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The low down on bars in Barcelona

After a day of art, culture and history, then do as the locals do and head to one of the many fantastic bars in Barcelona. Here is the low down on bars in Barcelona as a starting point.

Can Cisa Bar Brutal – Natural wine bar and Wine Shop .
This has one of the best Natural Wine selections in Barcelona you can buy everything at takeaway prices.

L’Anima del Vi – is so Spanish, great food, great local vibe.
Lots of bottles on the walls but as always, ask for anything you are chasing. They have an extensive off list cellar and back vintages of great things!

Vila VIniteca – A great wine shop with big vibes, near the marina.

Boadas – Pretty cool spot for a cocktail. Has been open since the ‘30s and is one of the oldest art deco buildings in the city.


www.cool-cities.com

La Cova Fumada – This is a classic tapas basement restaurant with heaps of attitude and charcoal grilled vegetables and smoked meats.

Bar del Pla – another classic tapa place, good natural wine too . This is a good lunch spot.

Bar Mut – Super old school place. Ask to eat in the bar upstairs that always has live music and gets rowdy. Great cocktails and old school wine list.
Image by M. Quim

ABaC Restaurant – Michelin star – definitely worth considering.

ABaC Restaurant

Quimet y Quimet – some of the best smoked, canned, and dried, pickled seafood and meats in the city. Canned Quail is the hot tip here.

Tickets – Adrias bros tapas – it is really good but you will want to book or line up early.

Bodega 1900 – Adria’s Vermut Bar. Its actually opposite Tickets. Must book for dinner.

Cal Pep – an absolute institution, sit at the bar, drink heaps of beer and eat heaps of seafood from the Plancha.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

El Tres Porquets – the three pigs, pork, pork and more pork. Fantastic flavours and dishes.


www.restaurants.com

With thanks to a Chef in Barcelona for sharing.

A Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia where we go, places we visit

A Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia - Chef Dominique Rizzo in Barcelona

Experience A Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia in September 2018 starting in Barcelona

Here is an insight into where we go and a bucket-list of the top places we visit in each city, what to look out for on your free days, the best bites we will be trying along the way and tastes not to be missed.  Let’s start with Barcelona as it is our first destination.

Where we go

Barcelona, the capital and largest city of Catalonia, with a population of about 6 million including the city and outer suburban regions sits as one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Barcelona was founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages where it became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today not only an important cultural centre but also renowned architecturally with the works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Places we visit

**La Sagrada Familia

Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia - La Sagrada Familia

Photo credit: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/

Like many of Barcelona’s architectural feats, La Sagrada Família was and continues to be, controversial. For years scholars have debated whether engineers strayed too far from architect Antoni Gaudí’s original vision (he died when just a quarter of the project had been realized). And while many citizens deem La Sagrada Família the greatest achievement of Catalan building, others view the structure as a glaring, expensive parody of it. Academic bickering aside, it’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of this place, which, pending completion in 2026 after 150 years of construction, will be the tallest religious building in Europe. Fusing Gothic and Art Nouveau styles in unprecedented ways, the basilica also draws on nature as a central inspiration. The hyperboloids, bright colours, and unconventional animal representations (e.g., chameleons, turtles, pelicans) epitomize Gaudí’s belief that nature and the divine were inextricably linked. Insider tip: Lines here are notoriously long, so it’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance.

**Las Ramblas

Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia - Las Ramblas

Photo credit: By Ralf Roletschek – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44806990

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a stroll through Las Ramblas, the wide, shady boulevard that runs through the heart of the city from Plaça de Catalunya down to Port Vell. Whether you’re taking in a street performance, ambling beneath the trees, or people-watching from a terrace, there’s never a dull moment here. To get a bird’s-eye view of all the action, finish your Ramblas route at the 18th-story mirador at Columbus Monument for panoramic views of the city and sea. Just be sure to watch your wallet around these parts: this is pickpocket central.

**Cava and Vermouth

Taste of Spain, Unique Catalonia - Cava and Vermouth

Prosecco and other budget sparklers rely on industrial carbonization to make their wines bubble. But Catalan cava, like fine champagne, gets its effervescence and complexity from bottle fermentation. You can taste some of the region’s best bubblies at La Vinya del Senyor, a cozy, understated restaurant with several by-the-glass boutique cavas to choose from. If you’re lucky enough to snag a table on the plaça, you’ll be rewarded with views of Santa María del Mar’s 14th-century façade.

On sunny weekend afternoons, neighborhood bars fill up with locals out to fer el vermut, the Catalan ritual of catching up with friends over a few dainty glasses of this aromatic, garnet-red aperitif, customarily garnished with an orange slice and an olive. Barcelona’s best vermouth bars, like Morro Fi, blend their own vermouths by infusing fortified wine with any range of botanicals, but in a pinch, the bottled stuff is perfectly passable, too (just ask the bartender for a quality Catalan brand such as Vermut Yzaguirre).

**Museu Picasso

Taste of Spain Unique Catalonia - Picasso

Pablo Picasso may have hailed from Málaga in the south of Spain, but he chose Barcelona, the city where he apprenticed as a young artist, as the location for his namesake museum. Housing 4,251 of Picasso’s early works in sculpture, paint, and engraving, it’s a virtually complete representation of his portfolio all the way up to the Blue Period. Picasso’s art isn’t the only draw at Museu Picasso, though; the five adjoining 13th and 14th century residences that comprise the museum are precious in their own right.

**La Boqueria

A Taste of Spain Unique Catalonia - La Boqueria

Photo credit: EuroCheapo

A gastronomic mecca that attracts more than 45,000 visitors a day, La Boqueria may be the most famous food market in the world, and for good reason. Its endless stalls entice shoppers with abundant displays of the region’s finest cheeses, charcuterie, seafood, and produce. Some vendors have adapted over time to tourists’ demands, but for a taste of how things were at La Boqueria way back when, sidle up to the bar at Pinotxo, where quick-witted 75-year-old Joan Bayén (“Juanito” for the locals) has been churning out hearty country fare like cigrons amb botifarra negre (stewed chickpeas with black pudding) and calamarcets amb mongetes (tender baby squid and white beans) for a half a century.

**Barri Gotic

A Taste of Spain Unique Catalonia - Barri Gotic

Photo credit: By Llull – http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=14973110&size=o, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4025194

No place on earth can hold a candle to Barri Gòtic when it comes to concentration and breadth of Gothic architecture. This is the most ancient part of the city, where labyrinthine streets empty into medieval plaças. Yet amid all the antiquity, Barri Gòtic boasts some of the city’s best shopping. Handmade espadrilles, or alpargatas as they’re known in Spain, make cheery, affordable souvenirs; find them at La Manual Alpagatera, worth a visit if only to marvel at the floor-to-ceiling stacks of sandals available in every hue and style. For rarer finds, wake up early on a Sunday morning to explore the Mercat Gòtic, where you can treasure hunt for antiques and, if luck strikes, witness a traditional Catalan dance on the plaça called the “Sardana.”

**Castle of Muntjuic and El Mirador del Alcalde

A Taste of Spain Unique Catalonia - Castle of Muntjuic and El Mirador del Alcalde

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Mirador de l’Alcalde is a belvedere overlooking the sea and the city which boasts spectacular 180º panoramic views. Dotted here and there, the tallest, best-known landmarks rise up among the densely built-up city, while the sea, the harbour and beaches can be viewed with admiration and respect. The Mirador was designed by Joan Josep Tharrats, and opened in 1969 it comprises of a series of terraces set out on different levels which feature a series of attractive gardens and ornamental fountains. A curious mosaic made from shards of recycled glass demarcates the different levels of the belvedere. At the top, there is a cooling fountain designed by Carles Buigas. There are also two noteworthy sculptures: L’Homenatge a Barcelona (Tribute to Barcelona) by the sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs, and the popular Sardana, by Josep Cañas.