Insider Tips: LeCool Barcelona

Insider Tips: LeCool Barcelona

Kati Krause is the editor of the Le Cool Weird & Wonderful Guide to Barcelona, which focuses on authentic experiences rather that tourism – rather than featuring only the latest or the hippest, Le Cool looks for experiences that are worth travellers’ time. We asked Katie to give us a few of her top tips on the city…

What’s the first piece of advice you’d give to Barcelona visitors?

Avoid the crowds, especially when you’re in the Old Town. Barcelona is best discovered walking, but you should walk where others aren’t and not be afraid to temporarily get lost. Everybody does. Particularly avoid the Ramblas and the Maremagnum shopping centre. Leave any valuables at home. And remember that the greasiest, seediest-looking bars often serve the best food.

If you only had one night to stay in any hotel in Barcelona, which would it be?

ABaC. The problem is that I wouldn’t want to leave it all day.

If you only had one day in Barcelona where would you eat, and why?

I’d elbow my way onto a stool at Pinotxo, a bar in the Boqueria market, for a hearty breakfast of chickpeas and black pudding, or maybe broad beans and squid. At lunchtime I’d definitely have a paella on the beach, because some cliches are worth experiencing. If it was cold, I’d get a table by the window at Kaiku. If it was warm, I’d make the short trip to neighbouring Badalona for rice with squid and clams at family-run El Pescador. Since that tends to fill you up for the rest of the day, in the evening I’d probably just have a cheese plate and maybe some foie gras, accompanied by a few glasses of outstanding wine, at Monvinic.

Of the famous tourist sites in Barcelona, which would you avoid, and which would you try not to miss?

It’s definitely worth to have a look at the Sagrada Familia and Gaudi’s two houses on Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, although in the case of the latter two, I wouldn’t pay to go in. I would ditch the Picasso Museum in favour of, say, the Miro Foundation.

What’s your best insider tip to Barcelona?

The Poble Sec and Gracia neighbourhoods, which are just really nice and “normal”. And Los Juanele bar, where local go to actually dance flamenco, without any pageantry.

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