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Barcelona is a city of hidden gems and surprises. Many visitors never get past La Rambla and the Barceloneta beach but the city has so much more to offer besides overpriced beer, tapas and frying tourists. This little guide encourages you to venture further and enjoy.

Good for
  • Like a Local

5 Places

14 City Tips

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Map

5 Places

Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)

Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods

Restaurante Salambo

Restaurants

ElDiset

Restaurants

Restaurante Adonis

Restaurants

La caseta del migdia

Restaurants

Sandy3939's City Tips

  • Live music: Jazz Sí c/Requesens 2, 08001 (in the Raval) Jazz Sí is part of the Taller de Músics (music school) and hosts a mixture of Jazz, Rock, Pop, Blues, Cuban and Flamenco gigs (check out http://tallerdemusics.com/en/jazzsi-club/contacto/como-llegar/). The venue is small and usually gets packed, so it is advisable to get there early. Entrance around €10, with a free drink. Big Bang c/Botella 7 (in the Raval) The Big Bang is a funky bar with live music, some of which is very good. The entrance is free and people tend to come to hear the music. Worth checking out. Jamboree Placa Royal Some of the best live Jazz concerts in the early evening (8-11), which later turns into a club, with predominantly black music in the basement and more mainstream on the ground floor. Always lively and funky, with a good atmosphere. Entrance price, depending on the night. Café Royal c/Nou de Zurbano No. 3 (off Placa Royal) Open every night and often free entrance or €5 that gets you a free drink (but only wine, beer or cava). Nice place, good dance floor, mixed of DJs and live band, depending on the night.
  • The night life in Barcelona is lively but not always as diverse as it seems. Big clubs and tourist bars dominate. But the city in not short on watering holes and what the locals tend to do is move around, having a drink in one place and then moving on. Here are some suggestions: Sugar Bar C/de Rauric 21, 08002 (behind Placa Reial) A small, funky, bar that is very lively and draws a mix of all sorts out to enjoy themselves. Sometimes has a DJ squashed into a corner. In fact, everyone is squashed into a corner. Tends to get very friendly late at night. http://www.bcninternet.com/bars/details.php?contentid=208 El Mariachi Corner of c/del Codols and c/d’en Rull This is Manu Chao’s bar and he sometimes drops in for a jam session. Off beat atmosphere. Disset 17 Graus C/Antic de Sant Joan 3 Very chilled bar with good background music and food at the back, in the Born area. Cool crowd.
  • You can still eat and drink for a good price in Barcelona but there are also tourist traps that are outrageous compared to where the locals eat. Steer clear of the Ramblas and the Barceloneta, for example. Here are some good eateries: Morelia Restaurant – good for dinner http://www.moreliabcn.com/ In the Gothic area, this restaurant has a nice atmosphere, serves good food and at a good price. A favorite! Bangkok Café – good for lunch or dinner If you like Thai food, this is one of the best. It is small, family run and terrific. A bit out of the way but worth the trip. Probably best to book because it is so small. http://www.yelp.com/biz/bangkok-cafe-barcelona Salambo – great anytime, this place has a nice atmosphere and good service. c/Torrijos 51, 08012 (in Gracia) www.cafesalambo.com Café Adonis Bailén 188, 08037 This is a busy place, with a nice bar atmosphere. The food is a mix of tapas and main meals and the standard is good. They do various types of home made hamburgers but have enough variety to satisfy most tastes. Worth a visit. For the vegetarian, check out: Sesamo at Carrer Sant Antoni Abat, 52 or Biocentre at Pintor Fortuny, 25. This last one is where the local veggies and vegans go.
  • Placa Reial off the Ramblas is worth a visit as the central meeting place for everyone and anyone. Not recommended to eat here in this tourist trap but there is an old bar in one corner called Glaciar that still serves drinks and tapas at local prices and is the place to watch the crazy antics of the crowd.
  • Park Guell is one of Gaudi’s crazy masterpieces. It is a park that he designed, with fountains, walls and a house. It also has great views of the city. However, they started charging in to the main part of the park in 2014 at €8 a pop…but you can still walk the outer part of the park for free, which is very pleasant.
  • Gracia is one of the oldest working class areas in Barcelona and has a tradition for being independent. It is a maze of little streets and squares, where people hang out among the many interesting shops, cafes and bars. It still maintains its local atmosphere but has a large international community too. If you happen to be in the city during August check out the Gracia festival which is full of stages, street events, food stalls, cheap beer and local traditions.
  • Ice cream! The Born area in the old Gothic quarter is lovely to walk around but you can also find the best ice cream in Barcelona here. This little place at the bottom of c/l’Argentenia is called Gelateria. Mmmmmmm
  • Barcelona is an amazingly well connected city and public transport can usually supply most of your connection needs. All of the the local trains, metro, trams and busses have an integrated ticketing system and, depending on your length of stay, there are a couple of options. But certainly a T-10 is great value. When you get to the airport, make your way to the train station and buy this ticket from the vending machine. It will then take you to the city and you can connect with the metro, tram or bus. If you travel on any of these systems within an hour and a half of validating your ticket, the next trip is free. You will probably get from the airport to your accommodation for about €1! And you have 9 trips left!
  • Pickpockets Barcelona is a relative safe city for its size but it is now the number one city in Europe for pickpockets and they are good. They work in the tourist areas, obviously, with the beach, Ramblas and metro being hot spots. Be very careful of your belongings and watch out of any distractions, because they usually work in pairs and create a distraction for easy lifting.
  • Cimema: If you fancy a movie in its original language, then there are a number of options. First up is the FilmoTeca de Catalunya, which is housed in a new building and programmes seasons, talks, etc., and it is very good value. http://www.filmoteca.cat/web/ Then there is Verdi, the most established art house cinema. http://www.cines-verdi.com/barcelona/ And new kid on the block, Texas, an independent cinema in a lovingly restored venue and, get this, ticket prices are only 2 or 3 Euros!
  • La Caseta del Migdia http://www.lacaseta.org/veng.html At the other side of Montjuic is this hidden garden, which in the summer hosts chill out, live music, BBQ's and amazing view of the harbor below. Romantic and a million miles away from the manic city. It is a bit hard to get to but worth the effort.
  • Antic Teatre Carrer de Verdaguer i Callís, 12 www.anticteatre.com An independent cultural centre right in the centre of Barcelona. Close to the Palau de la Música (which is worth a look on the way), this centre has cutting edge productions and a great outside terrace too.
  • CCCB The city cultural space, which I find more interesting than the MACBA, with exhibitions, events and workshops. It is situated directly behind the MACBA, with a really impressively designed courtyard, combining old and new architecture. http://www.cccb.org/en/
  • Cultural Stuff: Caixaforum An art gallery, set in an old factory, that is always interesting, with great exhibitions, complemented by a programme workshops, talks, films and concerts. The building itself is worth the visit and it has a nice café. Entrance €4. http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/nuestroscentros/english/caixaforumbarcelona/caixaforumbarcelona_en.html
  • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Sandy3939 Says:

    The Gothic Quarter is the old city of Barcelona, and the origins are there to be seen, like layered geology: part of a Roman wall here, or a medieval doorway there. Just two of the most amazing surviving remnants: Placa del Rei, where Columbus brought gifts from the new world for Isabella and displayed them in this beautiful square outside the king and queen's palace and, just around the corner, the Roman Temple of Augustus, a hidden gem.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Visit the Born Cultural Centre where a beautiful preserved part of the old city can be seen for free.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 865 things to do in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A JEWEL! 22/04/2019
    • One of a kind! 22/04/2019
    • Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic)
    Phone:
    +34 634 53 43 33
    Other:
  • Restaurante Salambo
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    Sandy3939 Says:

    Lively, relaxed, good service and food. If you like homemade burgers, you will enjoy them here.

    Good for
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Upstairs there are pool tables, if you fancy a drink and a game.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1,612 of 8,966 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Good in a nice atmosphere 15/11/2018
    • Weekend lunch menu wasn't good 10/11/2018
    • Restaurante Salambo
    Address:
    Torrijos, 51
    08012 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 18 68 58
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    12:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
    Fri - Sat
    12:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • ElDiset
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Wine Bar, Deli)
    See more photos
    Sandy3939 Says:

    If you like cool music, people, food, good wine and cocktails, this is the place for you.

    Good for
    • Friends
    Tips
    • Get involved with the staff...they like to chat.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #143 of 8,966 restaurants in Barcelona
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great friday night 19/04/2019
    • Excellent selection of local wines and tapas 14/04/2019
    • ElDiset
    Address:
    Carrer Antic de Sant Joan 3 y Passeig Del Born
    08003 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 932 68 19 87
    Price range:
    US$7 - US$22
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    7:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
    Sat - Sun
    1:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
    Other:
  • Restaurante Adonis
    Restaurants (Bar, Cafe, Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
    See more photos
    Sandy3939 Says:

    Now you can relax and have fun here, before your big night out or just to enjoy with friends. Great staff!

    Good for
    • Friends
    Tips
    • If it is full, persist because they nearly always find a way to fit you in.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2,667 of 8,966 restaurants in Barcelona
    • Avoid if you are a tourist 15/09/2018
    • Pit stop for a lovely half hour 30/03/2018
    • Restaurante Adonis
    Address:
    Bailen, 188
    08037 Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 934 59 12 92
    Other:
  • La caseta del migdia
    Restaurants (Mediterranean, Barbecue, Spanish)
    See more photos
    Sandy3939 Says:

    Now you are have found something special and not on the tourist trail.

    Good for
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Make sure you stay until the sun goes down and watch the magic unfold.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8,371 of 8,966 restaurants in Barcelona
    • Warm and friendly 11/04/2019
    • Unique and this is how it works 30/12/2018
    • La caseta del migdia
    Address:
    Montjuic
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Phone:
    +34 693 99 27 60
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Wed
    9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
    Thu
    8:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
    Fri
    8:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
    Sat
    12:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
    Other:
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