BARCELONA – 2.0

Barcelona, SPAIN – we just can’t stay away! Dmitriy and I find any excuse to travel, so when flights to Barcelona dropped to $400 we immediately booked a birthday celebration in our favorite city.

This trip marked my 5th time in Catalonia so we decided to do Barcelona more “off the beaten path” while revising some of the classics.

Our Stay

9 days / 8 nights

We chose an Airbnb in a residential area off Passeig de Sant Joan and Diagonal. I’m always drawn to the Eixample neighborhood for it’s close proximity the Sagrada Familia. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Gaudi’s masterpiece progress over the last 10 years. Plus, there is a certain feeling you get from visiting at night once the tourists leave. Find the best neighborhood for you here.

EAT

If you’ve read my first Barcelona post, you know how much we love Cerveceria Catalana and Vinitus so it’s safe to say we revisited our top two favorite restaurants in the world as soon as we landed.

La Pepita – super nice staff, I recommend the pepita de ternera. Delicious!

ElDiset – wine bar in the Born district with modern tapas and a great atmosphere to kick off the night. The dim lighting provides a romantic, yet trendy lounge feel.

Casa Rafols – just steps away from the Parc de la Ciutadella is the best pan con tomate in town because you make it yourself! Plus, their jamon is top quality. Check out it’s sister restaurant, Casa Lolea, for brunch.

Xurreria Laietana – no trip is complete without a churro stop near the Gothic Quarter. Expect a short wait and remember they are closed from 1:00pm-4:30pm for siesta. My face stays it all…

La Pubilla – unassuming, local restaurant with classic Catalan cooking. Look out for Tapeo in the same neighborhood as an alternative.

Baluard Barceloneta – excellent bakery to grab a quick breakfast and snack before heading to Mount Tibidabo.

Petit Capet – Local vibe with Mediterranean fusion cuisine, so if you are looking to mix it up from tapas, this is a must.  Reservations recommended.

Ziryab – another option if you are looking outside of traditional Spanish cuisine. These Mediterranean tapas are rich in spices and herbs which transported me back to Morocco. *Reservations.

Europe has the best pizza in the world, so regardless if we are traveling in Italy or not, we know where to find authentic Italian cuisine. Pizzeria Miseria E Nobilta and Don Kilo won’t disappoint.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit Vivant and Arume Restaurante, but they were on our list.

COCKTAIL BARS

Dr. Stravinsky – named one of the best bars in Barcelona. Sit at the bar and watch these bartenders put on a show.

Paradiso – a speakeasy off a quiet street, you’ll enter through an uninteresting shopfront and behind a fridge door. My drink was smoked in a treasure box and served in a shell!

Espit Chupitos – this place is quite the experience…over 1,000 shots to choose from (even though in the picture below we are drinking vodka sodas!). I’ve been coming here since 2011, but this night we were fortunate enough to meet the owner. Thank god we took this picture early in the night…

TO DO

Palau Güell (Güell Palace) – an UNESCO world heritage site “Works of Antonio Gaudi” tucked on the side of La Rambla. The facade differs from his other works so it’s easy to walk past it. Look up to find the colorful chimneys on the rooftop, which matches a similar design to Casa Mila, and you’ll know you’ve found it.

Casa Batllo – after years of admiring from the street, we finally had the time to go inside! It’s hard to imagine this was someone’s home, designed by Gaudi. Plan ahead by buying tickets online for a designated time.

Tip: if you only have time for one Gaudi masterpiece on Passeig de Gracia, my recommendation would be to visit Casa Mila (La Pedrera) first because of it’s amazing rooftop terrace.

Paella Cooking Class – This was our first time using Airbnb Experiences and it was a total hit. We learned how to make sangria, paella, and crema catalana – all wine drinking unlimited wine! And you get copies of the recipes emailed to you to try at home.

Mount Tibidabo – technically an amusement park, we traveled up the funicular and caught the bus just outside for views of the city. The church at the top is visible from Parc Guell and has been teasing me to visit all these years. Food and drinks are overpriced, so pack some reinforcements in your bag.

Torres Vineyard – wineries at your fingertips! About an hour on the metro will take you directly to wine country (Penedes D.O) and specifically this family owned estate. You’ll also pass Freixenet on the way if your taste is more for cava. They are known for their award winning “Mas La Plana” Cabernet Sauvignon. Reservations are made online.

Stay tuned for the next post about our day trip to Montserrat!

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