A ‘barrio’ – say what?

‘Barrio’ is a Spanish word that describes a neighbourhood or quarter of the city. Each of Barcelona’s Barrios has something unique to offer!  The variety gives us stacks of possibilities for Barcelona group activities. It is exactly what makes Barcelona such a vibrant place to visit for your private or company events.

We will delve into each of the city’s barrios to give you a taste and feel for the different areas. You will be left with a ‘Barcelona bucket list’, overflowing with all the interesting and diverse attractions you will want to dive into.

Where?

Sandwiched between the Gothic Quarter and the main city park (Ciutadella), El Born has grown in popularity with the trendsetters. Like its Gothic neighbour, the barrio has its share of winding narrow streets.   It is full of contrast between Gothic, medieval history and modern influences. Over recent years it has also become popular for its boho yet fashionable stores, bistros, and bars. This eclectic mix gives the area a very unique charm.

The Back Story

Originally sitting outside of the city’s roman wall boundary, it was in the 15th century when growth meant that the walls were extended to include the area. The Roman archaeological remains can be seen inside the old El Born Market, now a dedicated centre for culture and history of the area.

This old market is definitely worth a visit: https://elbornculturaimemoria.barcelona.cat/en/explore/archaeological-site/historia-del-born/

The Born’s location near to the working port was convenient for traders who began to build palaces in the area. A financial crisis meant that Filipe V decided to destroy much of the neighbourhood to build a castle, which is now park Ciudatdella. Its colourful history is what gives the area it’s unique aesthetics and curb appeal.

The Current Vibe

We love the local designer boutiques, diverse selection of restaurants, wine bars and antique curiosity shops.  Let’s not forget the beautiful architecture steeped in history, cobbled streets, terraces perfect for long lingering lunches and an impressive medieval church (Santa Maria del Mar).  We can’t recommend the area enough!

Get it on your itinerary for an organized group tour or a just a saunter around area taking it all in slowly.

For those culturally inclined it is also home to the Picasso Museum: http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en

We also recommend the lesser-known, but in our opinion, equally interesting Museum of Modern Art:
https://www.meam.es/

Top Picks

Plan your group trip to Barcelona with some of our top picks, see below!

El Xampanyet

Looking for an authentic bar experience? Go back in time to experience one of the areas longest standing traditional bars. Dating back to 1929, the name comes from the sparkling wine served there. Enjoy a glass and some tapas in the hustle and bustle of this unique bar.
https://www.elxampanyet.es/

Guzzo Club

Guzzo Club is café, bar, art gallery and music club all rolled into one. Get down with the hipsters for a bite to eat, a few drinks and a late boogie.
https://www.guzzorestaurante.es/en/

Hoffman Pastries

We wholeheartedly recommend getting your sweet fix here! Try one of their award-winning croissants (our favourite the mascarpone croissant!) or whatever seduces you from the selection mouthwatering selection of pastries!
https://www.hofmann-bcn.com/en/patisserie

Cal Pep

Don’t be fooled by the laid-back vibe, Cal Pep is a real hidden gem and one of the best places to eat tapas in Barcelona!
https://www.calpep.com/Ingles/index_ing.html

Aire de Barcelona

Tired from all the exploring? Check out Aire de Barcelona. The ancient thermal baths offer a calm and relaxing space to chill out and recharge your batteries ready for the next ‘barrio’ adventure.
https://beaire.com/en/aire-ancient-baths-barcelona

Suara

One store that shows the diversity and creativity of the Born is Suara. Offering fair trade products, they donate the profits to caring for stray cats! Check out the fun fashion offerings for cat and non-cat lovers alike!
https://www.suara-store.com/es/

 

Discover Gracia’s Boho-chic Boutiques

Leading on from our recent feature ‘Unique Barcelona Shopping Guide’ in the beautiful Born we wanted to cover the fabulous boutiques located up in gorgeous Gracia. As the Born is more on the tourist track down in the old town, the independent boutiques and sassy shops of Gracia are often more undiscovered by people passing through Barcelona. Therefore we wanted to share with you some of the most unique shops Barcelona has to offer that are usually only frequented by the cities ‘in the know’ fashionistas.
Gracia, located up at the top of the city, home of the infamous ‘Parc Guell’ is one of the cities most interesting and eclectic areas. As there are not so many tourists up there you really feel like you’ve discovered something diverse and unique. This bohemian area feels like a different world compared with its neighboring street of Passieg de Gracia and this is partly due to the fact that it was in fact an independent town until the late 19th Century.

Full of trendy bars, restaurants and shops Gracia is the ideal area for those who are looking for something a little bit different and for those who like exploring a little off the tourist track. With it being so accessible from the city centre there really is no excuse not to explore the bohochic shopping experience this charming little neighborhood has to offer.

Oslo

A veritable institution for the creative crowd of Barcelona, the ‘Oslenas’ as they call themselves are a group of 40 artists and artisans that run this intriguing space. Ran as both a workshop and a shop this is a must see when in the area as this is no ordinary ‘tienda’. Creating and selling everything from fascinators, fashion, jewellery through to gift cards, each artist has something extraordinary to offer. From photography, textile printing, hand illustrated bags and pads, and a hat collection unlike any you’ve ever seen before.
As the artists are working in-house the place has a truly artisan feel, like you’re right in the heart of where the magic happens. It goes without saying that everything is handmade but it is their attention to detail that is truly astounding. This place is a much revered and much loved academy of creation and innovation which will leave you inspired if not a little lighter in the wallet department.

Carrer del Torrent de’Lolla, 164, 08012 Barcelona

Philo

In keeping with the originality and authenticity of the area is the uber chic boutique of Philo. In the area that goes hand-in-hand with discovering new styles, this boutique could not be better placed. With a strong 50’s influence this beautiful space specializes in ‘Bohochic’, mixing vintage style with functionality. Bringing together brands from Milan, London and Paris their carefully selected ranges are aimed to dress ‘Women with personality’.
Carrer Montseny 21, 08012 Barcelona

Retro City

If vintage is more your vibe then don’t miss ‘Retro City’. It is a floor to ceiling vintage lovers paradise as it is crammed with accessories, shoes, hats, bags and of course clothes, many of which are completely wacky and super fun. This shop is extremely easy to miss however so keep your eyes peeled. There is no sign and its plain exterior can mislead even the savviest shopper as there is really no indication of the endless amount of goodies that lie within.
Travesera de Gracia 154, 08012 Barcelona

Boo

Boo is the perfect place if you’re shopping with the other half as it offers top range fashion for both women and men. This personalised boutique with a thirst for the 50’s carries a wide variety of fashion labels sourced from Scandinavia to The States. This retro themed shop is famous in the area for its deer themed design decor and eclectic collections of homeware, art, books, accessories and of course clothes, both international and independent.
Carrer de Bonavista 2, 08012 Barcelona

Verde Jade

The creative and enticing window displays at Verde Jade are usually enough to lure shoppers inside. This charming boutique offers a wonderful range of goodies for the home including artwork, crockery and handmake decorative feature pieces.
C/Ramon y Cajal 11, 08012 Barcelona

La-a

Selling La-aavely lifestyle objects this sweet little place sells all sorts of wondrous bits and bobs from handcut wooden letter to ornate hanging orbs. This place get the big thumbs up for anyone looking to deck out their homes with interesting and unique knick knacks.
Carrer de L’olla 86, 08012 Barcelona.

If you want to discover the lesser known corners of Barcelona, for shopping and city exploring let us take you on a private tour of Barcelona!

Barcelona has boomed in conscious consuming. Gaudi architecture with organic lines is almost a symbolic embrace to support healthy living in one of the world’s coolest city. With an all-time demand for healthy “Hen” activities, we are delighted to announce Yoga is now an active option within Barcelona Tours. There are stunning locations to practice the art of breath and movement so be indoors or outdoors, our authentically trained teacher guides groups into a memorable experience.

Vegging out has taken on a new term, Veggie? maybe an organic hamburger? A green hotel? A place to practice yoga? Pilates? A holistic dentist? Organic clothes? Sustainable furniture? An electric cab? Or even attending a holistic or bio conference…either way it is undeniable that Barcelona has become a real “Hot Spot”.

 

Places to stay

Twentytu Hostel

Le Méridien Barcelona

Jam Hostel

 

Eat out

Flax & Kale

Planet Organic

OhBo Organic Café

 

Shop

Olokuti Gràcia / Natural Cosmetics

GreenLifeStyle

Vaho

 

SPORT

Climbat La Foixarda

Probike

UBK Ki Dojo Oriental Centre

 

Events

Barcelona Yoga Conference

World Congress of Chinese Medicine

Body Life Barcelona

The Barcelona Tours team really are a visual lot. We love the sight of a perfectly themed venue and we love to watch the heat and passion of a good flamenco show. We relish the sights of the city on our bike tours, and we never fail to be wowed by the sun rise over the catalan mountains from our hot air balloon rides. But most of all we love the sight of satisfied clients having a fantastic time.

We love being part of such an aesthetically stimulating city and are forever in awe of all the constant visual stimuli that surrounds us. One aesthetic element of Barcelona that is hard to miss is the street art that adorns doorways, facades and most typically steel shutters. This is such a inescapably huge part of Barcelona’s visual identity that some shop owners even hire professional graffiti artists to decorate their roll-shutters before anyone else has the chance to.

Graffiti is one of the most democratic yet politically diverse art forms in the world so it is no wonder that in a city brimming with politically active people that the streets should reflect Barcelona’s status as one of the most revered and influential street art cities in the world.

Currently battling for pole position in the world of street art is New York where the infamously anonymous Banksy set up an exhibition of original pieces, selling them for just $60. His ‘experiment’ was a resounding success as he sat by, without so much as a glance from passers by and raked in a mere $420 for the 8 paintings (which had a total worth of $225,000) that were sold. Not wanting to make the same mistake and miss an opportunity we jumped at the chance to check out ‘Festival de Muralismo de La Escocesa’ bringing together some of the top graffiti artists in the world, to fill the walls of the former industrial complex.

The labyrinth of derelict factories and warehouses in the area makes the location of ‘La Escocesa’ every street artists dream canvas. It has a gritty almost neglected feel to it, so it’s an interesting contrast to the cosmopolitan city centre a mere few miles away. We were blown away by the diversity of the art on show and the incredible talent of the artists.

Looking for a Team Building Activity?

Try our Graffiti Art Collective! Create your own masterpiece with your colleagues.

We love nothing more than organising a top weekend for our fabulous clients. We recognise that many of our clients choose Barcelona for the luxury and glamour the city offers. So this week we’re focusing on one of the most luxurious leisure pursuits the city offers; roof top terraces. The perfect evening tipple spots for discerning visitors looking for the most decadent hot spots offering style and sophistication.

Mandarin Oriental

First up, Mandarin Oriental.  Launched back in 2009 is unarguably one of the most prestigious hotels in the city. From the staggeringly beautiful entrance all the way up to the roof terrace, every part of this hotel is a sight to behold. The attention to detail makes this hotel a truly sophisticated venue to spend some seriously glamorous time. Offering panoramic views across Barcelona and up into the surrounding mountains, the roof terrace is luxury and indulgence at its best. Open from 6pm this is an absolute must for those looking for the cities most sophisticated sundowner.

Hotel Duquesa De Cordona

Smack bang in the middle of the beach and the old town, La Duquesa offers a premium position overlooking Barcelona’s marvelous Marina. Recently featured as the chosen hot spots for the glamorous crowd of ‘Made in Chelsea’ this roof top terrace is one of the most relaxing evening spots in the entire city. The bar staff here are highly creative and will be able to whip you up a range of delicious cocktails fit for royalty.

Hotel Pulitzer

This fashion-forward hotel a mere hop skip and a jump away from, well, everything offers city centre, roof top indulge in a surprisingly peaceful environment. Centrally located just off Placa de Catalunya this is the perfect spot to run to if you need an escape from the mayhem of the city centre. Renowned for its trendy fashionista crowd this is a top spot to be seen in the ‘place to be seen’.

Casa Fuster

One of the most beautiful buildings in the city is the Casa Fuster hotel. Located up at the top of Passieg de Gracia, this stunning building has housed some of the most famous faces ever to visit Barcelona and we promise the roof terrace will not disappoint. This place is all about the views, sitting proudly at the top of the main avenue of Barcelona the views are staggering. The grandeur of the building creates the perfect backdrop for a sophisicated night out.

Condes De Barcelona (El Aire)

Last but no means least, the El Aire roof terrace of the Condes Hotel is a particular favorite of the Barcelona Tours team. It is one of the best value for money roof terraces without compromising on quality and still offering the ‘wow’ factor. The staff are some of the friendliest you’ll find in the city and the views over the city and out to Sagrada Familia are simply breathtaking. If you’re looking for sophistication and class within a slightly more affordable price bracket, this is the place for you. They often play live music too, and there is a great energy to this place which guarantees a top night out.

Let us set-up a private guided tour of Barcelona that caters to your specific interests! We can also book rooms in fabulous hotels in Barcelona for your group.

Seek and Ye Shall Find

Forget London and New York, Barcelona is fast becoming every fashionistas fantasy shopping destination. Brimming with independent boutiques, local designers and unique accessories the city offers a completely original shopping experience.

There are many different shopping areas all distinct in their character. From the infamous Passieg de Gracia, which boasts designer brands from Chanel to Cartier, all the way through to shopping malls offering the best the high street has to offer. The really interesting shopping however, are the alternatives to the big brands and international stores, so today we are looking at the hidden gems tucked away in the beautiful artesian area of El Born.

This area pulls together culture, design, and top notch local designers, so as we at Barcelona Tours are all about sharing our local info, here is our run down of the best little boutiques, so hidden away that most visitors don’t even know they’re there.

 

Gamaya Boutique

Address: C/Dels Flassaders 36, 08003

Starting with one of our personal favourites, the ‘Gamaya Boutique’, is all about femininity and the best of summer style. Located on C/Dels Flassaders this clothing line merges Caribbean styles with an Ibizan twist and are all hand made by designer Luna May. Their limited edition, handmade clothes and accessories are pulled together in a range of dresses, tops, skirts, trousers, bags, belts and jewellery that are comfortable and practical whilst being beautifully feminine and wonderfully sexy.

The multilingual shop owner couldn’t be friendlier and is very welcoming whilst giving you the space to peruse the selections in your own time. The atmosphere is cosy and personal, and the ranges offer classic lines with modern elements, fashionable new cuts in plain to bold colours through to prints, and their breezy feminine summer dresses will have you stocking up in every colour.  We can’t recommend this beautiful boutique highly enough.

 

Natalie Capell

Address: Carrer de la Carassa 2, 08003 Barcelona

This wonderfully charming shop/workshop is a magical and theatrical place for people looking for that something special.  Natalie’s handmade creations are made to order and her specialty is creating romantic, vintage inspired dresses using silk, tulle and lace and each piece is a one-off. Many brides-to-be travel from all over to have Natalie realise their dream dress.  Others travel from afar to have one of the most stylish and elegant new designers create a truly unique masterpiece, showing her infamous attention to vintage detail.

 

La Comercial

Address: Carrer del Rec, 52, 08003 Barcelona

La Comercial is more well known and easier to find but is such a fantastic store we couldn’t not include it in our run down of the area’s best shopping finds. La Comercial is an exclusive and innovative shopping experience speckled out within its six different boutiques (which are all within metres of each other).  Their tagline is ‘For him, for her and for your home. For your desires, for gifts, for you’, which pretty much sums up the fact that there is something here for everyone, everything and every occasion. The selection of gifts, clothes, perfumes and furniture items have been hand-picked to provide the best in contemporary design and luxury shopping.

These shops, which are separated by a pedestrianised street, have been the pioneers of unique products in the area for the last 11 years. Find out more information about the stores locations and products on their website.

 

Uno de 50

Address: C/Vidrieria 5, 08003

Just around the corner from the main pedestrian street of Passieg del Born, is this little jewel which is not to be missed.  This Spanish brand of handcrafted jewellery, founded in the late 1990’s is completely distinctive in its design. The pieces show such flair and innovation that you’ll be pushed to find a range like it anywhere else. The brand is bold and creative and its success stems from its unique philosophy that only 50 of each design are ever made. This promises an exclusivity that is affordable as their prices remain very reasonable.

 

Le Swing

Address: C/Rec 16, 08003

For all of you vintage lovers, don’t miss the mind-blowing ‘Le Swing’. The two owners travel extensively throughout Europe to find the best Vintage gems on the market. Dig deep in the wonderfully eccentric ensemble that spans throughout the decades to find a Chanel dress here, a YSL bag there, a Hermes purse, a pair of Gucci glasses or killer heels.  So take a deep breath, crack those knuckles and limber up, for this shop means business.  Given a little time and determination you never know what you’ll goodies you’ll be going home with.

Although this shop is on a busier, more accessible street, there is just no way of knowing the treats and vintage bargains that lie within so make sure you don’t miss this ode to all things kooky and interesting with a story to tell.

Dr. Bloom

Address: C/Rec 20, 08003

Dr. Bloom used to be just an on-line shop but due to its huge success it has recently opened a shop right in the heart of the Born. The outside of the shop is so cute and attractive it can’t fail but entice you inside. One of the few shops in Barcelona to be open on a Sunday, their colourful and charming collections are a feast for the eyes and promise to add a splash of colour to your summer wardrobe.
The Barcelona based designer not only designs beautiful clothes but is also a dab hand at creating fantastic jewellery, bags, accessories and even a small selection of home decorations. As the ranges are constantly being refreshed there is always something unique to tempt you.

Whatever your motivations for visiting this great city, we are happy to set-up a tailor-made, private tour of Barcelona for you. Get in touch today at info@barcelonatours.net or call us on +34 935 008 226.

Eating healthy is about finding the proper ratio between your body and mind. It´s a mood about feeling great, having more energy, improving your insights towards to a better world and society. Once you´re overwhelmed by all that the nature gives to you, so you will be more inspired to live, and travel. But travelling is a hard task to keep the balance of your body while you are abroad, eating differently in an absolutely various environment. Might be difficult, but nothing is impossible! Have a deep breath and make a list of tips how to keep healthy eating habits while visiting to Barcelona.

How the Spanish eat

First of all, let´s see how the local Spanish eat. The main thing you should consider is that you have to adjust your regularities to the time clock of the locals. Spanish people used to eat in the late evening. To generate an overview of the daily meals in Spain, breakfast is not very important, usually a cup of coffee with some milk (café con leche) or fruit juice, some light pastry or an omelette with potato (Tortilla – Spanish omelette). As the opposite to breakfast, lunch is really heavy in Barcelona. If you are eating in a local restaurant, you will have at least 3 courses, finishing with coffee, or tea in the end. When it comes to dinner, it actually starts quite lately in the evening and lasts a few hours. The thing you will like most in Barcelona, here people are friendly, and like to eat together, share the food, drink up to 2-3 am in the morning.

A healthy Barcelona

That was all about the way how people usually eat in Barcelona. Could seem a bit strange, but the modern Barcelona offers a better quality of eating to you. New businesses are recently growing in Barcelona for bio-lovers, eco-friendly community, vegetarians, vegans, etc.

The best thing about Barcelona is that you can get your own fresh fruit and vegetables from local markets. The price is pretty cheap if you compare it to the prices of bio and organic food in other European countries. The main local market is called ¨La Boqueria¨, located on Las Ramblas street, just in the city centre. Here it´s offered everything which is organic and fresh. Once visiting in Barcelona, you cannot leave this city without trying a food tour.

Fall in love with Spanish food

Even though Spanish food is usually heavy and greasy, still there are many options you can try in low-fat and light. You can sample the typical dishes in small portions, which is normally acceptable in Spain. Take just little bites in the cultural tapas evening. If you are a real veggie person, order parillada de verduras, which is a plate of grilled vegetables with a variety of ingredients depending on your taste. Moreover, it makes sense that the Spanish eat more fish and seafood per person than any other European nation since Spain has hundreds of miles of coastline on the Cantabric, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.  Spanish cuisine has dozens of seafood main dishes that are delicious. Discover a sea world, order fish dishes – paella, suquet, atun en rollito, percebes, marmitako, empanadas; each is an absolutely splendid taste never to forget. Feel lighter and kill your hunger pain. Get a quote for a real Barcelona eating experience!

If you really feel like discovering and learning about the food culture of Barcelona, you can search for the hidden gems of Barcelona where you will find the local cheese and olive oil, the most traditional ones. Moreover, you can take some classes on how to make your own tapas (appetizers or snacks) and sangria (an alcoholic drink – wine with fruit juice and some chuckled pieces of fruit), so that you will be intimating with the culture itself. For further information, please contact us!

While taking a stroll around the city, treat yourself, get some fruit juice. You can find a fantastic selection of juices and smoothies to refresh the body and stabilize your energy. The main juice stores in Barcelona are Fruit Express, Flax&Kale, Mother, Green Shots. Visiting artisan and organic bakeries (like Cloud Street, La Pastisseria Barcelona, Barcelona Reykjavik) is also not a bad idea, where you will enjoy a healthy pastry with gluten-free, organic products.

If you already miss home cooking, and have a kitchen equipped with the necessary stuff, you can pick up organic veggies and fruit from the organic grocery shops throughout the city and get your meal ready at your place. It´s a great way to save money with your delicious home-made meal.  Find the most recommended organic shops and markets around the city: Boqueria, Veritas, Obbio and many others.

A trip to Barcelona will not be an excuse not to follow your wholesome diet. Barcelona would seem like a food heaven for vegetarian and vegan people. Choose your lovely spot in the restaurant on your way, eat mindfully on a budget. Vegan burgers and burritos will make your tasty and nutritionally balanced Barcelona experience.  Should definitely try Flax&Kale, Vegetalia, Rasoterra, Gandhi.

Nowadays, eating healthy is not about avoiding of the locals´ way of eating, but more about getting back to old traditions.  As you’re planning your trip to Barcelona, you can still maintain your healthy, balanced diet at a rich. Still more and more to list, better to visit and explore by yourself. Enjoy the traditional cuisine — and your health — anywhere you go!

For help and advice with food and restaurant bookings, contact us on info@barcelonatours.net.