Posts for Plaça Reial

Move Around Barcelona Like a Local

Destinations, Guest Posts - Ross French - May 26, 2011


By: Maria Climent Huguet
Maria Climent is a 26-year-old Catalan lady. After studying translation, she decided her life was odd enough to became a humor scriptwriter and by default, a blogger. This is how she’s now a mother of no one and a better person. She also likes to cook!


Since I’m an inhabitant of this city, I can show you the best things you can do in Barcelona, which, of course, will not be the typical ones all the tourists do when they visit it (or guiris, as we call them, no offence!).

Before I get started, the first thing you need to know is that flip-flops plus socks are not allowed. The second one is that Barcelona is not in Mexico, so please do not buy one of those Mexican hats they sell in Les Rambles. Now that we have cleared that up, we can proceed with useful tips:

Fresh fish tapas in Barcelona – as long as you don’t want to spend $100 on a meal- can be found in the district of La Barceloneta. There you’ll find a typical fishermen neighbourhood, plenty of traditional fishermen bars where you can have good fresh fish tapas and cold beers at an affordable price. Use your common sense to detect the more glamorous bars and steer clear if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Also, remember: The less glamorous, the most authentic.

Then, if you happen to rent one of the apartments in Barcelona, check if it has a terrace so that you can have a barbecue on it. There’s nothing cooler than watching the sunset with a view of Barcelona in the background with friends and a Moritz (a beer made in Barcelona) in your hand.


When the night falls, Plaça Reial is the place. (There are also cool bars in Gracia, but I’ll tell you about those charms later.) If you want to stay out late, listening to the best alternative music and meet fancy locals, try Sidecar. There are jam sessions, two in the same square at the Jamboree. But also Sala Apolo is one of the best places for good music and nice atmosphere in the city; it’s in the Paralel Avenue. Anywhere, as long as you don’t go to Pachá.

Let’s move to the Gracia district: that’s where I live and I must say I am love my neighbourhood. It’s ok to go out at night if you accept that the bars here close at 3am and discos here aren’t really worth it. So, I recommend you to visit this district in the morning. At vermouth time, before lunch, it’s lively and charming especially on sunny days. All the squares are crowded and there’s usually some performances in the Plaça de la Virreina like twist dancing, or live concerts (last performance I saw there was an amazing concert by the Sant Andreu Jazz Band, one of the youngest swing big bands in the world, whose components range from 8 to 20 years old.

Also in Gracia, there’s a mythical bar, the Heliogàbal where you can enjoy a Vermouth concert on Sundays, which I highly recommend. But please, don’t leave the district without entering one of the traditional bodegas (wine shop – bars) that will take you back to an era from thirty years ago.


And finally, I can tell you that one of the best places to get your Barcelona accommodation is the Borne district. This medieval neighbourhood is full of restaurants and bars and cool people, very close to the city centre and the sea. And remember the terrace thing I told you earlier…Move Arou

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