I have never heard someone say: I hate Barcelona. Because this city is just vibrant perfection. Architecture, food, people everything squeezed in those small alleys and lovely squares – you just have to fall in love with this city.
I’ve been to Barcelona many times before, but my most recent trip was to celebrate the 30th birthday of my friend. And we had the perfect 24 hours there between tapas, lots of bubbling Cava and the perfect museum to cure your hangover. So, let me tell you more about it.
1. WHERE TO STAY
With an outstanding coffee bar, an art-gallery, yoga places and fabulous south-east Asian food, there is actually no reason to leave Barcelona’s Casa Bonay hotel. Until the opening of Casa Bonay last year, there was a huge accommodation gap between luxury hotels or simple Airbnb’s which this new hot-spot is about to close. The founder and co-owner is Inés Miró-Sans, a 31-year-old Barcelona native who worked for three years with the Ace Hotel Group in New York. If you want to find out more about this latest design venue and their amazing rooftop terrace, read our article about Casa Bonay here.
Casa Bonay, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Egg Benedict, avocado toasts and the best fruit shakes in the city. The Federal Café isn’t just a nice place to sit down for a coffee at the plaza in front of it, the breakfast is as hip as is could be. And the coffee is one of the best in the city. Very similar in concept, but located on the other side of the Barcelona, you’ll find the Granja Petitbo which is also famous for its brunch variety.
Federal Café, Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
Granja Petitbo, Passeig de Sant Joan, 82, 08009 Barcelona, Spain
3. PICASSO MUSEUM
Barcelona is a must-see destination for art lovers, as it’s home to Museu Picasso, one of the biggest Pablo Picasso collections in the world with more than 3600 permanent art works. Located in an Gothic-building makes the visit even more charming. At Museu Picasso you’ll get an especially amazing insight into the younger years of the artist. So definitely worth the visit. But be there early, because the queue in summer might be long.
Museu Picasso, Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Still one of the best shops in town for exquisite shopping for men is “The Outpost”. With every piece lovingly and painstakingly chosen by proprietor Pep Esteva. Especially when you’re looking for shoes and accessoires, this is a must-go for every man.
For women there is a new, temporary kid in town: “Darial” is there for you with an amazing selection of designer clothes and accessories from Dries van Noten, The Row and Charlotte Olympia.
Darial, Passatge dels Camps Elisis, 9, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The Outpost, Carrer del Rosselló, 281 Bis, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
5. A SWEET BREAK AT VALOR
What would a trip to Barcelona be without eating Churros? I’m so in love with these fluffy little monsters dipped in chocolate cream. You’ll find the most traditional ones at Valor. Enjoy!
Café Valor, Carrer de la Tapineria, 10, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
4. DAYDRINKING & TAPAS: TANTARANTAN & EL XAMPANYET
With Tapas and Cava bars everywhere, there are plenty of opportunities for casual daydrinking. But our favorite was sitting outside on the square at Tantarantana. Their food is amazing and even in wintertime, when it’s still a little bit chilly outside, you can sit there under the heating mantle and watch people passing by while getting slightly drunk. And afterwards, if you want to go inside, the El Xampanyet is the place to be. No Barcelona trip is complete without having a Cava there.
Restaurant Tantarantana, Carrer d’en Tantarantana, 24, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
El Xampanyet, Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Far away from Barcelonas touristy cheap party scene, you find the colonial style Boca Grande restaurant and the bar Boca Chica with the amazing atmosphere of ancient times. But besides food and drinks: There’s a charming summer terrace for smokers and the craziest bathroom – where you’ll find a DJ booth, a photo booth, a wall of mirrors and a bar.
We had a table upstairs, close to the bar. Which was the best decision ever, if you want to have party and dinner – and a waiter who’s always taking care of your cocktails without delays.
And what would you do in the 25th hour?
Going back to Boca Chica and eat the black pasta with seafood and creamy sauce again. It was definitely one of the best dishes I’ve ever had – followed by one of the funniest nights there. We’ll be back soon, Barcelona.
Photo credit: Gloria von Bronewski, Boca Chica BCN, Casa Bonay