Girls´ Weekend in Barcelona
It´s about time to start planning your spring break (not American bikini and beers style), but a weekend away in the spring. Forget the cold damp mornings and get away for some proper laughing, chats, shopping, coffees and wine...
Here are a few ideas to get you inspired and help you plan your long weekend in Barcelona...
For a first night drink in the city, head straight up to the Alaire Rooftop bar for a glass of cava to catch up on all the gossip with your pals and feel pretty happy with life!
(To discover other stunning rooftop bars, and different drinking options, take a look at my Top 10)
There are so many options for dinner in Barcelona, and it can sometimes be difficult knowing where to head. Away from the Ramblas is a definite, but hopefully this list of restaurants will help you make up your mind...
For a drink before-hand and a dinner in the same place...
Also centrally located in the Eixample district.
Great value & great places for a bigger group...
As well as being great value for money these restaurants are also very central.
1. Les Quinze nits is a popular tourist spot but it does great value food, has a lovely summer terrace and is centrally located. The food is simple Mediterranean, and unfortunately you can´t reserve. It´s open all day, so I´d recommend getting there earlyish, 8pm ish to get a table. (In the summer there are normally queues).
2. I LOVE this restaurant and so do my friends when they come over. Les Cuines de Santa Catarina has got a great buzzy market vibe, big long wooden tables, and the most incredible range of food. You´ll probably pay aprox. 20 -25 euros depending on what you choose, but if you have different tastes in your group, then this is the place.
Again with this restaurant you can´t book, but you put your name on the list when you enter and take a seat at the bar with a drink while you wait. You can even have a couple of tapas dishes if you´re starving.
One for the foodies..
1. If you´re into your food and love trying new things then you have to go to the Tickets restaurant for fun, innovative and super tasty tapas. Founded by the brother of Ferran Adrià, from El Bulli fame, you´ll experience Michelin star tapas in an exciting, delicious way. Book well in advance, and obviously the price matches the Michelin star. Well worth it though (and make sure you order the ice-cream for a cool surprise!)
When you´re planning your weekend away, here are some ideas of ways to spend your time with your pals in the sun...
1. Head to the beach: It doesn´t matter what time of year you visit, when there´s blue sky, a walk down to the beach is always a great way to spend an afternoon. Whether you´re sunbathing in the summer, trying out paddle-surfing in the spring, or simply having a coffee and taking it all in, the beaches of Barcelona have a lot to offer.
|salt bar open from the spring|
2. Sight-see in style: When you come to a new city it´s exciting exploring the different areas, history, and spectacular views it has to offer. By seeing the city with one of these options below you´ll get to see places that normally you wouldn´t have time to visit and have a lot of fun too!
Go Cars are little yellow cars with GPS that let you tour the city at your own pace and go where you want. Take the opportunity to drive up to the beautiful Montjuic for fantastic views over Barcelona.
(Great fun, just don´t get caught doing circuits of the rambla de raval and dodging tramps like we did!)
See the Barcelona skyline from the sea on a catamaran (and with live jazz!)
Sounds really touristic, and actually is, but I did this with my friends last summer and we had a great time!
It´s an hour and a half (which is all you need!) and it costs approx. 16 euros each. Get to the front of the queue for space on the nets of the catamaran where you can sunbathe, chill out and see the sights of Barcelona from the ocean. It´s great fun and something different.
Sight-seeing with style! Do it retro-style on a Vespa. These GPS Vespas are a great way to tour the city and lots of fun. Still to try them out, so blog post coming soon...
Walking, shopping and stopping for coffee...
There are 2 main areas that I think are perfect for this weekend activity:
1. Walk 1: Passeig de Gracia towards Gracia. Start at Plaza Catalunya and head up Passeig de Gracia. You can see Gaudi´s incredible Casa Batllò and Pedrera building whilst checking out what´s new in H&M and &OtherStories. (The perfect mix of sight-seeing and shopping). When you get into Gracia there are plenty of pretty squares and here you´ll see a less-touristic side of Barcelona. (You could also incorporate a trip to Parc Güell, the stunning Gaudi park here)
Mandarin Oriental Hotel for cream tea, or a coffee or cocktail (depends on the time!)
|Mimosa Garden at the Mandarin|
OMA Bistro: Breakfast or healthy lunch stop, or coffee and cake!
Hotel Majestic: Coffee on a stunning roof terrace with great views of Barcelona
Santa Eulalia Cafè: Unknown little café in a high-end store (favourite of Olivia Palermo!)
Finish at Bobby Gin in Gracia for a great G&T and tapas
Heading off to the left of the Ramblas you´ll find the old town and can get lost in it´s narrow streets.
I highly recommend a visit further out from the old town and into the Born (via Carrer Ferran). Here you´ll see the Passeig del Born lined with old-school mojito and salsa bars, great places to eat and gorgeous little boutiques.
|backstreets of the Born|
|Cute cupcake shop in the Born|
1. A definite is La Vinya del Senyor opposite the beautiful cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar. A tiny little bodega with a terrace which is great for wine and people-watching.
2. Mercat Princesa for some of the best market style tapas.
|Mercat Princesa mini-burgers, asian rice and wine!|
I also realise this post is heavily focused around food and drink, this could be because that´s my favourite way to experience a city or simply because it´s lunchtime and I´m starving!
Anyway, I hope this will make it easier to start planning your trip to Barcelona and help make some great memories for you and your friends.