Buro city guide: Barcelona

Buro city guide: Barcelona

El Catalan

Editor: Yeong Sassall

Art, food and architecture – it’s near impossible not to fall under Barcelona's romantic spell

The bustling, vibrant capital of Spain's Catalonian region, Barcelona charms almost every person who visits. From the rambling, rambunctious laneways to the city's famous landmarks La Rambla and Gaudi-designed Park Güell; Barcelona is a mecca for lovers of food, wine and a late-night good time.

We asked  Acler designers Kathryn Forth and Julia Ritorto share a few of their favourite finds.

Best restaurants

1. Tickets

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Tickets is the brain child of Albert Adrià, brother of Ferran Adrià's (behind the success of world renowned elBulli) For that reason alone it was an absolute must to get a seat at this Michelin-starred restaurant. Usually you will need to book months in advance to get a reservation, however I got a hot tip that if you go there at 7pm, they have a waitlist for walk-ins to be seated at the bar. That's exactly what I did and my first attempt was a success! It was the highlight of my travel to Barcelona, if you're a foodie, it was the experience of a life time. Food literally comes to life as you take every bite. Julia

Avinguda del Paral·lel, 164 - 08015 Barcelona,

2. Mercat de la Boqueria

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One of the most vibrant produce markets you'll ever visit, this is in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona. It's definitely one of the city's must-see landmarks, with an entrance from the famous La Rambla. There are many open tapas bars within the market to pop in and grab a quick bite for lunch, or you can stay a little longer with a vinos tintos (red wine) for a casual dinner. Alternatively, if you're staying in an apartment, grab some fresh produce and whip up something you learnt at the Barcelona Cooking school! Julia

La Rambla, 58, ppal 2, 08002, Barcelona,

3. Llamber

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I love Llamber for its effortless fusion of classic Catalonian food with a New York architecture influence, this incredible find is in the heart of the El Born neighbourhood. Llamber is chic and trendy, set in a loft style setting with exposed brick and prides itself on quality, fresh food from the market as well as an incredible wine list (with a whopping 30 wines by the glass). This is a great place to dine solo if you're on a business trip, but also caters to large groups of friends. Kathryn

Carrer de la Fusina 5, 08003, Barcelona,

4. Bar Cañete 

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The food comes in small dishes and is ideal for sharing: choose from cured, dried or pickled tapas and fried tapas such as croquetas. These are the sort of dishes you would expect to find in any traditional tapas bar in Spain, however Bar Cañete has a delicious selection of Platillos and Nuestros Classicos which contain more elaborate dishes. While it's on the more expensive side compared to other tapas bars, the quality of the produce is high and therefore the prices are justifiable. Enjoy with a crisp glass of Spanish white wine. Julia

Carrer de la Unió, 17, 08001 Barcelona,

5. Flax and Kale

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If you feel like you've had enough tortilla/crusty bread with tomatoes and garlic and feel like you're in desperate need of some greens, this is an absolute must! I love to eat as authentic as I can when I travel and feel like it's a waste not to experience what each cuisine offers, however you do just crave a salad sometimes. Flax and Kale offer 80 percent plant-based and 20 percent fish based food and everything is sustainably sourced. This place was recommended to me, and if you need a little health kick amongst all the wine and tapas - add it to your list. Julia

C/tallers 74B (Cantonada Gravina) Plaça Castella Ciutat Vella, Barcelona,


Best cocktail bars

1. Paradiso

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What I love about the El Born neighbourhood is that every time you go for a stroll you discover new places. One night I stumbled upon this new pastrami bar, filled with people lining up for a sandwich (of course, I needed to try one, too). However, while standing in line I noticed some people disappear though a door. After asking around, I was invited in and I soon arrived in a very beautiful, hidden cocktail bar/speakeasy. The cocktails were innovative and delicious, too. Kathryn

Carrer Rera Palau 4, Barcelona, Spain 08003,

2. Libertine

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The fabulously versatile Libertine is located in Casa Bonay and I have found myself there on many occasions, mostly after dinner for a cocktail. However, it's also a place where you can come during the day and work in silence. It's a great spot to grab a delicious cup of coffee, sit for hours with a tea, read a book, organise meetings etc. You can grab your favourite tapas at anytime of day, and then dance the night away until close. Julia

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 700, 08008 Barcelona,


3 best areas to stay

1. El Raval

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Great street culture with contemporary art museums, offbeat restaurants, bars and clubs. It also has fantastic concept and vintage shops (if that's what you're into). Kathryn

2. El Born/La Ribera

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A chilled and eclectic neighbourhood with lots of one-of-a-kind boutiques that carry local designers. Kathryn

3. Gràcia

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Probably my favourite neighbourhood thanks to the charming houses and big open plazas. It also boasts cute and quaint antique furniture stores and lovely streets to wonder through. Julia


3 hotels to stay in

1. Hotel Midmost

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Great location, amazing rooftop pool and delicious buffet breakfast. Kathryn

Pelai, 14, 08001, Barcelona,

2.  Room Mate, Anna

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In my favourite location - Gràcia. The benefit of staying here is excellent service and the warm, friend-like hospitality. That's what sets them apart from any other hotel I've stayed in. There's also a beautiful terrace to sunbathe and pool for those warmer summer months. Kathryn

Carrer Aragó 271, 08007, Barcelona,

3. W Barcelona

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If you're wanting more of a luxury beachside experience, I highly recommend the W Barcelona. The beautiful thing about this hotel is the location and, of course, it's amenities. It's located on the beachfront along the Barceloneta boardwalk. After a long day of sightseeing, I treated myself to a steam and massage at the Bliss Spa located within the hotel. There's also a rooftop bar with an incredible view, and yes, the cocktails are world class. Julia

Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, Final Passeig de Joan de Borbó, Barcelona, 08039,


Where to shop for local and international designers

1. Wer-Haus

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A multi-concept store featuring a menswear boutique, art gallery, book store and a café. The owners have an incredible eye for fashion, photography and style. Julia

C/ Aragó 287, 08009, Barcelona,

2. Coquette

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This is where you can find an assembly of beautiful curated international designers like A.P.C, Isabel Marant, Jerome Dreyfuss and more. Kathryn

Various locations in Barcelona,

3. Nuovum

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Nuovum was an excellent find as it features the designs of local up-and-coming talent. The founder's objective was to create a space where people with the same lifestyle and vision would be able to find those hard-to-find pieces. Julia

Various locations in Barcelona,


3 tourist attractions you may not have heard of

1. Fundació Joan Miró

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Not only does this museum house many incredible pieces, but the stunning building itself is worth the visit. The museum is in the Montjuic Park and has a spectacular, panoramic view of Barcelona. Julia

Parc de Montjuïc 08038 Barcelona,

2. Museu D'Art Contemporani De Barcelona

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The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is situated in the Plaça dels Àngels, in El Raval, Ciutat Vella. The real art here is the cool white futuristic ship which was inspired by Le Corbusier. The stark white building against the blue sky makes for an incredible sightKathryn

Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001, Barcelona,

3. Barcelona Cooking

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This is not exactly a tourist attraction, rather a way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place known for its culinary delights. This cooking school is great for anyone who enjoys Catalan food. You start the day with a trip to the Mercat de la Boqueria to select all your fresh produce, then spend the rest of the afternoon drinking wine while learning how to make a delicious paella. It's also a great way to meet people if you're travelling solo. Julia

La Rambla, 58, ppal 2, 08002, Barcelona,


Best day spa

Bliss Spa

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As mentioned earlier, I'd highly recommend the Bliss Spa at the W Barcelona. Julia

Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, Final Passeig de Joan de Borbó, Barcelona, 08039,


Where to buy homewares, art or gifts

1. Bon Vent

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A concept store that carries beautifully crafted artisanal lifestyle products, as well as a small collection of clothing from local designers. Kathryn

C/Argenteria 41, 08003, Barcelona,

2. Gothic Quarter

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I also suggest strolling around Barcelona's winding Gothic Quarter, I found many unique art stores that sold some one-off artworks as well as pieces from up and coming Catalonian artists. Julia

Buro city guide: Barcelona (фото 23)

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