¡Viva España! Last week, CEO Chelsea, returned from her dream vacay in Barcelona, Spain. In just 7 short days, she managed to do it all. Eat all the paella, drink all the sangria, and see all of the sights. She came back with amazing stories, beautiful pictures, and the perfect Barcelona travel guide for you to use on your summer vacation to Spain.
Think food hall, but bougie and elevated. We are not exactly sure how El Nacional Barcelona has managed to stay so hidden and quiet, but that’s exactly what it is. The perfect, off the beaten path place to stop, get your 5 o’clock champagne buzz on, indulge in some oysters, and use their private restrooms in a busy area. The establishment is divided into 4 different restaurants and 4 different bars, all specializing in something different. We headed to the Wine and Cured Meats Bar for a little rioja and roncal (sheep’s cheese) before being seated at La Taperia for Spanish style tapas. We are suckers for restaurants that let you try a little bit of everything.
You have not had an empanada until you have had one from Rekons. Rekons is a little hole in the wall empanada restaurant in Sant Antoni, which is right where we were staying. It was hard to resist the delicious smell of pastry baked bread everyday when we walked by...so we might have had it more than once…
Bodega 1900 is the hottest restaurant in Barcelona right now and comparable to Tickets (barcelona’s other hottest restaurant). We enjoyed some Vermouth (soo Barcelona of us) with some classic Spanish style tapas. We highly recommend the Iberian Ham Croquettes and squid sandwich...and snagging reservations early.
Everyone should eat at Brunch and Cake. This sun soaked little breakfast/ lunch/ dinner spot serves all of their delicious meals, all day long, with all the ambiance. The family of restaurants have a ton of locations!
• • •
L’Ovella Negra is THE study abroad bar. Every crazy story that we heard from our friends when they came back from their study abroad programs probably happened at L’Ovella Negra...so obviously, we had to check it out. Walking in we felt a little old, but after a “tower of sangria” (we highly recommend), we felt like we were right back in college ;)
This beautiful and historic bar is the oldest operating absinthe bar in Barcelona (so old that it doesn’t have a website, but so popular that you can find reviews everywhere). Sipping drinks here had us feeling like we were in the 1820’s and we loved every second here. Apparently Hemingway and Picasso used to get their absinthe on here back in the day. Definitely a must see.
This speakeasy is a must when in Barcelona...and Helen knows the owner. Okay so Diego is actually the manager, and we don’t know him, know him. BUT we did meet him while we are there and highly recommend you meet him too.
• • •
Located in the El Born, this is the best place to stop for cortados and pastries. If you are looking for hipster vibes and strong caffeine this is definitely your place, but if you are looking for a coffee shop to sit and catch up on some work- they don’t have wifi, so you may want to set up shop elsewhere. If you are looking for more information, yelp will probably be more helpful than their website (but we linked it anyways because we think it’s funny).
• • •
We didn’t do much shopping this trip but our number one tip would be DON'T SKIP ZARA. In fact, go to three different ones, just because! Zara is sooo much better in its home country of Spain.
• • •
Normally touristy stuff is not our jam, but You can't resist Gaudi!
This beautiful church is unreal, buy your tickets ahead of time for max efficiency, and take the metro directly there!
Casa Mila is a beautiful white washed building with amazing 1900 architecture. Casa Mila has been used for a number of different purposes, but now is home base for the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation. Casa Mila is open to explore day and night solo or follow a tour guide.
• • •
TO DO //
We went to Primavera Sound and fell in love. Music festivals are so much chiller in Spain.
We missed it this time, but if you are in Barcelona during football season, definitely try to make it to a game!