There are so many special things to do in Barcelona. We present you with 5 off the beaten path activities that are not in the guide books and even some locals don’t know about.
Forget about fancy brunches with croissants, salmon and champagne. Instead try an authentic Catalan breakfast, the “esmorzar de forquilla” (“breakfast to be eaten with a fork”). Traditionally the early meal of the farmers, it is the ideal start of a long day of sightseeing.
1. HAVE AN ESMORZAR DE FORQUILLA
Typical dishes are the botifarra amb mongetes (sausage with white beans), cap i pota (stewed calf’s head and tripe) or bacallà a la llauna (salt cod baked in the oven). They come accompanied by pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato rubbed over and seasoned with olive oil and salt) and Gandesa wine.
The places we like to have our fork-breakfast are Can Vilaró, Cal Boter and Pinotxo; authentic restaurants that serve great homemade food.
- Can Vilaró, Carrer del Comte Borrell 61, Barcelona (metro L2 Sant Antoni)
- Cal Boter, Carrer de Tordera 62, Barcelona (metro L4 Joanic), restaurantcalboter.com
- Pinotxo Bar, Mercat de la Boqueria, La Rambla 91, Barcelona (metro L3 Liceu), pinotxobar.com
Breakfast with butifarra amb mongetes and cap i pota at Can Vilaró
The most spectacular walk you can make in Barcelona is, without a doubt, on the Carretera de les Aigües. The simple, even path offers amazing views of the city and the sea. Strangely enough, most visitors don’t go there. That’s a mistake: the combination of nature and truly astonishing views is priceless.
2. WALK THE CARRETERA DE LES AIGÜES
The trail is easily accessible by taxi (you’ll pay around 16 euro from the city center) or bus (take bus 196 to the Plaza del Doctor Andreu and from there walk about 5 minutes to Carretera de les Aigües).
A lot of luxury hotels in Barcelona boast large and fabulous roof top terraces. They form an intimate oasis of pleasure, luxury and style away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
3. DRINK CAVA ON A ROOFTOP TERRACE
Hardly visible from the street and until recently only reserved for hotel guests, very few people really knew about them. But that is changing as more and more terraces are opening their doors to the public. So head up there after a day of sightseeing and relax with a nice glass of cava while enjoying beautiful views of Barcelona.
Terraces are open from May till September. In the city center we like Barceló Raval (glass of cava = 5 euro), Hotel 1898 La Isabella (glass of cava = 6 euro) and Mandarin Oriental (glass of cava = 12 euro). For a larger list of hotel terraces see here (in Spanish).
- Barceló Raval, Rambla del Raval, 17-21, Barcelona (metro L3 Liceu), barcelo.com
- Hotel 1898, La Rambla, 109, Barcelona (metro L3 Liceu), hotel1898.com
- Mandarin Oriental, Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, Barcelona (metro L3 Passeig de Gracia),mandarinoriental.com
Terrace of Hotel Mandarin in Barcelona
Human towers (castells) are an authentic Catalan tradition that dates back to the 18th century. The castellers build towers that can be up to 10 human stories high, with a small child placed on top. Unfortunately they only perform during (large) festivals.
4. BUILD HUMAN TOWERS
But what few people know is that you can attend (for free) the rehearsals that usually take place 2 times a week. Equally spectacular as a ‘real’ performance, or even more, because you’ll be invited to join in and form part of the human tower. Only for the most daring!
- Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia, Carrer Alzina 7, Barcelona (metro L3 Fontana), see schedule of rehearsals castellersdelaviladegracia.org
The castellers of Vila de Gràcia doing their thing
Ever dreamt of sailing on the Mediterranean Sea? We had a great time with Orsom sails! Their daily 90 minutes cruises are the perfect way to relax and enjoy sun, sea and great views of the skyline and beaches of Barcelona. What’s more, you can have a nice glass of cava while listening to good (live) music. A really cool and exciting experience!
5. SAIL ON THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Orsom sails from their landing stage at the bottom of Las Ramblas, directly facing the Columbus Column. The sailing season lasts from May until September. Prices start at 15.50 euro.
- Orsom Sails, Moll de les Drassanes, Barcelona (metro L3 Drassanes), barcelona-orsom.com
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