Barcelona part 2 – tips from friends

As mentioned in my first Barcelona post, I have decided to pass on my Barcelona tips in three parts: my pre-this trip tips; pre-trip tips from others; and then finally a post about what I actually did.  This is Barcelona Part 2!

Tourist attractions

As I have been to Barcelona several times before, I have seen most of the top tourist attractions.  For this trip, I was recommended the following, both of which I had already seen:

typical Spanish architecture at Poble Espanyol
(c) Lynn Sheppard

  • The Montjuïc Fountains – the water of the fountains flows, shoots, spurts and changes colour to music.  The shows are free and are on Fridays and Saturday nights in winter (Oct-April) and every night Thursday to Sunday in summer.  It’s a pleasant way to spend an hour or so on a warm evening.
  • Poble Espanyol – a kind of Spanish cultural theme park which recreates Spanish small town life and showcases Spanish architecture.  I found it a bit cheesey, but you can easily while away half a day or more and there are restaurants and shops inside.  There are also shows (eg flamenco) in the evening in summer.

 Eating

The Spanish equivalent of the ‘greasy spoon’. Greasy ‘bikini’ anyone?
(c) Lynn Sheppard

  • Mirablau – panoramic restaurant and cocktail bar in the Tibidabo area.
  • Taller de Tapas – on the lower key, leafier Rambla Catalunya (as opposed to Las Ramblas), this was recommended as a great tapas restaurant and particularly good for lunch. For dinner, it was easily able to accommodate our group of 9, but I found the staff a little complacent and the atmosphere a little tourist-y.
  • Cerveceria Catalana – also on the Rambla Catalunya is a very famous tapas restaurant which consistently gets good Trip Advisor reviews, despite the queues.
  • Arenal  – we were recommended this restaurant on the Paseo Marítimo de la Barceloneta – a fantastic location right down on the beach (under the promenade), which is wonderful in good weather.  We didn’t get in to Arenal, but tried out one of its neighbours, Agua – check out the review in Part III!
  • La Gavina – hitting the lists of celiac-friendly Barcelona restaurants, La Gavina is in a lovely setting overlooking the marina.  It is a bit touristy and you pay for the location, but the food is good and the service is slick, catering easily with a large group.
  • El Botafumeiro – a traditional seafood restaurant.  Our insider local called it ‘pretty posh and generally pretty quiet’ but claimed the locals rave about the food.  We didn’t make it there to find out
  • Cuines Santa Caterina– apparently it’s often necessary to wait but it doesn’t take very long to get a seat and there is a great selection of wines at the bar.
  • Libeliña 2– an authentic Galician restaurant in the Eixample which is not glamourous but is popular with locals at Calle Equador 89.

    typical tapas
    (c) Lynn Sheppard

Drinking and dancing

We were recommended an “aperitivo-crawl” on a weekend night taking in try the following bars in the Barceloneta: Jaica (where one is advised to ask for the home-made vermut), Electric (for Brazilian smoothies & cocktails), Casa Ricardo and El Vaso de Oro. Already late by British standards, the best times to go to these places is around 12.30 – 1am – after that they get very busy.

Other recommendations:

  • Boadas Cocktail bar, 1 Tallers on Las Ramblas is tiny. It was opened when the original owner returned from Havana in 1933.
    Tel: 93 318 8826
  • Les Enfants Club, 3 Carrer Guardia. Barca’s oldest club plying pop, funk, disco, indie, Spanish hits and no techno.  The dress code is laid back dress and the dancers are mainly students and hedonists.
  • El Bosc de les Fades - a fairy forest themed bar near the wax museum off the Ramblas. It sounds bizarre and I’m really sorry we didn’t make it there!

I was particularly interested in finding some Latino culture in Barcelona and looked up opportunities for salsa dancing in the city.  I found this very helpful blog post.  A Barcelona resident friend-of-a-friend supplemented it with the following two venues:

  • AGUA DE LUNA – 211 C/Viladomat, metro Hospital Clinic. From 11pm till late
  • LA BODEGUITA DE MARISOL  – 7 C/Vic, metro Diagonal. Nice Cuban place to have dinner and some mojitos before going dancing in Mojito Club.

The Barcelona skyline from the Parc Guell to the sea
(c) Lynn Sheppard

These are largely the tips I didn’t manage to test on my recent trip to Barcelona.  Have you been to any of these sights, bars, restaurants and clubs?  What did you think?  Or were you – like us – busy discovering new places to go?  What are your Barcelona top tips?

© Lynn Sheppard

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7 Responses to Barcelona part 2 – tips from friends

  1. of course like your web site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the reality on the other hand I will surely come back again.

  2. Susan Kenworthy says:

    Directed via your fb page, you know I love a good speelin mistak. I only noticed ‘celiac’ – like coeliac crossed with celeriac. But I can’t speak Spanish. Anyway,. I’d like to try a sherry bar ! We must do that !

    • mikanqueen says:

      Apparently I went a bit non-British there. According to Coeliac UK, celiac is how it is spelled in ‘other’ countries.. Sherry bars are great, although one I tried had sherry so ‘authentic’ that it had floaters….

  3. Hello! I know this is sort of off-topic but I needed to
    ask. Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require a
    massive amount work? I am brand new to operating a blog but I do
    write in my journal daily. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    • mikanqueen says:

      Hi there!
      As you can see – I’ve not updated this site for a while, as I’m working on other projects.
      I find WordPress to be a great introduction to blogging. There are lots of tutorials on their site, they do all the search engine optimisation for you, you have an automatic audience of other wordpress users, it’s free and they have lots of adaptable templates. You can do as much (or as little) of your own formatting, programming and adaptation as you like. Check out http://www.wordpress.com and get started!! Good luck!

    • mikanqueen says:

      Thanks for asking. As you can see, it does – I have not been updating this blog for some time as I have been focussing on other projects. It’s important to set aside time regularly to develop content to keep readers engaged and interested.

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