My favorite spots in Barcelona
Tuesday 6 December 2016
I can’t start this blog without writing about Barcelona, the city I’m coming from. When you think about Barcelona, the first images coming into your mind are usually the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi Park, Las Ramblas, tapas bars…places that you should absolutely visit, because they reflect the history and the traditions of the Spanish and Catalans.
However, just like Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and many other European cities…Barcelona has become more modern and influenced by international cultures. The city now is filled with trendy restaurants and cafés, with an inventine and cosmopolite cuisine and contemporary designs. For shopping addicts, Barcelona is also a dream destination (I am not only talking about Zara !), with plenty of new Spanish designers to die for !
I would need pages and pages to list all the places I love, but I tried to pick 5 of them for 5 different purposes : to brunch, shop, enjoy an amazing view of the city, eat, and stay:
1. To brunch on weekends: Flax and Kale
With its orginal and design decoration (made like a giant loft), it’s friendly ambiance and its modern vegetarian menu, Flax and Kale is one of the trendiest places to eat in Barcelona. Go there for brunch on the weekend: try the fish tacos, the avocado toasts, the hot watermelon with goat cheese, the bagel with chia and linen grains, the vegan bowls (big portions!), and don’t miss the homemade cold pressed juices.
2. For a panoramic view of the Barcelona : the Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel
Barcelone brims with amazing rooftops to enjoy the view while sipping on a sangria. My favorite one is the Yurbban Hotel terrasse, located just a few steps from the very central Plaza Catalunia : a small and intimate rooftop with a pool, where you can enjoy a 360° view of the city. Good to know : you don’t need to be a client at the hotel, everyone is welcome !
3. To shop : l’Illa Diagonal
This mall takes a special place in my heart : it opened when I was 16, I was hanging out there all the time as a teenager, and this is where my passion for fashion started ! Because it’s not too big and very charming, it’s the ideal spot for a shopping day with your girlfriends. You will find the giants of Spain’s fashion, such as Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, and less renowned brands like Intropia (my favorite brand!), Cortefiel, Simorra…let’s say that if you would like to discover local designers, this is the spot !
If you’re hungry in between two shopping sessions, stop at the floor dedicated to cafés and restaurants, with very charming and sunny terrasses. If you only had to try one : Andreu, wihtout an hesitation, it’s one of Barcelona’s best and known tapas! But prepare to wait to get a table since it’s a very popular place.
4. To explore the hip spots of the city: El Nacional
El Nacional is an old factory which has been transformed into a gastronomic space, in the heart of Barcelona, and it has become one of the trendiest place of the city. You will find lots of booths and restaurants offering a wide variety of Spanish and international specialties (tapas, fresh fish, oysters, cheese, gin&tonic bar, beer bars…). I love the casual and friendly ambiance, I stop there everytime I am in Barcelona because it really makes me feel like I am back home!
5. To stay in the city : Hotel Ciutat
After the best tapas place, the other thing people ask me all the time about Barcelona is the address of a central and affordable hotel. I always recommend the Hotel « La Ciutat », located right in the middle of two historical districts in the old city : « Born » and « Barrio Gotico ». From there you can visit most of the city walking : you’re 10 minutes from the port, La Barceloneta beach, Las Ramblas, La Plaza Catalunia…and 3mn from the iconic Piccaso museum.
Cherry on top : the rooftop with a charming and typical view on the old Spanish roofs.