Barcelona, Spains second largest city, is a top world destination, with a vibrant history, a colorful culture, and the unique beauty that is born of both old and new, perpetually intertwined. A modern city with deep connections to the ancient, this unique place offers culture, arts, beaches, nightlife, remarkable cuisine and a warm climate. There are tons of top tourist attractions to see in Barcelona, but we’re going to talk about a couple of special places off the beaten path that really capture its diverse charm.
Hidden away in the popular Barri Gòtic, I stumbled upon Salterio (Sant Domènec Call 4), a tiny hole in the wall , that offers up a delightful taste of the unexpected: home cooked Moroccan inspired snacks (try the delicate crepes) and the most sensuous, aromatic teas and coffees this side of Arabia. The Turkish coffee is decadently rich yet refined, and almost indescribably delicious. It’s easy to miss, so look for the warm yellow light flickering outside that beckons.
Across Via Laietana, you’ll find the Born neighborhood, another, that, like Gòtic, oozes character and abundant local charms. A re-purposed theater, L’Antic Teatre (Carrer Verdaguer I Call 12,), a bustling bar, proves one of the finest examples of the perfect ‘local haunt’ , with a good beer selection, a chatty, animated friendly crowd, cozy balcony, and a large and lovely interior patio to enjoy-all at a more than reasonable price.
If a hopping nightlife is what you seek, Barcelona’s is teeming with options that are always on top of worldwide club trends. One of the most special party places to those in the know is Mac Arena Mar, (Platja Port del Fòrum), located literally, right on the beach. Best visited via a car rental or cab, you can arrive early for a late-ish dinner (I didn’t sample any of the fare , but the menu looked more than accommodating) . After dinner, dance the night away to modern electronica with sand underfoot and starlight overhead. Spectacular.
For a lazy afternoon post a long night of clubbing, head over to Gràcia, which offers lovely town squares and landscaped terraces dotted with bars and bistros. I enjoyed a tasty, budget -friendly lunch of crispy pizza with mushrooms and caramelized onions at veggie-centric Cafè Camèlia (Verdi 79) mid- afternoon on my last day in this remarkable place. I topped it all off with a slice of lush carrot cake and a perfect cup of coffee- essential for putting a welcome spring in my step as I made one last languorous stroll through this warm and wonderful city of delights.
Bio: Jason Hall is author and Brand Manager for Budget Car Rental. He enjoys sharing his travel tips and adventures with the world.