“My perfect day in Barcelona would begin with a sunrise walk on the beach. It’s so lovely and peaceful before the crowds arrive. Then I’d take a walk through Barceloneta Park and to the Baluard bakery (c/ Baluard, 38-40) for some fresh bread and breakfast pastries. There’s always a tempting range on offer here and the big challenge is trying to choose between all the different cakes and bread. Baluard bread is the best in the city, with people coming from all over to buy it, so I’m thrilled to have the bakery so close to where I live.
As soon as I’ve digested my breakfast, I’d go for a Turkish bath at Aire de Barcelona (Passeig de Picasso, 22). There’s nothing quite like submerging yourself in varying degrees of hot water and getting an exfoliating massage to set you up for the day ahead.
Once I’m rested and ready to face the world, it would be time for a leisurely stroll around Parc de Cuitadella to work up an appetite before going for a sea food lunch at Segons Mercat (c/ Balboa, 16). The codfish carpaccio is unbelievably good here and the food is always really fresh and delicious. They do a very reasonable lunch time offer and it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.
This would set me up nicely for an afternoon of shopping in Raval at the vintage shops on c/ Riera Baixa. The whole street is full of second-hand clothes and record shops; my favourite is Lailo (c/ Riera Baixa, 20) for the sheer volume and range of stock. I’ll be in need of some refreshment after all the rummaging around for bargains so it’ll be a good time for a pit stop and a quick tapas and drink at Resolís (c/ Riera Baixa, 22).
Once suitably replenished, I’ll take a stroll to Plaça d’Espanya and head over to the CaixaForum (Avinguda del Marquès de Comillas, 6) to see their current exhibition. There’s always something worth seeing and they currently have over 100 Delacroix paintings on loan from the Louvre until May 2012. The standard is always good, and even better, entrance is free.
After a healthy dose of culture, it’ll be time to head to Barri Gòtic for tapas and drinks at Andú (c/ Correu Vell, 3). This was one of my first discoveries when I moved to Barcelona from London, and it’s still one of my favourite bars in the city. It’s like an inviting little cave with its old furniture and comfy booths, where it’s all too easy to get settled in for the night with a group of friends. The other option would be to pop in to Cafè Milans (c/ Milans, 7) for one of their perfect gin and tonics, soaked up with some food too, of course.
If I’m not too exhausted after all this I may be tempted to go for a late night dance and drink at Macarena (c/ Nou de Sant Francesc, 5), which can usually be relied on to have a good guest DJ and has an impressive sound system for its tiny size. However, I’ll probably be more likely to wind my way back to Barceloneta for a night-cap at Absenta (c/ Sant Carles, 36). As long as I resist the temptation to sample any of the numerous types of absinthe they offer, I should be okay.”
Yvonne moved to Barcelona over a year ago and has fully immersed herself in the life and culture of the city. She is a director of Sedition DJs, an electronic dance music DJ booking agency. And she writes a monthly beauty page for Barcelona Miniguide magazine as well as sharing her experiences of life in the city on her Just a Little Bit blog.
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