City Spotlight: Barcelona

29 Jun

I’ve been to Barcelona six times now. I adore the place. Every time I’ve been it’s been with a slightly different group of people: close home friends, wider group of female home friends, wide group of male and female home friends, boyfriend, uni friends and now family. Despite acting as (basically) a tour guide for the people I take with me, I always aim to do something I’ve never done before in Barca – whether it’s eat in a new restaurant, see a new sight etc.

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This post is going to be a run through of the new things I did (and a few of the tried and tested things I do every time I visit). If you’re ever planning on visiting Barca I’d be more than happy to give you tips on great hostels and hotels, areas, events and places to eat. I know my stuff. Use and abuse my knowledge.

EAT:  I’ve never blogged about Pim Pam Burger. Which is insane because I adore the place and it’s one of my favourite burgers ever. Pim Pam Plats is tucked away near Parc du Citudella. They have a huge range of burgers – veal, chicken, beef, mexican, veggie… the list goes on. They don’t technically do gluten-free options, however my brother was able to get a Mexican burger without the bun. They kindly served it on a plate with all the meat, sauces and veg, which (as you can see) he was very happy about.

Onto my burger – the chicken Pim Pam. Breaded crispy chicken breast, lettuce, gherkins, tomato, red onion and their secret, special, DELICIOUS Pim Pam Salsa. I honestly get their burger just for this salsa, it’s DIVINE. The burger is tasty, the veg is incredibly fresh and oh my, that sauce. Just look at how yummy the whole thing looks:

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I also have to mention the fries. I’m always disappointed with the fries I get served up in burger joints because Pim Pam puts them in the shade. They’re twice cooked, on the spot when you order – crispy, tasty, salty, wonderful.  I know I’m ranting, but honestly, it’s wonderful. And so cheap! For about 8 Euros I got a burger and huge basket of fries (that’s about £6). I’ve taken lots of people there and no one has ever been disappointed. Long live Pim Pam.

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I also went to a brand new place this time around, and it’s called La Fonda. La Fonda happened to be right outside my hotel and every night there would be a solid queue from 6pm to midnight. I did a bit of research and it turns out the place is set up like a gourmet restaurant, selling great food at insanely great prices.

I looked at the wine menu and the sparkling rose (my fave) was 7 euros a glass. Turns out it was 7 euros for the WHOLE BOTTLE. That’s when I knew I was onto a winner, hah. La Fonda do a range of meals and you can get a three course meal with wine for only 16 euros. I had the grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and for dessert I went for chocolate brownies. Both were very good for what I paid for them, and just generally good despite the price! My brother had a walnut salad, roast beef, catalan custard. Also, the service was wonderful – fast, friendly and they all went out of their way despite being clearly rushed off their feet. My mum and I had a main and dessert each, a bottle of win to share and my brother had FOUR courses with a coke + bread for the table and the whole thing came to 50 euros (about £40). Amazing.

SEE: There is so much to do in Barcelona. It has everything you could want from a holiday. Beach. City. Great night life. Architecture. Art. Museums. So much culture and history. Amazing food and drink. Beautiful scenery. And good weather. Here are a few of my top Barcelona tips.

The Magic Fountain: I went to see the Magic Fountain for the first time this year. Which is madness because it’s insanely famous and it’s great. Majestic – quite. Colourful – of course. And the entire avenue leading up to the fountain is lined with MORE fountains. And the backdrop it the Catalan National Museum of Art. Stunning.

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The display lasts for about 3 hours, but you don’t need to stay for the whole thing. Beautiful as the fountain is they put terrible pop music as the backdrop to the whole display, which is a shame. Some classical music would have gone a long way to making it a truly majestic experience. It’s certainly worth checking out still… just maybe gaze from afar.

Parc de la Cuitdella: This park is stunning. At one end of the park you’ll find the Arc De Triumph and at the other, Barcelona Zoo. In the middle you’ll find a lake where you can hire out boats (great fun!), a stunning water feature and monument. There are lots of grassy areas where people just lay and soak up the sunshine. There’s a small maze, sculptures (including a mammoth) and the Gothic quarter all down one side. An absolute must-do when visiting the city.

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Gothic quarter: The Gothic Quarter sits between Las Ramblas and Parc de la Cuitdella and is home to tall, beautiful buildings, covered with balconies, vines and all sorts of architectural goodness. The Gothic Quarter is also home to endless number of wonderful bars and places to eat, as well as few bigger places to visit too. There’s Barcelona Cathedral to see, Placa Reial (a famous square with a lovely fountain, Gaudi-designed street lamps and plenty of places to eat), Picasso Museum, Natural History Museum and so many tree-lined streets. On Las Ramblas there’s also an incredible market (opposite the erotic museum) which you MUST visit. Best fruit ever.

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