In the City of Gaudi
For those of us who travel a lot, whether it is business travel or for pleasure, we run the risk of becoming a bit blasé regarding our destinations. We might be tempted to call it the ‘So it leans-syndrome’ – film buffs will recognize the quote from the Yellow Rolls-Royce – or we simply have so much work to do on business trips that fitting in any sight-seeing becomes a serious challenge.
But when you have the opportunity to visit a city like Barcelona, whose history goes back millennia, then it would be a great shame not to take advantage and discover some hidden corners. The Spanish city undoubtedly is a prime destination of bus loads and boatloads of tourists, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those tucked away spots to get to know the city and the people who live there.
Where to get the best tortilla in Barcelona
Though we are willing to allow that there is room for debate with regards to where is the absolute best, we are convinced that you would be hard pressed to find a restaurant that makes better tortilla than Flash Flash Tortilleria. Founded in 1970, and given a distinctive design by architects Federico Correa and Alfonso Mila, it cut a very avant-garde figure back in the day. Rumor has it that it was the place you would go out with your illicit love. In any case, the art-forward interior design and the quality of the food mean that this is still a restaurant that draws those who love design, fashion, art, and architecture. But the atmosphere is so friendly and laid back that entire families will meet there to enjoy meals together.
Barcelona’s on the beach, isn’t it?
Indeed it is, and its Mediterranean climate and culture are the city’s biggest draws. One of the best places to get a view of the beach and have a nice lunch at the same time is recently opened Blue Spot. The spectacular views are complemented by the excellent menu that will offer a wide variety of seafood and local specialties. An alternative to the Blue Spot is a sister restaurant, the Green Spot. This will be ideal for vegetarians or people just curious what amazing dishes the local produce can combine to create.
What about the Barcelona views?
If you are more a mountain and less a beach person, then you should head up to Mirablau on the Tibidabo Mountain. An easy drive up from the city, or also accessible via the Funicular del Tibidabo, the Mirablau is the perfect place to go if you want to get a wide overall view of the city and enjoy a lunch of tapas and wine. Dinners on the terrace can also be a special experience, but if you are coming on a gorgeous summer weekend, be sure to phone ahead for reservations. And for anyone keen to dance the night away, after hours this calm, elegant destination transforms into a club and disco, catering to anyone who enjoys vibrant music and exuberant company.
How deep can you go in Barcelona?
Short visits often don’t allow us really to get to know a place, but if you take time to visit the Barcelona City History Museum, you can go 10 meters deep to see the remains of the Roman walls and fortifications that crisscross the ancient city. Located in the Gothic District, the City History Museum will give you the chance to take a trip back into time with the simple ride of an elevator down to the excavations of the Roman city Barcino, as Barcelona was known in Roman times. With the Roman wall, viaducts as well as additional settlement foundations and remains being visible, the excavations in Barcelona are believed to be the largest Roman excavations outside of Rome. It’s a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into life 2000 years ago, and a great way to learn a little something more about ourselves at the same time.
Sitges by the sea for a quiet stroll and drink
As beautiful and vibrant as Barcelona is, sometimes it is nice to get away from the hustle of town and take a quiet moment on the beach. Recommending that you travel down the coast to the lovely seaside town of Sitges when you are already in lovely Barcelona may seem a little odd – like suggesting you drive to San Gimignano for lunch when you are already in Florence – but sometimes taking a bit of time to get out of town and enjoy the charms of the smaller towns surrounding Barcelona will help you to appreciate the region even more. Sitting down at the Pic Nic on the Paseo Marítimo in Sitges can be a treat just off the beach. Whether you are looking for an easy coffee or are hungry for some tapas and wine, you will be able to luxuriate in the slower pace and calm atmosphere.
Making the most of your travels
When you are on the road at least as much as you are home, it is important to take advantage of your travel opportunities. Taking time to explore the places you are visiting will help even the most routine business trip feel like a mini adventure. We at VOCIER want to highlight places we love so that perhaps you’ll be inspired to do a little exploring and make the most of your travels.