Barcelona is not only a city full of culture, important sights, shopping and a wide beach. It's also a foodie’s dream. Catalonia has many great chefs and recommendable restaurants. And in Barcelona, you have a great modern food scene next to the local and traditional dishes like Patatas Bravas, Croquetas, Mejillónes and so on.
This food tour will show you some traditional local dishes and some fancy new creations as well!
On top of that, you will probably see a hidden gem of an area that most tourists miss. The very local Sant Antoni, which isn't as crowded as the center or Eixample.
So chances are high that you'll see something truly new, local and unique!
Some other bloggers and I were invited to test the "Evolution of Catalan gastronomy" by Foodtours Barcelona.
And this was my very first Food tour in Barcelona (finally)!
Most food tours are offered in the center of Barcelona. I could imagine that they are mostly visiting the same restaurants, and nothing really unique.
But Foodtours Barcelona - which are newbies in the Food tour-market - are going another way. Another area of the city and therefore other kinds of restaurants and markets.
And I have to say: they have chosen some really great restaurants, even I didn't know before!
But let's dive into the pictures and the memories I have of this beautiful day!
1. Sant Antoni Market
Our guide Jessica took us to our first stop: the market of Sant Antoni. The old building is under construction and renovation right now, but all the stalls are in an interim market next to it. Here you'll see old women buying their daily fish or chefs ordering what they need for their restaurant. It is still very local here - you only see a few tourists and that is the great thing about it. The stall owners can actually make a living from their trade, and there are no fruit juices or tourist crowding the place like in the famous Boqueria market.
This is the real life in BCN!
Jessica found some ham and cheese for us. But not only ham and cheese: she let us try 3 different cheeses from different regions and 2 types of ham: the Serrano ham and the famous Iberico ham.
And even if I am not a great fan of Iberico ham, this one was really tasty. I think the more expensive the better! Since this day - I tell you - I am buying more Iberico then before - and not the pre-packed one, no, no the real thing from the counter!
So thanks for that Foodtours Barcelona ;)
Here, in this picture, you see the renovation on the market which dates back to 1879. The work should have been done until October 2017... But well... Sometimes it doesn't work like we want - let's give them another year ;)
2. A typical bar
After that we headed to our first restaurant: a very stylish Vermouth-Bar.
Did I ever tell you that I LOVE Vermouth! :D And it was the first after having my twins...
You know: I was very, very happy!
So Jessica told us a bit about this delicious drink as well as about how to make a "pan amb tomaquet". A typical catalan way to eat bread. All you need is bread, garlic, special tomatoes and good olive oil. But try it yourself!
We also had some "Boquerones" and artichoke in Romanesco sauce. Both really good and helpful after having this great Vermouth! ;)
3. A shop for local products
Apropos olive oil. Spain is very famous for its olives and olive oil. Did you know that a lot of olives from Spain are going to Italy... So actually, you are buying spanish oil if you buy some sortes of "italien" oil :)
But well, there is a little shop near Sant Antoni market and there we get to taste 8 different oils - and some pâté. And I am that sort of girl buying these kind of stuff when I taste it and it's good. So I got me a Chorizo pâté and a Iberico pâté. (But you don't have to buy something. I think I was the only one of the group...)
4. A restaurant with well known Tapas
Up next was another restaurant. Again, a really nice location - very different from the average place you find in Barcelona. Our table was made of an old table football! Very nice idea. And you could get a look into the kitchen!
We were served some cava and three different dishes. The traditional Patatas Bravas - in this case you have to turn them on another plate! And we had some "Croquetas": but with a modern new flavor.
5. Oh my god - that was delicous!
And then there was this restaurant. We learned a lot about "mar y muntanya" - ocean and mountain. Seafood and meat. And these two spectaculos dishes were just mmmmjamiiii. Sad that you had to share the plates .. I wanted to eat it all!
The octopus with a fruity sauce and the Iberico Meat with some good looking topping of octopus ink. Just wow.
With that you got served a great red wine.
And see, there was nothing left - except the bread ;
6. Sweet teeth dream
Our last stop was a 1920s looking bar where they serve a great Horchata - a cold almond drink - perfect for hot summer days. With that we got a "Farton" - a traditional pastry from Barcelona.
You can buy the Horchata as well in supermarkets, but these aren't close to the taste of Horchata-Bars. There is a special machine moving the horchata all the time! That makes the difference - I think…
This tour takes you for 3,5 hours through a nice local neighborhood. You will see some unique restaurants and have more or less 11 tapas, taste of olive oils and 4 drinks. All included.
The price might be a bit high: 119 Euro per person, but the food and the drinks are worth it.
The only little shortcoming is that in the end the information about the food was a bit thin - but this could be because we - as a group of Bloggers - were chatting more with each other than hearing the guide ;) Might be the alcohol as well ;)
If you want to hear some other opinions on the tour take a look at appetiteandotherstories and latitudefortyone!
If you are interessted in booking a tour during your stay in Barcelona go to Foodtours Barcelona.
Thanks for the invitation Duncan and see you soon!
How can you visit the museums of Barcelona for free?
That is a good question! And for that reason I generated these 6 practical lists for you!
First, you find the museums that are free on the first Sunday of every month, as well as museums that offer free admission on every Sunday after 3 p.m.
There are also lot of public holidays in Barcelona, on which the museums offer open days = so free admission again!
And for families I got a list for those offering free admission for children (depending on their age).
Lists numbers 5 and 6 are a bit special - they are for Barcelona Card holders (3, 4 or 5-day pass) and for ICOM Members (a special card for employees of museums).
I hope you find the right list for your museum experience!
I hope that you found what you were looking for!
Have a nice stay in Barcelona, and have fun visiting one or more of the great museums!
PS: Some museums are mentioned multiple times, so I didn't link to them each time. Just take a look at the list before or after, and I'm sure you will find the right link! ;)
Some museums are in bold: here you will find text with background information. The not bolded museums only have basic information or aren't listed on the website yet.
Short trips on public holidays, family trips during school vacation, and friends or couples traveling together when they take a few days off. Many of these trips have a common destination: Barcelona!
And for good reason, too: mild temperatures, blue skies, and a way to escape everyday life for a while. If that’s not tempting, I don’t know what is!
But Barcelona is obviously much more than just a bit of nice weather – you’re likely to want to see a sight or two ;) That’s why I’d like to make a recommendation right away: the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s main attraction!
A couple of things you should know
After a cool and relatively calm winter, the Easter weekend will kick off Barcelona’s 2017 tourist season, which means tourists flocking towards Barcelona in droves.
Next are the summer months of June to September, and many tourists spend their fall holidays there, too.
Please be aware of this – you are not alone!
How does that affect a visit to the Sagrada Familia?
Spring is usually not quite as crowded as the middle of summer or October, but you should be prepared to spend some time waiting in line if you purchase your ticket on site.
How can I avoid waiting in line?
The Sagrada Familia uses timed tickets. This means that you can purchase your tickets online ahead of time and pick your preferred time of day. Once you have your tickets, all you have to do is show up in the right place at the right time.
Should you want to purchase your ticket on site, you’ll have to get in line at the ticket booth. And while that line doesn’t exactly take up a lot of time, you’ll end up with a timed ticket there, too. Depending on the crowds, your time of admission then might be half an hour away – or five hours. (When I went for a test visit last August, I got a ticket with a five hour wait…)
The Sagrada Familia towers are also open for tourists. However, as the tower capacities are limited, it can be difficult to get tickets.
With TicketBar and Barcelona-Museum you can purchase admission, tower access, and an audio guide for 34 Euro, reduced price 30 Euro.
Obviously, you can get tickets directly through the Sagrada Familia as well. Purchasing the ticket on-site will cost you 18 Euro, and the official website sells tickets for 15 Euro. However, by using TicketBar, you can support my work.
Is the cathedral closed on holidays?
For Easter (April 13th to April 17th) you are save! There are no special closing times. The Sagrada Familia will be open from 9.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.!
More closing dates for holidays have not been released yet. Check back for more information later.
What are the opening hours?
The Sagrada Familia is open Mondays through Sundays.
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
April - September:
Monday - Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
November - February:
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
What else is good to know?
Another point of interest is Antoni Gaudí’s grave, which is located in the crypt below the Sagrada Familia. Whenever the gates are open, you can visit the grave at no additional cost. The entrance is located to the left of the ticket booth in the street Carrer de Sardenya.
Opening hours crypt:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Check out my main page for more information on the Sagrada Familia or
go to my description of all tickets of Sagrada Familia!
The Tale of Easter
In 1987, the Catalan sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs created the Sagrada Familia’s “Passion Façade”. It is located on the same side as the main ticket both and the entrance to the crypt.
This façade tells the tale of Easter in an unusual sequence – click on the image to see it in more detail.
The tale begins at the bottom left, depicting the Last Supper. Next is the scene in which Saint Peter attempts to prevent the arrest of Jesus Christ. After that, however, you’ve already moved on to Judas’s Betrayal, which includes the Magic Square, where the sum of every line equals 33 – horizontally, vertically, and diagonally – which, in turn, is the age at which Jesus Christ died.
Next up is the Flagellation of Christ. This sculpture is mounted right above the middle entrance portal, making it shockingly close for every visitor entering the Sagrada Familia.
On the right, there is a group of people consisting of Saint Peter and three women. Next to this scene, the last in the row, you can see Jesus, brought before Pontius Pilate, by two soldiers.
The sequence continues the next row up. The first scene shows the Way of the Cross and Jesus falling, followed by the very vivid central scene: Veronica stands in the middle, holding her veil in front of her. The face of Jesus Christ is clearly visible here.
But why does Veronica not have a face? Subirachs might not have included it because her name isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible. Another reason could be that Veronica shares her place in this row with three depictions of Jesus, and not giving her a face allows Jesus to stand out more clearly and to prevent her from getting too much attention.
It’s 2016, and now I have an app for you, too!
I have joined the ranks of app publishers because I felt like an app might be of use to you when you come to visit Barcelona.
Want to find out how I did this and what the benefits of this app might be? Read on or download the App right away!
Why and how did I create this app?
I never thought it would be so easy to create an app. On the Internet, you can find app building software which enables anyone to create an app, even without any programming skills.
I remember that an app was an enormous project back when I worked in a museum in Germany. Obviously, many apps remain large projects – after all, if you want a complicated app, you will need an expert programmer. However, my ideas don’t need a complicated app – so I turned to an app builder. I did have to invest a fair amount of time into it, though!
But how did this come about? Another start-up company named “AppToolTester” asked me to review the app builder “Goodbarber”. The benefit was mutual: I could create an app, and the app testers got a review out of it.
And so it began back in October 2015 – the app project came to life.
Another Highlight is the list of favorites: Read the museums descriptions if you want to prepare for your visit ahead of time. By swiping right add the museum to your list of favorites or add comments or feedback.
The result will be a neat little list of museums you’re interested in, available at a glance.
Obviously, the Barcelona-Museum Facebook stream is also included! That way, you’ll always be up to date on events and special tips in and around Barcelona.
Get the App!
The app is now available on the stores!
Get it, don't miss a Museum in and enjoy your stay in Barcelona!
See you soon in Barcelona!