Beautiful architecture and a contemporary art scene… tick! World-class (and local) designer shopping, delightful alfresco dining and chic spots to sip cocktails until the sun comes up… tick, tick, tick!
#TeamCoco adores this cosmopolitan city, and we’re not the only ones. Barcelona has been ranked the top city break destination in Europe, and with 2500+ hours of yearly sunshine it’s not hard to figure out why.
To give House of Coco’s trendy jet-setters a quick taste of Barcelona, we’ve picked our absolute favourite places to sample and see, or be seen, in this vibrant city!
Guilty Pleasures @ SALT
The gorgeous (in every way) W Hotel should be the first port of call in your Barcelona travel repertoire. Check out SALT Beach Club for late afternoon sun-downers facing the sea. There are officially nine unique cocktail concoctions like the Beachside Bird to sample, but if you fancy something a little more familiar, the top-notch bartenders can craft a cocktail of your utmost desire in seconds. We settled for Espresso Martinis, the best we’ve ever sampled! Plus, if you get a little peckish, you’ll fulfil your naughty cravings with some seriously gourmet burgers, or try the guilt-free teriyaki salmon skewers and the extra-fresh cocktail ceviche.
PS: In the summer months the ‘chill out sessions’ are worth checking out, and if you don’t fancy dancing with sand between your toes then rooftop cocktail bar Eclipse is the place to show off your favourite pair of heels!
Catalonian Goodness @ TAPAS
Two truly local, and truly delicious, foodie experiences you cannot miss:
1: Quimet i Quimet in the Poble Sec district is a small hole-in-the-wall place which you’d walk right past if you didn’t know of its existence, but now that you do, you cannot miss it as it’s one of Barcelona’s most beautiful ‘Bodegas de Tapas’. Choose from over 80 small open-faces sandwiches called montaditos which simply melt in your mouth, costing no more than 3 Euros each. Look out for the big red door on Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes 25 and take note of the opening hours (Mon-Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Sat noon-4pm, closed August).
2: El Vaso de Oro serves the best craft beer in town which gives this lively, standing-room only, bodega a truly local ambiance. It’s here that you’ll be able to mingle with friendly Catalonians over a traditional selection of delicacies such as mojama (salt-cured, air-dried tuna), jamon serrano, pimientos and delicious croquetas. We let our new friends order the best dishes for us, best decision ever made! You’ll find this buzzing bodega in the La Barceloneta district, on Calle de Balboa 6.
3: We could list endless places but we think that there’s only one way to really experience the best and most secret of Barcelona’s exquisite culinary delights, and that’s for you to venture off on your own tapas-crawl… buen provecho!
Party Vibes @ SHOKO
As is commonly known, Spaniards know how to throw a ‘fiesta’, and we put this to the test at SHOKO where we danced the night away, literally a stone’s throw from the beach! This ginormous venue, featuring an Asian-fusion restaurant, a swish cocktail lounge, an abundance of bars (to not keep you waiting hours for a drink!) and a nightclub, is definitely one of Barcelona’s greatest party spots. Remember that locals do tend to hit the party scene around 1am, but we recommend getting to the club just before the peak hours. Oh, and SHOKO closes after dawn, so if you’re feeling daring you could pack a bathing suit in your clutch for an early morning cool-off in the Med!
43 Shades of Bliss @ THE ARTS HOTEL
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve found the trendiest spot to soothe your aching muscles after all that dancing… 43 the Spa is an oasis of calm situated on the second to last floor of the lavish Barcelona Arts Hotel which offers the most spectacular panoramic views of the coastline. What we enjoyed most was watching the sailing boats in the distance from the comfort of the vitality pool which makes you feel as though you’re floating in the Med, yet from above the cityscape! The spa’s wet zone also includes saunas and Klafs colour therapy steam rooms, so after enjoying one of the luxurious treatments (with luxury Spanish skincare brand Natura Bissé!) you’ll be able to truly unwind, on a whole new level.
Getting there: You can book cheap summer flights to Barcelona starting from just £80 return in July. Check out Opodo’s Escape Map tool to find the cheapest dates for your sassy and sunny getaway!