What I did and saw:
Cathedral of Barcelona-
While not as architecturally impressive as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Cathedral of Barcelona is still an impressive building in its own right. It is also significantly older than the Sagrada Familia, and it is free to enter at select times (usually weekday mornings). Also, the plaza in front of the Cathedral is host to various festivals and street performances. If you are looking for a nice picture, the "Barcelona" sign is located in front of the Cathedral, and the Fotomosaic Joan Fontcuberta "kissing mural" is located around the corner down a side street.
Sandeman's free walking tour-
As I have mentioned many times in previous posts, free walking tours are great ways to see a new city. The Sandemans free walking tour goes through the Gothic Quarter and the El Born neighborhood, and they also have paid tour that go through other areas of the city.
El Pont del Bisbe-
The Bishop’s Bridge going over Carrer del Bisbe between the Cathedral and Placa de Sant Jaume features a dagger going though a human skull. It was built in 1928, and has spawned many different stories and superstitions.
Located just off La Rambla and featuring light posts by Antoni Gaudi, Placa Reial is a beautiful plaza that often plays host to street performers and events.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri-
The Sant Felip Neri plaza has a very tragic past. During the Spanish Civil War the plaza was bombed, killing many school children. The marks from this heartbreaking event are still easy to see. The plaza has since also played host to the music video for Evanescence's song "My Immortal," as well as a scene from the movie Vicky, Christina, Barcelona.
La Fira de Santa Llucia Christmas Market-
As mentioned above, the plaza in front of the Barcelona Cathedral plays host to various festivals. One of these festivals is La Fira de Santa Llucia, which is the oldest Christmas market in Barcelona. They have various Christmas items for sale, and some of those items such as the Caganers and the Casa Tios are uniquely Catalonian.
Muralla romana de Barcelona-
Due in part to its strategic location on the Mediterranean coast, Barcelona has a long and storied history. One example of this history is the Roman city wall in Barcelona, which can be visited for free.
A great way to explore the aforementioned history of Barcelona is by checking out some of the museums in the Gothic Quarter. The Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA) dives into some of the city's ancient history. The Museu Frederic Marès features a collection of thousands of sculptures (and a variety of other things) that once belonged to the sculptor Frederic Marès. Located between these two museums is the Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó, where you can learn more about the kingdom of Aragon.
Plaça del Rei-
One of the most significant plazas in Barcelona is the Plaça del Rei, or King's Plaza. It was the site of both coronations and executions, dating back centuries. It is surrounded by the former palace, which has now been converted into museums.
Plaça de Sant Jaume-
Another of the most important plazas in Barcelona is the Sant Jaume plaza. It is the site of some of the main governmental buildings in the city such as the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya and the Barcelona City Hall. Many demonstrations and festivals take place in this plaza throughout the year.
LOCK-CLOCK Escape room-
I had wanted to do an escape for a while, and I finally did the Mission Gaudi escape room at Lock-Clock Escape Room in the Gothic Quarter with my roommates. It was super fun and I would definitely recommend it.
Where I ate and drank:
Like its sister restaurants Firebug and Marmalade, Milk is a great brunch and cocktail spot. However, it is the smallest location of the three so it often will require a wait to get a table.
Located behind what appears to be a classic elevator door, L'Ascensor is a nice, quality speakeasy.
Some of the best Mexican I've had in Barcelona was at La Pachuca and its sister restaurant El Pachuco. They have different menus, but both feature some very tasty items.
Bodega Cala del Vermut-
If you are looking for a more classic, Catalonian bar, Cala del Vermut is a nice place to get things like vermouth and fuel.
Kapadokya is a solid place to get doner kebab in Barcelona, and they have a couple different locations.
The Box is a super cool spot in the Gothic Quarter that specializes in infused rums. They have an entire wall full of different rums infusing with a variety of different tasty flavors. They also serve decked out hot dogs topped with things like guacamole, and they have even started serving some tasty breakfast items. The staff (a Columbian/French husband and wife team) are super friendly.
Bo de B-
There is often a line stretching out of Bo de B, and it is because of the tasty, healthy food they serve there. There is not much seating room inside, but it is only a very short walk from the waterfront so a nice, scenic place to eat is not hard to find.
The Benedict Barcelona-
I had a nice tapas dinner with friends at The Benedict in the Gothic Quarter. I would like to return for their brunch, which they specialize in. The menu has many interesting things on it that I would like to try.
La Pizza Pazza-
One of the best pizza places I've found in Barcelona was La Pizza Pazza. Although it isn't the best pizza I've in Barcelona or the cheapest, it is close to the top of the list for both. It is much better that the cheapest pizza I have had, and it is half the price of the best pizza I've had.
Located by the Cathedral de Barcelona, Bilbao Berria serves good pintxos and tapas. While the food and drink are good, the best part of Bilbao Berria is its convenient location.
Bodega La Palma-
A classic Barcelona bodega that has been running since the 1930's, La Palma serves great wine and food. I had the chance to have torrijas, which are especially common around Easter time. They are a tasty Spanish twist on French toast.
Bodega Biarritz 1881-
Bodega Biarritz 1881 is a small but great place for tapas and pintxos in Barcelona. I went with the fixed price option, and I was not at all disappointed with the variety of food that was served to me.
El Pintxo de Petritxol-
As mentioned in previous posts, "pintxos" are small pieces of food on top of a piece of bread that are held together by a long toothpick. They will be displayed buffet style, and you pay per stick which range in price from one to a few euros. El Pintxo de Petrixol offers good pintxos and good a la carte tapas. They also typically offer a free post meal digestif.
My favorite bakery in Barcelona is Yellow Bakery. Started by an Australian couple, they offer amazing bread and great pastries. Their bread is used in many of the great restaurants around the Barcelona area.
Enkel is a very good brunch spot with a bunch of good food options. They also serve some good cold brew coffee.
Kælderkold Craft Beer Bar-
Although it is a small spot just off La Rambla, Kælderkold has a large number of taps featuring excellent craft beer. Also, through the back of their craft beer bar is A Bar, which has a few more taps as well as cocktails.
Located on Paradise street just off Placa Sant Jaume, Craft Barcelona serves craft beer and tapas. They have events like open mic and comedy nights throughout the week as well.
The best spot for tea in Barcelona that I have found in Car Chai. They have an extensive menu, and the staff also gave helpful recommendations.
El Bosc de Les Fades-
Part of the Barcelona Wax Museum, El Bosc de Les Fades feels like it is set in an indoor magical forrest. While they serve good wine and snacks, the real draw of the place is the setting.
Formatgeria la Seu-
My favorite place for cheese in Barcelona is Formatgeria la Seu, in particular the Galacian Tetilla cheese.
Satan's Coffee Corner-
One of the OG's of the Barcelona craft coffee scene, Satan's Coffee is located in El Call, the old Jewish quarter of Barcelona. They serve excellent coffee and have an eclectic, Japanese-influenced food menu.
With a few locations in Barcelona, Sense Tapas serves incredibly tasty food.
Wok To Walk-
A great place to grab cheap food on the go, Wok to Walk is like an East Asian Subway/Chipotle style restaurant. You pick your base (noodle/rice/etc), protein, toppings, and sauce, and they cook it there in front of you.
One of the hidden gems I've found in Barcelona is Caelum. They serve good tea and excellent pastries, as well as some craft beers.
Rabipelao Gótico / Arepas, Cachapas y Tropicocktails-
Serving delicious, authentic Venezuelan food and drink, Rabipelao is a place that not only would I recommend, but is recommended by some of my Venezuelan friends.
Tostaderos Bon Mercat-
A good place to get coffee beans in Barcelona is at Tostaderos Bon Mercat. Although I prefer the beans at places like SlowMov in Gracia, Tostaderos Bon Mercat offers a very good value for the money.
Another of the hidden gems I've found is Barcelona is Bar Jardí. It is a great place to grab a drink, relax, and talk with friends while enjoy the Barcelona weather.
Els Quatre Gats (The 4 Cats)-
One of the more historic restaurants in Barcelona is Els Quatre Gats, or the 4 cats. It was frequented by famous historical figures like Picasso and Gaudi. It was the meeting place for many architects during the Modernisme period.
Gelaaati Di Marco, OGGI Gelato Barcellona, and Swiit Ice Cream-
Some of the top gelato places I've found in Barcelona are Gelaaati Di Marco, OGGI Gelato Barcellona, and Swiit Ice Cream.
Located around the corner from Placa Sant Jaume, Black Remedy is a great place to grab coffee and food..
My favorite thing:
The Gothic Quarter features many of the things so many people love about Barcelona, tiny winding streets, beautiful buildings and museums, great food, exciting events, a unique culture, and a long, interesting history. The history and culture are my favorite parts of the area.
My least favorite thing:
Because the Gothic Quarter is one of the tourists hotspots, it will occasionally be overrun with them, and some of them will also be obnoxiously drunk. Also, it can be a hotspot for pickpockets.
For next time:
Next time in the Gothic Quarter I would like to check out the Aquarium, and I would also like to try more of the delicious food and drink in the area.
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