Barcelona is one of my favourite cities to visit, offering an endless supply of incredible food, gobsmacking sights, AWESOME shopping, and winding streets to explore. Here is a quick tour around town where, naturally, I themed it around food.
- Language: Spanish, Catalan, English is widely spoken
- Currency: 1 euro = $1.23 USD (check xe.com for current rates)
- Timezone: Central European Time
- Weather in August: Average 31°C
Once you’re in the city, head straight for La Rambla. This is my favorite street because it is lined with shops, market stands, restaurants and street performers leading down to the ocean. It was here that we stumbled across Mercado de la Boqueria, a market that blew me away with the bright colors of the fresh fruit and vegetables. This is the place to go to pick up a snack of the freshest fruits, cheeses and vegetables you’ve ever tasted, and the most incredible assortment of freshly squeezed juices – how does coconut with strawberry, kiwi with orange, or peach with chocolate sound?
Of course, Barcelona is home to some of the world’s greatest artists and almost every corner you turn will prove this. The most outstanding attraction within the city is Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, a church that bursts through the city’s skyline. A church has been under construction for approximately 200 years, its most amazing feature is that there is not one single sharp edge to the detail. All carvings are rounded to give it the appearance of being made of wax.
Barcelona Travel Tip
If you need to go to the bathroom while you’re walking around the sights, find a McDonalds somewhere. I was warned against going anywhere else, but I still made the mistake of sneaking into a pub’s bathroom. When the owner realized we weren’t customers, she nearly lost her mind – I actually though she was going to slap me in the middle of the Spanish abuse she was hailing at me. But hey, at least the task at hand was complete. Lastly, please remember that Spain is home to many clever pickpockets, so be sure to keep your bags closed and close to your body at all times.
The Gran Casino de Barcelona, host of the PokerStars.net EPT, is situated on the waterfront opposite Port Olimpic, a long strip of bars and nightclubs. This area is a hot tourist spot, which means the bars love to rip you off, but at the same time they also bend over backward to get you inside their club with all the competition nearby, especially if you’re walking along the pier before midnight as the party only gets started when the clock ticks over to the a.m.
Each bar has promoters standing out the front trying to reel you inside with a “free shot.” Don’t be fooled, though, because the alcohol in this “free shot” might as well be water. We haggled with one persistent salesman about this scam and he insisted it was the real deal, so we joined him inside. When the waitress saw him enter with new customers, she went to do her routine pour of the shots, but he stopped her and told her to get the real bottle of vodka – and that it was. This may just be the power of five blonde Aussie girls in Europe, but there’s no harm in giving it a go yourself.