All around barcelona between the 20th and 24th of september ;) La merce is a great festival all around barcelona in every square of the Town .. The people, the life ..almost everything ;)
people there are friendly ... very friendly ...
You walk down the street and people are smiling laughing and enjoying themselves ..natives and tourist .. there can be no reason for frowning there .. at least i never did
Between 1860 and 1920 Barcelona expanded into a grid of uniform streets parallel to the sea, an area known as l'Eixample (the Extension). Today this is a residential, commercial and business district, divided in half by the Diagonal, a grand avenue cutting through the grid at a 45-degree angle. It's an interesting example of innovative town planning, and contains Barcelona's finest Modernist buildings. Some of the best are in the Passeig de Gràcia; look for No. 43, Casa Batlló, with a mosaic facade and wavy roofline that represent St. George's dragon. The block at No. 92 is known as La Pedrera, Gaudí's last secular work. It's without a single straight line or sharp corner.
tapas, pintxos and vermuts
Believe or not, tapas are not typical from Barcelona. It's a relatively new thing, and for people of my parent's age, these are not a 'proper' meal :)
The typical custom was having a 'vermut' on Sunday morning = Going out to have a drink (can be the tap-vermouth, but as well wine, beer...) and some food. Ideally, on a sunny terrace seeing the world going on and discussing about 'all human and divine' with friends :)
You can find many of these old little places to have a 'vermut' at La Barceloneta, or any popular neighborhood. For instance in Barceloneta "Bar Electricitat" and "La Bombeta" are good old places to do that, with some simple and good traditional foods.
In the city centre, and next to the tourist sights, be careful as most 'tapas' restaurants (not all) will be chain Basque-style places. More expensive, even food is usually ok (or even good). But as authentic as McDonalds.
As said, when we Catalans go out for tapas, is something 'foreing' for us (this does not mean we do not like it). So we say "let's go to a Basque tonight" nearly like we could say "let's go to a Chinese" :) So, the best bet of finding the "real" stuff is going to Basque restaurants as Maitea (near Hospital Clinic). Galician eateries usually have great tapas options too (some in Gotic, around c/. Ample). The Andalucian places are the best to sample great "pescadito frito" (quite a few around La Barceloneta, even the best and cheapest ones are quite out of the way, where people of Andalucian descent do live).
In the very city centre there are still some "old school" basic places surviving, do not expect anything fancy, but cheap and basic:
- "Bar Flassaders" in El Born (Carrer dels Flassaders 9)
- "El Drapaire" near Ramblas (carrer Sitges)
Other good places, authentic classics of Barcelona, even a bit out of the way:
- "El Tomas" in c/. Major de Sarrià. It's said they do the best "bravas" in town! (incidentally, the pic above was taken there)
- "Can Toni" in Rambla del Poble Nou. Excellent deal on its tapas menu
- "La Esquinica" in Nou Barris, Fabra i Puig 296. Be prepared for very long queues!!
As well, you can find creative tapas in many trendy restaurants (so many around), especially at El Born, the hypest part of the city. If budget is not an issue, and you want to sample really imaginative stuff, Tapaç 24 (Diputació, 269) is quite interesting, but on the expensive side.
Drum Circle at Parc Ciutadella on Sundays
If you want to relax, listen to some great music, have a few beers (and maybe a few other goodies...), you should really check out the Parc de Ciutadella on Sunday afternoons. It's a very laid-back place where younger people (not too young - mostly 20 - 30 year olds) hang around just being mellow and enjoying the afternoon. It's a good bit hippyish/artsy, and oftentimes vendors are selling homemade crafts and homemade foods, in addition to the Moroccan immigrants selling you cerveza for $1 euro (not a bad buy). If you want to enjoy the city but not really do anything, or need to nurse that nasty hangover, this is the place for you.
The Mies van der Rohe Pavillion in Montjuïc
The German Pavillion for the World Exposition held in Barcelona in 1929 is a masterpiece of modern architecture. It was designed by Mies van der Rohe. When the expo finished it was dismantled because nobody seemed to have interest for this rather small building. However, given its outstanding architectural interest, the local authorities decided to rebuild it years afterward using the original plans. They could not have had a better idea, because there are not many human constructions where the use of espace, light and volumes is as achieved as in this small pavillion. By the way, the famous Barcelona chair, an icon of contemporary furniture design and still fashionable after so many years, was also designed by Mies van der Rohe for this pavillion.