There’s nothing like a good breakfast to start the weekend energised and here there’s no doubt about it: the most traditional breakfast is ‘pa amb tomaquet’, toasted rustic bread with tomato and olive oil. At Andreu Xarcuteria (Rambla Catalunya, 125) also served with Iberian ham.
Then go down to Las Ramblas, a lively pedestrian boulevard lined with flower stalls and living statues. To the sides you’ll find places like the La Boquería market, with its strange entrance of wrought iron and ceramic tiles. And don’t forget to drink from the Canaletas fountain, because legend has it that whoever drinks there will someday return.
Meander down one of the side streets to discover the Gothic Quarter. This is the oldest part of the city and its narrow streets contain memories from all its ages: from Roman to Modernism, including, of course, the Gothic. Barcelona Cathedral and the church of Santa María del Pi are two of the best-known temples but we want to take you to another one, this time a gastronomic temple. Els Quatre Gats opened at the beginning of the 20th century, inspired by Le Chat Noir in Paris, and where Rubén Darío, Picasso and the favourite son of Barcelona, Antoni Gaudí, used to sit and “set the world to rights”.
Next to the Gothic Quarter is the Born Quarter, the most alternative part of Barcelona. Its medieval streets are now a labyrinth of exclusive shops and trendy cafés. People have dinner late in Spain and an afternoon snack is the perfect excuse to try the take-away “churros” (fluted doughnuts) from La Xocolateria, made by chef Oriol Balaguer. Or the healthy option, a fruit fondue. Once you have recharged your batteries, have a look in Studiostore: 300 square metres of design (we’re fans of the rainbow pillows). And for dinner: tapas. Tapas, but haute cuisine tapas. Very close to Ciutadella park is Restaurant Ten’s, owned by the 4-Michelin star chef Jordi Cruz, which combines innovation and tradition. The Born Quarter is the ideal place to experience the nightlife of this virbant Spanish city.
Recover from your partying with a ‘retro’ brunch at Timeline Bar and a walk through Park Guell designed by Gaudí. Along el Paseo de Gracia you’ll find other jewels that are the fruits of this architect’s imagination: Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. And talking of creativity, you have to try the “rocadillos” (baguettes) made by the Roca brothers in the bar of the Omm Hotel. They also offer ice creams at ‘Rocambolesc’, including a mojito flavour. This is the best companion for a walk towards the Sagrada Familia church, an icon of the city despite remaining unfinished.
As evening falls, visit Montjuïc to enjoy the Magic Fountain show at the foot of the castle. However, no aquatic show beats the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. You can have fresh fish and rice dishes for dinner on the seafront at the restaurant Platja Ca la Nuri, in the Barceloneta district.
After a weekend full of so many gastronomic delights, you’ll probably pledge “to go on a diet tomorrow”, but we hate to remind you that if you drank from the Canaletas fountain…you’ll probably soon return!