Hello, long lost friends. My last post was on March 22, which was a month and a half ago. Woops, shit happens, as they say. What happened, specifically, is I had some work and personal travel and then I turned the big 3-0, so I got a little distracted. Excuses, excuses. Anyhoo, I’m back and ready to share a Barcelona city guide from my second-ever trip to Barcelona!
If you didn’t catch my first Barcelona city guide, you can find it over here. Everything from that trip still rings true, I just have a few more must-do, must-eats to add on. Hooray for that! Also, please note that I chose not to bring my “real camera” on this trip and just used portrait mode on my fancy new iPhone 8 Plus. Not all of the photos are super profesh, as they say, but such is life.
Oh, and if you’re wondering who that other betch is in a few photos with me …. it’s my sister. She’s nine years my junior and is studying abroad at the moment. She just so happened to be in Barcelona the same time as me and we were able to meet up. What a treat!
Where to Stay
Like last time, I stayed at the Pullman Skipper during the official work days. I still liked the hotel and would recommend it, but it’s a bit more than I would spend on my personal hotel stays. So for the “personal” days in Barcelona I stayed at the Alexandra, which is a Hilton hotel. It’s in the Eixample neighborhood and was perfectly situated. It was an easy walk to most parts of town I wanted to explore and just a short cab ride from the others. The rooms were small but clean and modern and the staff was very friendly. Thumbs up, would go back.
Where to Eat and Drink
I loved all of the places I ate last time, but I tried to explore a few new places. Some I liked, others I didn’t, so here we have these new must-tries.
- La Pepita (Gracia) – This might have been my favorite meal of the trip. I hate to admit that I’m kind of tired of/not the biggest fan of traditional Spanish tapas, so this was a good compromise. This is a tapas restaurant but with a modern flare. Everything was delicious and I would order it all again.
- Flax and Kale (Born) – If you are looking to be basic, bougie and ‘gram your food, this is the place to go. The entire menu is gluten-free and most of the menu is vegan. Gluten and meat lovers need not fret (hey, I’m one of you), everything was AMAZING and didn’t taste like raw grass. I came here for brunch twice and was not disappointed. I highly recommend the cinnamon maca roll, acaitella bowl and moroccan roasted portobello. There are multiple locations, but I went to the Passage location.
- Hotel 1898 (La Rambla) – I came here with my work team for rooftop drinks. We had some food, which was fine, but the main draw is the views of the city. I would really recommend the Mint Breeze mocktail; it was phenomenal.
- Pastelerias Mauri (Eixample) – I came here twice for flan and can’t complain. After all, it was so good I came back twice! I only had dessert, so I can’t speak for anything else they serve.
- Brunch and Cake (Barceloneta) – There are multiple locations, but we had brunch at the Barceloneta location. The food was good, but I much preferred Flax and Kale, if I’m being honest. But, if you’re in the area looking for brunch, it’s a solid option. I’m just not sure I would go out of my way to have it again.
- Bar Lobo (Raval) – I came here for dinner with my team one night. Like La Pepita, it’s modern tapas. I like La Pepita a bit more, but Bar Lobo also has some great options if you’re in the neighborhood.
- Demasié (Born) – Cinnamon rolls as far as the eye can see? Need I say more?
Where to Shop
- Nuovom (Born & Raval) – This store carries lovely purses and accessories from local designers. I left with a Sandra Freckled bag, a silk neckerchief and a ceramic necklace. Woopsies. Just helping to stimulate the economy, of course.
- La Nostra Ciutat (Gothic) – This store is more of an indoor market for local artisans. I left with some gorgeous cards and a print that I still need to get framed.
- La Variété (Raval) – Located in Raval, this store had the most beautiful, minimalist interior accessories and some scarves that I regret leaving behind.
- Le Studio Barcelona (Gothic) – I got the most beautiful “El Born” perfume here and couldn’t love it more! They also carry so many cute clothing items and accessories.
What to See and Do
I don’t have any new recommendations on what to do, but I do have a recommendation and what NOT to do. I went to La Sagrada Familia and it was a big let down. It’s small and underwhelming. Save your money and time, people!