Barcelona is one of my favourite places in the world. The buzz of the city, the beautiful sea, the intriguing side streets you can get lost in.And of course, the gorgeous little tapas restaurants, the cosy bars hidden away and a huge Sephora (which has a slide which takes you into the shop… seriously!). This is what dreams are made of, right?
There are so many hidden gems which make this city magical. I have been to a lot of different cities across Europe, but Barcelona has something extra special. Within ten minutes of walking, you feel as though you are lost in this beautiful place and don’t want to be found any time soon. The sangria and sunshine probably help.
The nightlife is fab. There are some big clubs including PACHA which are near the sea front. But the little bars in the Gothic Quarter are my absolute favourite.
BERIMBAU cocktail bar is one of my top finds. This small quirky bar is dimly lit with tables and chairs facing outwards as you enter (perfect for any people watchers) and as you go in further there are more intimate places to sit and enjoy a drink.
There is a HUGE choice of mojitos. The menu divides them into lists of dry/sweet/semi-sweet, although take this with a pinch of salt (not literally) as the categories could do with a rejig. Nonetheless, they are delicious. As with a lot of bars in Barcelona, you get a little bowl of popcorn when you order a drink, which went down a treat with my cocktail of choice, the wild berry mojito.
If you are looking for the STRONGEST MOJITOS EVER (Barcelona- 1, Marcella- 0 after one and a half drinks) RUBI BAR is the place you need to visit. Down a little side street, this tiny bar is filled with red lighting and decor making you feel as though you are in a decadent ruby cave. Although I didn’t try it (as previously mentioned, the strawberry mojitos got the best of me) the gin and tonic is supposed to be incredible, as they brew their own gin.
If you have a little more money to spend, PARADISO is worth a visit. A speakeasy which you enter through a sandwich shop. (Cool, right?!) You may have to wait a while to get inside, but when you do, it reveals a buzzing bar with drinks served in everything from treasure chests to tea pots.
If you are a lover of the sea and sand, there are lots of beautiful bars and restaurants on the seafront. However, just before you get onto the beach, there is the cutest beach bar and cafe called MAKAMAKA. It is the perfect place to grab a burger and a fresh juice or cocktail before catching some rays.
Oh, and they have the best chips ever. A bold statement you might say, but hear me out. GARLIC AND PARMESAN FRIES. Yes, that’s right, and they are as good as they sound. I expect you’re booking a flight right now just to taste these incredible fries.
My only tip is to seat yourself when you arrive. Having been there a couple of times I’ve realised that’s what they want you to do. So don’t worry about being all polite and British. Grab a chair and order yourself a tasty burger.
If you are unsure of where you would like to stay in Barcelona, I would definitely recommend somewhere which allows you to walk to areas you would most like to visit. Exploring on foot, allowed us to find some amazing gems that we may have otherwise missed. From little tapas restaurants, to quirky bars, to beautiful bakeries (BOLDU is a gorgeous bakery with delicious treats; in particular their doughnuts in an assortment of flavours which are shaped like gingerbread men and women are heavenly).
We stayed at ROOM MATE GERARD and I absolutely loved it. There are several hotels which belong to this chain in Barcelona. Each one has a completely different design and theme inspired by different people. Each hotel also has different amenities, and with that, the prices vary. This gorgeous boutique hotel is inspired by Gerard a renowned Catalan architect, described as protective, methodical and loyal.
It is located next to Plaça Catalunya and the Gothic Quarter but we were also able to walk to the beach. We had what was called a “basic room” so we weren’t expecting much. We were pleasantly surprised by a very decent sized room with stunning decor including artwork on the walls and a black and gold bathroom, fit for a Queen!
The hotel also has a rooftop area with sun loungers, a tiny pool (only really suitable for a cheeky insta pic instead of an actual full on swim) and tables and chairs where you are able to order drinks. It is safe to say a LOT of sangria was consumed.
If you are unsure of what to do in Barcelona, here are some of my top tourist things to do/visit, which you won’t want to miss out on.
- MAGIC FOUNTAIN – an hour long show involving lights and water… I might not be selling it but it really is magical! There is also a shopping centre a two minute walk away with restaurants at the highest level, perfect for dinner afterwards. They have amazing views, but if you get seated inside, there is a viewing platform as well.
- CAMP NOU – or Nou Camp as it is often referred to, is a must for any football fans out there. It wasn’t my choice, but I actually thought it was really enjoyable and excellent value for money.
- PARK GUELL – b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Gaudi architecture as you explore the park. Bring your camera (or iPhone) because it’s an Instagram dream.
- Any of the famous buildings such as LA SAGRADA FAMILIA as the architecture in Barcelona is out of this world.
Barcelona will always hold a special place in my heart.