Barcelona Carnival– Program 2019, dates and activities

Carnival is a great time to be in Barcelona, with loads of fun events happening, there’s plenty to see. This year, Barcelona Carnival will happen between February 27 and March 6, with events happening throughout the city and also in cities like Sitges, very close from Barcelona and with a spectactular carnival with several parades.

Origin of the carnaval: Why we celebrate it?

Carnival is held seven weeks after the first full moon past the Winter solsitce, traditionally ending the same day as Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. As such, carnival is thought to be the last party before the start of Lent, a period in which people are meant to abstain from vices, such as alcohol. A festival with Roman origins, the holiday was first documented as having been celebrated in 1333. Little by Little the party began to take shape as we know it today, with costumes becoming commonplace by the 19th Century. 

Structure of the Carnival in Barcelona

Arrival of the Carnival King

This will happen on February 28 and is when the Carnival King will arrive at La Rambla, in front of the Arts Santa Mònica museum. The Carnival King arrives to inaugurate the crazy carnival week. Jumping, dancing and singing, the parade will arrive at the Palau de la Virreina, the Carnival’s Republic. 

Carnival Parades

Parades will start to take place on March 2, when throughout the city there will be over 30 different parades, ending with the main parade through the old town. Here you will see people dressed in colourful and traditional costumes for Barcelona Carnival, music and dancing filling the streets. If you want to check out all the details of Barcelona Carnival Parades, you can find the full program by district here.

Barcelona Carnival

The Burial of the Sardine

This takes place on the last day of Barcelona Carnival, which this year will be March 6. This marks the end of the carnival period and is a symbolic burial of the past to allow society to be reborn and transformed over the period of Lent. 

Enterrament de la Sardina - Barcelona carnival

If you want to make the most of Barcelona Carnival, you can also head to Sitges, just a short train ride away from Barcelona. Here a large and extravagant carnival is hosted, and residents dress up in mourning to signify the end of carnival. The Sitges Carnival is famous throughout Catalonia for being a great party. Check the program here.

Best tapas in Barcelona – Top 10 Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

The culinary tradition of tapas is well-known worldwide, and nowhere will you find a more exciting and varied selection of it than in Barcelona. From the traditional Catalan tapas plates like “pa amb tomàquet” and “escalivada”, to classic staples like “patatas bravas”, and exciting modernized fusion plates, going out for tapas in Barcelona has something for every occasion. When wandering through Barcelona, it’s easy to be tempted by the mouth-watering smells that float from every street corner, but to be sure you’re going to the best tapas restaurants in Barcelona, follow our guide below.

Bar del Pla

As the sister restaurant to the well-known Pla restaurant, Bar del Pla gives you all the taste but in a more casual and laid-back setting. With a menu that changes continuously to reflect the season, Bar del Pla use fresh components to make tapas plates that vary from both traditional to experimental. This is also a great place for wine lovers, as they house a huge selection of natural and organic wines, as well as local beers. Tables here can be hard to come by, so if you want a guaranteed seating at one of the best tapas bars in Barcelona, it’s best to book. 

Location: Montcada, 2

Blai Tonight and La Tasqueta de Blai

Many tourists make the trip out to Poble Sec to explore the mountain of Montjuic but fail to discover what lies in the streets below. Wander over to Carrer Blai and you will find a street full of some of the best tapas bars in Barcelona that serve mouth-watering bites called “pintxos”. Originating from northern Spain, “pintxos” can be almost anything as long as they’re on a stick. The unique experience involves going up to the counter and selecting anything that takes your fancy. At the end of the meal your sticks are tallied up for your final price. With each “pintxo” coming in at between €1 and €1.85 this can be a great value option. 

Blai Tonight is one of the more famous “pintxo” restaurants on the street and it’s obvious to see why when you get there. Slices of bread with indulgent halves of avocado and smoked salmon await, along with a selection of other fish and meat bites. La Tasqueta del Blai is similarly delicious and with a slightly larger variation of options and unique combinations. Try and get to Blai in the early evening so you can grab an outdoor terrace table and people watch as you wash down your “pintxos” with traditional Basque cider. 

Blai Tonight Location: Blai, 23 

La Tasqueta de Blai Location: Blai, 17

Best tapas in Barcelona - Blai tonight

Tickets

If you know anything about the culinary scene in Barcelona, you almost certainly will have heard of Tickets as the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. Headed up by the famed Catalan chef Albert Adrià, this Michelin star restaurant focuses on a sense of fun as much as the exquisite quality of the food. After being seated in the weird yet wonderful surroundings, you will be presented with a stream of intriguing and experimental tapas plates until you request the waiter to stop. However, getting a table at this famed restaurant is notoriously hard. Bookings open every day for the day three months ahead and often get booked out in minutes – it is, however, possible to try for cancellations on the day of if you’re lucky.

Location: Paraŀlel, 164

Best tapas in Barcelona - tickets

Cal Papi

When you’re thinking about where to eat in Barcelona, Barceloneta isn’t always the first place that comes to mind. However, Cal Papi is an excellent choice of tapas restaurant for those looking for something authentic near the beachside. As opposed to some of the other more experimental restaurants on this list, Cal Papi focuses on serving traditional tapas classics, and does it well. Its proximity to the beach means it’s a great place to try out some fresh sea food, especially in the form of fideuà​, a traditional Catalan style paella, that makes great use of noodles instead of rice.

Location: l’Atlàntida, 65

cal papi - Best tapas in Barcelona

Elsa y Fred

The low-level lighting and eclectic but beautiful setting of Elsa y Fred make it the perfect location for romance, or for a meal with a group of old friends. The ambient surrounding is compounded by the stunning taste of the food with a menu that changes seasonally, but often includes the likes of tuna tartar and grilled octopus. And that’s not to mention their “patatas bravas” which are thought by some to be amongst the best in the city.

Location: Rec Comtal, 11

Elsa y fred - Barcelona Tapas

La Bicicleta 

Located in the heart of Gràcia, La Bicicleta offers up tasty and inexpensive tapas in a casual and laid-back environment. This is the perfect spot for when you are wondering through this trendy neighbourhood and looking for a bite of cheap and tasty food to fill your stomach. With friendly service and a good atmosphere, this Barcelona tapas restaurant is also the perfect location for your Sunday afternoon “Vermouth” and “bravas” pit stop.

Location: Verdi, 65

La bicicleta - Best tapas in Barcelona

Bar Cañete

In the heart of Barcelona’s vibrant Raval district you will find Bar Cañete, one of the city’s better known tapas bars. For an authentic Barcelona tapas experience, head to the “Barra” section of the restaurant. Instead of being seated at a table, like in the “Mantel” portion, you will stand at the bar or if you’re lucky get a stool from which to consume your gourmet tapas. From this area diners can watch as the chefs create their food and the barmen hurry round with bottles of Catalan cava and trays of fresh seafood.

Location: Unió, 17

Best tapas in Barcelona Bar cañete

Marcelino1968

The newest addition to the Can Pijaume group of restaurants, founded in 1984 by chef Jose Gandoy, Marcelino1968 offers up some of the most sophisticated tapas in Barcelona. Placed in prime position within Gràcia’s Plaça del Sol, sit on the terrace to enjoy the squares lively atmosphere or inside to enjoy the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant itself. Whatever you do, make sure you order one of their opulent cocktails, exquisitely made by the expert bar tenders, to sip on as you enjoy your tapas at this Barcelona restaurant.

Location: Plaça del Sol, 2

Best tapas in Barcelona- Marcelino1968

La Flauta 

Having been around for over 25 years, La Flauta is a mainstay on the Barcelona tapas scene. Popular with locals, La Flauta has a little something for everyone. As well as being able to order traditional and delicious tapas, La Flauta lives up to its name by offering an elaborate selection of sandwiches, which are literally called “flautas”. Fillings for the sandwiches change throughout the year with market availability, so you can pop in any time to find a fresh new creation to fill your stomach. 

Location: Aribau, 23

Make sure your trip to Barcelona is the best it can be by trying out our recommendations for the best tapas bars in Barcelona and you will see why it is rated as one of the best gastronomical cities in the world.

Roman Tour in Barcelona – 8 Roman Spots you Can’t Miss

Barcelona may be a bustling and modern city these days, often characterised by the amazing Art Nouveau architecture of the early 1900’s. However, when you look a little deeper, Barcelona also has a rich ancient history; once you know where to look you will start discovering it throughout the ancient streets of the old town. 

The city of Barcelona, called Barcino by the Romans, was founded by the Roman empire at the end of the 1st Century and began to grow from there. The colony had around 1000 inhabitants and was bound by a defensive wall. Below is a list of the eight Roman spots in the city that you can’t miss, for an amazing historical tour of this ancient city.

Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA)

Open since 1943, the Museu d’Història de Barcelona is a great and interactive way to explore the ancient Roman ruins of the city. Spread throughout the city, most of the major historical points of interest are part of this wondrous and free open-air museum.

Below Plaça del Rei square, you will find 4000 m2 of archaeological remains, where you can walk along the ancient Roman streets. Here you also can expect to see intriguing objects found during archeological digs, such as ancient Roman busts and Roman inscribed ceramics, giving you a real taste of what life may have been like back then.

Plaça del Rei, 7-9

MUHBA Temple d’August

Inside a small medieval courtyard, you will be able to find the remains of what was once the Temple d’August; four upright pillars. This was the main temple of the Roman colony, and has been dated back to the 1st Century BC, as a place of worship for the Roman Empire. This building stood at the centre of the Forum and looked down on the city due to its placement on a small podium, at the top of what was formally a small hill known as Mons Taber.

Carrer Paradís, 10

Plaça de Sant Jaume

The centre of all activity, Placa de Sant Jaume used to be the Roman Forum, an arcaded square that was surrounded by the city’s main buildings. Forming a cross, the forum was the axis between two streets of importance, the “cardus maximus” and “decomanus maximus”. The square was also the site of a market, where goods from all over the Mediterranean were bought and sold. 

Plaça Nova

This is the former site of one of Barcelona’s gates and so can be a good look at the ancient remains of the historic Roman city wall and aqueduct. The two towers that can be seen here are clear signs of the way carriages and pedestrians entered in and out of the city.

Casa de l’Ardiaca

Whilst this site doesn’t showcase the original, it’s possible to see a modern replica of one of the city’s aqueducts, which can give you a good idea of how the city used to function. This spot also marked the start of one of the main Roman roads. 

Carrer de Santa Llúcia, 1

Plaça Vila de Madrid and Via Sepulcral Romana

Situated outside of the city’s walled precinct, here you will find 70 tombs from the city’s ancient necropolis, revealing just how Roman’s built their cemeteries. You can walk above these tombs, along Via Sepulcral Romana, to get the best view of these ancient relics.

Plaça Ramon Berenguer

Here, among the epic background of the Gothic chapel, you will be able to find a section of ancient Roman wall, dating back to the early 4th century AD. Look closely and you will find that the wall was constructed of materials from other buildings, as a reinforcement for the original wall built in the 1st Century BC.

Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya

If you want a true exploration of the old Roman city of Barcino, head to the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya where you will be able to find over a million original pieces that take you on a journey through the history of Barcelona, including the establishment of the Roman Empire. This includes collections of items from the Roman times. 

Passeig de Santa Madrona, 39

Once you start walking around Barcelona, you will be able to find these points and get lost in your exploration of the ancient history of the city. 

Movies and series set in Barcelona you must watch

The beautiful backdrop and varied history of Barcelona make it the perfect setting and location for movies and tv series. From serious historical based dramas, to romantic love stories and even comedies, check out our favourite movies and tv series set in Barcelona to get a taste of the beautiful and vibrant city.

Movies set in Barcelona

L’auberge espagnole

Barcelona is an ever-popular place for students doing their Erasmus, or year abroad studies, and L’auberge espagnole perfectly encapsulates that. Based on a French student who finds himself in a house of eclectic international students whilst doing his year abroad in the often-diverse city of Barcelona, this film really highlights the hedonistic side of the city that can be enjoyed. Capturing the Barcelona from a certain period of time, this French-Spanish film is not one to be missed, especially for those who studied in Barcelona themselves as a trip down memory lane.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Perhaps the most famous film set in Barcelona, featuring stars Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Vicky Cristina Barcelona follows the journey of two Americans visiting Barcelona for the first time, where they meet and fall for some fiery Spanish characters. As much a love story about people, this film is a love story about Barcelona, showing off the very best of the city.

Todo Sobre mi Madre

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar, one of Spain’s most famous directors, Todo Sobre mi Madre, literally translates as all about my mother. This Academy Award winning film is able to explore deep and complex issues, such as AIDS, existentialism and transsexuality, through its cinematic prowess, and its setting in Barcelona is perhaps an ode to the city’s often progressive and liberal nature.

Salvador (Puig Antich)

A true story, based on the above named, gives the spectator an insight into the history of Barcelona, during the time of the Franco regime. This is the sad tale of a man who fought for the independence of Catalunya, through anarchist movements and depicts the time he spent on death row as a result. Salvador Puig Antich is still a symbol of independence and a household name in Catalunya, as one of Franco’s last victims. 

Pa Negre

Another sad film depicting life in Catalunya in the times of Franco, Pa Negre, meaning black bread, is the story of a young boy who lives in the Catalan country-side in the harsh post-war times. An emotional tale, that explores the intricacies of human nature, as well as the history of Catalunya and Spain, this is a must watch for those for those interested in politics and history. 

Cheetah Girls 2

For anyone who was into Disney as a child this movie might ring a bell. A talented teen quartet, led up by Raven-Symoné, move to Barcelona to follow their dreams of pop superstardom. A light film featuring musical numbers and suitable for children, Cheetah Girls 2 highlights some of Barcelona’s most famous sites as they explore all the city has to offer. In fact, as the cast and crew were looking for some luxurious accommodation to stay in during filming, they chose to stay in some of bizFlats finest apartments, as the best base to relax and have access to the city. 

TV Series set in Barcelona

La Catedral del Mar

For those interested in ancient history, La Catedral del Mar (Cathedral of the Sea) takes the viewer back to medieval Barcelona, and is the tale of the construction of Santa Maria del Mar, which still stands. Set in Barcelona, the series follows the life of Arnau Estanyol, the son of a fugitive serf and one of the cathedral’s stone workers.

Where to watch: Netflix (outside Spain), Antena 3

Cites

A light comedy-drama, Cites (an adaptation of the UK series Dates) shows what contemporary life in the city of Barcelona is like for young adults, searching for love and companionship.  Following the experiences of 24 different strangers who met on the internet and then meet face-to-face, Cites cleverly intertwines the lives of these strangers to create a compelling drama focusing on the ups and downs of human relationships and the struggle of looking for love in the modern age.The characters visit a great selection of venues such as parks, restaurants and bars which any visitor can find in the city.

Where to watch: TV3, Amazon Prime Video

Merlí

A good one if you want to practice your Catalan (although don’t worry, it is also possible to find with subtitles), Merlí has seen international success, with the possibility to even find it on Netflix. Set in a high-school in Barcelona, each episode is themed after a famous philosopher or school of thought, with the series bringing philosophy to the public in an interesting and accessible way.

Where to watch: TV3 (seasons 1-3), Netflix (seasons 1 and 2)

So next time you’re looking for something to watch, why not try out one of these great movies or tv series. It might even help you get inspiration for your next trip to the wonderful city of Barcelona. 

Discover the new Mercat de Sant Antoni

After almost a decade of work and 80 million euros worth of investment, the Mercat de Sant Antoni has finally reopened its doors, much to the excitement of locals. The renovated market, an iconic building within Barcelona, is almost its own small city. It totals an area of 55,388 square metres, which are distributed over five floors, four of which are underground.

This architectural wonder, originally built between 1879 and 1882 by the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, is entering a new stage of its life under renovators from the architectural firm of Ravetllat Ribas, who have readapted it with a new modern twist. Below we will discuss the exciting developments you can look forward to on your visit to the newest market in Barcelona.

MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

Fewer stalls, but larger

The new market will have a total of 235 different establishments, which is slightly less than previously, however, allowing more space in total with widened corridors and store spaces. In the very heart of the market you will now find 52 fresh produce stalls, which will include the likes of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meats amongst other things. Another 105 non-food market stalls will also be located in the interior, in the outer section, while the Sunday book market will be located fully outdoors.

You can also look forward to long visiting hours with the fresh produce market open from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm, the non-food market on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8am to 8.30pm, and the Sunday book market – as indicated –open on Sundays.

Retractable canopies for Sunday

The famous Sunday market will be a permanent home for booksellers, selling books, postcards, stamps and trinkets alike. Running along the outer perimeters of the market, you will be able to find 78 stalls under their new modern retractable canopies, installed in the revamp to replace the old awnings.

New Tenants

Perhaps two of the most exciting features to come from the renovation are the new supermarket and gym that are now installed in the market’s basement floors.

The supermarket chain Lidl has announced its plans to make this new branch of their store the most emblematic in Barcelona. Located on the first underground floor of the market, the new store is spacious coming in at an area of 1300 square metres. The store is also doing its part to be eco-friendly, installing a 5-metre high plant wall at the entrance in a bid to help balance its CO2 footprint. As well as this, they have cleverly installed kinetic flooring, meaning customers help to generate electricity for the store simply by walking around it. The other new tenant, finished around autumn 2018, is a branch of the low cost gym Duet Fit.

The supermarket and gym are a first for this kind of market place, which will be a welcome addition for the neighbourhood.

An outdoor museum

The Mercat de Sant Antoni has always been historically important in Barcelona, having been built on the remnants of the fortress of Sant Antoni, part of the defensive system of the ancient medieval city. Aiming to retain the ancient historical importance of the market, the renovators have left parts of it as an open-air museum. Not only will the medieval wall from the ancient city of Barcelona be on view, but during the renovations parts of the fortress were able to be recovered in surprisingly good condition and will also be on display.

Additionally, you will be able to see the remains of the legendary Roman road Via Augusta, with plans to make it into a new museum space as part of the Museu d’Història de Barcelona.

THE NEW MERCAT DE SANT ANTONI

For the neighbourhood

One of the main goals when renovating the Mercat de Sant Antoni has been to make sure the space is something that contributes to the neighbourhood. Whilst retaining the beautiful architecture and characteristics of the old market, the new market is a space where the local community can meet to drink, chat, eat and much more.

So, what are you waiting for? Go down and visit the new Mercat de Sant Antoni and experience all it has to offer!

Where to eat in Barcelona – Our Christmas recommendations 2018

If you’re wondering where to eat in Barcelona over the Christmas period in 2018, look no further than our list of places that have wonderful Christmas menus and festive vibes. Here are our best suggestions of where to eat in Barcelona so you can make the most of the festive season with your close friends and family. Check out our list, categorised so you can find the perfect destination:

Trendy restaurants in Barcelona for Christmas

9 Nine

Enjoy their tasty tapas and Catalan fare, or even enjoy one of their tasting menus to get the full foodie experience. Always packed and with an international vibe, you can’t go wrong at 9 Nine.

9 Nine will be closed on December 24, open on December 25, 26 and 31, and January 1 and 6.

New Year’s menu available (€ 45)

Due to its popularity, book in advance for any of these Christmas days.

Address: Carrer Valencia 334

www.facebook.com/pg/Restaurant9Nine

Where to eat in barcelona - 9-nine-restaurante

Ikibana

While Japan and Brazil are miles apart, Ikibana expertly blends both renowned cuisines together to make delicious fusion meals. Think fresh sea food and the best cuts of meat, Ikibana is one of the trendiest places to be. If you’re looking for where to eat in Barcelona on New Year’s Eve, this is the perfect option, as they are hosting a luxurious gala dinner, with tickets starting at €180 a head, where you can truly ring the New Year in in style.

They also will have special christmas menu for the 25th and 26 of December.

Open every day.

Address: Avinguda del Paral·lel 148

www.ikibana.com/parallel

Mamarosa Beach

If you want to make the most of the late winter Mediterranean sun, why not head over to Mamarosa Beach, with the perfect seaside location. Here you can sit indoors or outdoors to soak up the atmosphere of Barceloneta beach. If you’re looking for where to eat in Barcelona on New Year’s Eve and want something sophisticated, this is an ideal option as it has a special New Year’s Eve menu for just €145 a head, including all the fresh sea food you could want.

Mamarosa is open every day of December.

Address: Passeig del Mare Nostrum 19-21

www.mamarosabeach.com/

El Barceloneta

Another one for the seafood fans, El Barceloneta is where to eat in Barcelona if you want a more laid back al fresco experience by the sea. With its large terrace, rooms especially for groups and its group menus, it’s perfect for big groups of friends or for celebrations where all the family can get together for Christmas.

Open every day, but currently full. If you come to Barcelona next year, make sure you ​​book well in advance 😉

Address: Carrer de l’Escar 22

www.restaurantbarceloneta.com

Patrón

If you are looking for somewhere a bit different for your company dinner or celebrations with your group of friends, Patrón offers a full and lively evening with live music, cocktails and the possibility of having a private room. As well as this, they offer a special set menu from €58 per person over all the important Christmas dates, as well as special New Year’s Eve menu and party.

Open every day of the year.

Address: Travessera de Gràcia 44

www.patron-restaurant.com

PAtron - Where to eat in barcelona

Mercer

The Mercer has a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence, owing to its wonderful food. Original frescoes of the 12th century serve as a backdrop and their cuisine is dedicated to local products, offering typical traditional Catalan dishes with a careful presentation and a wide selection of wines.

Open on December 24, 25, 26 and 31. During those days they offer a Christmas menu that you can check here https://www.mercerbarcelona.com/es/restaurantes/mercer-restaurante (New Year’s Eve is already full)

For January 1, Mercer will be closed but you can book at their Gastro Bar Le Bouchon, for lunch or dinner.

Address: Carrer dels Lledó, 7

Mercer - Barcelona Restaurant

Restaurants with views

Marea Alta

With stunning views over the Mediterranean Ocean, Marea Alta is where to eat in Barcelona if you want to enjoy some city views as you celebrate the festive period. Here the sea view is complimented with delicious grilled fish. With menus for Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Sant Esteve), and New Year’s Eve, this is the perfect place for celebrations.

Closed on the evening of December 24, January 1 and 6.

Address: Avinguda Drassanes 6-8

www.mareaaltamareabaja.com

marea-alta-- Where to eat in barcelona

Terraza Martinez

Vibrant and eclectic, mixed with delicious Catalan food and views that will leave you dreamy-eyed, Terraza Martinez is where to eat in Barcelona for an exciting night out. With paella the star of its menu, it makes it the perfect place for big groups celebrating Christmas together with festive lights only adding to seasonal atmosphere.

Closed on the evening of December 24 and during the day on December 25. It is open on December 26 and 31 and January 1. Special menu for New Years: €210 including an open bar and party. Children €50.

Address: Carretera de Miramar 38

www.martinezbarcelona.com

Terraza martinez - Recomended Restaurants in Barcelona

Torre de Alta Mar

If you’re looking for a truly unique New Year’s Eve experience, Torre de Alta Mar is where to eat in Barcelona. At the top of the tower that sits by Barceloneta beach, you can enjoy your meal along with 360-degree views of the city. On New Year’s Eve, tickets start from €295 per person but include a full menu with copious drinks, as well as a party atmosphere with music and dancing all night long.

Address: Passeig Joan de Borbó 88

It is closed on December 24, 25 and 26, as well as from January 1 until 6.

www.torredealtamar.com

Torre de alta mar - Where to eat in barcelona

Michelin Starred Restaurants

ABaC

For those foodies who are looking for where to eat in Barcelona over the Christmas period, ABaC is the perfect choice. Headed up by chef Jordi Cruz, the three-star Michelin restaurant offers true luxury with its traditional dishes with an experimental edge and elegant setting up among the hills of Tibidabo.

Closed on January 1. Open on December 24, 25, 26 and 31. It is already full for this year. If you are in Barcelona for next years festivities, make sure you book at least two months in advance.

Address: Plaça J. F. Kennedy / Avinguda del Tibidabo 1

www.abacrestaurant.com

ABAC

Xerta Restaurant

With one Michelin star, Xerta Restaurant headed up by chef Fran López is focused on the cuisine of Terres de l’Ebre. This is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a place to celebrate Christmas with that special someone.

Opened on December 24, 25, 26 and 31 and January 1. During those days they offer a Christmas menu for €85, except on New Year’s Eve, when they offer a special menu for €180.

Address: Carrer Còrsega 289

www.xertarestaurant.com

So, if you’re looking for where to eat in Barcelona over the Christmas period, why not try one of the above options. Whether you want a lively party atmosphere by the sea or fine-dining in the trendiest neighborhoods of Barcelona, there is something for everyone who is visiting Barcelona at this magical time of the year.

Day Trips from Barcelona – 5 Medieval villages in the Empordà 

There’s no doubt that Barcelona is a vibrant city with plenty of sights to see, but if you feel like escaping the city for the day, Catalunya has unlimited opportunities for scenic day trips from Barcelona. If you’re into Game of Thrones, or just a lover of all things medieval than look no further than a day trip from Barcelona to the beautiful region of Empordà. Nestled between Sant Feliu de Guíxols and the French border, you may have heard of one of the most famous towns there, Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dalí and one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona. However, this region has much more to offer, head into the quieter parts where you will find a number of medieval villages to explore.

The fact that the region is just a short hour and forty-five-minute car journey from the city centre make it the perfect day trip from Barcelona. Make a whole day out of it by hiring a car and exploring a couple of the exciting options we lay out below, stopping for a spot of lunch at the location of your choosing – this region has plentiful delicious restaurants.

For your choice of the best day trips from Barcelona, choose from the following list.

Our five favourite medieval villages in the Empordà:

Peratallada

Situated east of Girona city, Peratallada is often considered to be the most beautiful town in Catalunya, due to its authentic medieval streets. A visit here will seem like you’ve entered a fairy tale, as you wander through the pebbled streets and marvel at the stone houses and the fortress around the town that remains to this day. Full of hidden treasures, Peratallada also houses the Peratallada castle, dating back to the 11th Century. Once you are done exploring the town, make sure not to miss Gelats Angelo, an artisanal ice cream shop where you will be sure to have a gourmet experience. For the braver amongst you, it’s even possible to try ice cream flavours such as anchovy or cheese.

Day Trips from Barcelona -Peratallada

Monells

If you are into cinema, you may recognize this town from the movie “8 Apellidos Catalanes”. Just 20 minutes away from Peratallada, the medieval town is built around a former castle, of which only one wall now remains. Take a leisurely stroll through its winding streets until you reach the magnificent porticoed Jaume I square, the centre of an important market in medieval times.

Day trips from Barcelona - Monells

Pals

Known as one of the most charming villages in the region, the historical centre of Pals has been well conserved thanks to a local doctor who ensured it was declared a Site of Historical Interest. Throughout the town you will find a number of historical landmarks, including the “Torre de les Hores”, a circular Romanesque tower, where it’s possible to take a tour for free, and the “Església de Sant Pere”, which exhibits a curious mix of different architectural styles. Not only can you explore the medieval points of interest in Pals, but the town is also famed for its gastronomy.

Day trips from Barcelona - Pals

Palau-Sator

Another place to stop on your day trip from Barcelona is the small quaint town of Palau-Sator. Here you can explore sites such as the “Sant Julià de Boada” shrine, one of the most interesting pre-Romanesque monuments in the region, dating back to the 9th century. Palau-Sator is also a great place to stop for lunch on your day trip, due to its variety of highly-rated restaurants. Try Mas Pou for some traditional Catalan cuisine amongst beautiful countryside settings.

Palau Sator (1)

Madremanya

For a rural escape amongst the mountains try heading to Madremanya for your day trip from Barcelona. More than just a beautiful medieval city, Madremanya lies at the foot of the Gavarres hill, making for some spectacular scenery. Thought to date back to 1053, the village oozes history and is the perfect place to hire a bike so you can take in everything this charming town has to offer.

Madremanya

So, if you’re looking for an escape from the bustling city of Barcelona, why not escape to the beautiful countryside on one of these day trips?

Panellets recipe step by step – La Castanyada tradition

October 31st may be famous around the world for being Halloween, but in Catalunya that day holds a different, special significance. It is a day that is known throughout Catalunya as “La Castanyada”, getting its name from the tradition of eating fire-roasted chestnuts – otherwise known as “castanyes”. Directly after this, on November 1st, is “Tots Sants”, a national holiday to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away.

During these autumn months, as the leaves start to turn brown and fall off the trees, and a chill starts to spread through the air, you will notice little stands popping up around the streets of Barcelona. It is here on these stands you can find street vendors known as “Castanyeres” selling “castanyes”, as well as “moniatos” – fire roasted sweet potatoes.

However, the most famous and traditional cuisine to eat around this time, and especially on “La Castanyada” itself are “panellets”. These are similar to small cakes that are made from marzipan, which is essentially sugar and almonds, and then coated with a topping of the bakers’ choice, although the most traditional topping is usually pine nuts.

Of course, it is possible to buy “panellets” all around the stores in Barcelona, but if you want to make the tradition your own, we’re here to give you the best, and tastiest, “panellets” recipe, so you can try it out for yourself. While there are many different varieties of “panellets”, our recipe uses the classic base of almonds, but be sure to check out other types and recipes!

Panellets recipe step by step:

Ingredients

  • 200g raw ground almonds
  • 200g sugar
  • White of 2 eggs
  • 75g of pine nuts
  • Lemon zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Add the sugar, ground almonds, lemon zest and egg whites to a bowl together
  2. Use a fork to mix these ingredients together. Once they start to form a paste start kneading them with your hands until a thick and even paste is formed.
  3. Break off pieces of the dough you have made and roll them into small balls, placing each completed one on a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray.
  4. Place the pine nuts on each “panellet” and gently push them in so they stick on the surface until covered and then paint with the whisked-up egg yolk for a lovely golden finish.
  5. While you are doing this pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  6. Once all the “panellets” are covered, place the tray in the pre-heated oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the “panellets” are a golden-brown colour.
  7. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool.
  8. Enjoy your delicious homemade “panellets”!

If you want a full festive feast, you could even invite your family and friends round on the day of “La Castanyada”, and eat your homemade “panellets” alongside roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes to help you embrace the autumn chill!