A local’s lazy wanders through the barrios of Barcelona
Since moving to Gracia, I spend most weekends mastering the art of the paseo, strolling through its pebble-peppered streets without any specific purpose. Gracia is a great barrio to explore when you don’t want to do anything in particular but need to be outside, people-watching in a plaza and taking in how lovely Barcelona is.
I like to start with a pick-me-up from A Casa Portuguesa in Placa del Diamant. They make great coffee (the best in town, as proclaimed by the sign outside) and delightful egg tarts, the perfect breakfast for a late Saturday morning. If you feel like treating yourself, get the super chocolate cake which is my personal favourite in the city.
Take in the street art as you wander around. Murals by local artists abound, including technicolor portraits of beloved Game of Thrones characters. The shutters of organic wine store Vi Festival on Carrer Verdi feature a mural by graffiti artist El Xupete Negre. Since you’re there, you might as well sample some delicious local wines and pick up a bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
Sipping vermouth in Placa del Sol is great and all, but there are other plazas that don’t get enough credit. Take Placa de la Virreina for example with its shady terraces, gorgeous church steps and occasional Sunday swing dancing. If you start feeling peckish or get a craving for a mimosa, head to Hideout Bar just behind Plaza de la Virreina for a healthy menu that’ll hit the spot and a little terrace where you can catch the last rays of sun.
End the day watching the sunset with a picnic from Barcelona’s favourite selfie spot, Bunkers El Carmel. Sure, it’s a bit of a trek to get to, but the view is always worth it.