Barcelona, the most surprising of the city that I’ve ever visited, an unforgettable vacation and a new entry in my Top10 cities in the world.
As usual here you have my adventure with some useful tips.
Bologna-Barcelona, for sure the most beautiful flight ever, at first the Alps still with some snow on top, then, the sea. As soon as I see the coast, I completly delate my idea of writing the article on the Vecchia Pescheria and studying for the exam. Flying over the harbors, seeing the ships over the sea, I’m stuck at the window.
Arrival, running through the airport to not miss the transfer, discovering that in Barcelona you cannot pay the bus ticket with more than 10€ (obviously I had 20, thanks bus driver for understanding my situation) and finally reunited with Ludo. One of my best friend and my travel buddy, the last time I saw her was in December, even if we are nearly neighbors in our hometown.
That’s how it starts another of our visit/adventure: every time one of us moves to another city, the other books the plane, that’s how in the last years we end up meeting more abroad than home.
A few minutes for leaving the luggage at Ludo’s, dressing up and we are in the city center. Barcelona is for sure much more than what I was expecting, I don’t know why, maybe because my knowledge of Spain is restricted to a 11 hours course while I was on Erasmus, but I was expecting the typical seaside/vacation town. Instead, it takes only the first walk for me to be completely overcame by the history and the architecture. In Barcelona there’s a little bit of everything, a mixture of different styles that continues to surprise day by day.
The difference between night and day is incredible, Casa Baitllo, compulsory stop in Barcelona, has a particular beauty after the sunset, like it was a different building from the one you can see during the day.
Considering that I’m travelling from the morning having eaten only a piadina, I’m quite hungry, fortunately Ludo, that knows me very good, has already written a long list of “where to eat in Barcelona”.
Mytip Ludo’s tip: food
LomoAlto – LomoBajo is a “2 in 1” restaurant. On the top floor there’s the LomoAlto, the real restaurant, that offers some of the best pieces on the market, from veal to the traditional ox meat or mature beef.
Everything is selected, stored, slaughtered and cooked by them. The restaurant, in fact, has its own butchery. Their philosophy is to present product at its best, selecting the best pieces and finding the perfect cooking technique.
The LomoBajo, at ground floor, offers the same quality but in a “gourmet fast food format”, their idea is “Who said a sandwich cannot be a gourmet dish? We have reinvented it”.
The menu is divided in rock&rolls, burgers and sandwiches: recommended the ox steak tartare roll, to perfectly taste the tradition.
Only for real meat lovers!
The second day starts pretty early in the morning, cause Ludo has a lesson, but, fist of all, breakfast!
Mytip Ludo’s tip: food
Green&Berry, a healthy spot in the centre of Barcelona: a lot of fresh juices, smoothies, colorful bows and tasty avocado toasts. Simply amazing, there’s no need to say anything more, their Instagram account tells everything.
Recommend the Açaí Rainbow Bowl, with a lot of fruit and granola.
Buy the way, Açai is my news of the vacation. It’s a plant, originating in South America, whose berries, in the case of the bowls, are used to produce a porridge, or kind of, that is simply delicious.
Facebook Page: Green&Berry Address: Enric Granados,153
While Ludo is at university, I explore Grácia, one of the ten districts in which Barcelona is divided.
Loosing myself in the narrow streets, between restaurants and little shops, walking under the orange trees, looking up to the colors of the houses, one of the best experiences of the trip. Every spot, every street, every house, everything communicates happiness, like the entire quartier has the sunshine inside.
At some point, I ended up in the beautiful Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia, there, under the trees, with the music of a little orchestra and two girls dancing with the typical wind-blown skirts, I breath the real essence of Barcelona.
After my wonderful walk in the colors, the smells and the history of Grácia, I decide that is time for me to see the symbol of Barcelona.
A few metro stops and I’m under the Sagrada Família.
An incredible impact, a unique masterpiece, you could admire every side for hours and still find a new little amazing detail. But the most particular thing is that it looks like a modern building, even more than 90 years after the death of its famous architect, it could be an innovative project designed few month ago.
Not far from there, a long line of colors captured my attention and that’s how I discovered a new Palm Sunday tradition that I didn’t know.
Near the Sagrada Família there are a lot of stands selling Palmons, decorated palm trees, that traditionally are bought or homemade and then brought to the Church to be blessed.
After having admired the Sagrada Família for more than half an hour, I meet up Ludo in El Poble-sec, one of the most young and exciting districts of Barcelona, full of little restaurants and tapas bar, once we got there the aperitif was a must.
Mytip Ludo’s tip: food
La Tasqueta de Blai: infinite pinchos and an incredible sangria, what more can you ask for?
The pinchos (similar to tapas) are placed all along the counter and something new is made every 30 minutes, there’s literally everything; hamburgers, fried fish, tortillas, sausages, vegetables, cheeses…
So, when you stand up to bring something you end up facing an infinite self-service.
The name pinchos comes from the fact that the topping is usually ‘spiked’ with a toothpick to the bread, and at the end you pay for the toothpicks that you have on your plate: 1€ for the normal ones, 1,5€ for the red ones.
Address: Carrer de Blai, 17 Website: www.grupotasqueta.com
After lunch/aperitif, it comes the time for answering to my question “what is this green spot on the map near the sea?”. Answer: Montjuïc, and apparently on the top there’s a castle with an incredible view, so obviously, let’s start the climb.
The Castell de Montjuïc is easy reachable in the ways: or, as we did, walking up half way from El Poble-sec and then the last kilometers by bus, or with the Telefèric de Montjuïc .
The way up is tough but the 360 view will repay you thousand time. From one side of the castle the commercial harbor with the colorful container, Barceloneta with the beach and the iconic W Barcelona and the harbor; on the other side the city view with the wonderful skyline and the Sagrada Família.
The fortress is huge, in perfect conditions and surrounded by green, a little paradise outside the city, where to spend an amazing, relaxing afternoon, exploring every spot and discovering always different panoramas. For sure one of the best experiences ever, discovered by chance checking Maps.
After that, we get down Montjuïc and we end up in Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies, a big skatepark with some of the most beautiful graffiti I’ve ever seen, a beautiful urban spot not far from the sea, and skaters are lit!
From there we walk down to Barceloneta and end our day watching the sunset over the seaside and the ships in the harbor. The breathtaking colors, the palm trees, the sea, once again Barcelona is capable of incredible emotions.
Mytip Ludo’s tip: night
The Dow Jones Bar is the stock exchange of the cocktails, in this pub, in fact the prices of the drinks are established like in the stock market: the more people orders a cocktail the more the price goes up. Everything is displayed on the screen so that everyone can make his own evaluations. Pay attention to the crack, cause it’s only 2 minutes long and everything goes to the minimum.
Website: www.dowjonesbar.com Address: Carrer del Bruc, 97