STAY in Barcelona:
The five Rooms
Yessica had to have this apartment. But because of its 400 square metres, it was just a little too big for one person and so she decided to transform it into a small hotel. How you do that? You take 5 large rooms, furbish them stylishly and wait until a traveller magazine mentions it alongside the luxury hotels of the city. If you are staying at Yessica, it is like you are staying with a friend who is happy to provide you with all kinds of insider tips that you won't find in any guide book. Double rooms are available from Euro 135 per night
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.
The grand building dating from the 19th century is situated on one of the most beautiful streets of Barcelona. In 2009, the hotel underwent a complete renovation and designers combined and contrasted details of the past with contemporary stylish elements. Elegance meets style, mosaic tiles mirror light installations, playful twirl contrasts with clear furniture design. The sum of those beautiful parts results in a charming boutique hotel. A highlight are the Jugendstill balconies, as most of the rooms have a view to the Rambla Cataluna. Would you like to experience a local habit? Then grab a drink and enjoy it on the roof terrace of a typical Catalonian inner courtyard. Small hint: There is one room overlooking the courtyard. Book it! It is the biggest and most beautiful room of the hotel. A double room is available from Euro 80 per night.
SHOPPING in Barcelona:
Maria Pascuali and Monica Howe are two fashion designers based in Barcelona that gave Zsu-Zsa their ideas in the shape of young and exclusive fashion designs. One cannot describe their style, as both designers don't want to rely on a specific line or seasonal trend. One finds inspiration on the streets, in music, art, architecture and photography. The great thing about Zsu-Zsa is that these desirable items are affordable - especially in the sale.
If you are looking for young fashion at a good price, then you should pay a visit to Bingo Shop. Here, you'll find funny, cheeky, colourful and cool items. For example by Cecilia Sörensen, Club Volga, Ladies & Gentlemen, Pia Kahila, Wood Wood, A-Forest, Surface to Air and Cheap Monday. As a regular Barcelona shopper, you should know by now that the Spanish like to purchase magazines, books and small art items along with their outfit items while listening to great music - what else do you want? Tip: Excellent shoe selection for example by St. Vacant, Nokia, Karhu Originals and Gram.
Smart and Clean
Are you familiar with Small Faces and The Who? Do you love the noise of a Vespa driving by? Then you are ready for Smart and Clean, the Mod-Spot of Barcelona. Here, they cherish everything about British fashion of the 60s and 70s. In other words, you'll find things here that you won't find anywhere else. That relates to the clothes as well as to a small but fine vinyl selection that beckons you to take a closer look. There are also items available which can still be found in our everyday lives such as Harrington, Britac and Doc Martens. All you need for your vintage dress or shirt is the matching parka!
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.
Barcelona is all about contemporary art, especially in November. At the BAC! festival everything goes as long as it looks good and is art. Examples include graphite, objects, sculptures, photography, painting and video art. The participating artists are international and their work is exhibited all over town in galleries and public spaces. The works are connected through a common theme that changes every year. The exact programme is constantly being updated and is published on their website.
The nice side of Place Reial is that you just can't get it under control. In this square, the Catalonian joy of life is celebrated day and night. It can become rather noisy here and only recently the locals took to the streets with huge posters to stop the noise at night. Admittedly, they weren't very successful. It is still rather noisy but somehow the sound has become nicer. The street musicians need to proof in a casting that they are actually able to play before they are allowed to perform on the square. Drug dealers have disappeared, as police officers take more frequent walks through the square. In other words, be it day or night, a coffee or a beer on one of the many terraces is always worthwhile.
EAT in Barcelona:
Ca l'Isidre is considered to be one of the best restaurants in town and not only since, in 1986, HRH King Juan Carlos and his spouse HRH Queen Sophia celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary here. This true Catalonian kitchen, which has very little French influence, will allow you an extraordinary gourmet experience. The menu changes every day, as owner Isidre Gironés pays a visit to the market and evaluates its offerings. He then decides what will be put on the menu that day. There is a huge selection of great wines which go along very well with your gazpacho, sea bass, scampi or turbot.
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.
The Tragaluz group owns only on the best, most exciting and stylish restaurants. Omm, El Japones and Negro-Rojo are names that everyone in Barcelona knows and associates with the Zeitgeist of good cooking. The Bestial, which is their satellite of the sea, has earned without a doubt its position between those names. Right under the Frank O. Gehry fish at the beach of San Sebastián, guests enjoy dinner on the amazing terrace with breath taking views onto the sea and beach. The cuisine fits the beautiful location right at the beach of San Sebastián: light, Mediterranean with a preference for fish and Italy.