Oh Barcelona, you beauty. You had me entranced at first sight! This was our first stop on a magical 4 week adventure in the beautiful country of Spain, and it really did not disappoint. We spent a total of 6 days here, 3 at the beginning of the trip and 3 at the end. The architecture, lively culture, warm people & great weather make this a perfect all year destination, although it’s especially fantastic in the summer months.
Our Airbnb was centrally located right off La Rambla, but a few streets away from the throngs of tourists and maddening crowds. It’s a good idea to stay as central as possible if you’re only here for a few days, this way you maximise your time, get to see as much as possible on foot, and minimise the amount spent on cabs.
Day 1 we spent walking around all evening and then caught up with a friend that lives in the city at one of his favourite restaurants, Cer El Cle. This restaurant is in the historic centre of Barcelona, right near the Gothic Quarter, and sits on the terrace of a very old looking building. They serve Japanese-Spanish fusion tapas and mains in a gorgeous open-air setting. The food was to die for, with the best quality produce and top class staff. Definite recommendation.
Day 2 was all about seeing as much of the city as possible, and a local tip led us to Montjuic, a hill in the city that gives you panoramic views of the scenery below and has lush gardens & parks to relax in. It’s also the setting for the super fun Piknic Electronik, an outdoor electronic music & food event that goes down every single Sunday during the summer. If you want to party or get that festival feel then you should 100% make your way here. The vibe is unbeatable with different DJ’s on the decks spinning the funkiest tunes through the day, an amazing crowd, great food trucks, drinks and grass to lay in. Since it gets so hot in the day, they have guys on stilts spraying the crowds with water and dedicated covered dance floor with mist sprays overhead. Wear minimal clothing and head here for a truly amazing Sunday sesh. I would suggest going early, maybe around 2 or 3 pm because as evening approaches it gets jam packed. Along the beach is where you find all the clubs and nightlife if you wish to go out later at night.
Day 3 started with a lovely lunch and then endless strolling through El Gotic and the famous old neighbourhoods that feature the narrowest alleyways, adorable little boutiques & cafe’s, and lots of ancient architecture to stumble upon (the best way). We saw the Barcelona Cathedral, Ciutadella Park, the Arc de Triomf, and had a glorious sunset cocktail hour at Skybar, on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Central.
Day 4 was for the famous food market La Boqueria & Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, also one of the most famous cathedrals in the world because of its awe-inspiring, strange and other-worldly architecture. This place is a MUST in Barcelona. The interiors transport you to another realm of light and design. We were so overwhelmed by the beauty of this structure that we decided to check out Park Guell, also designed by Gaudi, but this was not impressive at all after Sagrada Familia. On the other hand, La Boqueria was an amazing experience, and you get to try so many different things that we ended up here on more than one occasion.
A jaw-droppingly gorgeous place to spend an evening or get dinner at is the brand new El Nacional, a huge warehouse like space which features 4 restaurants and 4 bars all under one massive roof. The interiors have been done by famous designer who wanted it to feel like Barcelona in the 30’s and 40’s. The food & drink is exceptional and one could spend the whole day marvelling at all the unique, eclectic pieces with a glass of wine in hand.
Day 5 (at the end when we came back from the rest of our trip) we checked into Hotel Murmuri, which is a chic property with spacious rooms, bathtubs and an attached balcony overlooking the city, the ideal combination of style, good price, and a great location. Highly reccomended.
That night we were taken to a local favourite spot by a Spanish friend called Alsur Cafe. A relaxed place with outdoor seating, drinks & tapas. Afterwards she took us to one of the only old-school bars left in the city, Miramelindo, which has a fantastic local vibe (and the best mojitos on the planet!).
Day 6 (and our last day) we met another local friend, Jordi, who took us to a true-blue Barcelona tapas restaurant (this isn’t the usual touristy place, but an old place only frequented by families who have lived here for generations) called Jai Ca at Barceloneta beach. This was seriously the best tapas place on our whole trip, and I suggest you get adventurous with your ordering and try some Spanish classics with a side of vermouth, a cocktail enjoyed on Sunday’s. He also showed us around his city and took us to the best croissant place in town, called Pessics De Cel. For dinner Clara took us to a restaurant called Palo Cortao, for a last meal of delicious fresh veggies, seafood, and meat before we took off early next morning. The perfect last dinner in beautiful Barcelona.
How sad that our time was ending now, but I left Barcelona with a promise to return and a newfound love for this country. Barcelona has everything you could want from an amazing holiday; divine restaurants, bars, architecture, wine, nightlife, beach culture, and of course the people who really make this place what it is.
Tip- Be careful of pickpockets, they are everywhere like many of the other tourist capitals of the world. We had a watch stolen off the wrist right in the middle of the street and we didn’t even release until later, so keep your belongings close and leave your expensive things in the safe at home. Otherwise just relax, if you are smart and keep your wits about you then no one should generally bother you.
Jasleen Gill is a fashion & celebrity stylist, model, and blogger currently residing in Mumbai, India.READ MORE