March 17, 2015

barcelona: places to eat and drink

eyescream and friends |

This cool little ice cream shop is minutes away from the beach and sells monster looking treats. Quite literally putting eyes on (ice)cream. When buying a portion you get to also choose two lots of toppings and the ice cream comes in a bowl big enough to fill up any appetite. From what I remember I think the prices were around €4 for the ice cream and €2.50 for a lollipop.

Location: Passeig Don Joan Borbó Comte, 30, 08003 

Chök |

This place was my absolute favourite find of the whole trip. The windows are stuffed with beautiful fresh doughnuts and krönuts (halfway between a croissant and doughnut) filled with every flavour you can imagine. I was torn between nutella or passionfruit and pistachio, but in the end opted for a nutella krönut. It was so damn good that I'm still craving another one even now. Inside the shop are tons of tasty treats that had I been on my own would have kept me in there for hours.

Location: Carrer del Carme, 3, 08001

Vioko |

I didn't have chance to pop inside but wanted to feature this place anyway as after having a quick google I found out that it's filled with macaroons and chocolates, along with fancy ice cream. 

Location: Passeig Don Joan Borbó Comte Barcelona, 55, 08003 

Las Fritas |

Another trendy food joint based along the main strip before you get to the beach is Las Fritas, where you can buy a load of chips with pretty much any sauce and toppings that you fancy. I went for a medium sized cone with aioli and fried padron peppers which were absolutely yummy. 

Location: Passeig Don Joan Borbó Comte Barcelona, 12, 08003 

La Pepita |

Also another wonderful looking restaurant that I didn't have time to pop into but have heard great things about. There are endless amounts of tapas dishes and cocktails on the menu and they are pretty much always full which is the best sign. 

Location: Carrer de Còrsega, 343, 08037

Patagonia |

On our first night in Barcelona we ended up in one of the greatest bars I've ever been in, it was lively even on a Monday night and had the most hilarious bar staff who made it their duty to make sure everyone made new friends in the bar. If you're out drinking in Barcelona then you simply have to go here, their mojitos are particularly tasty too. 

Location: La Rambla, 116

A few things I'd recommend ordering when you are out and about are cava sangria, fried padron peppers and of course give tapas a go too.


March 15, 2015

barcelona: things to do and see

Last week I spent five days in Barcelona for a trip with University. The weather was beautiful for each and every day meaning I had such an amazing time. We stayed at the Generator Hostel which was absolutely wonderful and I can't recommend it enough both for value for money and general coolness. I've put together a couple of posts on all of the places I went and where I'd recommend too.

Barceloneta beach |

For my first day in Barcelona, I caught the metro and headed straight to the beach. With it being out of peak season the atmosphere was chilled and everywhere felt lacking in huge bunches of tourists. It's definitely well worth taking a stroll along the full length of the sidewalk next to the beach to take everything in properly, the easiest way to do this is to use the W hotel as your start point and the Barcelona fish as the end, and then walk back again. If you go to sunbathe on the sand then just be sure to avoid any dodgy mojitos being sold or massages being offered. The marina is equally as beautiful to sit and chill by too.

Park Güell |

My favourite part of the trip to Barcelona was without a doubt Park Güell, both for the Gaudi architecture and the wonderful views of across the city and down to the beach. As Barcelona is a heavily populated city packed with buildings, the park feels like a sense of calm away from it all.  

Entry fee: €8 (student)

Keep an eye out for street art |

The city is packed with street art and interesting graffiti along with stickers here there and everywhere. There's pretty much something to take a photo of at every turn.

La Boqueria food market |

I've been to tons and tons of food markets in my time and usually prefer them to be outdoor but even so I'd say that the indoor food market is well worth a visit, if not just for the huge variety of fruit juices. Most of the market seems to be directed towards the locals rather than tourists which keeps it feeling authentic. 

Monday-Saturday 08:00-20:30

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya |

I always feel a little more cultured and well behaved if I've managed to visit a gallery or museum on a trip abroad. We headed to the art museum initially to see it from the outside but then couldn't resist having a look round some exhibitions too which I found to be much more interesting than I'd anticipated. If you aren't in an arty kind of mood then you still absolutely must give it a visit if only for the incredible water features and views of the city, not forgetting the pink birds. 

Entry fee: €8.40 (student)

Museu del Disseny de Barcelona |

With being a graphic design student, a trip to the design museum went without saying. The building itself is ultra modern and a tiny cost allows you to visit three floors, the first for furniture design, the second for clothing and the third for posters and graphics. There is so much to look at and near enough every item being shown is of great taste. 

Entry fee: €3 (student)

Sagrada Familia |

The biggest tourist hotspot and most obvious choice to tick off on a list of things to do is Sagrada Familia. The church has been under construction ever since it started life in 1882 and will be ongoing until at least 2026, which is pretty damn cray. Look up to the roof on the inside as in my opinion that's the best part.

Entry fee: €9 (student)