Out of all the places in the world I've visit, Barcelona holds a very special place in my heart. I live there for a year in 2016 while I was studying. I had visited the city before and completely fell in love with it, but living there was a whole other story.
I got to know the little local secrets, like where to eat and where to do grocery shopping, etc. I made friends with the local fish vendor and the owner at local bodega around the corner from my apartment. I would go to the same restaurant twice and week and sit at the tapas counter by myself and enjoy some amazing food with a wine”. Life was very simple and organic, and I loved it.
Every time someone asks me, what is my favorite city? Or, what other places in the world I would live? my answer is always Barcelona. I love everything about it, the people, the food, the culture, the location. Every corner in the city is filled with art and history, from Gaudi to the Gothic’s, no matter where you turn there is a story to be told.
It has beaches and mountains, you can walk everywhere or travel by train all around Europe. The food is simply incredible, no matter where you stop to eat, whether it is at a five-star restaurant or at a local small restaurant the food will always be delicious.
While I lived there I had a lot of friends and family visit me, I would show them around the city and take them to my favorite spots. And while the city has a lot to offer there are some places that you simply can't miss.
Here is my list of the must see attractions:
1. The Basílica de la Sagrada Família
2. Barcelona Cathedral
3. Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
4. Parc Güell (Park Güell)
5. Casa Batlló
6. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
7. Passeig de Gràcia
8. Arco de Triunfo
9. La Rambla
11.Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
16.Port of Barcelona
21. Montserrat for a day trip
22. Girona for a day trip
Where to eat:
1. La Boqueria Market $: brows local food and eat at one of the food stalls like Pintox or Bar El Quim.
2. Cervecería Catalana $: Fast and casual, the food is affordable and of excellent quality. The eggplant chips are to die for and all type of seafood is top class. I used to be a regular, couldn’t stay away for more than a week.
3. La Pepita $$: Best fried calamari in the world! No joke, they serve it with a Kimchi mayo that is off the charts. Their specialty is “pepitas”, which is a toasted thin bread topped with different toppings such as chorizo or steak.
4. Bar del Pla $$$: The restaurant takes classic Catalan dishes and gives them a modern twist. My favorite dish was the squid ink croquettes.
5. Hofmann $$$: This Michelin star restaurant is also a cooking school, most of the employees are culinary and hospitality students. They serve Catalan food with a modern and molecular twist. The service is A+ and the food is even better!
6. Passadis del Pep $$$$: White tablecloth décor and classic style of service, they serve classic Spanish food with no menu, just with what’s on season. Everything from the snails to the ham is extremely good.