Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Barcelona

Just like most modern cities, Barcelona has a great variety of food to please everybody. Vegan, vegetarian or intolerant, you can still find a lot of options to enjoy a great meal in this great city. If you are looking for vegan paella or gluten free tapas here are some restaurants you can not miss:

Cat Bar

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(Credit: Barcelona Lowdown)

This small vegan restaurant is situated in the center of the city, next to one of its main streets, Via Laietana. It is known for some of the best vegan burgers in town. The lunchtime menu always features the mouth-watering veggie burger and other dishes that are not only tasty but also absolutely divine. On top of that, you can enjoy a large selection of authentic Catalan craft beers.

Veggie Garden

asian fusion vegan food in Barcelona
(Credit: The Dream Boat)

Placed next to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), this restaurant offers Asian-infused vegan food. Two of its specialities are gazpacho and Indian thali. It is an excellent choice for lunchtime as the menu includes an appetiser, a main dish, and a glass of water or wine.

Petit Brot

Vegan dish of one f the may vegan restaurants in Barcelona
(Credit: Plateselector)

You can find this restaurant a few minutes away from Les Rambles, in Raval. This is an organic restaurant and juicery specialised in raw vegan cuisine. It offers daily lunch menus, and also sweet and sour snacks. It is a great place to enjoy a seasonal menu with a variety of dishes, cold pressed juices and scrumptious snacks.

L’Arrós

gluten free and dairy free foo served in Barcelona
(Credit: Trending Barcelona)

Situated next to the seaside, in La Barceloneta, this paella restaurant is a great choice for people with particular type of food intolerant. The gluten-free and dairy-free dishes are clearly marked on the menu. It offers different varieties of rice dishes, including paella and arròs negre (black rice with seafood).

Cal Marius

gluten free burger made in Barcelona
(Credit: Allergychef)

This small bar situated next to Sagrada Família is specialised in pastrami snacks, bagels and hamburgers. Most importantly, all of the food served here is gluten free. There is also has a huge selection of beers available. At lunchtime, there are affordable menu options from 9€.

Allium

gluten free tapas cooked in Barcelona
(Credit: Allium Restaurant)

This restaurant has a splendid menu for gluten intolerant people. Situated right in the center of Barcelona, in Plaça Sant Jaume (Town Hall and Catalan Government), the menu has a large variety of dishes for everyone (gluten free and non-gluten free). All of the gluten-free dishes are marked clearly. You should definitely try the tapas, paella and salads; they are the best!

The Juice House

healthy vegan and vegetarian food prepared in Barcelona
(Credit: The Juice House)

Situated in Poble Sec (next to Montjuic Mountain), the menu of this restaurant offers a variety of Catalan, Spanish and Mexican dishes. All gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes are clearly marked, so you know exactly what you are ordering.

Som Sacs

gluten-free-canneloni
(Credit: Allergy Chef)

Situated in the central district of L’Eixample, this place offers a special kind of cannelloni made of rice and a variety of other dishes. The entire menu is 100% gluten free, so you can rest assure that there will be no mix-up with your order.

 

At Europea Residences we hope that you found useful our vegan guide for your  getaway in Barcelona!

Sitges Near Barcelona: Beach And Culture In One Day

Sitges (40km from Barcelona) is a perfect one-day getaway for lovers of the beach and culture. It is also a good opportunity to have a deeper look of the Catalan culture.

Sightseeing

PANORAMIC VIEW OF SITGES

The old town, situated on a hill next to the sea, is made up of narrow and winding streets. Many of the buildings are designed in the Modernist style. One of the top buildings of this area is the Sant Bartomeu i Santa Tecla church, which was built in the 17th century. Here are taken the most iconic pictures of the town.

The center of town is the commercial area. The most important streets are Carrer de Parellades, Carrer de Jesús, Carrer de Sant Francesc and Carrer Major.

Sitges Port is a picturesque area with boats and yachts waiting to sail the Mediterranean Sea. Passeig del Port d’Aiguadolç is the street that connects the town with the port. It is lined with palm trees and is nice to walk along. In this area, there are some good terraces and seafood restaurants.

Sitges is also a town of museums. The most important are: El Cau Ferrat (modernism art), El Museu de Maricel (20th century art collection) and La Casa Bacardí (Catalan famous rum).

Culture

Sitges Cultural festival

Sitges has the honour to host “The Sitges Film Festival”. This cinema festival is one of the most important international festivals of fantasy and horror films. Founded in 1968, it normally takes place in early October. The main venue is the Auditori, which can host up to 1.384 people. The Maria Award winners are the main awards of the festival, which are selected by an international jury. Movies like “Citizen X” and “Requiem” have been chosen as best films.

Women dancing in Sitges carnival parade

Sitges is also known as the host of one of the most famous carnivals of Catalonia and Spain. Depending on the year, it takes place between early February and early March. The streets transform into a big party where people costume up and drink and dance until the dawn. A parade also takes place during these days.

The beaches

Beach of Barcelona

The pearl of them all is Platja Sant Sebastià. Considered one of the best European beaches by the world known newspaper the New York Times, it is situated between the old town and the port. It is a family beach frequented by locals with more than 200 meters of coastline. From the beach, there are wonderful views of the old town.

Platja de la Ribera is right in the center of the town. During the weekends the beach is full but during the week you can enjoy its quietness and family atmosphere. Other beaches worth visiting beaches are Platja de Sitges and Platja Balmins.

How to get to Sitges from Barcelona

How to get to Sitges by car

The fastest way is to take the C-32 highway (toll highway). It takes around 40-50 minutes by car. Another option by car is to take the picturesque C-31 road. It takes a bit more than one hour.

Sitges is also reachable by train from Barcelona. Catch the train at Passeig de Gràcia or Sants railway stations (line R2), and in 50 minutes you will be in Sitges.

Barcelona: Explore These Less Touristic Sites

Barcelona’s hidden spots

Barcelona is well-known for the Sagrada Familia, the Ramblas, and other sites that are mostly found in the centre of the city. But there is more to Barcelona than these famous sights. Here are some less touristic places to enjoy.

Turó de la Rovira

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View of Barcelona from the Turó de la Rovira.

As one of the highest places in Barcelona, standing at 262 metres, it has an interesting history. The city was founded by the Romans in 1 BC in an area already populated by the local Iberians (Hence the reason for naming the area encompassing Spain and Portugal as the Iberian Peninsula). An ancient Iberian village was located on the Turó de la Rovira.

This place is also famous because it became the main air defence point of the city during the Spanish Civil War, from 1936 to 1939, when the Republican army defended the city from the German and Italian planes (Franco’s allies), striking the city from the sky. Today, visitors can check out this defence station. In fact, the whole complex has been transformed as a museum, where it is possible to visit all the rooms that were operational during the war. You can also enjoy a 360 degree view of the city.

Not far from here, you can stay in Europea’s luxury Modern Residence.

Poble Nou

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Mar Bella beach in Poble Nou

Barcelona became an industrial city at the beginning of the 20th century. Some areas became more developed and factories soon appeared in places like Poble Nou. During this time, the neighbourhood was called the Manchester of Catalonia. This title remained until the end of last century, when the city put forward an ambitious ‘improvement plan’. The Barcelona 1992 Olympic Summer Games was a big turning point.

Today, Poble Nou is one of the neighbourhoods that has changed the most in the last 30 years, where the old factories have been replaced by business centres and company headquarters. This transformation is still ongoing today.

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Rambla in Poble Nou

Poble Nou is famous for its beaches, its gardens and its Rambla. The Rambla is the main street of Poble Nou, where one can enjoy shopping or having a drink with “tapas” on one of the several terraces that this street offers.

It is also close to Europea’s Babel Penthouse Residence with sea views.

Poble Sec

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El Molino in Poble Sec

Much like Poble Nou, Poble Sec was one of the industrial areas of Barcelona. This neighbourhood is still one of the quietest areas of Barcelona, but its closeness to Montjuic (famous for its castle and the Olympic rings) is bringing some changes to the neighbourhood and is becoming more touristic.

Poble Sec is famous because it hosts the most popular cabaret theatre, called “El Molino”. This place was opened in 1898, and has since then become one of the most popular cabarets of Europe.

Barcelona gin tonic

But there is more to Poble Sec than cabarets. In the last couple of years, this area has become one of the most trendy hang outs of Barcelona as multiple bars serve the best gin & tonics the city has to offer. The area also hosts one of the best clubs and concert hall, the “Sala Apolo”. It is not far from Europea’s Plaza Espana Residence.

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Sala Apolo in Poble Sec

Barcelona: The Two Festivals Not To Miss This Summer

The image of Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without its festivals. While some locals decide to leave the city and go on holiday, others stay to celebrate the hot summer days, decorating the streets and eating and drinking outside. If you are in Barcelona in August, don’t miss Festes de Gràcia and Festes de Sants.

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Gracia Festival Japan themed

The 2017 Festes de Gràcia will take place between the 15th and the 21st of August. This year will be a special edition because it is the 200th anniversary of the event. This festival is considered the best, the nicest, and the most festive and welcoming street festival of Barcelona. It takes place in the Gràcia neighborhood which is 20 minutes away on foot from the city center.

Around 20 streets and squares are decorated in different themes (in previous editions some streets were decorated with Toy Story, The Walking Dead and Star Wars themes). At the end of the festivities, judges decide which street or square is decorated the best.

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Correfocs (A Catalan culture tradition)

The festival is not only about decoration. During these days, you can enjoy some of the Catalan cultural traditions like Sardanes (a group dance), Castells (human castles), and Correfocs (some people dressed as demons throw fireworks and firecrackers). During the night most of the streets host concerts of all kinds of music until the early morning.

The best time to visit is in the evening from 8pm when it starts to get dark. The lights on most streets are switched on at around 8:30pm and the decorations look nicer when they are illuminated. The first two days of Festes de Gràcia are always very crowded, so have patience and be careful with the street decorations which are handmade and often fragile.

Europea’s Terrace Charming Residence is in the middle of Gràcia district.

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Festes de Sants, held between the 19th and the 27th of August, is a small version of Festes de Gràcia. The festival is celebrated in Sants district which is located 15 minutes away from the center by metro.

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Children’s activities at the Festes de Sants

As Gracia’s Festival, some streets and squares are decorated in different themes and the residents organize activities that go from the morning to the late in the night. During the day, the streets are filled with workshops and activities for the little ones, while at night music takes over every corner and people dance until they are exhausted.

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The best time to visit is in the evening, but be prepared for the crowds. Although it is not as famous as the Festes de Gràcia, the fun is also assured.

Europea’s Botadura Residence is just a few minutes walking from Sants district.

The Arts In Barcelona: El Grec Festival

El Grec is a big part of Barcelona’s identity. In July, this festival transforms the warm summer nights, bringing to the city some of the best theatre, dance, music and circus acts. If you are in the Catalan capital at this time, don’t miss the opportunity to attend some of the performances.

This year, El Grec will take place the whole month of July. Although the programme is not yet complete, we know that the main theme will be that of the ‘Mediterranean’. Some highlights will include the flamenco dance ‘La Baila’ of choreographer Israel Galván (Teatre Grec, July 4-5) and the new play by Dimitris Papaionnou, which will be both experimental and meticulously arranged (Mercat de les Flors theatre, July 2-4). In fact, Papaionnou is well-known for designing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens Olympics back in 2004.

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Legend of flamenco: Israel Galvan (credit: lerocherdepalmer.fr)

The story

The festival started in 1976 when the Assembly of Actors and Directors of Catalunya decided to give a platform to the innovative and independent performing arts. A lot of these appeared right after the death of the Spanish dictator Franco and the restoration of democracy in Spain.

In 1979, Barcelona City Council became the organisers of the festival. This meant that international actors and directors started coming to Barcelona, alongside Catalans already playing at the festival.

Since then, some of the best theatre writers, directors and performers have come to play at El Grec. Dario Fo, Lindsay Kemp, Robert Lepage and many others have enjoyed the July nights in Barcelona. Some famous musicians have also graced its stages, like Caetano Veloso, Bob Dylan and Santana.

The venues 

Teatre Grec

This is the heart of the festival. The main performances and events take place at this venue built in 1929 by Ramon Reventós and Nicolau Maria Rubió I Tudurí. On July 8, Santiago Auserón will play some of his songs, accompanied by the stunning Barcelona Municipal Band. Not far from the Teatro Grec, you can stay in one of our luxury apartments, our Plaza Espana II residence.

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Rocky backdrop and great acoustics: the Teatre Grec (credit: lameva.barcelona.cat)

Teatre Nacional de Catalunya

Opened in 1996 and designed by the famous Spanish architect Ricard Bofill, it us one of the most outstanding cultural facilities of Barcelona. The main building of this theatre takes is inspired by the Parthenon in Athens, with two halls (450 and 870 people can be seated in these theatres). Some of the main events take place here during the festival.

Teatre Lliure

Founded in 1976, its main stage is in the former Palau de l’Agricultura of Montjuïc. The main hall, Sala Fabià Puigserver, can seat more than 700 spectators. It is worth visiting it even if it is just for its beautiful exterior. The Teatre Lliure is also conveniently close to our beautiful Botadura residence.

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Teatre Lliure (credit: shbarcelona.com)

Auditori

This was opened in 1999. The venue has three halls: Sala 1 Pau Casals for 2.200 spectators, Sala 2 Oriol Martorell with 600 places, and Sala 3 Tete Montoliu with 400 places. Nowadays, some of the greatest orchestras of the world come to the Auditori. It also serves as the home of the Orquestra Simfònica of Barcelona, where the best upcoming conductors and orchestras are taught and perform.

Although main events and activities take place at all the venues mentioned above, a few shows of the El Grec are also hosted in other venues like the Teatre Romea, La Villarroel, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), the Joan Miró Foundation and the CaixaForum art centre. In particularly, it’s worth noting that the Sala Beckett (in Poblenou) will host “Un tret al cap” (July 5-30), the much-anticipated new play of Pau Miró, one of the most popular Catalan theatre directors.

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Playwright Pau Miro will present his latest work at the festival (credit: Xavier Solanas)

If you want to learn more about the festival as the full programme is announced, check out their website.

Barcelona’s Music Scene: Jazz And Rock

Barcelona’s alternative nightlife

Live music in Barcelona bars is one of the reasons why they are always crowded. There is a real range of concerts to suit every taste. I will talk you through just a couple of the many rock and jazz venues the city has to offer.

Heliogàbal

Having held more than 4000 concerts since its inception in 2008, it is the musical spine of the Gràcia district. Heliogàbal has seen some of the leading Catalan and Spanish bands, such as Manel or Mishima, grace its stage. The bar doesn’t technically have a separate stage area for band performances, but this is not a hindrance. The intimate bar is well-known for its alternative bands, from acts that are just starting out to some who are already more established. They say the bands that play here today could be famous by tomorrow. Either way, it is a great place to have a drink whilst listening to good music. Find it at: C/ Ramón y Cajal, 80 08012 Barcelona.

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Intimate music night at Heliogàbal  (credit: seriebcn.net)

Sala Apolo

Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Poble Sec, this venue hosts some of the best local, national and international bands (Eagles of the Death Metal and the famous Spanish rock band Lori Meyers have played here). All genres are welcome. During the world-famous Primavera Sound music festival, some bands also play on this stage. Find it at: Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, 08004 Barcelona.

Milano Cocktail Bar

If you are a fan of jazz, blues and groove, this is your place. Every night, blues ensembles, pianists and trumpeters do their thing here. Situated in the Eixample district, the entrance looks like a clandestine bar. You have to walk down some dark stairs before reaching the basement, where the bar is actually located. But, once there, the name of the bar doesn’t disappoint: they have a large menu of cocktails, serving everything from mojito to daiquiri. What’s more, when the concert is over, you can still enjoy your drinks over music, thanks to local DJs who provide a lively atmosphere until the bar closes. Find it at: Ronda de la Universitat, 35, 08007 Barcelona. 

Alternative drinks in Barcelona
Grooving music and excellent cocktails (credit: camparimilano.com)

JazzSí Club

This small music venue is located in Raval, the centre of Barcelona. It belongs to Taller de Músics, the veteran music school, pioneers in the area for teaching jazz and flamenco in Catalunya. They host concerts and jam sessions of jazz, blues, pop, rock, flamenco and Cuban music on a daily basis. Don’t miss their excellent jam sessions every Wednesday night. Find it at: Carrer de Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona.

Gipsy Lou

A famous establishment known for its local bands, most of the time this place has free entry. Its location in the Raval makes this bar a good place to start the night if you are planning on continuing on to other venues across the city. You can try a variety of local beers, like Estrella Damm and Moritz, or stick with a glass of wine or a classic cocktail. If you are hungry, they also serve food, and I recommend their Gipsy burger. Find it at: Carrer de Ferlandina, 55, 08001 Barcelona.

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Draw of a concert at Gipsy Lou

Razzmatazz

This is the place where the big bands come to when playing in the city. Placebo, Future Islands and the Led Zeppelin Live Experience all feature on this year’s billing. It is good to book in advance because the place usually gets crowded, hosting thousands of people. Aside from hosting concerts, there are more than five halls with all kinds of music being played. Find it at: Carrer dels Almogàvers, 122, 08018 Barcelona.

Michael Collins

This Irish pub is really close to La Sagrada Familia. Thanks to its location, you can meet local expats and tourists, with the mix of visitors making the atmosphere of this pub unique. You can enjoy some solid rock band performances, covering everything from Bruce Springsteen to Elvis Presley. It’s worth looking out for their night dedicated to Irish traditional music. Find it at: Plaça de la Sagrada Família, 4, 08013 Barcelona.

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An expat’s home away from home (credit: michaelcollinspubs.com)

Classical Music: Barcelona’s Finest Venues

In Barcelona, you can find music to suit every taste. But if you specifically love your classical music, there are three main venues that stand above the rest. Throughout the years, they have been visited by some of the best opera singers, orchestras, and conductors the world has to offer. Here is why you should visit them.

Liceu

The Gran Teatre del Liceu is an impressive establishment. Opened in 1847, its history is interesting and quite tumultuous.

In fact, the venue had to be rebuilt two times due to fire damage. The first one struck in 1861, requiring  some minor adjustments. One year later, The Gran Teatre was up and running again. The second fire came in 1994, caused by a spark that accidentally set light to a curtain during a routine repair. After that event, the theatre had to be rebuilt and it re-opened its doors only five years later, in 1999.

Liceu Interior example of the Barcelona Classical Music
Circle upon circle of stunning decor

There was a gap in performances too. During the Spanish Civil War, from 1936-39, operas and other plays were suspended in the theatre.

Aside from catastrophic events, there are of course moments of bliss. Liceu has seen the most famous opera singers in the world grace its stage, including the likes of Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti and Barcelona native, Montserrat Caballé. Operas of Catalan, Spanish and Italian composers have premiered within the famous walls. Several masterpieces have also been performed in this theatre, from composers Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rossini, Verdi, Stravinsky, Dvořák, to name but a few.

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Catalan native Montserrat Caballé performed here many times (credit: Warner Classics)

Liceu is not only a place for classical music and opera, performers of other genres also make use of its beautiful stages, profound acoustics and richly decorated halls that seat up to 2292 guests. A great example of this is Icelandic singer, Björk, who famously performed here in 2001.

These days, you can enjoy contemporary and classical ballet, classical operas and famous orchestras from all over the world. This March, you can enjoy Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto, so remember to book tickets in advance. It is worth checking the schedule of upcoming events as there is a lot coming up this season.

Palau de la Música

Opened in 1908, the Palau de la Música also has a rich history. It is ideal if you’re staying in our Plaza Catalunya residence nearbyToday, more than half a million people annually attend Palau’s musical events, ranging from symphonic and chamber music to jazz.

In 1997, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is not surprising when you see it in person. Its design is typical of Catalan modernism, when curves predominate over straight lines, dynamic shapes are preferred over statics forms, and rich decoration, that emphasises floral and other organic motifs, is used extensively.

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A seat with a view

Its concert hall, seating about 2 200 people, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. It is the only auditorium in Europe that is illuminated during daylight hours entirely by natural light.

In its beginning, the Palau de la Música paid special attention to promoting local composers and artists, such as Enric Granados and the orchestra of Pau Casals. Many of the best soloists, orchestras and conductors have visited this venue, such as Emil Sauer, Maurizio Pollini, the Berliner Philharmoniker with Richard Strauss, amongst others.

Popular singers and bands, like Norah Jones and Juanes, have performed at the Palau. Some events in March are include renditions of The Fourth by Tchaikovsky and Gran Gala de Flamenco. Check the following link to know what’s going on at the venue.

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Look up to this: the stunning ceiling in the Palau

Auditori

Not far from our Sagrada Familia Residence, you will find the newest of the three major venues, opened in 1999. Architecturally, it is also the most modern.

Nowadays, some of the greatest orchestras of the world come to the Auditori. It also serves as the home of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, where the new great conductors and orchestras of our century are being taught. On average, they perform 75 concerts a season. The venue has 3 halls (Sala 1 Pau Casals for 2.200 spectators; Sala 2 Oriol Martorell with 600 places; and Sala 3 Tete Montoliu with 400 places).

Don’t miss the string quartets this spring.  The programme for the upcoming season has something for every classical music fans and looks very impressive.

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Modern setting: Barcelona’s Auditori

A Bar With A View: Wining And Dining In The Barcelona Sky

Barcelona is a varied city that you should experience on all levels; from the busy streets, to the markets and beaches, to right up in the air. Let me tell you about some high-flying places that allow you to enjoy a great meal or drinks with a view.

Bar/Restaurant El Corte Inglés 

Situated in the very core of the city, this bar/restaurant on the top of the shopping mall offers a spectacular view of the centre of Barcelona. Ideal for a break during a shopping trip, the place offers a variety of foods from around the world, as well as local pastry and coffee. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, it is a worthy stop if you are around Plaça Catalunya.

Isabela at Hotel 1898

Located in Las Ramblas, the bar has a stunning 360-degree view of Barcelona. It is a perfect place to spend an evening and enjoy the beautiful skylines of the city. Isabela also offers a great variety of local tapas (the most popular are the crunchy prawns, stuffed mushrooms with lobster and stuffed potatoes) and cocktails. You don’t have to book in advance, but it is recommended due to its popularity amongst tourists and locals alike.

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A dip in the pool may be on the cards (credit: Hotel 1898)

Wet Bar at W Barcelona

The bar is located right on the beach, where the view of the Barcelona sea front is overwhelming. Although most of the tables are on the terrace, they are reserved for the hotel guests, so try to arrive early to get one that isn’t booked. Get there just before sunset.

The Pulitzer Terrace at Hotel Pulitzer

Also located in the ever-popular Plaça Catalunya, this bar is the go-to in the evening if you fancy vermouth, the new local trendy drink. It is even open before lunch! The terrace is decorated in a style reminiscent of a tropical paradise, enough to make you forget you are in a busy European city. Their menu offers a huge variety of Catalan and Spanish cuisine. Don’t leave without trying the kitchen’s crunchy chicken. The Pulitzer Terrace also stands out thanks to its carefully chosen selection of gins (like Williams Chase), as well as a wide choice of cocktails – from the classics to their own creations prepared by skilful bartenders (a must try).

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Tropical haven (credit: Hotel Pulitzer)

Blue view at Hotel Casa Fuster

Located in Passeig de Gràcia (the equivalent of New York’s 5th Avenue), it offers a great view of central Barcelona. From Thursday to Saturday, there is a DJ on hand to set the mood and accompany you whilst you sip one of the bar’s wide range of cocktails made with premium ingredients. If you want a different type of music scene, you can just head downstairs to the Jazz Lounge to see some great live music.

Restaurant Torre de Alta Mar

Situated not far from the beach, this famous Barcelona restaurant offers a 360-degree view of the city. You can find the restaurant at the top of a 75-metre high tower called the Torre Sant Sebastià. To get there, you can use an elevator or a cable car that goes from Mountjuïc Mountain to the beach. You can enjoy the view whilst eating some of the best dishes of local cuisine and the best seafood of the area. A must try is the daily menu (from Tuesday to Friday) with its lobster and red prawns, stuffed rigatoni seafood and cheese. A glass of wine is also included.

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Luxury dining (credit: Torre de Alta Mar)

Barcelona’s Best Eats

As the home of some of the best chefs in the world, Barcelona offers a great variety of places to eat. You can enjoy typical Catalan and Spanish food or try a new creative fusion cuisine. After reading our list of the best eats in Barcelona,  you will never go hungry.

Morrysom

If you want to try something typical and not too expensive, go to Morrysom, in the Eixample district (Calle Girona, 162). This place still preserves the essence of old Spanish bars, with food options on display at the bar, making it easy for you to choose what you would like to try. This bar-restaurant offers a great variety of tapas. Gazpacho (cold tomato soup), ensaladilla rusa (Russian salad) and ajo arriero (traditionally prepared garlic dish) are their top choices.

La Esquinica

For tapas lovers, there are several options in districts of Barcelona that are less central. La Esquinica, located in the Horta quarter (Passeig de Fabra i Puig, 296), has a genuine local atmosphere combined with friendly service and excellent food. Don’t leave without trying their patatas bravicas (potato dish) or morcillica (black pudding with rice), best combined with the typical Spanish caña (draft beer in a glass).

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Local charm (credit: laesquinaca.com)

Bar Tomás

Another option is Bar Tomás, located in Sarrià (Carrer Major de Sarrià, 49). This place also offers a great variety of tapas, of which their famed chipirones (small calamari). A piece of advice here – go early, before lunch or dinner, as it is small and popular. If you want to be seated right away, avoid the peak times.

Bacoa

For hamburger lovers, Bacoa, founded by an Australian chef, is a great place. What’s more, there are a couple to be found around the city. It is worth checking out the branch in Barcelonata, Carrer del Judici, 15. The 250 gram high quality beef burgers make it one of the best hamburger bars of the city. Don’t forget to try their roasted potato fries.

Cat Bar

Barcelona is a modern city. Vegans are not forgotten and can also enjoy great food. Cat Bar, next to the centrally-located Via Laietana (Carrer de la Bòria, 17), offers a variety of vegan dishes for a good price. The veggie burger is especially good. This is also a hotspot for trying Catalan craft beers. If you are looking for more vegan restaurants at Barcelona check our article: Vegan Vegetarian and Gluten Free Barcelona

La Mar Salada

If you are looking for some good seafood within walking distance of the beach, go to La Mar Salada, in Passeig Joan de Borbó, right next to the harbour. Typical dishes here are paella, arròs negre (black rice with seafood) and fideuà (short noodle paella). Desserts are also worth ordering. This restaurant is good value for money considering it is in the popular seaside Barceloneta neighbourhood.

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Seafood excellence (credit: knowingbarcelona.com)

Can Cullerets

If you want to try the best Catalan cuisine, Can Culleretes is your place (Carrer d’en Quintana, 5). The oldest restaurant of Barcelona offers an extended list of the most exquisite Catalan dishes. Among the most popular are canelons de brandada de bacallà (cannelloni pasta with fish), l’orada al forn (oven-roasted fish) and l’escudella (meat soup). This restaurant is located in Barri Gòtic, the gothic quarter.

Alkimia

For those who seek more fancy establishments, Alkimia is up there with the best (Ronda Sant Antoni, 41). Located in Eixample, in the factory of Moritz beer, it is considered one of the most modern restaurants in Barcelona. The menu selection is superb, creative and follows the latest cuisine techniques. Their arròs d’escamarlans i nyores (rice with fish) is considered one of the best in the city. If you are looking for a pleasant and chic evening, this is your place.

alkimia restaurant one of the best eats in Barcelona
The Alkimia team (credit: www.alkimia.cat)

El Bitxarracu

El Bitxarracu is a restaurant owned by Víctor Quintillà and Mar Gómez. Here you can find a modern Catalan cuisine for a good price right in the centre of the city, in the district of Eixample (Calle Valencia 212). The main specialties are Curry Thai de pollo de corral con arroz basmati (Thai curry chicken with basmati rice) and Schiaffoni Garofalo gratinados y rellenos de boloñesa eco (macaroni filled with bolognese sauce). They also have a superb wine list of a Catalan and Spanish variety.

 

How To Enjoy Your Christmas In Barcelona

When you are spending your Christmas holidays in Barcelona, do not expect to find snow or frost like in many other European cities. Nonetheless, Barcelona has a unique Christmas spirit with its markets and its own traditions. It is a good option if you want to escape the darkness and cold of northern latitudes.

Christmas markets

If you want to buy some typical Catalan Christmas figurines for your nativity scene, go to Fira de Santa Llúcia and get the comical ‘caganer’,  a figurine of a person with their pants down, ready to go to the toilet. ‘Caganers’ can have anybody´s face, so might find Obama, Messi or even Trump ones. This market normally takes place in front of the cathedral between the end of November and the 23rd of December.

Another interesting market is Fira de Reis, where you can buy all kinds of toys for the little ones. This market is held on the one of the main streets of the city, Gran Via, and it usually runs from mid-December until the 6th of January.

Ice skating

You are reading this correctly. Barcelona has an outdoors ice skating ring named Bargelona which is open between the 25th of November and the 8th of January and held in La Farga. Although not in the city centre, it is easily accessible by metro. Locals go to practice their ice skating skills in enjoyable weather, making the rest of Europe rather jealous.

Christmas lights

Every European city is famous for their lights during this festive period, and Barcelona is no different. Enjoy walking through streets like Passeig de Gràcia or Portal de l’Àngel and getting carried away by the Christmas spirit.

A bit of sport before New Year´s Eve

If you want to take one last shot at embracing a healthy lifestyle before the end of the year, join the popular race “Cursa dels Nassos” on the afternoon of 31st of December. Some people take this race seriously, but others think of it as a way to start New Yea’s Eve celebrations by running in silly costumes. Expect to meet some real-life Pikachus this year.

los-reyes-magos-de-oriente

New Year’s Eve celebrations

Go to the magic fountain (or “font màgica” in Catalan) in Montjuïc Mountain to enjoy a marvellous, colourful display.  At 12 o’clock, join in the Spanish tradition of eating twelve grapes, representing luck for every month ahead. Concerts are also held here, but don’t expect them to finish late.

Wise Kings parade

The famous Spanish “Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos” parade takes place in the evening of the 5th of January. Adults and kids take to the streets of the city to welcome the Three Wise Men before they bring presents to  children at night. Contrary to most of the world, Spanish children receive their Christmas gifts the morning of the 6th of January. The parade goes through the main streets of Barcelona with loud music playing, sweets thrown from various floats. It is entertainment for all ages.