When you think Barcelona, you think a beautiful bevy of sun kissed babes in bikinis on the beach, you think street markets, you think tapas and tiny wine bars, but what you get is so much more. The days are long with the sun beating down and the nights so vibrant with music filling the air, the sounds of chatter and laughter and glasses cheers-ing (Salut, as the locals would say) there’s a real buzz about Barcelona that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Barcelona, there are many options for luxury accommodation that will have you either right in the heart of the city surrounded by Gaudi designed architecture and the Gothic cathedrals with winding laneways that lead you to tiny wine bars and boutique stores. Or down on the beachfront, with the long stretch of sand in view from your bedroom window and the cool ocean breeze washing over you as you lay on your own private beach with cocktails on demand. Two of my favourites are either the Madarin Oriental for that city feel, which also features a luxury spa and wellness centre or the W Barcelona right on the beach, which itself is an iconic landmark on the sands of Barcelona.
Image Credit – W Hotel
The best way to explore the city is without a doubt on a bicycle, which makes for an excellent way to stay fit on your weekend break. Grab a map and a bike and get on the move. Barcelona is filled with amazing architecture like you’ve never seen before, with beautiful streets and parks to ride through, stop, admire and soak in all it has to offer. Make sure you duck into one of the many Vermouth bars sometime during the afternoon to fer el vermut (“do the vermouth”)… a tradition in which you simply enjoy an afternoon vermouth aperitif… I mean, it would be rude not to.
Before the day is out, make your way up to Park Guell, an entire park designed by Architect Antoni Gaudi and is absolutely a must see (if you’ve ever googled Barcelona – this is that exact google image you see) once done there make your way up to Bunkers del Carmel – it offers the most spectacular views over the whole of the city and is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
After a day spent on the bike, it’s time to head back to the hotel, freshen up and head out for la cena (dinner). While there are hundreds of restaurants and a tapas bar on nearly every corner, it can be hard to decide, but if you’re like me and want something quirky and traditional then join the queue at Cal Pep and ask for a seat at the bar, the staff won’t take your order… they’ll simply present you with what they think you’ll enjoy (spoiler alert – you’ll enjoy everything) it’s definitely a night you’ll remember for both the experience and the amazing local food you’ll indulge in. Or if you want to splurge, make a reservation at ABaC – a michelin starred restaurant serving up a menu which is half tradition and half avant-garde.
Barcelona is the perfect place to escape for the weekend, indulge in the many tapas bars, centre yourself at the spa and lose yourself in the streets of this beautiful Spanish city.
Image Credit – Aspyn Ovard
For the best coffee make sure you stop in Roast Club Cafe they also do a rejuvenating green smoothie.
For the best brunch nab a table at Mama’s cafe or make your way to La Boqueria, a large public market filled with the freshest local produce for a colourful fruit juice.
For a luxury evening watching the sunset, book a private sailing cruise along the Barcelona coast – cheers a glass of champagne and enjoy that beautiful Mediterranean sea.
Image Credit – We Barcelona
Gut offers not only gluten free options, but caters for all dietary requirements.
Bar Mut is a traditional tapas bar with a great selection of vegetarian and gluten-free tapas, be sure to get there early as this place is a hotspot with the locals.
Conesa is the place to go to grab a gluten free sandwich, grab one and head down to the beach.
Petit Brot has the best cold press juice and their menu is totally raw and vegan friendly.
Feature Image Credit – Living Tours