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BODEGA 1900

Bodega 1900, Carrer de Tamarit, Barcelona, Spain

If you can’t get a booking at Tickets or you don’t have the budget, consider a few plates and a glass of vermouth at Bodega 1900, which is just over the road, instead. This is Albert’s take on a classic Barcelona tapas bar and the menu here is much more traditional, with the likes of pan con tomate, Iberico ham, calamari sandwich and meatballs. Bodega 1900 also serves those famous olives from Tickets, however, so you can get a taste of them here without breaking the bank.

MORRO FI

Morro Fi, Carrer del Consell de Cent, Barcelona, Spain

The locals in Barcelona are obsessed with drinking vermouth, and after one night in Barcelona, you will be too. The red, slightly sweet version is what you’ll most commonly find and one of our favourite places to drink it is Morro Fi. These guys have a few locations now as they’ve been so successful but we like the tiny, standing room-only original best. As well as making their own vermouth, they also have epic bar snacks such as the thick cut potato chips topped with anchovies, olives and their own hot sauce. This is an essential Barcelona visit.

LA VERMU

La Vermu, Carrer de Sant Domènec, Barcelona, Spain

La Vermu is another one of Gracia’s many highlights and is one of the best places in the city to drink vermouth. Whereas a lot of bars in Barcelona lack much space at all, let alone tables, La Vermu has plenty of both. It has a bright red exterior, whitewashed walls and plenty of seats so this is somewhere you can really bed in for the night. As well as excellent vermouths, wines and beers, they have a solid line up of tapas including bombas, patata bravas, and Spanish omelette.

LA COVA FUMADA

La Cova Fumada, Carrer del Baluard, Barcelona, Spain

La Cova Fumada is one of our favourite places in Barcelona. This crowded little restaurant is very old school, having opened way back in 1944. It is most famous for having invented the ‘bomba’, a small ball made of potatoes, pork, rolled in breadcrumbs and egg, deep-fried and, finally, served with spicy pepper sauce and aioli. You can now find these all over the city but here is the original, and the best. There’s more classic tapas on offer too, including butifarra (like black pudding) and grilled sardines, all of which appear from the tiny, hot kitchen in one corner. There’s often a queue of people outside waiting for tables but take our tip and just go inside and find a standing space at the bar – you’ll eat straight away and it’s way more fun anyway.

BAR PIETRO

Bar Pietro, Travessera de Gràcia, Barcelona, Spain

If you want to hang out with the cool kids in Barcelona, you need to head to Gracia. It’s an amazing area of pretty streets and squares and is absolutely packed with bars and restaurants. One of our favourite places to hang out is Bar Pietro, where hipsters spill out on the street drinking crisp Spanish beers, and local vermouths. There’s a small food menu too and again those thick cut chips are the star of the show, especially when doused in aioli and paprika.

TICKETS

Tickets, Avinguda del Paral·lel, Barcelona, Spain

While we mostly prefer the classic tapas bars of Barcelona, we’ll make an exception for the modern, eccentric Tickets which is run by Albert Adria. With a Michelin star and a very respectable 25th on the World’s 50 Best List, Tickets has seriously good food wrapped up in a totally fun, slightly bonkers experience. The whole place is decorated as if it’s an old amusement park or circus and there are plenty of tricks to be found in the food too, such as the famous ‘olives’ that are actually made from highly concentrated olive juice, made into olive shapes again using classic Adria family wizardry. There’s so much good stuff here but be careful not to over order as after dinner you’ll be taken to a whole separate dessert bar within the restaurant – if you’ve been to Albert’s Cakes and Bubbles in London you’ll know what to expect here – and you’ll want space for at least a couple of these beauties. Tickets is a blow out meal but we reckon it’s fully worth it.

LA PLATA

La Plata, Carrer de la Mercè, Barcelona, Spain

La Plata is another Barcelona classic, having opened in 1945 and changing very little in the years since. It’s located in the Gothic Quarter, where you will find yourself at least once during any trip to Barcelona, so make sure you factor in a pit stop at La Plata. It’s tiny inside but you can stand outside on the street with a cool glass of vermouth and a plate of deep-fried anchovies (La Plata’s speciality) and you’ll feel very much one of the locals. This isn’t a place to spend all night but it’s a perfect first stop on a citywide tapas tour.

BAR DEL PLA

Bar del Pla, Carrer de Montcada, Barcelona, Spain

Although Bar del Pla is a bit on the touristy side these days (close your eyes and you could be in New York, for all the screaming Americans) it’s still a fantastic little tapas bar in central Barcelona with excellent food. We’d recommend making it a stop on a little tour of the area as you may have to put your name down for a table and then come back in later (unless you’ve been organised enough to book in advance). It’s a long thin room, with a cool curved ceiling and there’s a great menu of tapas, beers, and vermouth. We especially loved the ham and roast chicken croquettes, the cured Iberian beef, and anchovies.

CAN CISA BAR BRUTAL

Can Cisa/Bar Brutal, Carrer de la Princesa, Barcelona, Spain

Can Cisa / Bar Brutal is hands down the best place for natural wine in Barcelona. You may have to wait for a seat for a bit, but it’s worth it to try their selection of all natural, low intervention wines from Spanish producers. It’s all in one location really but theoretically it’s split in too, with Can Cisa being the wine bar at the front and Bar Brutal being more of a sit down experience. You can get anything you want in both places so just grab any space you can, but we did like sitting at the kitchen counter if you can bag a space there. The food is non-traditional, a bit Spanish, and a little bit from almost anywhere else they fancy but it all adds up to a great meal. Grab the famous porchetta sandwich or just get some ham and cheese to go with all that delicious wine.

33 BY SANTI ORTIZ

33 by santi ortiz, Avinguda de Mistral, Barcelona, Spain

33 by Santi Ortiz is a tiny little cocktail bar which is one of the best in Barcelona, and if you’re heading to Tickets for dinner it makes for a  great pre-dinner drink. The place is seriously small, with only a couple of seats at the bar and a handful more about the room so do come early if you want to be sure of getting in. This is a serious drinks spot for craft cocktails and sometimes wacky presentation (dry ice, smoke, little accessories etc), but is totally welcoming and unpretentious. There’s a big menu to choose from or you can tell the bartender what you like and he’ll come up with something just for you.

CASA BONAY

Casa Bonay, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Bonay is one of Barcelona’s best boutique design hotels, and is excellent value too. Once a private home, the building has been converted into a very cool hotel with a bar in the former garage and a hipster coffee shop at the front called Satan’s Coffee. The rooms are cosy size-wise but well designed with mosaic-tiled floors, high ceilings, and modern furniture. We love the little roof top too which as a little bar and restaurant, plus a small garden area reserved just for hotel guests. It’s got a great location too and you can walk most places, perhaps with the odd cab home at the end of the night.

MERCAT DE SANT JOSEP DE LA BOQUERIA

La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona,

Yes, it’s one of the city’s biggest attractions, and yes between hungry tourists and locals trying to get a bit of shopping done, La Boqueria can get mental busy, but it’s worth braving the crowds for. Not only can you check out all the amazing goodies on show, and pick up a little inspo for your own kitchen, but you can get cones of jamon, chorizo and manchego for five euros, enormous oysters at €1.50 a go, croquetas, coconuts, juices and all manner of other treats to eat as you’re walking round. And if you’re prepared to wait for a spot, there are small tapas bars in the market itself, putting all that fresh produce to good use.

LA TERRRAZZA

Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13, 08001 Barcelona

La Terrrazza is the kind of venue you’d only get in Barcelona…an open-air club in the Poble Espanyol architectural village on top of the Montjuïc mountain. And yes, the views on the way up are something special. Designed like a Majorcan manor house and host to some of the biggest DJs and club nights, it’s a real mix of old and new. Given that there’s no roof, it’s only open during the summer season, and is home to some of the biggest nights during Sonar, with London’s very own secretsundaze taking over the terrace year after year.

PAX 49

Carrer del Rec, 49, 08003 Barcelona

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PAX 49 is another El Born cocktail bar that wants to serve great drinks rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. Their signature creations feature a PAX twist on popular flavour combos, perfect if you fancy something different rather than crazy, and their classics are spot on, especially the Old Fashioned. And with 18 different kinds of gin behind the bar, they mix up a mean G&T too.

PORTEÑO

Carrer dels Carders, 32, 08003 Barcelona

Porteño is a tiny cocktail bar in the El Born area of town and they’ve got it nailed. You won’t find any crazy concoctions on the menu; instead you get classics done very, very well..the Cosmopolitan, White Russian and Caipirinha were all excellent, and they serve one of the best Espresso Martinis we’ve ever had. Go for a quick one before dinner when it’s a little quieter and then come back after once more people have packed in.

MILK

Carrer Gignàs, 21, 08002 Barcelona

Cocktails starting at just €5 make Milk a good place to start your night’s activities but we think it’s actually better the morning after. With its plush decor, including plenty of cushions, and recovery brunch, featuring eggs in many forms, thick pancakes, smoothies and juices, Milk will help ease the hangover, no matter how hellish it is. Plus it’s home to one of the best Bloody Marys in Barca. This is how you want to start your day.

CUINES SANTA CATERINA

Mercado de Santa Caterina, Av. de Francesc Cambó, 16, 08003 Barcelona

This all-day restaurant is located inside the Santa Caterina market, so you know what comes out on your plate is super fresh. Although Cuines Santa Caterina has tables outside, this is one of those rare occasions where you actually want to be inside. The place is huge, with an open tapas bar and kitchen running down the whole length of the restaurant, an LED screen displaying the daily specials above it, and long communal tables out on the floor…safe to say it’s buzzing. Good luck choosing what to eat too as the menu is stacked, with a mix of Asian and European dishes that are all well executed. The monkfish with clams and romesco sauce and tuna ceviche were both pretty spesh, so if you don’t mind a bit of mix and match, you’re in for a feast.

BAR BITACORA

C/ Balboa, 1, 08003 Barcelona

A few streets back from Barceloneta, Bar Bitacora is the ideal place for lunch when a jamon y queso sandwich on the beach just won’t cut it. There’s an open kitchen and bar where you’ll find the locals during the day, and a covered terrace out the back, which is where you should aim for. Classic tapas is the name of the game at Bitacora and they don’t mess around; the portions are big, so order in stages. That being said, the grilled sardines are worth doubling up on. It does gets much busier in evening, so be prepared if you plan on heading here after dark.

LA CANDELA

Plaça de Sant Pere, 12, 08003 Barcelona

Tucked away is probably the best way to describe La Candela…it’s a small restaurant in a quiet square that requires some backroads navigation to get to but that means it still has a hidden gem kinda quality about it. Service is on the more relaxed side and you’ll be wanting one of the al fresco tables, so there’ll probably be some waiting and it’ll definitely be worth it. The menu is a mix of classic and modern tapas dishes…the squid pops are a particular fave…and even with many, many bottles of wine, it won’t break the bank.

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EL PALACE

El Palace, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 668, Barcelona

Refurbed hotels have something new hotels can’t offer, they have history and this combined with a face lift creates hotels to be reckoned with. El Palace in Barcelona is one of those hotels, from the minute you arrive you can feel the glamour and glitz of the roaring 20s whilst still having access to a host of mod cons of course…..Did we mention that this place used to be The Ritz?

One look inside and it’s easy to see why this is a fave. The interiors are timeless; velvet curtains, chandeliers dripping from the ceilings, deep sinking arm chairs, golden tables, lamps, plush carpets….we could fill pages just listing everything we love about this hotel. Find out more in the long read here.

PALMITO

Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 2-4, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

The Port Olimpic end of the beach can be very touristy, but Palmito is well worth a pit stop. With lots of palm trees (shock), wide umbrellas and comfy sofas, it’s a got all the makings of a great beach bar/ With light, fresh lunches, including a burrata and tomato salad that comes with an entire ball of burrata, and Aperol Spritzes for six euros, you can’t go wrong.

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MANDARIN ORIENTAL

Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is situated in an elegant mid-20th century building in the heart of the shopping and food district. The rooms have great views over the city and some even have terraces of their own. The hotel design takes inspiration from its original Spanish heritage and mixes it with modern design for an uber-stylish finish.

There are so many things we love about the hotel. The fact that each room has a free standing bath, the restaurants, serving up both formal and casual dining experiences as well as some traditional, Catalonian cuisine and the modern Bankers Bar with outdoor terrace. But our favourite part of the hotel has got to be the roof top sun deck with plunge pool and views over the city, perfect for soaking up those rays. Read the full review here.

THE BARCELONA EDITION

Av. de Francesc Cambó, 14, 08003, Barcelona, Spain

The Barcelona EDITION hotel combines luxury and sustainability throughout all its 100 rooms. The hotel is located in the city centre in the lively El Born neighbourhood, just a short walk from Las Ramblas. The hotel is home to two bars and three restaurants – Cabaret, located in the basement, does what it says on the tin as dinner (we can recommend the red prawns rice made with locally sourced Costa Brava seafood) comes with a cabaret-style show featuring a live singer.
Our favourite part of the hotel though is definitely The Roof. Located 10 floors high it has 360 views of the city, sunbeds and a plunge pool. Head up there for golden hour and enjoy one of the cocktails made using seasonal ingredients. Perfect to sip on whilst watching the sunset..

PUROBEACH BARCELONA

Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona, Passeig del Taulat, 262-264, 08019 Barcelona, Spain

If you’ve smashed 30,000 steps three days in a row across the city or can’t face another day on the beach packed in like sardines then Purobeach rooftop beach club might be just the ticket. Located in the Hilton Diagonal Mar, just a short metro journey out of the city the club has a huge pool, daily DJ and rooftop views (selfie location alert!). There’s also a decent restaurant serving up Asian-inspired dishes and a bar too – this is Barcelona! Plus a spa if you’re in need of some chill…We tend to take our chill the colour of rose when we’re in this Spanish city.

CABARET

Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, 14, 08003, Barcelona, Spain

If you’re looking for something a little more flashy for your dinner then check out Cabaret, located in the basement of The Barcelona Edition hotel. Cabaret is a restaurant-come-club with live music performances daily. The space embodies everything you’d expect from a cabaret show with dark interiors, black velvet curtains and very low lighting. SEXY SEXY. The food menu features elevated classics like the red prawns rice, a twist on paella with fresh prawns sourced locally from Costa Brava, and jamon iberico with pan con tomate. As the Spanish don’t dine early and the party gets going late we’d recommend heading up to the roof for a pre-dinner cocktail first, you might even be lucky enough to catch sunset over Barcelona..

CINCO JOTAS

Rambla de Catalunya, 91-93, 08008, Barcelona, Spain

It’s impossible to go to Barcelona without eating your weight in jamon, but if you don’t know your stuff it’s hard to pick out the good from the not-so-great. If you’re not a jamon expert, book onto Cinco Jotas’ jamon masterclass. Here you can learn everything you need to know about jamon, including a lesson from the Master Carver on how to slice from the different areas of the meat. Cinco Jotas serve only 100% acorn fed Iberico jamon and there is plenty of it to enjoy during the masterclass. Afterwards you have dinner in their restaurant located in Rambla, featuring patatas bravas, gazpacho and pork pluma steak served alongside local Spanish white wine. What’s more you can live out your holidays at home as you’ll find the jamon at any of Jose Pizzaro’s London restaurants or Harrods food hall.

GRAN HOTEL CALDERON

Rambla de Catalunya, 26, 08007, Barcelona, Spain

Hotel Gran Calderon is part of the NH Collection group, which is very present in Barcelona with eight properties in total. The five star hotel has a prime location – situated in Eixample it’s surrounded by bars and restaurants and only a 10 minute walk to Las Ramblas and Gracias. The rooms are spacious and have all the amenities you could possibly need. The suites are huge and come with two 50 inch TVs and two bathrooms – you never know when you might be caught short. Following the theme the breakfast buffet is also quite the spread; anything you might want, it’s here. But the real highlight is the rooftop. 11 floors up you can find a cocktail bar and rooftop pool with 360 views of the city, making it the ideal spot for soaking up the Spanish sun and the selfies.

BARCELONA PASS

Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008, Barcelona, Spain

If you’re like us and love exploring all the city has to offer then you’ll know that sightseeing can be pretty pricey when it adds up. A quick hack to get more bang for your buck would be to use the Barcelona Pass. This gets you free entry into 20 + of the city’s top attractions. Sites included on the pass are Casa Batllo, FC Barcelona, La Pedrera and the Barcelona Zoo. You also get one day pass on the Barcelona Turistic bus so you can sit back and relax whilst taking in all of the sights. The Barcelona Pass costs 109 euros, so you can spend all the money you’ve saved on ordering more sangria and patatas bravas.

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