01 02 03 Gypsyland: Barcelona spots: 12 Must Do’s and Must See’s 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Barcelona spots: 12 Must Do’s and Must See’s



      As I already mentioned in my previous post, tapas are small portions of every dish you could probably imagine, that were used to be put on top of your drink to keep the flies out of your glass. One of the best places to eat tapas, is Cerveceria Catalana (C.Mallorca 236). They officially have the best tapas in Barcelona! In high season, be sure to arrive an hour earlier to reserve a table and drink something while waiting for it. Be sure to try the “patatas bravas” (pieces of potatoe with spicy sauce) and the “pimientos de pardon” (fish stuffed peppers). Also the seafood dishes like gambas, mussels and calamares are really good. If you prefer something less posh and relaxed, Sol Soler (Plaça del Sol 21) in the hippie neighbourhood of Gracia is also a big recommendation.

An other variant of tapas are “muntaditos”. These are even smaller portions, usually on a piace of bread, that you put in your mouth at once. Sagardi (C. Argenteria 62) is one of the best places that I can recommend.The muntadito system works as following: each one of them has a toothpick in it, so you just eat as much muntaditos as you want, and at the end you pay for the toothpicks. And YES, there are thousands of ways to make a few of them disappear. I heard many crazy stories about that, even people who ate them together with the food… 

If you want to try something more fusion, there is a very nice place that serves Asian tapas, called Moskito - located in the lively Born neighbourhood (C. Carders 46). Here, you can get the best dumplings in town, and enjoy a wide range of authentic imported beers, with a Belgian Kriek as  my absolute favourite.


The best place to do that is La Xampañeria (C. Reina Cristina).This is officially the best place in town for cava, and for Spanish fastfood.  Here you can buy a bottle of Cava Rosada for 4,60 Euro (2,95 to take away), which results in the fact that nobody leaves this place too sobre. Of course you have also Cava Brut, and many other sorts, all of them are just outrageously delicious, but the Rosado is definitely a topper. By Spanish fastfood I mean a hot or cold sandwich with about every kind of meat or cheese you can imagine. Even my Mum was impressed, and believe me, that REALLY means something!


Here I can advise many places, which all have a different concept. The first is Cyrano (C. Aribau 154), certainly a go for the alcoholics among us! A bar where you can server your own glass, starting from 4 Euro. You order a drink, let's say... a vodka orange - they give you the orange, a glass and the bottle of vodka to serve yourself. Yes, you heard it well, you pour your own drink, that means as much or little as you wish!  
Must admit that once I’ve had a blackout and a poisoning after a visit, and wasn’t able to eat anything for 3 days… But anyway, a great place to get tipsy before going to party if you're on a budget I guess!
The second place is a bit more cosy and colourful. Nevertheless, I didn’t see a lot of sobre people eave this place neither :) The reason are the Mojito’s and Margarita’s for 3,50 Euro, in all fruit tastes you could possibly imagine! The passion fruit Margarita and the Strawberry Mojito are my personal favourites. Also, they have supertasty Mexican food here, like fajita’s and wraps. The decoration is quite peculiar, varying from walls decorated with colourful flipflops and baby dolls, and gives you an instant 'vacation in the Carribean' feeling. 

Strawberry Mojito's and a Raspberry Margarita @ Rosa Negra

For the ones who want to have fun while getting drunk, there is a third place I am obliged to mention: Espit Chupitos (C. Aribau 77). Chupitos are actually shots, and in Spain they like to make them as amusing as possible... Starting with the names. Be ready to order a "Dirty Orgasm", "Chupa Huevos" (suck my balls in Spanish), "Sweet Nipples" or a "Monica Lewinski". Actually, that last one is a, ABSOLUTE must-do when you're a girl (or if you want to surprise one). I can't tell what it's all about, you must see for yourself... The only thing I can say, it's the 5 Euro you're never gonna forget about how you spent them. 

Espit Chupitos, "Nipples" shot
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The most important thing before you go out in Barcelona, is that you must understand the concept of the guestlists. In general, all the nightlife spots  work with guestlists, but in an inverse way than in most countries. Here, it’s the PR-people who want you to get on their list, because they’re getting money from it. Just put the club you are planning on going to followed by "list", and you will find the most popular ones right away. 

The places to go if you want to go to a dressed up party are all the disco’s in the Olympic Harbour (Puerto Olimpico), the most recommended would be Opium and Pacha. 
Dress up to get in here, they usually don't accept people on sport shoes or keds. 
If you want to visit the most luxurious and chic club of Barcelona, you must head to Sutton - near the Avinguda Diagonal. If you're out of luck and can't get in, just next to it is the - little bit less posh, but still very nice - BlingBling. Be prepared for overdressed ladies and overpriced drinks. A lot of Spanish and international celebrities prefer to go clubbing here.

If you’re rather in for the alternative stuff, there are 2 huge alternative disco’s: Apollo & RazzMatazz. Two enormous spaces with different rooms where they play electro, drum&bass, dubstep, … A paradise for the alternative fans!

If you’re here with your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is one place you should definitely visit! It’s a bar in the heart of the Gotic district, called La Fianna (Banys Vells 15). Take a map with you, since it will probably take a while before you find your way in the 3 meter large tiny streets, but it’s definitely worth it! A very romantic oldfashioned bar/restaurant with, besides normal tables, also beds for seating/laying. Good assortment of wines and nice coctails. This one would make a  perfect surprise for your better half!
Another very cosy food and drinks bar is Salterio, with a darky atmosphere and special recipes. This place has already been here for about 20 years, and is still one of the cosiest bars in the Gotic district. Be sure to try some fresh fruit ice tea (I loved the cherry one) or the ginger-lemon milkshake.

One of the first places I visited and that left an impression, has a wide range of public and is called Mediterraneo (C. Balems 129). I used to live around the corner, and I spent quite a few interesting evenings there. You can listen to the live guitar music and singers, but also talk, have a drink, relax… The music is going from English popular songs to Catalan classics, but there is always a fantasticly cosy atmosphere.
If you prefer something more danceable, there is a nice place just off Plaça Real, called Café Royal. Here, everyday has another themes and there are jam sessions, live music and even flamenco evenings on Tuesdays with shows that make your jaw drop.

If Plaça Catalunya is the heart of Barcelona, the Ramblas are definitely the arterials. It’s actually one long promenade, filled with clothes and souvenir shops, street artists, mimes, small shops with artisanal and authentic food, ice cream, mobile animal shops, … Actually, here, you can find about everything you can imagine. It goes all down from Plaça Catalunya ‘till the old harbor, Port Vell. Defintely worth a stroll! The famous fruit and fish market La Boqueria, earlier described in previous post, is situated on the Ramblas, somewhere in the middle, very close to the Liceu metro stop. Also a very cosy place known very well by locals as well as tourists for its perfect location and noisy atmosphere to take a drink, is Plaça Real, just a street away from the Ramblas. 
Plaça Real
La Boqueria

Park Güell

As already mentioned in my previous post, Gaudi owns Barcelona. He built figurally half of it, and in about every neighborhood you can find something that reminds you of his presence. The ultimate must-do’s are of course the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell and Casa Battlo. Besides that, there are a lot of other, smaller or less known buildings, that are actually worth a visit too, since they’re more hidden and like that you also see a bit of the real authentic Gaudi, and not only the part that everyone who ever visited Barcelona even for one day, already have seen. Examples are Palau Güell, Casa Vinçenç and Casa Calvet.

Casa Battlo


The fountain show is located near to the metro stop of Plaça Espanya, at the beginning of the hill Montjuïc. When you get out of the metro around the hours of the show, you’ll just have to follow the people streaming to get to the fountains. The show is really beautiful, and something quite special in Europe, since there are not a lot of places where you can find something likewise. The combination of the moving fountains, the colors and the music make the time stop for a moment and take you to some other planet.

What can you imagine that’s more delicious than a fresh homemade icecream, on a hot sunny day in Barcelona? My favourite one has a name that sounds everything except Spanish, but still is an authentic Barcelonian ice cream place!! It’s called VIOKO, and surprisingly, located on the promenade from the metro to the Barceloneta beach ( Passeig de Joan de Borbo 55). Besides delicious homemade “helado” (which means ice cream in Spanish), you can find also macarons, flavoured sugar, handmade chocolate tablets in all kinds and tastes, and muffins.

One of the foods that I didn't expect to be so good and widely spread in Barcelona was sushi.

There are many "all you can eat" buffets, and most of them are quite good, yet there are a few exceptional ones. 

The best one mentioned by almost every sushi-fan that I meet is Yoshino. Yoshino opened quite recently, and has the buffet option - but then in an 'à la carte' version. You order what you want from the menu, and they prepare it right away and bring it to you. Obviously, these steps can be repeated 'till infinity :)

Another one, which is a bit funky because it has the transport band like they are used in Japan, is Dao Kaiten Sushi (Passeig Colom 4). This transport band will be passing next to your table while you’re having dinner, and picking the things that you want to eat right from it. They have great sushi here, freshly made in front of you, but also meat, seafood, noodles, rice, and fresh fruit and cheesecake for dessert. If you go for dinner, you can even enjoy lobster and oysters upon availability! 

Both places offer their 'free buffet' option for around 15 Euro.

Barcelona is a well known shopping City, headed by the Inditex imperium, who owns Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti (yes, it DOES sounds Italian, but is also Spanish!), Oysho, Üterque, and more... Since these are all Spanish brands, here they are about 20% cheaper, and apart from the 2 month long official sales, there are often promotions.
Also Mango and Blanco are from Catalonia, so this is the place to buy your stuff. If you're more for the highfashion stuff, you have Custo, Balenciaga, and also a very colourful brand named Desigual, that makes their clothes from coloured pieces, resulting in clothes full of joy.
The main shopping streets are Passeig de Gracia (where also Casa Battlo is located), and Portal dell'Angel. 


You might not consider that hamburgers are a very Spanish dish, but let me tell you, there are places here in Barcelona which have a lot of real hamburgesian allure!

The all-time favorite, which grew in the past years with a few different places to grab a burger, is Kiosko (Av. de Marques de Argenteria 1) - and the big brother Bacoa, which has a couple of locations, like the one on Ronda de Universitat. Both are born from the same mother company and have a similar assortment, but still have a slightly different atmosphere in my opinion. You choose from a couple of different recipes, including some marinated chicken or vegetable options, or you can just choose à la carte whatever you want on your burger. My favorite is the "Catalan", which features very typical catalan ingredients like "trinxat" and a generous splash of alioli. For a change, I am not going to explain what that means exactly... this one is about tasting, not thinking!
They even got elected as the 2 best hamburger joints in Barcelona after a universitary study (!!!), so there is no possible excuse you could use to NOT do hamburger science in Barcelona! 

You can find addresses and further informations about all these places in the "Place to be" section of my blog :)

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