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.
Probably the most famous fashion export Barcelona's is mainly one thing: colourful. The eye-catching prints are recognised by everyone who has seen them once. Famous people like Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts helped the brand gain international fame. Nevertheless, Custo's flagship stores are a rarity in Europe. Take the opportunity to shop in one of the three Custo shops in Barcelona and your friends back home will envy your purchases for sure.
Jeanne Weis attempts an experiment that cannot fail: she combines beautiful African textiles with modern European cuts. The idea, she says, is not that everyone is dressed like an African, but that there is more colour in the wardrobes of the European households. If you like sewing, you can also purchase the textiles by the metre and tailor your own African dream. If you have never tried, you should give it a go anyway- the outcome won't matter that much, as everyone will be starring at the colour not the tailoring.
EAT in Barcelona:
The combination of Bar Lobo/El Japonés includes everything that turns a restaurant visit into an event. The interior is very stylish, but still very comfortable. The people are cool, but very friendly. The food is creative and the offer is huge and colourful. Upstairs they show art exhibitions that change regularly, while serving delicious Japanese food in the evenings. Speaking of evenings: don't leave this place too early on weekends and enjoy a cocktail after dinner. At midnight the restaurant turns into a disco with DJs putting on music..
It's all about the delicious Catalonian appetizer that Barcelona offers in every possible variation. Particularly delicious are the tapas at Santa María: Chef Paco Guzmán moves away from classical tapas recipes and serves unusual creative combinations. The delicious ideas range from Spanish pig roast on sauerkraut to tuna with eucalyptus and pomegranate. We guarantee: every experiment is a triumph!
One should not give away a secret like this, but we are doing it anyway. Book a table at the Antic Bocoi del Gòtic and have a real taste of authentic Catalonian food (a reservation is essential!). The traditional ambience is underlined by a piece of city wall that is part of the restaurant. It is best if you take a look at this highlight first. As soon as your stockfish or the typical ?coca?, which is a very fine pizza, are served, you will forget about the impressive wall.
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
The urban Suites
These apartments are as beautiful as your apartment back home. Urban Suites offers 16 suites and 4 apartments in the lively Sants district. The best is that even the suites have their own kitchen. If you wish to have your breakfast coffee or cook a delicious dinner with all the tasty produce you bought at the market, you will certainly appreciate it. The community terrace invites you to drink one or two San Miguels in good company. Suite for 1-2 people with kitchen from 117 euros per night. Insider tip: book early or stay long.
No need for a spa, fitness room and hotel breakfast? Then perhaps an apartment is the right option for you. Inside BCN offers stylish apartments in El Born and Sants for everybody on a small budget: the apartment at the Carrer de Sants has 3 rooms and offers space to accommodate the entire family. Party people can get their short nights' beauty sleep in the king size bed of a studio apartment. If you are a business traveller, you just book a 2-room apartment and welcome your business partners in your living room. All apartments are fully furnished and are available for short or long stays. At the Sants Building, a studio costs 69 euros per night while a 3- room apartment is available from 150 euros per night.
SIGHTS in Barcelona:
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.
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.
The times where El Raval was avoided are definitely over. In previous times, there were many cheap and cheap-looking apartments that immigrants used to start off their lives abroad. Today musicians, sprayers and artists have discovered the beauty of the darkness that surrounds this area. As an example, the mestizo sound of Manu Chao was born here. After the opening of the three temples for contemporary art MACBA, CCCB and FAD, the area was upgraded and turned into a hot spot for tourists, creative and trendy people. Meanwhile, there are many trendy and hip bars and restaurants. Nevertheless, there are still some dodgy people, cheap restaurants and 24-hour shops that keep the area exiting and trendy. Tip: avoid the side alleys especially at night and if you are dressed smart.