Sant Jordi’s Day- Why we celebrate it and how?    

Sant Jordi’s Day falls on April 23, which is also international book day. As Sant Jordi, otherwise known as Saint George, is one of the patron saints of Catalonia, it is considered a very important day in our country and holds romantic significance similar to that of Valentine’s Day.

If you are lucky enough to be in Barcelona on Sant Jordi’s Day, make sure not to miss this festivity that brings joy throughout the city. Throughout the streets, especially in the centre, you will find book and rose sellers, which will delight you with all their colour. As Sant Jordi’s Day is still a working day, many locals go and visit the celebrations in the afternoon when they can have a walk around and enjoy the festivities. 

Origin of Sant Jordi 

The story of Sant Jordi is one that is well-known throughout many cultures. In Catalonia the legend goes like this: a dragon was terrorising the local village of Montblanc, eating all the animals and people he was found throughout the town, so the King had to find a solution to the problem. He decided that they had to feed the dragon, and chose one person per day at random to offer as a sacrifice, so the Dragon wouldn’t attack the rest of the town. However, one day the Princess of Montblanc was chosen as a sacrifice. Luckily, just as the dragon was about to eat her, a knight rode in on a white horse to save her. It was Sant Jordi! He nailed his spear in the heart of the dragon and killed it, saving the Princess. From the blood of the dragon, a rose appeared and Sant Jordi gave it to the Princess.

Sant Jordi’s Day is recorded as being celebrated as a rose fair as far back as the 15th century. As the celebration was particularly popular with couples, it is thought that this is where the tradition of giving a rose to a loved one began, as a homage to the rose given by Sant Jordi to the Princess. 

The Sant Jordi’s day traditions associated with books began in the early twentieth century. The Valencian writer, Vicent Clavel, proposed that the Official Chamber of the Book and the Booksellers’ Guild set a day to promote the sale of books. They chose October 7, 1929, to coincide with the Universal Exhibition that took place in Barcelona, ​​and it was so successful that they decided to change the date to a time when the weather encouraged even more people to go out. The chosen day was on April 23, when two important writers died: the Spanish author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, and the English writer William Shakespeare.

How we celebrate Sant Jordi’s Day?

Sant Jordi’s Day is a celebration of culture and love, where traditionally men buy roses for women and women buy books for men. Nowadays, it is becoming more common for men to also buy books for women, as well as giving them roses. As well as being a romantic gesture, roses are also given to friends or from parents, so it’s possible to see women with more than one rose!

Sant Jordi's Day

The centre of Barcelona comes alive with book stands and rivers of people with roses in their hands. The best streets to wonder through are La Rambla, Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia, as well as Plaça Catalunya. Throughout these streets there are hundreds of book sellers offering up many different types of books, from children’s books to cook books, the latest novels and much more. It is also quite common to see authors at the stands signing their books, often with long queues forming. If you want to buy a book for your loved one on Sant Jordi’s Day, strolling down these boulevards is the perfect place to do so.

If it’s a rose you are after, you can find stands on almost every corner in the city. These days, as well as the traditional rose, it is also possible to find original creations, such as roses made from silk or other materials. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, there is a fantastic atmosphere in the city. By the way, do not miss the chance to see Casa Batlló decorated in roses!

If you are going to be in Barcelona over Sant Jordi’s Day, make sure not to miss out on the romanticism and book one of our beautiful apartments in the city centre. 

The best shops to find your perfect wedding dress in Barcelona

Pronovias

Barcelona is a city known for its exciting boutique and designer fashion, so what could be a better place to find a beautiful and unique wedding dress? Check out these designers with Barcelona-based shops for a selection of original wedding dresses to see if you can find your dream gown.

No list of wedding dress shops in Barcelona would be complete without Pronovias, perhaps the most famous Spanish wedding dress brand. Pronovias started off its life in 1922 as a store in Barcelona that specialized in silk, lace and other high-quality fabrics, and now has stores worldwide. The shop owes its initial fame to designer Alberti Palatchi Ribera, who became renowned for revolutionising the bridal-wear industry with his ready-to-wear gowns. Stylish and classy, Pronovias has something for everyone, with their extensive collections spanning multitudes of themes and designs.

Location: Rambla de Catalunya, 129

Rosa Clará

Since 1995, founded by Rosa Clará herself, Rosa Clará bridal house has been making its beautiful and dreamy wedding gowns. Their goal has always been to create pieces using the best quality fabrics as well as prioritizing style and design. Having become one of Barcelona’s most famous wedding dress designers, their dresses have been worn by worldwide celebrities, including Eva Longoria and Sofía Vergara. Not only this, but Rosa Clará has also collaborated with famous designers like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Lacroix to create unique and exciting wedding collections.

Location: Diagonal, 409

Aire

If you’re looking for a classic wedding dress, Aire might be the shop for you. With collections that range from the simple to the stunning, all Aire gowns have an air of elegance about them with their gorgeous silhouettes and perfectly placed details and embroidery. If you’re thinking of having a beach wedding, Aire has you covered as they even have a special Beach Bridal collection!

Location: Via Augusta, 32

Yolan Cris

Started in Barcelona, this boutique was created by sisters, Yolanda and Cristina, who have been inspired by their youth when their mum owned a bridal boutique of her own. Since its inception in 2005, Yolan Cris has gone on to design gowns for celebrities including Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Kim Kardashian’s bridal party. The two sisters combine their extensive knowledge of the industry and traditional production methods with high fashion and innovative designs. Currently featuring collections like ‘Boho Chic’ which incorporate an element of 60’s nostalgia into the design, these dresses are not for traditionalists but for those who want a haute couture edge. 

Location: Diagonal 508, Principal 1ª

Otaduy

Another designer to look out for, Carolina Otaduy was inspired to start her wedding dress company when living in New York. Formerly an indie music producer, she takes that creativity into her designs inspired by art, music and film, focussing on the concept of dresses designed for women who want to be themselves on their wedding day. If you’re looking for something unique and handmade, this could be the place where you find the wedding dress that you feel truly encapsulates your personality.

Location: Torrent de l’Olla, 45

Cortana

One of the more popular bridal boutiques in Barcelona, Cortana is headed up by designer Rosa Esteva. Born in Majorca, her designs have a decidedly Mediterranean influence about them, taking inspiration from art and contemporary dance. It’s easy to find those themes in the flattering carefree forms her dresses take, with an elegant, chic and boho feel. You can be assured of the quality of the bridal gowns, as they are all flawlessly crafted in small ateliers throughout Barcelona.

Location: Provença, 290

L’Arca

If you’re a lover of all things vintage and looking for something a little more niche, L’Arca might just be the wedding dress shop for you. L’Arca both carefully curates gowns, as well as well as bridal accessories from all periods of time, but also make dresses to measure – always with a vintage inspiration – and customisable from their current collections. With the inspired idea of bringing the past into the present, L’Arca holds over 40 years of expertise in period designing, having worked with Hollywood directors and renowned designers alike. 

Location: Banys Nous, 20

So now you have your options for just some of the beautiful and unique dresses you can find amongst Barcelona’s streets, why not check them out to see if your dream gown is waiting there for you.

Medical Tourism in Barcelona

Medical tourism in Barcelona is booming and it’s easy to see why. 

Catalonia is particularly well equipped with internationally renowned clinics and hospitals, along with being a pioneer in several medical and scientific fields. This includes excelling in technology relating to cancer treatments, heart and circulation diagnosis and bone diagnosis and treatment.

It’s not just locals who benefit from these fantastic services though, as more than 20,000 foreigners per year come to Barcelona for medical attention, with a complete range of public and private healthcare options available.

If this is something that interests you, look no further than our guide to find out which hospital or medical centre would be best suited to your needs.

Hospital Clínic de Barcelona

Probably one of Barcelona’s best known hospitals, Hospital Clínic is the main provider for public healthcare within the region. It has a wide range of services, that include almost all medical and surgical procedures, and as such also works as a tertiary level hospital – meaning patients from all over Spain, and even Europe, are referred there for medical procedures. In particular Hospital Clínic specialises in liver and kidney transplants, with over 20% of all of Spain’s transplants happening there. As well as this, it is well-known for being a pioneer in the treatment of tropical diseases, with the department having run for over 30 years and now having been designated as the national referral unit for tropical diseases in Spain.

Hospital Clínic also partners with other hospitals around the city, such as Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, one of the leading paediatric centres in Europe. In fact, Sant Joan de Déu Hospital is particularly helpful for medical tourism as it has a department that specifically arranges care for international patients.

Clínica Barraquer

Clínica Barraquer is one of the world’s most renowned eye hospitals. Open by the Barraquer family in 1941, the centre is well known throughout the ophthalmology world as a point of reference for corneal transplants. As well as this, Clínica Barraquer was the first centre in Spain to implement revolutionary eye chips for artificial sight, as well as holding the first eye bank in Europe. With all of these credentials you can be sure you’ll be in good and experienced hands for any sort of eye problems here.

Hospital Quirónsalud Barcelona

One of the leading private healthcare providers in Southern Europe, Hospital Quirónsalud continually aims to improve the lives of its patients. With a vast variety of procedures, Hospital Quirónsalud uses the most cutting-edge technology available, as well as priding themselves on the high quality of their doctors and comfort of their whole experience. Along with this, they cater towards medical tourists with their accessibility for foreign visitors. 

Hospital Universitari Dexeus

Dexeus Hospital is one of the largest clinics specialising in women’s health in Spain. This clinic is particularly great for those suffering with fertility issues or who are at danger of a risky childbirth, with the clinic having a long history of delivering at-risk babies. Not only this, but Spain’s liberal laws can make this a great place to come for single mothers, or lesbian couples, who will get full access to medical care that they might not be able to find in their home countries. 

Centro Médico Teknon

Cancer treatment is just one of the things that Centro Médico Teknon specialises in, particularly for those with blood cancers such as leukemia. This department includes figures like Professor Emili Montserrat who is one of the leading experts in his field backed up by various scientific awards and his work on the World Health Organisation panel.

Along with this, Centro Médico Teknon, covers multiple other specialities and is one of the leading private hospitals within Spain thanks to its use of the latest technology and excellent medical staff. The facility places high importance on comfort, and as a testament to this is often frequented by patients from the world of sports, entertainment and politics – from Spain and abroad. 

Policlínica Barcelona

With over 50 years of experience, Policlínica Barcelona offers a wide variety of procedures to focus on cosmetic and health needs. These can include anything from invasive procedure like plastic surgery and gastric bypasses to non-invasive dermatological and filler-based ones. As well as this, you can be assured that all pre and post-operative tests, or anything else you need, will be performed at the clinic to avoid having to move to other centres. 

Best apartments to stay for your medical trip to Barcelona

If you have decided to try medical tourism in Barcelona, staying in a hospital room can feel a little bit lonely, impersonal and not to mention, costly. You may consider renting an apartment for yourself instead for some much need privacy and normality. It also means that if your family members have accompanied you for the trip, you can stay close to them during the recuperation period and have all the support you need. Keep reading for our apartment recommendations:

Dandelion Apartment

Close to Clinica Dexeus, this luxury apartment is filled with flowers and bright colours to keep you in an optimistic and peaceful mood post-surgery. Its great location allows the sun to pour in through the windows, so that you can fill up on Vitamin D and fresh air, helping to ensure your wellbeing.

Ferran Batik Apartment

Located close to Centro Médico Teknon, and Clínica Barraquer, this luxury apartment in Pedralbes area exudes pure and healing energies, and comes with a fully equipped open kitchen to help you nourish your body back to health – the perfect apartment for your stay in Barcelona. 

La Mimosa Apartment

This luxury apartment on Passeig de Gràcia has beautiful oil paintings and candles, which create a therapeutic atmosphere – perfect for your recuperation process.

Dandi Apartment

Dandi is perfect you. The unique buildings that surround this charismatic apartment include La Pedrera and La Casa Batlló.

Our Dandi apartment in Barcelona has everything you need:

  • a) a large overall size, especially the living/dining area and the master bedroom,
  • b) a terrace in the master bedroom,
  • c) a construction with very well original Modernist elements,
  • d) everything being brand new.

Everyone knows that a tranquil resting environment is key to a smooth and speedy recovery, so to find that perfect place for your medical tourism stay in Barcelona, check out our full list of offering on Bizflats.com.

Most fashionable hairdressers in Barcelona

Getting your hair cut can sometimes be challenging, especially when you’re in a foreign country and don’t know where the best place to go is. However, in Barcelona you can find plenty of options to suit all your different hair needs. And due to it being a multicultural city, it’s easy to find hairdressers who speak your native tongue. More than that, due to Barcelona’s eclectic nature, it’s possible to find a variety of fashion forward options. Check out our favourite salons below.

Anthony Llobet English Hair Salons

With the slogan ‘Don’t let your Spanish come between you and your hair’ and their international team of hairdressers who speak over 11 languages, this is the perfect option for the international crowd. Anthony Llobet founded this chain of salons 17 years ago and as the ambassador for the well-known TRESemme brand in Spain, you can be sure he has the experience to back it up. His passion is reflected in the thought he puts into his hair dressing spaces, adding and finding vintage style accessories for a truly unique experience. Not only that, but their six locations dotted around Barcelona mean it’s easily accessible for everyone.

Anhony Llobet - Most fashionable hairdressers in Barcelona

Locations: Eixample: Roger de Llúria, 9. Raval: Ronda de Sant Antoni, 60. Gràcia: Ros de Olano, 19. El Born: Carders, 24.  Gòtic: Avinyó, 34. Barceloneta: Almirall Churruca, 8.

Pódame

If you’re looking for something a little more edgy, why not try Pódame? Having been on the scene since 2010, this hair dressing salon revels in being different and seeing haircuts and styles as a form of artistic expression. The hairdressers at Pódame aim to reflect the rhythm and energy of the Barcelona streets in ever cut they make, accepting all ages and styles at their salon.This might be the place for you if you’re looking for a bold new colour or want to try something new and completely unexpected.

Podame - Most fashionable hairdressers in Barcelona

Location: Bonavista, 25

TheRoom

Sometimes just getting a haircut isn’t enough to revamp your whole look and that’s exactly what founder of TheRoom Jose Lucker believes. Instead of just stopping at a new hair style, Jose has developed a more holistic approach, to combine his passion for fashion and hair styling. This led to his three-story concept store in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, with each story representing events, clothes and hair respectively. With TheRoom you can expect to come out with the latest looks, both on you head and on your body.

The room - Most fashionable hairdressers in Barcelona

Location: Duc, 5

5 1a Salon de Belleza

 If you want a truly indulgent experience, head to 5 1a Salon de Belleza to treat yourself to a luxury haircut. Housed in a 5th floor penthouse with a terrace, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Barcelona centre, while you relax in the natural light and tranquil setting surrounded by vibey music, knowing you are in the professional hands of the team at 5 1a Salón de Belleza. For an extra treat, head there for your on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when they open up their cocktail bar, and sip on a “Blondie Mary” with a view, while you get your own blonde put in.

Location: Ronda Universitat, 20

5 1a salon de belleza - Most fashionable hairdressers in Barcelona

Le Petit Salon

Hair smoothing and straightening treatments, like Keratin smoothing, the Brazilian blow-dry and Japanese straightening, are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. If you’re someone who struggles to get your hair under control, especially in the humid Barcelona summers, one of these options could be the ideal solution. At Le Petit Salon they have a full catalogue of these treatments, with hairdressers specialised in each practice, meaning there is something for everyone here. This also includes the option to get hair extensions put in, as well as other beauty treatments, including eyebrow and eyelash maintenance, body hair removal and massage and facial treatments.

Le petit salon - Most fashionable hairdressers in barcelona

Location: Buenos Aires, 15

So, whatever kind of hair treatment you are looking for – whether you need someone who will understand your language, if you’re looking for a specific type of hair treatment, or if you simply want to get your hair done in luxury surroundings, you can find the perfect option in Barcelona. 

Calendar of holidays in Barcelona in 2019

If you come to Barcelona on vacation or for a business trip it is important that you know if there is a public holiday happening in Barcelona and what it is celebrating. It may be that your stay in the city coincides with a special celebration and you will have the opportunity to see traditional dances, enjoy a gastronomic event or even see a performance by the famous “castellers” (Human towers).

Calendar of Holidays in Barcelona
  • January 1: New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is the first day of the year and a holiday in the whole of Spain. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat on this day celebrating new beginnings, check out our guide here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • January 6: Three King’s Day

In Spain, the majority of presents being given and received on this day instead of Christmas Day.  The night before, you will find big parades where the three king’s hand out sweets for the children. Find out more about it here. 

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • January 17: Tres Tombs 

Celebrated around the feast of Sant Antoni Abat (January 17), the main activity is the passing of horses, rides or pulling carriages, which make a circuit through the centre of the city. The reason? The blessing of animals, formerly the economic and social engine of society. 

Working day? Yes 

Will shops open? Yes

  • February 12: Santa Eulàlia Festivity 

Santa Eulàlia Festivity is celebrated every year around February 12, not only in Barcelona, but in many nearby cities. Normally the party is celebrated on the weekend closest to February 12 and is a party where you can witness many different popular cultural activities: traditional dances, sardanes, correfocs and also castellers.

Working day? Yes 

Will shops open? Yes 

  • February 28: Carnival 

This year carnival is celebrated from February 28 to March 6, and as in the rest of the world, it is a week of joy and madness. In Barcelona you will be able to see the “Rei Carnestoltes” arriving with 7 ambassadors to inaugurate the carnaval and during this week you will see several parades with people in costume in different neighborhoods of the city.

Working day? Yes 

Will shops open? Yes

  • April 19: Good Friday

Good Friday is the first day in the long weekend celebrating the religious Christian festival of Easter. Around this time it is quite common to find religious parades happening throughout Barcelona. 

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • April 22: Easter Monday

Easter Monday is the final day in the long weekend celebrating the religious Christian festival of Easter. Around this time it is quite common to find religious parades happening throughout Barcelona. 

Also, it’s a tradition that the godfather or grandfather of the grandchildren or godchildren gives them “La Mona de Pasqua” on Easter Sunday or Easter Monday. “La Mona de Pasqua” is a sweet dessert that is usually eaten with chocolate and hard-boiled egg. It is a tradition that symbolizes that Lent and their abstinences are over. 

In addition, the most famous pastry shops compete to showcase the most spectacular chocolate figures in their windows.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • April 23: Sant Jordi

A holiday around most of the world, labour day is the celebration of workers and as well a celebration of the beginning of spring.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

The Day of Sant Jordi is celebrated on April 23 coinciding with international book day. In Catalonia it is a very important celebration and it is the equivalent of Saint Valentine’s Day. It is a day to celebrate culture and love and it is typical for couples to celebrate it in the following way: Boys buy roses for girls and girls buy a book for boys. (Nowadays boys also buy a book for girls on most occasions). It is also typical for girls to receive a rose from friends at work or their parents. So it’s possible you will see girls with more than one rose 😉  

This day is of Catalan origin. You will see how the centre of Barcelona (the Ramblas, Plaça Catalunya, etc.) is filled with book stands and rivers of people with roses in their hands.

Working day? Yes 

Will shops open? Yes 

  • May 1: Labour Day

A holiday around most of the world, labour day is the celebration of workers and as well a celebration of the beginning of spring.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • June 10: Pentecost Monday / Whitmonday

A celebration that happens 50 days after Easter, Second Easter is a religious festival.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • June 24: Sant Joan

An exciting festival that happens throughout Catalunya to celebrate the longest day in the year, you will see the sky lit up with fireworks and parties on the beach. Find out more here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No  

  • August 15: The Assumption of Mary

A public holiday celebrating the Mary’s assumption into heaven.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No  

  • September 11: The National Day of Catalunya

The national day of Catalonia is the commemoration of when Barcelona fell during the Spanish War of Succession. On this day, you will see political parties and organizations laying flowers at different sites throughout the city, including monuments to those who defended the city. There are also demonstrations to pay homage to the defenders.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No 

  • September 24: La Mercè

One of the biggest days of celebration in Barcelona, the days up to and including La Mercè are a combination of cultural festivals throughout the whole of the city. Find out more here.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • October 12: The National Day of Spain

This day is the National Day of Spain. Also commonly said “Día de la Hispanidad” commemorates when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes

  • November 1: All Saint’s Day

A celebration of those who have passed away, All Saint’s Day comes after the Catalan festivity La Castanyada, celebrating autumn. 

Working day? No

Will shops open? No  

  • December 6: Day of the Constitution

This day commemorates when the new constitution of Spain was signed in 1978. 

Working day? No

Will shops open? Yes 

  • December 25: Christmas Day

Celebrated around the world, Christmas Day is a day for meeting with family

and exchanging gifts. Here’s our handy guide on what to do in Barcelona around Christmas time

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

  • December 26: Saint Stephen’s Day 

A celebration of Saint Stephen, the day after Christmas.

During this day it is a tradition to eat “canelons.”  Find out what other dishes are typical during Christmas time in Catalunya.

Working day? No

Will shops open? No

If you’re looking for more to do in Barcelona or want the ideal itinerary laid out for your trip, why not check out our one, three and five day guides and check out the rest of our blog so you can make the most of this vibrant city

Additionally, if you want to check the calendar of commercial openings in Barcelona, check here.


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.