BARCELONA city guide according to a local

Blogger Mireia from Barcelona owns the website ‘The Gold Lipstick’ and lives in beautiful Barcelona. Here are some of her recommendations for visiting Barcelona…

Barcelona based blogger Mireia owns the style and self-care blog ‘The Gold Lipstick. I have been to Barcelona many times and it is one of my favourite cities in the world and I dream to live there one day!

Mireia is a local from Barcelona and I thought it would only be right to give some recommendations from a local who knows the area of Barcelona extremely well.

I have a few recommendations of where to stay in Barcelona:

Hotel Regina: I stayed here during my most recent trip to Barcelona and I absolutely loved it. Such a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city! (Very close to Sephora- for all the beauty lovers like me out there 😉 )

Breakfast at Hotel Regina: The breakfast at the Hotel Regina was amazing, especially if you are into a more healthy breakfast, they offer a wide variety of breakfast options to get you ready for a day strolling around beautiful Barcelona.

El Avenida Palace Hotel: The first time I was lucky enough to visit Barcelona we stayed here in the gorgeous El Avenida Palace as a gift for my dads 50th Birthday. This hotel is bang in the centre of Barcelona and very near to the Plaça de Catalunya. The beautiful rooftop pool and gardens are perfect for basking in the views of Barcelona and an amazing place to take photographs of you and the city itself.

Breakfast at El Avenida Palace Hotel: During our trip to this hotel we enjoyed our breakfast very much and I particularly enjoyed the Spanish elements of the breakfast like the sausages and rice!

Now… lets get onto Mireia’s Barcelona Recommendations…

Where are your top 4 favourite places to eat in Barcelona?

La Balmesina: Best pizzas in the city and the best ones I’ve ever had.

La Fonda: Near the famous Las Ramblas but not touristy. Good food and affordable menu.

Patrón: A bit fancier but the typical food is really good, especially when it comes to sea food and rice (paella).

La Bombeta: If you want to have proper tapas this is the place to go. Be careful because it gets really busy for lunch time and they don’t do reservations so you might have to wait quite a bit, but it’ll be worth it.

Where are your favourite places to spend the day in Barcelona?

My favourite things to do are going for a morning coffee (we have so many good speciality coffee places in Barcelona) and then go for a walk around the beautiful streets (especially around Ciutadella park and Montjuïc).

I also really like having lunch out in a terrace because it’s really nice to enjoy the sunny weather and watch the people passing by. Another activity I really like is to go to museums (there are quite a few) not only because of the exhibitions but because of the building itself.

The best areas to visit are the old part of the city, the gothic quarter, the born, and the famous Passeig de Gràcia with all the luxury stores and famous buildings by Gaudí (La Pedrera/Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller).

Perfect places for Breakfast/ Brunch?

Alsur Café: I would say this is the best place to brunch in the city and there are several of this across Barcelona. Everything is delicious but my top favourites are pancakes and pulled pork.

Espai Joliu: Best coffee ever and in the cutest little plant shop there is.

Forn Mistral: A very famous and old patisserie where you can sit and have breakfast. I really recommend you try their chocolate croissants because they’re delicious.

What are your favourite tourist attractions and why?

I have to say that locals try to avoid touristy places as much as possible because they get so crowded, but I do have my favourites.

Tibidabo: Up the Collserola hill you have the Tibidabo mountain with amazing views of the city (must see) and an amusement park (not worth it).

Park Güell: Worth paying to visit it because I can guarantee you’ve never seen anything similar before. All the beautiful buildings, benches, columns and colourful tiles created by Gaudí. It’s important to book your tickets in advice and check out what time it’s not that busy so you can take some photos around. Also, I believe there’s a time frame early in the morning when it’s free to visit if I’m not mistaken.

Casa Batlló: Another beauty created by Gaudí. There are many famous houses around the city created by him, but this is the most beautiful one to see from inside and that it’s worth paying the ticket. It’s a house all inspired in the sea and I really recommend you getting a guide so you can learn as much as you can about it. Also, I recommend you go to the terrace and have a drink while enjoying the view.

What are some good bars to spend a quiet evening in the city?

I’m a big fan of cocktail bars and, luckily we have some of the best ones in Barcelona. My recommendation is always to stay away from the drink menus, tell the waiter what you like, and let him get creative.

Boadas: The first cocktail bar in the city.

Dr. Stravinsky: on the top 50 best cocktail bars in the world.

Ideal Cocktail Bar: quieter and more intimate.

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