A Local's Guide to Barcelona, Spain - This Way

A Local's Guide to Barcelona, Spain

Describe who you are in 3 sentences:
My name is Carlotta Jurado, and I am founder and designer of the swimwear and lingerie label Serendipity, based in Barcelona. I am all about family and friends, and spending time in good company. A perfect day for me includes some outdoors, eating in a pretty terrace and enjoying the sunset over beers with friends.

What is your relation to this city?
Barcelona has always been home to me, even though I lived in France for a while. I feel 100% Mediterranean, and I can’t stay way from it for too long. What I love from Barcelona is the mix of different architecture styles as well as the sunny weather that invites to wander around the city all year long.

Best experience?
It’s getting very popular to have a 'vermut' before lunch lately. There are plenty of small bars all around the city where you will be able to try this drink and accompany it with some olives, chips and 'berberechos'. I would advise you to avoid the fancy ones and go for the authentic, such as the "Buenavista Bar", close to Plaza España. 

Weirdest experience?
Spend a day in "Tibidabo", a small historic amusement park on top of one of Barcelona’s hills. Not only you’ll have plenty of fun, but you’ll enjoy amazing views from there. If you are up for a scare, visit the "Hotel Krüeger".

Your top 3 hangout spots?
I love the vibes on Plaza de la Concordia, with the pretty church and cool bars. Another cool spot would be getting lost in Gracia Quarter and stop for drinks in any of the small squares that pop out. If you are looking for something a little fancier, I would take you to Enrique Granados, a beautiful street with the coolest bars and restaurants, where you can start of with drinks and end up having dinner at any of the restaurants in the zone.

Favourite restaurants?
When my friends come visit and want some good Spanish food I always take them to "Mandri", a tapas restaurant that has a very good selection, is not tourist crowded, and the price is great. If you want to try paella, you must go to "Martinez", a terrace overlooking the harbor with the best rice dishes of the city. For something different, I love the Japanese Fusion restaurant "Miu", and you must check out "El Nacional", with its Gatsy inspired decoration.

Best date place?
It doesn’t get any more romantic than having dinner overlooking Barcelona at "Mirablau". The best? You can stay for drinks later, since they have a pretty good cocktail menu.

Best Sunday spot?
I think the best way to spend a Sunday in Barcelona is to go to the beach in Barceloneta, and head over to "Gallito" for drinks after a nice walk or bike ride by the sea, especially in the summer when there are DJ sessions every Sunday. If you’re hungry, you need to try "Maka Maka"’s burgers. In the summer, "Brunch Electronic" in Montjuic is a great party spot. In the winter, I love to wander around the Gothic quarter and finish it up with a hot chocolate with 'melindros' or 'churros' at "Granja La Pallaresa", an iconic spot. If you are a brunch lover, you need to try "Bendita Helena", "Federal Café" or "Flax&Kale".

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
I have always dreamed of living somewhere tropical, so I guess it would be Hawaii or Puerto Rico, for example. The fact that you can surf there is also great. I must admit, though, that my favorite city in Spain is San Sebastian, for the people, the scenery and the food. It’s a shame it rains so much in there!

Where is your escape place from this city?
I would say rent a car (you can also go by train) and head out to Sitges, a small seaside town, south of Barcelona (30 minutes away), that is always full of life and it is picture perfect. Walk around town and pick any seafood restaurant and you’ll forget about how close you are to the city instantly. On the way there, you can do a stopover in Garraf, and very singular town by the beach.

Best 5 local advices?
1. Look up. One of the prettiest and most surprising things about Barcelona is its architecture, not only in Paseo de Gracia, but all over town.
2. Avoid the Metro and walk as much as you can, there is no better way to discover the city than getting lost in it.
3. Go for a brunch on Sunday. I would recommend a healthy brunch spot there are so many, and all of them are good.
4. If you want to see Barcelona’s nightlife, you need to try 'Nasty Mondays' at Sala Apolo or 'Saturdays' at "Bling Bling".
5. It’s not in the city, but if you have extra time, you must visit Costa Brava, it’s about an hour away from Barcelona, and you’ll fall in love with the small fishermen towns.
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