundance, purity and fertility and up until now, it continues to be a central part of the festivities with fireworks and bonfires. Sant Joan is one of the most exciting, loudest and craziest events of the year and fireworks will be heard non-stop so brace yourselves. Other traditions include cocas, cava, water and fiesta, read below to find out why.
Discover our favourite places in Barcelona to delve into tasty pancakes, hash browns, unwind on the weekend or even detox from previous misdemeanors. Lots of places have been popping up over the last few years, it’s so popular that there is even a website dedicated to such a meal time, Coffee and Brunch BCN. We thought it was only fair that we share some of our regulars in addition to some classics and newbies.
There are lots of claims as to where doughnuts originally come from, with one theory stating that they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers and another suggests that Hanson Gregory, an American, professed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847. Then there’s the doughnut recipe, predating earlier examples, that has been discovered in an recipe book written in 1800 by Baroness Dimsdale, the wife of Baron Thomas Dimsdale in Hertfordshire, UK. Well we’d like to say thanks to all those that contributed to the creation of the doughnut, as we love this sweet confectionary that comes in different sizes, shapes, fillings and toppings for us all to appreciate.
La Perla de Oro (The Gold Pearl) is part fresh food grocery store, part restaurant and brilliantly simple and authentic. You’ll find yourself among locals ordering their usual bocadillo or tapas. This Raval based place has been managed by several owners and is now in the hands of Frenchman Julien and Anouchka Gautier from Extremadura in Spain, a couple that let their influences resonate through the food. They regularly go to France to find products to create their inviting and tasty menu. As for the bread, they buy this from local bakery Baluard, known for delicious and excellent varieties.
Sant Antoni continues to be one of the top places to hang out, have a spot of lunch, brunch and more. Federal Cafe, Tarannà, Café Cometa and Ido DO Balear are just some of the reasons why people head over to this part of town. Els Sortidors del Parlament has been on our restaurant list for sometime, they offer a sublime selection of good tapas and it has an authentic rustic establishment, with exposed brick wall, wines on the shelves, and barrels for you to stand around or sit by to have a glass of vermut and a tapa.