Barcelona specific recs?
September 4, 2017 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I've been planning to go to Barcelona for years- and now we're going in October. I am a little overwhelmed. Anyone have advice? Specific requests below.

My husband and I will be there in early October, and I'm in charge of all planning- he gets veto power. I'm a little overwhelmed with so many options.

I'm hoping that the hive mind can give me a few directions to point myself in. Specifically on these topics:

1. Names of restaraunts you especially like. This is really the one I am worried about.
2. Hotel recommendations- midrange, (no shared bathroom, refrigerator)- are there any areas that are specifically not great for activities?
3. we are day people, not really night life people. We love walking in cities.
posted by Blisterlips to Travel & Transportation around Barcelona, Spain (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I only had a little leisure time in Barcelona on some work trips but two things I fit in and really enjoyed were:
1. a bike tour with Steel Donkeys, which took me through the old city and along the beach, and included a stop for lunch in the el born barrio
2. A visit to the Born Cultural center, which we had passed on the bike tour. Free admission and very cool to look at the ruins.
I stayed in l'Eixample neighborhood, which was quiet but also a nice walk to the Los Ramblas and other touristy areas, so you might check that out, but my hotel choice was based on work so others might make different suggestions....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:15 AM on September 4, 2017

p.s. - I randomly picked places to eat in l'Eixample and never had a bad meal. Hopefully others will have good specific suggestions, but I found the food overall to be very good...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:18 AM on September 4, 2017

Four recommendations, although I was last in Barcelona in 2015:

BierCaB - Tapas, burgers and an extensive beer tap list.
Tapeo - We had our favorite Barcelona dinner here.
Fidalga - Another dinner recommendation.
Molika - Coffee and pastries.
posted by emelenjr at 9:57 AM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cinc Sentits
Ciudad Condal

posted by alchemist at 9:59 AM on September 4, 2017

Don't stay near Ramblas. Overpriced, touristy, smoggy, noisy. Barcelona is a walking town, also with great public transportation. Stay outside the tourist zone and save money, enjoy a better vibe, and you'll still easily get wherever you want to go. Save the Ramblas for walking.

Restaurant tip, just north of town, near the beach, don't miss this. Do your serious eating midday, eat light at dinner, as the Catalans do.
posted by Quisp Lover at 11:48 AM on September 4, 2017

I realize the previous poster advised against staying near the Ramblas, but we had a great stay at the Hotel Pulitzer, near Plaza Catalunya at the top of the Ramblas. The hotel is stylish with a great selection of gin-tonics to cool off at the end of the day!

We bought passes for the hop-on, hop-off Red Bus which allowed us to get to all parts of the city and see all the things we wanted to see without worrying about intricate travel details.

Go up the "hill" known as Montjuic and stop at the Joan Miro Museum and the Olympic Stadium. (I'm a fan of stadium architecture, so we also stopped at Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona.)

There are great views to be had (along with cocktails) at the rooftop bar of the Grand Hotel. As for dining, we had a great sea-view meal at Bestial and a more sedate Catalan pre-fixe meal at Petit Comite.
posted by tmharris65 at 1:00 PM on September 4, 2017

Restos: Quimet & Quimet, Tapas 24. Be sure to try pintxos, there are a million restaurants that specialize in them.

Walking: There are a bunch of by-donation walking tours, eg: this one. Obviously this works best if you like walking with other people.
posted by vasi at 1:19 PM on September 4, 2017

I visited Barcelona three years ago and based on Metafilter recommendations did a tapas tour with Barcelona Taste. It's a small group (6 or less) tour and I really enjoyed it--plenty of food and drink.

My favorite restaurant in the city is Cal Pep. There's no menu; they simply ask what you like/don't like and bring you small plates until you're stuffed or ready to switch to dessert.
posted by icaicaer at 1:55 PM on September 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have lived in Barcelona for 15 years. The restaurants listed by Alchemist are all good. The hot ticket in town right now is Spoonik.
I recommend for any kind of tours, can't be beat.
Hotels, I don't know. But stay away from La Rambla except for crossing from Barrio Gotic to Raval, or going to La Boqueria-
Wander around and get lost during the's a safe city except for pick pockets.
posted by conifer at 10:46 PM on September 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cal Pep is good, but beware, the waiters have no compunction about serving you the most expensive items on the menu without asking.
PM me if you have more specific questions, always glad to help.
posted by conifer at 10:47 PM on September 4, 2017

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