Here are some super delayed pics from a month (December) spent in Barcelona. It would probably be more accurate to describe it as a month spent in El Born, a neighborhood in Barcelona.
For some reason any restaurant, bar, or cafe is much better when it’s in a narrow cobblestone alley. El Born happens to be a maze of narrow cobblestone alleys interspersed with squares of every size. Everything you love about city life can be found in El Born:
- Great people watching
- Walking distance of an awesome park,Parc de la Ciutadella, which was the city’s only green space for a decent chunk of the 19th century.
- Tons of nooks and crannies with cheap tapas places, performance spaces, independent boutiques, cafes and bars.
- Interesting murals and graffiti
- Pickpockets. We weren’t victimized but saw two people in pursuit of someone who had lifted something from them.
The rest of the city was not too shabby. Barcelona is a fantastic city to walk around and public transportation is fantastic. Having lived in NY, SF and LA I was astonished by how easy, fast and cheap it was to travel between the airport and the city. My preferred route was taking a wifi equipped bus. If you’re into biking, that works too.
Recommendations (hopefully more to come):
El Xampanyet A place that looks like it hasn’t changed in forever because it’s a Neighborhood Institution. Always packed to the gills with people drinking their house made Cava (sparkling wine) and inexpensive tapas. The ratio of tourists to locals is solid and much of the staff don’t speak English but they’re chill and pointing to the dish you want works. If I were to move to El Born, this would be my default place to meet a friend for drinks and snacks. I’d probably also roll in solo and just go to town on the Cava n shnacks. Long Live El Xampanyet!
Dali Museum: Totally worth a day trip. Taking the train there was easy peasy and it’s nice to see what the towns look like outside of Barcelona
Sagrada Familia: It’s totally understandable if you’re a bit Cathedraled out in Europe but if you’re going to see one, see this one. Gaudi kept a lot of what makes a bazillion year old church breahtaking (monstrously high vaulted ceilings, beautiful stained glass,etc) but his take on it is unlike anything else.
Las Ramblas – Meh…
If you’re planning a trip and have questions, ask away. Ok stay groovy y’all.