STAY in Barcelona:
If you have a balcony with such a great view, then you should not care about the simplicity of the rooms. The view to the Plaça del Pi is best enjoyed with a San Miguel. Even if there is not much happening, there is always something to see. Caution: if you like lie-ins, you may be woken up too early by street musicians. Take the opportunity and start your day with a coffee on the square. Regular customers appreciate the location on the square, which is why the guesthouse is almost always fully booked. Double rooms are available from Euro 60 per night
Altogether there are three of them. Two 987 Hotels are located in Prague, one in the historical centre and the other one is called Soho. The potential mix-up is intentional! The third 987 Hotel can be found in Barcelona, only a few minutes away from the Passeig de Grácia and the Sagrada Familia. From the outside, on the basis of the facade, the city's architectonic heritage cannot be missed. Several architects including the designer of the Barca stadium Camp Nou, Francesc Mitjans have jointly renovated the building in the course of the past century. Inside the 987 delivers what a stylish design hotel in Barcelona promises. Elegant wooden floors, pink light and eye-catchers like the mysterious glitter lamp and the plush chair in the entrance area. The 88 rooms in the Eixample hotel also play with contrasts: stuccoed ceilings and heavy upholstery give the suites a royal touch, colourful glass and matching accessories appeal to the design-oriented Barcelona visitor.
Designers and architects created a great ambience for sophisticated people. Dark corridors lead to light rooms where modern design meets natural materials leaving you with a great feeling. If you wish to do more for your well-being, then let yourself be pampered at the spa, have a fruit juice at the pool bar or enjoy dinner at the hotel restaurant Moo. The Moo holds one Michelin star and features a wine cellar with 600 different types of wine awaiting the connoisseur. Double rooms are available from 230 euros per night.
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
We can guarantee you this - on this walk, you won't be able to relax at all. The Rambla is the shopping street of Barcelona and very busy indeed. You can find anything but tranquillity on the street. Start your walk at the seafront. You will find many souvenir and postcard shops. Continuing this way, you'll meet the artists that paint tourists and tourist traps. Afterwards, you'll get to the flower stands and the sad small animals in cages that hope to be purchased and released by someone who takes pity on them. You'll be entertained by pantomimes, musicians and dancers. You can easily spend and lose your money on Rambla and that not only by your own free will - so be careful. Tip: Rambla is a must, however bring little cash and certainly don't bring your favourite handbag along.
If you are hanging out at the park of La Ciutadella, you will forget that you are actually in a city. A small lake ideal for canoeing, a grotesque fountain that Gaudi co-created and endless peace. Barcelonans love this green centre of tranquillity that is situated where once stood the citadel of Felipe V. The park was opened in 1870 and hosted the world exhibition in 1888. Today, the museum exhibits modern art and there is also a zoo. A bizarre piece of trivia is that they used to use parrots to keep away the pigeons. Today, no pigeon can be found in proximity of this park. However, the parrots with their green feathers are numerous and cheeky, flying from one palm tree to the next and back.
No matter if its a gorilla, a pair of lovers, a torero or Jesus Christ. The Museu de la Xocolata in Barcelona got them all. Made from chocolate. You can find the sweet artworks in the first Catalan chocolate museum, next to the zoo and the parliament of Barcelona. It was opened in 2000 by the regional confectionary guild. The museum presents history and origin of chocolate, how it found its way to Europe and how it was deemed as medicine, food or aphrodisiac. The biggest part of the chocolate museum is however occupied by the production of chocolate. Machines are exhibited that are used in different production processes - from the grinding of the dried beans to the casting of the bars. In the "Sala Barcelona", representative buildings from Barcelona are recreated using chocolate. In order that nobody nibbles one of the sweet artworks, each visitor gets a piece of chocolate at the entrance.
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Everybody in search of something special will make a find at Pinzat. For ten years, the creative heads behind the trendy label have worked on their ideas and a considerable range of products. The result: unique bags and backpacks made of vinyl, one of the oldest customary form of plastics. But don't think of stiff and grey plastic bags. The offer ranges from small, medium-sized to big bags which were designed by graffiti artists from all over the world. From motifs with flamenco dancers to landscapes - everything is possible and makes each and every piece unique. In order to guarantee a longer lifespan, the products are sewed twice and an additional strap enables you to wear your bag at the waist and attach it to your bike's handlebar. Also available: more vinyl pieces for the safe transport on your bicycle.
Probably the sweetest shop in the world and a must-visit for people with a sweet tooth. The staff wears hats and headbands made of sugar only on the website and does not exclusively eat caramel sushi; however, these people are real artists with sugar. The colourful and tempting bonbons are presented in a stylish silver bag. Beautiful to look at, but they only last for a short time. Better to buy them in a jewellery glass or trial tube as this way, you get a lot more. The bonbons are funny and colourful but a lot more impressive are the lollipops and ring fingers. A sweet testimony to your love with an expiry date. At Papabubble they are now working with 30 different flavours; everything is colourful and wonderful!
If you are suffering from a headache after a long night out or feel a cold coming on, then Señora Francesca Ubach knows what to do- what you need is an extra large portion of herbs. The Señora took over the shop from her grandfather who opened Herbolari Llansa in 1907. He would be happy to know that his granddaughter left the interior exactly the way it was. The same goes for the herbs - what worked back in the day still works today. Nevertheless, time has not stood still at Herbolari Llansa. The selection has been expanded and adjusted to today's modern needs. Favourite topic of the owner? Natural cosmetics, aroma-therapy, tees and their effect, vitamins and diets, oils and more.
EAT in Barcelona:
What would Barcelona be without chocolate? Still worth a trip, we happily admit that. However, there still would be an elementary part missing to complete your happiness. We recommend whenever possible to take a break at a coffee house and eat a piece of cake and never ever to resist dessert in a restaurant. If that's still not enough than you should not miss out on Bubo?s. In this place sweets are treated like little treasures: chocolates, bonbons, chocolate cakes and cookies are displayed like jewellery in a show window. If you want to start nibbling straight away, you will be served coffee or champagne.
Why everyone is attracted to the Ra Bar remains a mystery. Even if you are lucky enough to get a table on their terrace you still won't understand their secret of attraction. The palm trees build a kind of ailantery; but you still won't be able to ignore the mid-sized car park facing the terrace. However, everyone wants to be here and enjoy a multi-cultural appetizer. The service is as relaxed as the colourful guests. Everything takes its time here, except for the closing of the terrace when everyone tries to move inside into the tiny room to enjoy one last beer before leaving. Tip: The bar is right behind the market La Bouqueria. It is the perfect location to enjoy breakfast after visiting the market.
What makes this restaurant so great? The perfect photo collection featuring people, neighbourhood oldies and Ronaldinho. The wine flows easier than you realise, the staff does not speak a word English and that makes it all so enjoyable. Jai-Ca offer Tapas in typical style. You can recognise insiders by their colourful skin and lots of metals attached to their faces. If you do look regular, don't worry, you are still very welcome here. Expect a surprise at the end of the night- the bill is so small that you will be tempted to have another glass of wine or two.