If you ask me, Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world, but as a part-time resident, I’m admittedly biased. Like Sydney and Cape Town, Barcelona is a city by the beach with a laid-back attitude and big-time cultural attractions. Beyond the familiar draws–the works of Antoni Gaudí¬, late-night tapas, chiringuitos (beach clubs), boutique hotels–there’s so much more to be discovered design-wise. Here are some of my favorites that have yet to make it into the guidebooks.
Photography by Pauline Egge.
Best Menu del Dia
Above: A few friends opened Lando in a former garage, converting it into a bright, glittering restaurant with hanging pendant bulbs and exposed ventilation along the ceiling. Located in hipster district Sant Antoni, the canteen serves up an ever-changing, three-course menu, while the bar offers light tapas in a stylish setting. Photograph via Lando on Petite Passport.
Best Family Stay
Above: Yök Casa + Cultura is the creation of Petz Scholtus and Mari Rodríguez Marañís, who transformed a floor in a typical Barcelona residential building into three eco-friendly apartments available for short-term rent. Two of the setups sleep four each; the third has room for eight–perfect for a family or group of friends on vacation. Yök Casa is just on the edge of El Born, a popular district full of slim alleyways and winding streets. Photograph via Yök Casa on Petite Passport.
A Hotel and Bakery in One
Above: Currently there are five Praktik Hotels in Spain: one in Madrid and four in Barcelona, each with its own theme. The most recently opened, Praktik Vinoteca, as the name suggests is all about wine, while Praktik Garden is designed with plenty of houseplants. Interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán is responsible for all the hotels. My favorite is Praktik Bakery, where the ground floor of the hotel features a large bakery open to guests and anyone walking in off the street. A bonus: Praktik Bakery is situated near La Pedrera, one of Gaudí’s famous works, and close to Viní§on, the popular interiors shop, so you can plan a morning or afternoon around a pilgrimage to all three. Photograph via Praktik Bakery on Petite Passport.
Favorite Spot for Afternoon Tea
Above: A cultural space designed by Lázaro Rosa Violán (of the aforementioned Praktik Hotels), Artte is filled with shops and restaurants. lt’s located in a former parking garage and the only natural light filters through the roof and the entrance. Head to the middle to find one of my favorite tea shops for buying bagged and loose tea, and plan to sit for a cup while you’re there. Photograph via Artte on Petite Passport.
Where to Go for a Leisurely Dinner
Above: Albert Adrií , brother of Ferran Adrií of El Bulli fame, opened Niño Viejo in August with chef Paco Méndez. The homey-industrial interior is the work of Pilar Líbano, who commissioned a former Disney cartoonist to draw illustrations on a few of the walls. The menu is new-style Mexican taqueria (I recommend the ceviche with cactus). Photograph via Niño Viejo on Petite Passport.
Our new Weekend Guide columnist, Pauline Egge, is the founder and editor of the travel site Petite Passport. Pauline lives in Barcelona and the Netherlands, and spends much of her time crisscrossing the globe. For Remodelista, she’ll be sharing her favorite design addresses, city by city.
For more places to eat, drink, and sleep, see our Spain City Guides.
Read Pauline Egge’s guide to one of the World’s Great Coffee Capitals.