CITY TOUR :: BARCELONA WITH ESTHER

by Carolyn
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Hey folks, we are heading to our second city tour. Let’s say “hello” to our Barcelona guide Esther of Belle & Chic. Originally from Germany, Esther will show you her favorite spots and she will give you some words of advice to keep in mind when visiting the second largest city in Spain. With her blog Belle & Chic Esther captures the beauty of mediterranean weddings, so make sure to hop over for beautiful inspiration, not only for weddings.
Ready for take off? Have fun with Esther.

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Hey pals, how are you doing? I hope you all enjoy the spring as I do. Everything is blooming over here and people are enjoying the beach & the parks again. I don’t know where to start…farmers & flea markets, festivals, street fairs, tapas, art & dreamy architecture…there is always something going on for every taste.
If you are planning to visit Barcelona I would say spring is the best season, before the fever rolls in during the summer months. One pretty cool thing about Barcelona is that many of its great art and architecture work is outdoors, usually free for everybody to enjoy. You probably could spent days discovering new things in my town, but I will share some tips to explore Barcelona on a weekend. Hope you enjoy it.

xo, Esther

The best shopping mile is downtown Barcelona between
Plaza Catalunya (the city’s main square) and the Cathedral. It is
called “Avenida Portal del Angel”, sometimes also referred to as
“Avenida de Amancio”, a hint on the omnipresence of Zara founder Amancio Ortega‘s stores.
If you prefer less known brands and want to stay away from the tourist masses, do your shopping in Barcelona’s hip quarter “Gracia”, where you’ll find independent labels, smaller shops and
lots of artists and street cafés.
Oh my… this is a hard one, because of the uncountable number of good restaurants to pick from. As a general rule I’d say: Don’t eat directly on the famous Ramblas. If you stick to that, you really can’t go wrong… A personal favorite of mine is Senyor Parellada in the “Born” neighborhood, or Agua directly on the beach.

If you’re on a budget: There are plenty of nicely furbished apartments to rent for short stays all over the city. This way you have your own kitchen and can save on eating out, plus it’s a really

budget-friendly option if you’re traveling in a group (even a small one).
You prefer a hotel? Then just take your pick… but again, stay away from the Ramblas J.

The beach of course! The inner city’s beaches are artificial; they were created for the 1992 Olympic Games. Nonetheless, they are beautiful and a great place to hang out at and there are plenty of beach bars (called “chiringuitos”) where you can enjoy a cool shandy in the shade.
Another must-see that is free (at least at the time I am writing this) is the famous Park Guëll, one of Catalan architect Gaudí’s most famous creations.

Must-see: I’d say at least 2 of the 4 main works of Gaudí in Barcelona – Park Guëll, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, and Sagrada Familia.

Visit the Boquería Market on the Ramblas and have a cup of fresh fruit.

Spain is famous for its paella, but have you ever tried the noodle-based counterpart called fideuá? Delish!

The best way to explore Barcelona is by metro and on foot. The metro system is easy to understand, the different lines have different colors and signage underground is pretty good.
Water, sunglasses, camera (but beware of pickpockets!), sunscreen (you don’t want to end up a “langostino”, a red lobster, as locals call the sun-burned tourists), a towel for the beach, flip flops, metro and city map, and a T-10 (transferable metro ticket for 10 inner-city rides).

1. ModCloth Sunglasses 2. Wallpaper Barcelona Guide 3. J.Crew Beach Blanket
4. Spanish Water 5. Metro Ticket
6. Nikon D700 Camera 7. ModCloth Sandals 8. Neutrogena Sunscreen

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