Europe Barcelona

I posted this on TB but that place is pretty dead, so let's start a thread here. I'm going to Barcelona for the first week of December and looking for tips besides the obvious (meaning BierCaB and Lambicus), beer, food, whatever. I have a decent list of stuff but interested in hearing from people who have been there recently or locals if we have any.
 
La Paradeta for an amazing seafood dinner. Quimet & Quimet for a unique eating experience. Bodega Maestrazgo for wine tasting. I'll second Garage Beer Co as well. ølgod is a cool beer spot that makes a killer beer cocktail. Make sure to get some Orxata as well...Sirvent or Verdu are both good spots.

Do a guided tour of Sagrada and try to time it for good light.

There is a nice outdoor patio space at El Prat airport that's great to chill at before your flight home.
 
Would also recommend the Güell park tour. Drink lots of cava and try the calçots if they're available anywhere. One day trip I wish we'd done was Montserrat
I just booked Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell. For day trips we're considering Montserrat and Figueres for the Dali museum, but aren't sure we can really do both with only 5 days in town.
 
My rec would be to go to Morro Fi for vermouth on the rocks. Great small local spot doing traditional vermouth drinks and fun snacks. Otherwise, would agree with other people here in terms of recs for Garage, Vinitus, Parc Guell, and Sagrada Familia.
 
Charcuterie la Pineda is not to be missed for food. Pakta is awesome if you want a nicer sit down meal.

You mentioned it already, but biercab is incredible. Maybe my favorite beer bar I've ever been to outside of the United States.
 
I really liked the patatas bravas at Biercab, too. Garage beer was an awesome little spot just down the street from Biercab, so that was a nice stop on the walk back to our place.

My wife and I had a really nice dinner at La Pepita while my parents watched our daughter one night, and we had a great dinner all together at La Llavor dels Origens.

Also, if the weather is nice, grab some beers and hang out in Placa del Sol.
 
Big fan of BCN, our most recent trip was last New Years, but not much to add to what's already been mentioned. So many nooks to find great food (recommend the 90€/kg jamon at any random grocery store...do it...the dedicated shops will be more €€€) and drink, that you really can't go wrong for breakfast pastries/bread...anything. Recommend the wagyu a la plancha at BierCab. Have fun!
 
I realized that I should write up some stuff here while it's still in my head.

Beer Places

BierCaB: Awesome. Good food, but I'm not sure you could drag along your beer-skeptical travelmates claiming that it's a draw. Great selection. The shop was closed the first two times we went, but third time's the charm and the selection was crazy. Not only seeing Fou just sitting around, but there were Side Project and SARA beers too! Bananas.

Garage Beer Co: Nice spot to hang out. The beer is good, but I wasn't suuuper impressed by any of the IPAs. Had a nice stout but by that point I was a bit sauced so who knows? Food was good too, but similar level to BierCaB, solid, not a draw. (I'm not sure we had any bad food anywhere.)

Lambicus: Trying very hard to feel like a bar in Belgium and getting most of the way there. Taplist was whatever but the bottle list was great, including a bunch of Twist of Fate bottles. I only got to try two, but that's two more of those than I ever thought I'd try so that's still nice. We only got the cheese plate, but it was definitely worth it, Belgian cheeses really hit the spot.

Beer'linale: Lots of taps (maybe more than BierCaB) and crazy bottle selection, but I could never actually figure out how much the Loons were (the ones on the list they didn't have, the ones they did have weren't on the list...) so I stuck to draft. Food was probably the best of the beer spots.

Abirradero: Weird brewery (it's like the brewing association of Catalonia? I don't know). Food was fine, beer was fine, worth a stop if you're in the area but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Space was huge, which is nice.

Ale&Hop: More of a Farmhouse brewery, small-ish space, beer is competent but not excellent (then again the bartender said their best stuff wasn't on that day and I didn't want to grab a bottle). Didn't try the food. Again, worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood, which you probably will be because it's in the Gothic quarter and everything's near each other there.

Food Places

Cerversaria Catalana: So, this place showed up on a bunch of beer lists and was close enough to our AirBnB to give it a shot on the day we landed, but it's not really a beer spot. Sure, the menu is better than, like, the usual Damm beers, but not by much. That said, this might've been the best food/$ we had. The roast duck with foie tapa was insane. Like, "inject it straight into my veins" insane. It also had the best waiter of the trip, a very funny Asian guy.

Moments: Two Michelin Star place. Worth the price of admission (which is, uh, high), although we definitely should've done the short menu, not the full one. Wine pairing was worth it too.

La Boqueria: this is half food spot and half tourist destination. We never really ate here just because of how things worked out, but I definitely recommend grabbing a cone of ham, that stuff is absurd (we brought some back and I'll be opening it tonight at a beer tasting). We also grabbed some random stuff like fruit and olives. There's a ton of restaurants but I have no idea how to choose any specific one (always a problem).

Bar Mundial: This showed up on a few "best of" lists, and it was certainly an experience. I'd put it at the "if you're in the area" level for just the food, but it might be worth it if you count the ambiance.

Firebug: Brunch spot, it was fine.

Le Petit Prince: Brunch spot, it was fine.

(We did fewer food-only spots than I thought, at least that I can remember.)

Attractions

La Sagrada Familia: Didn't do a guided tour because they give me hives, but we did go up in one of the towers (passion facade I think?) and it was fine. The way things are build you don't get particularly great views, the older basilicas that let you up on their roof are better for that. That said, the whole building is crazy and you absolutely must go to it.

Park Guell: Neat, but, honestly, maybe skippable? I feel like we did the Guadi stuff in the wrong order, because after Sagrada Familia everything else is a bit underwhelming. I guess seeing the entrance dragon and having that explained would help for the rest of the trip (that thing was everywhere).

The Guadi apartments: I don't remember their names and don't really care, they were fine. Utterly underwhelming. There are a lot of buildings with neat-looking facades in the town, these ones are whimsical but very "meh" for me. Maybe had we gone inside it would've been different?

Las Ramblas: not an attraction per se, but you'll definitely wind up there whether you intend to or not. It's a nice stroll, we did pretty much the whole thing.

Picasso Museum: Worth it, but a very weird collection. Most of the pieces were donated by Picasso or his estate so you get a very detailed look at his early years and a very detailed look at a study he did of one painting in his later years, and very little in between. I was hoping to see the evolution from standard techniques to impressionism to cubism but it was a giant lurch after the first transition. They had a cool exhibit documenting his friendships with some other artists that was probably as worth seeing as the main thing.

Barcelona History Museum: I went in thinking that this was basically just the roman ruins underneath the museum. WRONG. It has those, and they're very cool, but this museum covers everything from the prehistory of the area, through the ruins, up until the early modern era. I was terrified that it was going to keep going because toward the end I was very burned out on history. If you actually read every single display and listened to the whole audio guide you'd probably be in there for a good 6-8 hours. It's worth going to, but good lord start skimming things after a while.

Barcelona Cathedral: It's a cathedral, be prepared to be bombarded by Jesus and the saints. Go up on the roof. We were there during the xmas market, which is apparently the best time to get a caganer! We just ended up with a Tio de Nadal, which my son is very excited about.

Temple of Augustus: Just 4 columns from the original roman temple that have been partially built into surrounding buildings. Neat stop, you'll be near it at some point.

Basilicas: We went to 3, Santa Maria del Pi (which has an art market outside on weekends, we got a painting of the square from there), Santa Maria del Mar, and Sants Màrtirs Just i Pastor. I honestly can't remember which is which (outside of the market one), but one had a lot of information on the history of the building, another had a wonderful view from the roof, and the last one required a guided tour to get onto the roof (and had a suuuuuuper cheesy wedding just ending as we got there). I think the sucky one was Maria del Mar but don't quote me on that. The other ones are worth doing for sure.

Montjuic: Go up it on the gondola, go to the castle. Super worth it. Views are astounding, we were there as some rain was leaving and got a nice rainbow over the city, it was fantastic.

Montserrat: I have mixed feelings about Montserrat. First, we went on a Friday in December after it had been raining the previous two days, and it was still pretty damn crowded. Second, the way people were acting inside the basilica itself was infuriating. Kids were fighting, people talking on their phones, and there were so many tour groups it was actively loud. It felt like Disneyland but in an old church. I'm hardly one for saying we have to venerate all old religious spaces, but come on. I don't think I've ever felt so actively disgusted about other tourists before. We were in there for like two minutes and left to catch the funicular train up even higher and did one of the hikes up there. Weirdly they never give you distances, just times, and the times seem to be for, like, speed-hikers who never stop to admire the views. But they were amazing and that part was worth doing. We got lunch in the cafeteria and I wish we had had our shit together so we could've just packed a lunch, it was overpriced garbage. Worth noting: there's an art museum there that was desolate and actually pretty cool. There's a random collection of artifacts and also a bunch of different takes on the mountain itself, we got a print of one in the gift shop. If you go, make sure you stop by that.


That was all we had time for, I would definitely love to go back sometime (and hopefully get better weather). It was really interesting to see the increase in foot traffic from Tuesday to Saturday, it seems like half of the British Isles decided to take a quick vacay based on the accents I was hearing on Saturday...

Oh, also, the urban design was certainly interesting. The octagonal intersections took some getting used to. I was also surprised by how long the light cycles are, if you miss one you're definitely standing around for a while, which is atypical even in Oakland. That said, traveling in European cities always make me so jealous of their transit, comparing the Metro to BART makes it look super inadequate. Which it is. Oh well.
 
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