How to Have the Perfect Day in Barcelona in Winter

How to Have the Perfect Day in Barcelona in Winter

Barcelona is the dream vacation destination for many reasons; one of which is it’s amazing to visit all year long!  If you’re planning a vacation to Barcelona in winter, you might have a few questions regarding what to wear or how to spend your day.  Read these tips to help you schedule your Barcelona winter day itinerary.

  1. Bundle Up- but Not Too Much!

As you’re getting ready to start your Barcelona winter day, you’re probably wondering what clothes are best suited for the weather.  Barcelona winters are typically blessed with beautiful weather.  Temperatures are mild; generally they tend to be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around the 40s at night.  The days are usually sunny with rare glimpses of rain (although there might be a good many overcast days).  So grab your jacket and scarf but leave your heavy winter coat behind!

  1. Have a Good Breakfast

Barcelona prides itself on its coffee.  With bold flavors and higher amounts of caffeine, a cup of Barcelona coffee is the perfect way to start the day.  

There are a few variations of how their coffee is served:

-Café amb llet: Best enjoyed with a light breakfast, this morning delight is equal parts espresso and steamed milk.

-Un café or café solo: A simple shot of espresso with a thick layer of foam, usually saved for the end of a meal.

-Carajillo: A café solo with some added brandy!  Not for breakfast though- this alcoholic beverage is generally made to accompany bigger meals.

Along with your morning cup of joe, you need some wholesome food to give you enough energy for your Barcelona winter day. A traditional Catalan breakfast can be a large, substantial meal.  While some locals might just grab a cup of coffee and a croissant, many indulge in hearty breakfast sandwiches.  The Pa Amb Tomaquet is another traditional part of a Barcelona breakfast; it consists simply of warm bread moistened with ripe tomatoes and drizzled with authentic olive oil and sea salt.

  1. Use Your Afternoon to Explore!

This region of Spain is positively bursting with things to do: hikes featuring breathtaking scenery, museums honoring the history of the city, and more places to shop than you’ve ever seen before!  Take your afternoon to wander through museums and art galleries or rent a bike to see numerous parts of the city.  Barcelona is covered with various bike paths for you to tour historical monuments, beaches, and parks.  

  1. Dinner & Drinks

Spain is home to many of the best restaurants in the world.  Treat yourself to an amazing dinner after your busy day of exploring Barcelona.  Many places here offer a very unique cuisine made from the freshest local ingredients and provide views of the surrounding city to accompany your amazing meal.  Don’t let your Barcelona winter day end after dinner, though!  Barcelona has a bustling nightlife, perfect for letting loose and concluding a long day.

Come Stay at bizFlats!

No getaway is complete without comfortable accommodations.  bizFlats offers rentals of apartments, lofts, villas, and more so you can fully relax after a long day in your home-away-from-home.  Check our availability and find the perfect place for you!

Photo by rob st / Flickr

Get Lost in the History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

Get Lost in the History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

You won’t just get lost in the history of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter but also in the amazing variety of things to do in this corner of the city that is among the most visited places by tourists and residents alike. With its labyrinthine streets, it’s best to pay extra close attention to your surroundings as it’s common to literally get lost in the area. Along with beautiful squares that make for the perfect place to relax for an afternoon with a bottle of wine or a good book, there are numerous great boutiques for shopping, a grand cathedral, and a lively nightlife. During your next visit to Barcelona, be sure to take a walking tour though the Gothic Quarter!

History of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is the center of the old city of Barcelona. Many of its buildings maintain their medievally designed integrity though there were many additions and improvements throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The Roman Wall remains are evidence that the gothic quarter dates as far back as the Roman settlement in Barcelona. The labyrinthine street layout is further evidence, with many of the streets opening up into squares that would have been markets and meeting places in medieval times.

barcelona gothic quarter
Photo Credit: bbsferrari/iStock/Thinkstock

Barcelona Gothic Quarter Attractions

  • The Barcelona Gothic Quarter Cathedral is one of the main attractions in this area and is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, as well as breathtaking sight. Having been constructed from the 13th to the 15th centuries, its neogothic style is complete with rooftop gargoyles and other domestic and mythic animals.
  • Plaça Sant Jaume is located at the heart of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter and is the administrative center of the city as home to both City Hall and the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The square is home to many big events throughout the year.
  • Plaça Reial sits between the Gothic Quarter and La Rambla and is a popular attraction. It is well known for its rich nightlife as it is home to many famous nightclubs and outdoor venues. It is one of the most popular spots for national celebrations like New Year’s Eve.
  • Portal de l’Àngel is known among locals for being one of the poshest streets in the city both for its rental prices and its collection of classy boutiques and designer shops.
  • The Barcelona Gothic Quarter also has its own collection of remains, such as the Temple of Augustus, an old Roman temple built during the Imperial period. After being demolished, its remains were not discovered for centuries and have been slowly restored as they have been found.

A Few Fantastic Gothic Quarter Restaurants

There are far too many romantic restaurants in Barcelona‘s Gothic Quarter, but a few highly-recommended spots to eat include: Bilbao Berria, Cal Pep, and Pla Restaurant.

Whether you like shopping, nightclubs or are more interested in a beautiful place to sit outside and take in the atmosphere, you will enjoy the Barcelona Gothic Quarter.  There are numerous short term holiday rentals around this area giving you a historic experience on your stay here. While they are in the medieval corner of Barcelona, these flats are all newly remodeled with all the modern features you’re used to at home. Our Gothic Quarter apartments are conveniently located at the center of the city giving you easy access to whatever you might want to see on your stay. Our vacation rentals are where to stay in Barcelona, and are a perfect alternative to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter hotels.

5 of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

5 of the Most Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

Barcelona is an innately romantic city with tons of romantic spots. Historic monuments contrast modern design, and the whole city is cornered against the beach by lush green mountains. A city devoted to food and wine, there are date nights to be had in every hole-in-the-wall tapas restaurant you find. Tapas themselves are meant for sharing, served in small two-bite portions, and always paired with some national treasure of a wine or beer. Romantic restaurants in Barcelona aren’t hard to come by, and this city built for romance also offers other fashions of dining – excursions, really – that will give you and your sweetheart an experience to remember whenever you visit.

Romantic Restaurants in Barcelona

No matter what your taste, you’re sure to find plenty of romantic spots to eat in Barcelona. Below are a few of our choices for the most trendy restaurants in Barcelona.

  1. For a classic Mediterranean tasting menu, book your reservations at Con Gracia. This small, tasteful restaurant is elegant, intimate, and the perfect for romance.
  2. Joséphine is a charming café and comptoire. Their vintage style features a simple, yet delicious Mediterranean menu accompanied by tasty cocktails and often live jazz music. If you’re looking to keep it simple and a little eclectic this is a great option.
  3. For one of the cities best gastronomic experiences head to Mayura for interesting mix of Mediterranean and Indian cuisines in a relaxing environment. You won’t be disappointed by their fantastic cocktail list either.
  4. One of the new additions to the scene of romantic restaurants in Barcelona, Toto is known for great taste in both spectacular designs and an outstanding Italian-inspired menu.
  5. If you’re looking for an exquisite dining terrace then book your romantic dinner at Roig Robí. This is not only one of the most romantic restaurants in Barcelona, but also one of the most traditional with a menu boasting an unique and delicious interpretation of high Catalan cuisine.

Even More Romantic Things to Do in Barcelona

Private Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you’re looking for more than just a meal and some spectacular views of our gorgeous city, then this hot air balloon ride, which includes a traditional Catalan brunch, is a great way to celebrate a romantic holiday in Barcelona. Surprise your better half with this Barcelona birds eye trip and you’ll give the most exceptional gift – experience to share.

Cooking Class

In the spirit of experiential dating, plan a night of cooking fun. This is a great twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day event, grouping activity with fine dining. Sign up for this Small Group Barcelona Cooking Class and learn the secrets of Spanish cuisine and master tapas dishes or paella. At the end of the challenge, led by a personal professional chef, enjoy the fruits of your labor among loved-ones.

Gourmetbus

This traveling Michelin-rated dining experience is among the most unique ways to experience the city’s views, culture and cuisine. Hop aboard the glass-roofed Gourmetbus and get a tour of Barcelona, accompanied by a famous Carls Gaig meal.

The numerous romantic restaurants in Barcelona to choose from will not disappoint you during your romantic occasion, nor will the amazing date-night activities about town. If you’re planning a special trip to celebrate the holiday with your sweetheart check out some of our romantic flats scattered about the city and surrounding countryside. This is a day for making memories, so make it special!

5 Must-visit Tapas Restaurants in Barcelona

tapas restaurants in barcelona
Bar Tapas / Photo By Grey World via Flickr

You can’t possibly visit Barcelona without a legendary tapas experience. Traditionally food to snack on at the bar, some restaurants have made a very sophisticated cuisine of tapas. Both the casual snacks of cheese, cured meats and olives, as well as the fancier slow cooked dishes served tapas style are worth your exploring. This fashion of serving small dishes encourages camaraderie, sharing, and delightful conversation. In some settings diners are even encouraged to stand and move around with the convenience of small, delicate nibbles of food. Some of these spots are actually so petite that the intimate environment offers no choice but to have a mobile meal.

Here are 5 favorite Tapas restaurants in Barcelona

    1. Quimet i Quimet
      This classic tiny tapas bar specializing in conservas (preserved shellfish) and montaditos (tapas over bread). Any seafood dish here is delicious. If seafood isn’t your favorite then you will definitely enjoy their various charcuterie tapas. You’ll want to arrive early for cocktails as this small places fills up fast.

  • La Tieta
    This is as traditional as it gets. It’s nothing fancy, but is good, old fashioned tapas served with choice wine, and flowing draft beer. You’ll get great, homey Mediterranean flavors of chickpeas, prawns and olives, with a delicious drink alongside it.
  • El Vaso de Oro
    One of the most famous bars in the whole city, El Vaso de Oro’s tapas are just as exciting as its extensive draft beer selection. The bar will be packed, no matter how many people are eating, so be sure to get there early. This is the spot for beer-lovers in the whole city, and the little bites will be a great pairing to whatever you’re drinking.
  • El Sortidors del Parlament
    This is a great place for wine-lovers with their stunning selection of vintages from around the world. Perched beside an old wine barrel you’ll enjoy wonderful wines and dried and cured meats. You will surely leaving feeling happy and full!
  • Tapas 24
    This is a great place to explore the modern tapas movement. Focusing on quality, local produce, Chef Carles Abellan draws a crowd for his oxtails stews, fried prawns and other signature snacks. If you’re a foodie, this is the place to go to check out what this beloved Spanish chef and restaurateur is doing to the tradition of tapas.

 

Tapas restaurants in Barcelona will mix this variety of history and nouveau cuisine experiences into a delightful night of food and drink. You’ll experience some of the traditional salty bar snacks of cured meats, cheeses olives and bread – which are surely designed to keep you thirsty! – as well as more modern takes on tapas dining. It will be an delicious and inviting night out in this beautiful city, as you mingle and eat communally. While staying in one of the luxurious bizFlats accommodations you’re sure to have a great tapas experience nearby as Barcelona is know for its food culture worldwide. You will definitely find something to your taste around this gorgeous city on the sea.

International Sushi Day in Barcelona

Does June 18 ring a bell to you? Any historical event or holiday? Not exactly right? Well, today is International Sushi Day, a recently created day and a cultural movement popularized by social networks and Chase’s Calendar of Events, a website on special events, worldwide holidays, civic observations, and more.

yamashita sushi day

The only thing you have to do to celebrate is to EAT SUSHI, delicious Japanese dish made with rice and raw seafood.  Call or text your friends and go try some sushi dishes, including sushi rolls, sashimi or any other sushi-related food items. This celebration lasts the entire day, so I guess by now you are wondering:

Where’s the best sushi in Barcelona? Here some options:

yamashima sushi rest

YASHIMA is one of the best Japaness restaurants in Barcelona, member of Yamashita Group. Great food, excelent service and an elegant decor.

Address: Avinguda de Josep Tarradellas, 145, Barcelona/ Reservations: 934 19 06 97

shibui sushi

SHIBUI is the right place if you are looking good quality at a good price. An extensive menu where you can find a wide variety. Not to miss the uramakis, sashimi and beef tartar.

Address: Comte Urgell, 272, Barcelona / Reservations:  933 219 004

parco rest sushi

PARCO, located in Paseo de Gràcia, this restaurant offers a stylish and cozy ambience with touches of the 60’s. You can’t miss sushi and sashimi.

Address: Passeig de Gràcia 119, Barcelona / Reservations:  93 238 78 22

view spain square

WATATSUMI:  Its prime location in the Dome of Las Arenas Commercial Centre makes this a great choice for dinner. You will enjoy a magnificent view of Montjuïc mountain and Square of Spain…and of course the Japanese food.

They have a 10% discount to celebrate International Sushi Day…so go try it.

Bon profit!

 

Spain has Seven of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

“The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” ceremony, considered the Oscars of the dining industry, has recognized René Redzepi’s restaurant, Noma, as the world’s No.1.

world's best restaurants

The Top 10:

  1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  4. Eleven Madison Park, New York, United States
  5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, Britain
  6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  7. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
  8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
  9. Alinea, Chicago, United States
  10. The Ledbury, London, Britain

(complete list here)

Spain’s Gastronomic Tourism

For years, Ferran Adria’s El Bulli, in Girona, northeast Spain,  was considered the best restaurant in the world according to experts and foodies. Since El Bulli closed, a power vacuum opened up in the world in high-end gastronomy. The competition now is very tough but Spain is still in the top rankings.

Seven Spanish restaurants made the list this 2014, three of them ranked in the top 10. Last year No.1, El Cellar de Can Roca, is the No.2 this year.  Mugaritz was announced as No. 6 and Arzak No. 8, both located at San Sebastian, Spain.

Barcelona and its surrounding areas have also become an important destination for foodies in recent years and this has just begun.

 Spain’s best restaurants acording to “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” ranking:

spain's best restaurants to eat on earth

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain

8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

26. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain

34. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain

35. Martín Berasategui, San Sebastian, Spain

41. Quique Dacosta, Dénia, Spain

As their website claims, their 50 Best Restaurant list is “recognized around the world as a credible indicator of the best places to eat on earth”.

So now you know! Seven of the world’s gourmet wonders are located within Spain. One of them, just 1.5 hours from Barcelona’s city center. Another good reason to visit and stay with us.

Bon profit!

 

Olivas Sféricas

¿Lo Quieres Saber?

Lolita Taperia (EX-Inopia)

¿EXPECTATIVAS CUMPLIDAS?

Bajamos a pie por la calle Rocafort, después de un duro día de trabajo y muchas ganas de darnos un homenaje.  Así que vamos al Inopia, en la esquina con Tamarit.  Cuál es nuestra sorpresa que al llegar vemos que ahora se llama “Lolita Taperia”.  Gente en la puerta, como antes y cantidad de extranjeros con sus mapas en mano preguntándole al “amable señor de la puerta” si eso era el Inopia, a lo que él respondía “yes, yes, same place, same kitchen”.

Con mi Blackberry trato de encontrar respuesta a este lío y me entero de que los hermanísimos Ferran y Albert (Adrià) están preparando un nuevo y flipante proyecto para este otoño en el Paralelo por lo que Albert ha dejado Inopia.  Pues vaya, se te caen un poco las espectativas pero también te suben las ganas de ser juez y no parte del nuevo proyecto del socio de Albert, Joan Martínez… ¿será el nombre lo que vendía o realmente la calidad de los platos?.  Después de esperar más de la cuenta, entramos.

Tomamos la ensaladilla con picos, las mini hamburguesas, unas berenjenas dulces, un pincho de cerdo de “dos colores”… bueno, bien, las raciones siguen siendo exíguas.  Estábamos sentados en la barra pequeña del fondo y me llamó mucho la atención que la chica que estaba detrás de la barra preparando platos, lo hacía sobre una báscula.  Cortaba una fina loncha de salmón, lo colocaba sobre la báscula, lo pesaba y apuntaba en una libreta.  Le ponía un chorrito de salsa blanca, lo pesaba y apuntaba.  Un ramito de una hierba y a pesar y apuntar… too much ¿no?, como diría alguien que yo me se “¡entre poco y demasiado!”.

Luego, sobre las 00.00 horas, se convierte en bar con coctelería.  De pronto las agresivas luces blancas de bar “noveau” de ambiente blanco, cambian a rojo, sube la música y el efecto es impactante, parece que estés en otro sitio, hay que felicitar al artífice por este efecto tan bien conseguido.

Lo peor, pero mal, mal, el “amable señor de la puerta”, que tengas que esperar en la pura calle y el agresivo efecto del cordón ese que ponen en las puertas de las cutre-discotecas y que desabrocha el gorila de turno para que pases.  No es buena imagen. Quizá por la marca Albert Adrià, se pasaban por alto estas faltas de respeto a los clientes pero ahora, muy bien lo van a tener que hacer para que la burbuja no se les pinche a ellos también, como una Oliva Sférica sobresaturada.

  • Dónde: Tamarit 104 (Eixample – Sant Antoni)
  • Cuándo: de martes a viernes de 19.00 a 23.00 – sábado de 13.00 a 15.30 y de 19.00 a 23.00 (luego sólo bar)
  • Llámales: 934 245 231