Thursday 10 January 2013

Weekend in Barcelona

I have fallen, hook, line and sinker, in love with Barcelona! The weather, the friendly, beautiful people, the food, the drink, the architecture, and...aaah, the Turkish baths.
Unfortunate about the economy because it is fully understandable why locals don't want to leave and immigrants would love to come.  Amazing.
Here are the highlights to my fantastic weekend:

Air BnB~ we stayed in a gorgeous 2-bed, 2 bath apartment with a balcony, right off of Passeig de Gracia  for 175 euros per night. It was perfect.

Grand Hotel Central~ Beautifully simple, sleek, and very centrally located.

Hotel Arts~ located close to Olympic Village and close to the seaside, this hotel probably is the most glam in the city.  Great pool and restaurants.

Near our apartment, and I'm sure all over the city, you find excellent coffee, jamon and beer if you choose!, small sandwiches, cookies, and small pastries for breakfast which is the most common diet. Not hard to get this right at all.


Passadis Del Pep~ Perhaps one of the greatest dinners we have ever had.  It is a MUST when in Barcelona.  NO menu just a maitre d' who asks if you have any dislikes, and on and on and on the platters come. We were a group of 6 ppl and one after the other, the most interesting and exquisite of seafood kept coming.  At some point, you'll need to "pause" or "stop" and tell the maitre d' when you are nearing your peak of fullness. Each course is more wow than the previous.  We universally LOVED this restaurant.

Cuina Santa Caterina~ Is in the Parada de Mercado (market).  Wide variety on menu.

Loidi ~ Contemporary and more affordable bistro by this Michelin starred chef.

Moritz~ Brewery restaurant.  Lovely, lovely casual German menu (think Brats and Wurst and sauerkraut) all awhile sitting atop a brewhouse.  Tours of the brewery too, (brush up on your Spanish!)

Palau Dalmases~ a real hidden gem! We went after midnight Roman Bath for late night drinking under the stars...Absolutely stunning.

Mirablau~ stunning views! Great spot for after dinner drinks

Boadas~ I loved this little bar, a la 1940's style in La Ramblas, for pre-dinner aperitif.  Truly charming and old school

DO and SEE
You are in home city of one of the greatest architects of all time, Antoni Gaudi.  His influence can be seen all over the city but a few of the highlights which are a must see:

Sagrada Familia

La Pedrera

Casa Batllo
Casa Calvett

Markets, Markets and Markets

And last, but not least, one of my MOST favorite experiences was a post-dinner visit to Aire Ancient Baths.  Pack a bathing suit, make an appointment, and take 2 glorious hours rotating amongst plunging into hot baths, cold baths, salt bath, steam room.  A truly outstanding experience and especially decadent after a long day filled with sites, food, and drink for a total decompress.  Of course, to stop in to Palau Dalmases on your way home is not a bad idea either.

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