The typical hustle and bustle of city life isn’t something you will find in this paradise by the sea. With its sweepingly long cobbled stone walkways and the smell of fresh laundry dancing down from the balconies above. Each ally is decorated with an array of clothing straight from the wash. Each article blowing gently in the wind, like the La Barceloneta flags, that are intermixed with the socks and Barcelona jerseys that are hanging out to dry, high above our heads. We’re walking off the light lunch we just devoured at La Bombeta, a local hotspot that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, is cash only, and will leave you drooling.
We stared with a jug of homemade Sangria. A rich ruby red concoction of local wine and sliced fruits, sweet and dangerously delicious. We then ordered the Bombas, a traditional tapa, from the Catalan culture, as rich in history as it is in flavor. A plum sized ball of heaven disguised as a ball of potato and meat mixed with seasonings and then lightly fried and smothered in aioli and a spicy pepper sauce. After nearly licking the plate, the fresh octopus arrived. Grilled to perfection; not greasy nor seasoned in such a way that you lose the chargrilled flavor; but instead are enchanted by the simpleness of it. It really is a meal that is permanently seared into my memory and tantalizes my taste buds just thinking about it.
After lunch, it was time for a leisurely stroll along the white sandy beach that hugs the city. The fine velvety sand was sticking to my bare feet and the water was licking at my toes. The sun kissed my skin and the smile across my face was nine miles wide.
Eventually, we will mosey our way back to the Airbnb we have rented for the week, taking the long way home and exploring the Gothic Quarter on the way back to Old City. We will take the typical siesta and head out for dinner later in the night. Everything starts later here, some places won’t even open until the evening hours. The city really comes to life after 8 pm and Barcelona really becomes a whole new world. With thousands of restaurants and bars, it’s nearly impossible to get bored in this metropolis.
From the rich history and architectural treasures that can be found on nearly every corner. The magic that consumes your soul with every step in one of the many parks that are scattered throughout the city. With every bite from every perfectly executed meal, you are bound to fall in love over and over again. What’s better than strolling hand and hand with your honey through cobblestoned streets with medieval undertones and upbeat lively music around every corner, and trying new things both day and night? Not much. Happy Mooning, my friends.
The Food: Barcelona is a mixing pot of culture and home of to the legendary tapas (small dishes that are usually shared, a perfect way to try everything on the menu). I would suggest going to La Bombeta first. Try the Sangria, Las Bombas, and the Pulpo a la Parrilla (grilled octopus). This place is as authentic as it gets and is reasonably priced. I guarantee you will be going back again and again. For dinner, Lonja de Tapas. It has an eclectic menu and again, reasonable prices. We had the Foie Gras and Mushroom Risotto and the Grilled Beef Steak, neither disappointed, and are both totally addicting. Wander a little further down and grab an after dinner drink at The Lime House; with its killer vibes and even better Mojitos; you will probably boogie down until the sun comes up. When you need to nurse your hangover, make sure you go to Ramen Shop for the best bowl of Ramen on this side of the equator. For ten Euro you get a beer, an appetizer, and a giant bowl of magical goodness. There are gelato shops on every corner and tapas bars to boot, don’t forget to try the paella too, it is a foodie’s paradise and a delectable treat for all.
Mercado de La Boqueria: Also known as Mercat de Sant Josep; this market can’t even be listed in the same category as food; for this place has a heartbeat of its own. It’s located on Les Rambles and is open every day. It offers specialty ingredients like brain, skinned sheep skull, and live crabs; as well as, brightly colored fresh fruits and squeezed juices (I recommend the kiwi juice and the blueberry coconut). Then there’s the sweet stands and the meat stands and everything in-between stands. It’s a full on assault on all of your senses, but you will never welcome anything more.
The Architecture and the Art: Between the architectural wonders influenced by Catalan Modernism and designed by Antoni Gaudi that decorate the city (check out his Casa Batlló and of course Sagrada Familia Basiillica) and the Gothic styled neighborhoods; and even Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar; the architecture is mind bending and fascinating. Then there are the fine arts that have found their homes in Barcelona like the Picasso Museum, H10 Art Gallery, and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, your eyes will be feasting all day and night on pure legitimate beauty.
The Beach: A white sandy beach stretches 2.5 miles along the coast and it’s a short ten minute walk from the City Center. Sunbathers, kite surfers, sailboats, and body surfers can be found frolicking around the crystal waters and at night the club scene gets pretty rowdy, if that’s your thing.
Los Bunkers: A hidden gem situated high on a hill top, a mere 20 minute walk from one of Gaudi’s wonders: Park Güell. Los Bunkers, provide the best (well at least in my opinion) 360° panoramic view of Barcelona. You can see the Agbar Tower, Sagrada Familia Basillica, the beach, and exactly how vast this beautiful city is. It’s a locals hangout and a little bit of a hike but it is worth every damn step of the way.
The Parks: Barcelona is home to a plethora of parks and squares that provide grassy knolls, shade, fountains, and wooded areas to kick back and relax in. Park Güell is a must, simply because it is one of Gaudi’s creations but it also provides decent views of the city. If you are just looking for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or even the chance to see some animals at the zoo, Parque de Cuitadella is a playground for children, students taking a break form their University studies, old couples who have been together since the beginning of time, grungy backpackers, savvy businessmen, and snow white swans. Another bonus is that it is only a ten minute walk to the beach (win/win, no?).
Between the rocking bars, tempting tapas, outrageous views, romantic walkways, and the simple pleasures of beach life, what more can you really ask for? And compared to other European hotspots, Barcelona is affordable. From the second you step foot into the vibrant city, you will feel her heartbeat and be consumed by her fiery passion. With the laidback attitude and pure liveliness that oozes from her streets, I can promise that you will never want to leave, so just book a couple extra days and take my word for it- you won’t be disappointed.
If you have any questions and/or concerns or are interested in booking a honeymoon with us please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our site at www.soletrips.com.