Hey friends, here are some of the things we think will make your visit more fun!
Barcelona has lots of great and really diverse neighborhoods. Here is a brief overview so you know where to wander.
The star is considered the center, and is the division of the old/ancient city and many of the newer areas. Rather than north and south, the city maps are typically oriented from the point of view of the Mediterranean, with up being West. So typically it is referred to as left and right, up and down.
Sidebar: Food & Drinks
We will put down just a few of our favorite places in each neighborhood. A couple tips:
Download the Michelin app – the great places are countless
Read Google reviews – they are pretty good
Make reservations – The Fork app is a great place to make reservations for many of these places-otherwise just click on their website from Google Maps
Old Bodegas – they are all over the place – they look old and cool, and usually are – wander in for a Vermut or copa de vino
Las Ramblas – don’t eat there… all tourist places, but the Boqueria market is worth a wander through to grab a walking lunch
We lived in Left Eixample District, sometimes known as Gayxample, for most of our stay, but recently moved to Right Eixample. Both great. The division between left and right is Passeig de Gracia–literally the passage to Gracia.
Walk up and down Caller Enric d’ Granados (one block South) in-between Diputacio and Diagonal – this is the happening street for restaurants – lots of good ones, but check Google ratings
An old suburb that is now part of Barcelona, it is a super cool area with good restaurants, narrow streets, & squares to grab a drink and some tapas. They take siesta seriously, so best after about 5pm or so.
Berbena – Small and amazing – our current favorite – make reservations – ask for chef’s table
Parallelo – One of two best gelato spots in town. Also on Glovo!
Formatgeria – Not a restaurant, but our favorite cheese shop
Fonda Pepa – Menu is handwritten in Catalan. Ask them to translate. Cannot miss on any of their options.
The old city–tons of history and great shops & restaurants. Calle Laietana separates El Gotic from La Ribera & Las Ramblas separates it from Raval. This area is worth wandering around and getting lost, grabbing a drink, then getting lost again.
Lots of great restaurants—just need to add; Wander the narrow streets past the cathedral to find some good ones
Yup, it isn’t Spanish. But, Spanish (Castelleno) works everywhere. And English works almost everywhere too. But if you want to endear yourself to the locals, here are a couple Catalan phrases:
Good Morning – Bon dia.
Good Afternoon – Bon Tarda.
Good Night – Bona nit.
Please – Si us plau.
Thanks – Gracies or Merci.
Cheers – Salut.
Do you speak English? – Parla angles?
We love to read books that take place in the place we’re visiting. Here are a couple to consider…
Shadow of the Wind – take place in our neighborhood & Barcelona over several years and books. It is a series–but you can read just the first or all of them.
Cathedral by the Sea – Very Pillars of the Earth about building Santa Maria del Mar in El Born – great bit of middle ages Barcelona history
You can walk anywhere in the city. If you’re feeling like you want to take a taxi they are easy to grab on the street. You can also use the app Free Now which will call a taxi if you are out and can’t find one.