Read this before making a calçotada at home

’Tis the season of eating onions charred over live fire… In a previous post, we talked about the best places around Barcelona to find a calçotada. Yet, in a quarter century of at least one or two calçotades a year, I probably only have ever had 2-3 in a restaurant. Funny thing was that I would just order off the regular menu while the rest of the party would eat the calçotada menu, like I was purposely avoiding it. More about this later.

From humble beginnings in the “Golden Triangle” of Valls, Reus and Tarragona, the tradition has now spread through most of Catalonia, in restaurants, and more important, at home. It has even reached further afield with calçotades available in Madrid, London or Rotterdam; even Anthony Bourdain featured a calçotada on his “No Reservations” tv show.

A dear friend went as far as to throw a big calçotada party for all his friends in Orange County, USA to celebrate his 50th birthday! Nowadays, every company, social club or group of friends worth its salt has its yearly calçotada – the social aspects of the calçotada are key to its success – if you are a  new arrival in Catalonia, no doubt you’ll get an invite to a calçotada – go for it!

Calçotada

Back to the real calçotada, the homemade – the feast lends itself quite well to doing it at home in an outdoor setting. First time I was ever invited for a calçotada, it was in Sitges at the home of my parent’s friends, and it was a friend of theirs from Valls who came over as the expert – an early sign that the ritual was expanding outside its homeland. He brought the equipment, a large reversible grill with different length legs allowing the grill to be higher for flaming the calçots and lower for grilling meat over coals. However, the most important bit of kit that he brought along was the recipe for the sauce: salsa de calçots. Any veteran will tell you it’s the heart and soul of the calçotada, getting it right is an art, too runny and it doesn’t stick to the calçots, too thick and it takes forever to dip. Starting from the basics of almonds and hazelnuts, roasted tomato, raw and roasted garlic and nyora (a type of slightly hot pepper), each chef adds their own touch, and the recipe becomes a closely guarded secret. 

Just last week, with a group of friends we had a calçotada out in the country, very near my hometown of Artesa de Segre, just under the village of Montsonís with its castle looming over us. It was a perfect spring day, kids roaming freely all over the  fields, making friends with random dog who just appeared, adults poking fun at a neighbour who was air-drying her multi-coloured thongs, and of course, grilling those calçots on a very original barbecue pit. It was a perfect day, but I still couldn’t get Agnès to tell me the (secret) recipe for the salsa de calçots.

Calçots: Ranking of the best restaurants in Barcelona

Perhaps you don’t know yet what calçots are, but you’ve almost certainly smelled them if you’ve been walking in the streets of Catalonia lately and caught a whiff of burnt onions. Don’t worry, nobody has left the stove on, we’re just cooking calçots! It is known that us Catalans love any reason to host a get-together with friends and family, and in the winter months, calçots are why people come together and eat. To visitors of Barcelona, this may seem baffling: how can there be so much excitement behind a scorched onion? Well, read on to learn more about this distinctly Catalan tradition!

Calçots

What are calçots?

Calçots (pronounced: kal-SOTS) are a Catalan delicacy originating from Tarragona, and is somewhat of a cross between a scallion and a leek, that can grow to about 25 cm long. The annual harvest is during the winter season, from January to April, and is celebrated with “calçotadas”, where friends and family gather around to eat this wildly popular dish.

The calçots are bundled tight onto an open-fire grill, and charred for about five minutes on each side until blackened, then wrapped in newspaper to keep warm and served on a red terracotta roof tile – an absolutely humble and no frills dish, and oh so tasty.

Calçots - How to eat them

The ritual of eating calçots is messy business, but that’s half the fun! Roll up your sleeves, put on your paper bib (yes you’ll look a bit funny but so will everyone else) and get started by peeling the charred black layers of the calçot off piece by piece, until you get to the tender sweet pearly white center. Dunk it generously into the bright red romescu sauce, dangle it over your head, open wide, and chomp right into it. By the end of it, you’ll smell of onions, and have dirty black hands, plus a messy red-stained bib to wear as your badge of honour!

Find your Menu Calçotada in Barcelona 

To make a full “calçotada” feast out of it, some restaurants offer a “Menu Calçotada” option, here you get calçots with romescu, plus a choice of barbequed meats like “butifarra” sausages, lamb or veal. Some establishments include toast, white beans, potatoes, and maybe even desserts like catalan cream, or honey with cottage cheese. All of the above is usually offered for a very reasonable price of 25 – 35 euros per person, which will leave your belly full and satisfied. Wash it all down with a “porró” or two of local red wine too.

Menú calçotada barcelona

Best restaurants near Barcelona to eat calçots – Countryside farms

The most authentic way to enjoy calçots is at rural restaurants or countryside farms, which also makes for a fun mountain getaway. Be sure to book ahead as it can get busy. Here are our top three recommendations:

  1. Masia Can Vilallonga (Carrer Oceà Atlàntic, 80, 08173 Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona)
    Located off the beaten path near an equestrian club in Sant Cugat del Vallès, this family farmhouse dates from the 14th century and has a wonderful mix of modern and rustic design, with a backdrop of beautiful green fields and countryside. Outdoor seating available.
  2. Can Carbonell (Carrer Muntanya, s/n, 08960 Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona)
    Offering rustic and hearty Catalan fare, this typical Masía catalane specializes in calçots. It’s charming fireplaces and wooden ceilings will transport you back in time to the 13th Just a 15 minute drive from Barcelona.
  3. Can Borrell (Carretera d’Horta a Cerdanyola BV-1415, Km 3, 08171 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona)
    Catalan cuisine with an idyllic setting in the heart of the Collserola National Park. Oak embers are used in their open-fire grills to give the calçots a wonderful smoky flavor.

Best restaurants in Barcelona to eat calçots – Restaurants in Barcelona

If you haven’t got an entire day to spare, there are some great restaurants in Barcelona city center which offer calçots too. Here are our rankings:

  1. El Jardí de l’Àpat (Carrer d’Albert Llanas, 2, 08024 Barcelona)
    Their elevated terrace offers a magnificent view, and is surrounded by ancient trees and garden, giving a sense of privacy and serenity in the hustle and bustle of the city. Park Güell is nearby for an after dinner stroll.
  2. Taverna El Glop (Carrer de Sant Lluís, 24, 08012 Barcelona)
    Opened since 1970s, their checkered tablecloths, and wooden chairs will have you feeling just as if you’re in the countryside, with the convenience of being located in Gràcia neighbourhood.
  3. L’Antic Forn (Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 28, 08001 Barcelona)
    Just two blocks from Las Ramblas, this is a wonderful little restaurant tucked away in a side alley, with affordable prices and friendly service the establishment is frequented by locals.

Have you tried calçots yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

The Three Kings Day 2018 in Barcelona

The Three Kings Day 2018 is one of the highlights of the Barcelona Christmas Season.  Its name in Catalan is Dia dels Tres Reis d’Orient, and is also known as The Epiphany in religious terms, and happens on the sixth day of January.

It is a major event in the Catholic Church’s Nativity agenda. Three Kings Day marks the arrival of the Three Wise Men of the Orient to the birthplace of Jesus at his stable in Bethlehem.  They came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the newborn messiah, but in Barcelona, they arrive to give gifts to the city’s inhabitants.

For local kids here in Barcelona, Three Kings Day is even more special, as the focus of the day is on them and not really the grown-ups.  Rather like the traditional Father Christmas character in Northern Europe, children only receive gifts if they have been good all year long!  The city’s children also have to write a letter to the King’s Pages ahead of the Three Kings arrival to ensure they get the gifts they desire.

On the 5th of January, the Three Kings arrive in Barcelona with a spectacular street parade called La Cavalcada dels Reis d’Orient – which is a procession to symbolise the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem mounted on their camels, each bearing their gifts for the baby Jesus.

Three Kings Day 2018

This year, they will arrive by boat at 4:30pm at the Moll de la Fusta.  After a welcome statement by city officials, the Three Kings begin a parade along the city streets.  This year, the Three Kings parade starts on Via Laietana at 6pm, snaking its way through the city, finishing at the Magic Fountains of Montjuïc at around 9:30pm.

The Three Kings parade features the Three Kings in their carnival style float among a whole collection of other floats and musical attractions, where the performers are laden with candy and sweets to throw at the children who catch them, normally in umbrellas that are held upside down.


After the parade has finished and before the children go to bed, they have to prepare some food and water for the Three Kings and their camels to take refreshment.  Normally unable to sleep with excitement, contemplating the next morning, the children will eventually settle to sleep and wake early the following morning, when they can see and open their gifts on Three Kings Day.

After the morning’s activities are over, the whole family will settle down for a very special lunch.  It is normally a four course sitting and traditional menus will begin with a buffet of tapas followed by a special soup and then a third course of meat or freshly cooked fish.

Then the pièce de résistance is served – Tortell de Reis (King’s Cake) – a puffy, circular, marzipan sponge cake filled with cream, resembling a King’s crown.  In fact there will be a crown in the centre and the cake is topped off with dried fruits symbolizing a crown’s jewels.

But the King’s Day tradition doesn’t stop there, because inserted into the cake are two objects – a bean and a figurine of the baby Jesus.  Whoever recovers the figurine gets to wear the crown and is called King for the day (also signaling that that person will have a very lucky year) and whoever gets the bean unfortunately has to pay for the cake!

As you can see, Three King’s Day 2018 will be a very special day indeed for the city’s children. So why not make your stay in Barcelona just as special by renting a luxury apartment during your stay.  We have a wide selection of apartments to rent all over the city, so why not opt for one on the Three Kings parade route?  See here for our selection of beautiful places to rent during these unique celebrations.

Barcelona New years Eve: Ready for the party?

Barcelona New years eve is around the corner. Where are you planning to go? Apart from the official events, like the gigantic New Year celebration at Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, there are some other great events on offer during the Barcelona New Year’s Eve festivities. 

Barcelona New years Eve: Best parties in town

Poble Espanyol Complex

A fine end of year party always takes place at the Poble Espanyol complex.  This year sees the  29th edition of the best Barcelona New Year’s Eve party.  Start the night bringing in the new year with the 12 chimes, grapes and cava in hand, ready to start a night of fun with new musical hits and some of the songs from the past.  Three spaces are prepared for the party and include Plaza Mayor, the Carpa and the VIP area, located in one of the most renowned nightclubs in the city – La Terrazzza.

Barcelona New Years Eve - Poble Espanyol

Sutton Club

For some special VIP treatment and nightlife elegance, then one of the best parties in Barcelona for New Years Eve has to be the Sutton Club’s 2018 celebrations.  There are 50 VIP tables and on this night, they maybe reserved from €1000 and have for the best views of the dance floors and the finest service for you and your friends.  DJs on the night are Albert Martin and Carlos Ramos in the main room.

Barcelona New Years Eve -Sutton-Club-Barcelona

OneOcean Club & Bar

This place is a new private members club and restaurant built on the water alongside the super yachts in the heart of Barcelona’s Port Vell.  It is the place to be seen for Barcelona’s social elite.  It has fast become known for its fine service and marina views.  Seeing in the New Year here will be nothing short of spectacular.  Your ticket will include a gala dinner, live music performances, dance floor, delicious cocktails and many more surprises.  You can book your place and reserve your place at  €195 and celebrate your Barcelona New Year’s Eve in style.

Barcelona New Years Eve - One Ocean Bar

Sala Apolo

This is one the city’s finest venues, and is more than just a dancehall.  The complex located on Avinguda del Parallel, has music halls, a hotel, theatre, bars, gaming facilities, and offers an enviable and mixed billing every week.  The site has always been a centre for entertainment for more than 80 years, and today Sala Apolo is popular with big music names as well as with emerging local and international artists.  While the line-up for its end of year extravaganza is top secret, this will be one of the best Barcelona New Year’s Eve events.Barcelona New Years Eve

Harlem Jazz Club

 Credited as one of the top 10 Jazz clubs in the world by Forbes Magazine, Harlem Jazz, nestled in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, plays host to jazz, blues and swing bands from or touring in the city.  Regular bands include The Big Beat Swing Band & Sax Attack, Big Mama & Tota, JV & 2 Moons and Son de la Rambla.  The venue’s stage can easily house a large band and there is plenty of room to groove, with drinking tables situated close to the action.  But arrive early as spaces fill quickly over Barcelona New Year’s Eve.

Aurora at Velòdrom d’Horta

If you are partying through to the first day of the year, then Barcelona New Year’s Eve celebrations don’t stop in the early hours.  On the 1st of January, a new event featuring some of the best DJs on the planet will take place for the first time and is set to be an extravaganza at the old Olympic Cycling Racing Venue situated at Velòdrom d’Horta.  Superstars include US House DJ sensation Seth Troxler and rising Belgian Techno star, Amelie Lens.  Gates open at 16:00 hours, so you may have some time to catch up on some much needed sleep before the party starts again!

Barcelona New Years Eve - Velodrom D'horta

All in all, Barcelona is a city of fiesta, and whichever Barcelona New Years Eve event takes your fancy, make sure your stay is complete by choosing one of our beautiful apartments located throughout the city.  See our selection here.

 

Things to do in Barcelona in December 

Which are the best things to do in Barcelona in December?  The Christmas agenda is jam-packed with fun and interesting things to do and see.  Below we select a few things to do you can’t miss:

Things to do in Barcelona in December: Christmas Concerts

As you’d expect, Barcelona has many open-air concerts during the festive season. Plaça del Rei hosts some of the best ones on a medieval square.  It is situated in the Gothic Quarter and you will also find the Palau Reial (Royal Palace), Tinell Salo, the Chapel of St. Agatha and the Torre del Rey Martí.  Also most of the city’s churches have things to do in December such as traditional religious events and classical music recitals. We recommend the St. Stephen’s Day Christmas concert at the magnificent Palau de la Música concert hall in Barcelona. A beloved annual Christmas event in Barcelona by The Orfeó Català choir and other choirs.

Things to do in Barcelona in December 

If architecture and music is your thing during your stay, then you must include this a visit to El Palau de la Música.  Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, El Palau Música Catalana is styled in a similar theme to that of Gaudí’s work, but more functional in contrast to many other buildings built in the modernism style throughout the city.  The design of the Palau is typical of Catalan modernism.

Visit the most important Christmas Markets in Barcelona

Barcelona organizes many traditional and not-so tradition Christmas Markets (Mercats de Nadal).  They’re excellent places to get some great Catalan traditional gifts, Christmas themed decorations and artisan food products.  They are one of the most important things to do in Barcelona in December and are open throughout the holiday period.  We recommend the oldest market, Fira de Santa Llúcia at Barcelona Cathedral or the largest one, Fira de Reis a la Gran Vía, which run along this main road between its junctions with Carrer Calabria and Carrer Comte Urgell.  For more information read our article about the oldest Christmas Markets in Barcelona

Things to do in Barcelona in December 

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

If you are lucky enough to be visiting during the city’s busy New Year Celebrations, then your things to do in Barcelona in December list must include a visit to Plaça Espanya to fully experience the Catalan New Year traditions.  Get there early as the crowds will be massive as they wait for midnight to come and see in the New Year with grapes and cava – when the midnight bells toll you must eat a grape with every dong, and simultaneously take a sip of cava, 12 times in total, to ensure you have a lucky and prosperous 2018.  There will also be the best fireworks show the city has to offer.

New year's Eve in Barcelona - Plaça Espanya

Christmas Shopping

If you are here in the search for the perfect gift for loved ones, then a visit to one of Barcelona’s shopping hotspots has to be among the things to do in Barcelona in December.  We recommend the luxury shops all along the Passeig de Gràcia for top-end items.  If you have time, there is the famous La Roca Shopping Village located just outside the visit for more top brands and luxury gifts at factory outlet prices.  Plaça de Catalunya is also a great place to discover traditional Catalan Christmas themes and high street retail brands situated around the city’s largest square. 

Christmas Shopping in Barcelona

Barcelona Michelin Star Tapas Walking Tour

Things to do in Barcelona in December has to include Tapas, and what better way to experience the best tapas with Barcelona’s Michelin Star Tapas Experience.  Your guide will take you to two very different restaurants, which are owned by Michelin-starred chefs and that represent different regions of Spain to try various tapas dishes and wines.  The tour last for three hours and whilst also getting to sample some the best tapas in the city, the guide will also share some other culinary places of interest to discover during your stay.

So If you are choosing Barcelona as your Christmas destination this year, then there is no better option for your stay than renting one of our cozy apartments.  Please see our selection here and book your accommodation with us.

La Roca Village shopping day trip from Barcelona

La Roca Village is a shopping concept operated by multi-national luxury retail group, Chic, who boast 11 such sites at cities like London, Paris, Munich, Shanghai, as well as several in Spain.  More of a Spanish architecture styled village than a shopping mall, La Roca Village is treasure trove of more than 130 outlets by top brands such as Moncler, Michael Kors, Armani, Boss, Gucci, Hackett, Jimmy Choo or Versace, all brimming with luxury articles available at low prices, sometimes saving up to 60% off high street prices.

Located in the region of El Vallès Oriental on the outskirts of Granollers – a large industrial town just outside of Barcelona where the famous Montmeló Formula One track is – La Roca Village offers a great day out for young couples, groups, singles or families.  It is a tourist destination in its own right due to the stunning design and innovative experience.

La Roca Village

It’s open seven days a week, 10am till 9pm, but normally closed for holidays such as Christmas Day, King’s Day… check their website before planning your day trip.  Private shopping services include an all-store baggage-guarding scheme and even a personal adviser service for complete makeovers.  There are more additional activities such as a gift card services.

There are plenty of fine eating establishments scattered around the shopping village with food for every taste with a beautiful play area for younger ones at its centre.  So how do you get there?

How to get to La Roca Village by Car

La Roca is easily accessible from the “Autopista del Mediterráneo” or AP7.  This motorway stretches all the way from the Spanish/French border in the North connecting through to Valencia and Vera in the southern part of the peninsula. Leave the AP7 Motorway at Exit 12A (Cardedeu) and follow the signs for Centre Comercial (GPS Lat. 41.610694, Long. 2.343342).  Prices for small to medium car rentals from leading companies such as Europcar, for example, start from 29 euro per day.

How to get to La Roca Village by train

Very regular services from City’s main rail station Sants connecting to Granollers, the stop near the shopping village, every 30 minutes.  From there, regular bus services or taxis will help you complete your trip with a 5-minute journey to the shopping complex.  It’s a well-trodden path to La Roca, so this is an easy option basically door-to-door.

City Centre Coach

option 1

The most direct way is by the Shopping Express shuttle bus – operated by La Roca themselves and pre-booking is advised due to limited seat numbers.  Return trips cost €20 each for adults, children 3-12 at €10 and children under 3 travel for free Passeig de Gracia, 6. Usually by booking online, there are also plenty of discount opportunities in the shops, cafeterias and restaurants on offer.

option 2

Sagales, a local coach service, also operates a direct route and has extra stops at the Mango Outlet and Nike Factory Store.  Children under 4 travel for free and adult returns are €20 at the departure point on Carrer Casp, 34.  Again, pre-booking is advised and will also earn you some further discount on your travel ticket costs.
If shopping is your thing, then Barcelona is definitely your place.  Find your ‘base camp’ from our selection of fine rental apartments throughout the city, and shop till you drop!

 

Barcelona Day Trips – a day out in Sitges

f you spend 4 or 5 days in Barcelona you can also plan several Barcelona day trips that you will love, for example a day out in Sitges.

Located just a short way outside Barcelona, to the west and taking a 40-minute journey on the local rail service either from Franca, Sants or Passeig de Gràcia rail stations, is the romantic and historic village of Sitges, a perfect destination for any Barcelona day trip.

This Barcelona day trip couldn’t be easier to do.  It will cost approximately €9 Euro (day return) on the train, usually 4 every hour, dropping visitors off at one of the most beautiful and fabled villages situated on the Catalunya’s Costa Dorada.  Simply alight and stroll into the town from Sitges rail station, the stunning beaches are not too far away. There is so much history here, so where do you start?

Foremost, Sitges is famous as a party town.  The first ever Pacha nightclub in the world – created 10 years before Ibiza – was founded here.  But let’s not forget it’s annual Carnaval – one of the biggest in the world – its frequent fiestas, major film festival or the Corpus Christi.

Going even further back in time, the Romans occupied the village and it was a major point of trade and festival.  In fact, according to the Museu de Sitges, “since ancient times, the site of Sitges has been associated with a small Roman town mentioned in classical sources called Subur.”  Basically after the centurions were paid in salt (from Las Salinas in Ibiza) they took a short cruise to Sitges to spend their wages in true soldier fashion.

Pretty much, this is still what happens today, and Sitges now occupies an even more special place on the global map – the pink map to be precise.  Best described as poly-sexual, Sitges is probably the world’s number one destination for the LGBT community.

The most famous street is Carrer del Pecat (Sin Street) as it is known here.  Its real name is Carrer Primer de Maig de 1838, and it is here where artists such as Dali and Picasso used to meet and hang out in their younger years during the 1960’s.

At the bottom of Carrer del Pecat is the beach, one of 17.  This one is called playa de la Ribera and home to El Chiringuito… quite literally the first ever chiringuito built in Spain.  Turn to the right and walk up the beachfront a little way and you will come to a fine beachfront restaurant called Pic Nic.  Perfect for a fresh fish lunch and to pick at some tapas specialties.  Pulpo Gallega, sepia, patatas bravas and fresh bread with tomàquet are always on the menu and this selection of dishes should cost about €25 per person.

After the sustenance, the energy kicks in!  Use your time wisely on this Barcelona day trip and see some of the sights.  Follow the path down to the bottom of the church and the old town.  Take the steps up to the old quarter and you will find the magnificent church – dedicated to the town’s patron saints, Sant Bartomeu and Santa Tecla, or drop into the recently refurbished Cau Ferrat Museum.

A suggested route for this day trip is to follow in footsteps of Sitges’ fanciful fore father, Modernist artist and most beloved Santiago Rusiñol.  Enjoy a healthy stroll high above Playa Sant Sebastian to marvel at the graveyard and viewpoint that looks down to Port Aiguadolce.

The rest of my day maybe spent sampling the artisanal wares of the many shops that Sitges has hidden down its back streets, with each and every one unashamedly paying homage to Sitges’ mix of maritime and melancholic glamour.  Check out the numerous interior design, curiosity and antique shops, carelessly scattered between the village’s many cobbled streets.

Before you end your Barcelona day trip and make your back to the city, stop to ‘whet your whistle’ at the locals favourite watering hole, El Cable, on Carrer Barcelona with Carrer Santiago Rusiñol.  The libations here are almost as famous as the town’s fearsome film festival.

Whatever your thoughts are on this historic hideaway during your Barcelona day trip, one thing’s for certain – you’ll be sure to wave it goodbye, many times again.  For your stay in Barcelona, please do visit our page to see a great selection of fine apartments.

What to do in Barcelona in one day

So, you´re stopping off in one of the best cities in the world and have a mere 24 hours to savor the sights, sounds and tastes of Catalonia´s capital. Fear not, we´ve compiled some suggestions for what to do in Barcelona in one day to ensure you don´t miss out on any of the best bits.

Barcelona´s public transport network is efficient and super easy to navigate. If you (and your travelling companion) and planning to take several journeys either by bus or metro throughout your brief stay, we recommend buying a T10 travel card from any metro station. A T10 for zone one comes in at just under 10 Euro and one ticket can be used by multiple people on both the metro and buses for 10 journeys around the city. However, if you´re planning to get around mainly on foot as per our recommended route, a single journey will only set you back €2.15 so this could be your best option.

Our ´What to do in Barcelona in one day´ route starts off at La Sagrada Família where you can marvel Antoni Gaudí’s most impressive piece of work. This spectacular building is easily accessible by metro or bus and is well worth a visit. If you are pressed for time, you could simply admire the cathedral from outside, but for those keen to enter, we strongly recommend buying tickets online in advance to avoid the lengthy queues http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/.

Sagrada-Familia_Antoni-Gaudi_dezeen_936_0

After that, hop on the metro (L5) until the stop Diagonal. From here, head down one of the city’s most emblematic streets, Passeig de Gràcia, where you’ll find some of Barcelona’s best examples of modernist buildings. This grand street, akin to an open-air architectural museum, will take you past some of Gaudi´s best known works, including La Pedrera, La Casa Amatller or Casa Batlló until you reach Plaça Catalunya.

Passeig de Gràcia

Plaça Catalunya backs onto Barcelona´s most famous street, La Rambla, famed for its lively atmosphere, street performers, resident artists, cafes, bars and restaurants. A gentle stroll down La Rambla will take you past some of Barcelona´s most iconic buildings and structures, such as the beautiful market La Boqueria and el Gran Teatre del Liceu. La Boqueria is an explosion of colour and smells and is an absolute must for any foodies. Simply peruse the food stalls and soak up the atmosphere or pull up a chair at one of the bars and order yourself a coffee or some Cava and tapas.

Slightly further down La Rambla is the El Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona´s opera house), which was founded in 1847. Once you reach El Teatre del Liceu, turn left down the street Carrer de la Palla until you reach the Cathedral square. Barcelona´s beautiful cathedral is as impressive from the inside as it is the outside so make sure you step in and admire its Gothic and Baroque features from up close! Next, make your way into the adjoining cloister. This secluded area is a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of the Gothic quarter´s streets and is dedicated to the city´s co-patron saint, Saint Eulàlia of Barcelona who lost her life during the Roman era after refusing to dismiss Jesus as the son of God. In her honour, the cloister still keeps 13 white geese (Eulàlia´s age at the time of her death).

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Next up on our ´What to do in Barcelona in 1 day´ tour, we suggest you walk down Via Laietana until you reach the street Jaume I. Once on Jaume I, turn left to behold Plaça Sant Jaume and the old Roman walls that once encompassed the city formerly known as Barcino. From here, get back on Via Laietana until you reach the charming Carrer de l’Argentería, which will take you down to the beautiful church of Santa María del Mar (made famous throughout the world thanks to Ildefonso Falcones´ novel Cathedral of the Sea).

Santa Maria del Mar

After a busy morning, you´ll be in need of some lunchtime sustenance and when in Barcelona that can only mean one thing; Paella! Right by Santa Maria del Mal you´ll find Passeig del Born which is home to La Vinya del Senyor which serves up a mouthwateringly delicious paella. Here you´ll also find several delightful tapas spots.

After you´ve filled your boots, walk off the post-lunchtime slump in Barcelona´s old fishing quarter, La Barceloneta. Head to the street Palau de Mar and then make your way down Passeig de Joan Borbó until you reach the city beach of Sant Sebastià. You´ll also notice lots of restaurants along the way. Our particular favourite is La Mar Salada where they serve up on of the best paellas in Barcelona.

La Barceloneta

 

Also if you want to explore Barcelona’s nightlife, save money and drink like a local, try this revolutionary App: TomaBida, the App that allows you to discover Barcelona’s best Bar and get a free drink a day! With the BizFlats code, you have this offers for you:
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So there you have it – an action-packed itinerary for what to do in Barcelona in 1 day. We hope you enjoy your short stay! And, if you are looking for accommodation, remember that here at Bizflats we have apartments which are guaranteed to make your time in Barcelona unforgettable.