Eq Student Goes to: Barcelona, Your Ultimate Travel Guide

BARCELONA
SPAIN

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View from the Centro Comercial Arenas Rooftop.

Barcelona seems to find its way onto most people’s travel bucket lists… and for good reason! This city has glorious architecture, amazing food, rich culture, Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, and one of the best nightlife scenes. If you haven’t put Barcelona on your list yet, I sincerely don’t know what is holding you back.  



Where to Stay
(location, location, location)

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Ofelias Hotel Lobby – Barcelona

Barcelona has tons of hotels and Airbnb places to choose from for every budget, style preference, location, and more. I’m usually very conservative when it comes to hotels, meaning I make sure to stay at a reputable and well-known chain. But this time, I felt good. I felt risky and adventurous. So I decided to book a room at this decently-rated and trendy-looking hotel!

Now, let me tell you more about the hotel (heart emoji).

Stylish Ofelias Hotel was conveniently located in the Eixample neighbourhood. If you are unfamiliar with the area, this is where you will find the city’s best shopping, amazing restaurants/bars, and some of Gaudi’s most famous works. Most touristic attractions were a short bus, taxi or metro ride away and easy to get to (refer to the How to Get Around section for more information). 

The hotel’s interior is both modern and gorgeous. Once you walk in, it’s hard to ignore every little stunning detail, from luxurious furniture, to the unique painted ceramic wall, to the see-through elevators, and more. This gem also offers a rooftop paradise-like pool, a little terrace, spacious enough rooms, free WiFi, and complementary breakfast. We paid around $280 CAD/night with all fees included. 

A must!



How to Get Around
(from A to B)

  • Hop on hop off bus: they often offer various routes and drive by most touristic spots. You can hop off at any time to walk around. The buses pass every 5-10 minutes so all you need to do is catch the next one when you want to continue your city tour!
  • **Metro**: I recommend you go around by metro. You can buy a 10 ticket pass at any machine in any station once you are there and save on the single price!!! 
  • Taxi: the city is flooded with them so don’t be worried about having to call one in spanish. 
  • Uber/MyTaxi: although Uber is present in Spain, the people there use a similar app called MyTaxi. You should check it out if you have a hard time finding a ride.

Where to Shop
($$$$$$)

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El Cortes Inglés
  • El Corte Inglés: the biggest department store in Europe and a Spanish/Portuguese version of Saks 5th where you can find both popular brands from across the globe and european brands you’ve never heard of. Make sure to take a look at the store’s website (by clicking on the link above) to find a location near you. Important: different locations sell different brands and have different departments. *** Make sure you get the Corte Inglés tourist card (you will need to show your passport for this). It will be valid for 5 days in the department store (any location) and each purchase you make gives you 10% of that purchase off the next one. So if you spend 100€, you will get 10€ off the next time you buy something, which is pretty cool. Simply ask an employee to direct you to the person in charge of issuing the cards.
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Las Rocas Village – Barcelona
  • Las Rocas Village: whether you are an avid fashionista seeking the best deals or you have some time to spare during your trip, this is the place to go. The easiest way to get there is to take the organized shuttle service leaving everyday from the center of Barcelona (Passeig de Gracia, 6) – it takes up to 50 minutes to get there. “In this village, no less than 130 brands offer year-round broken prices of up to 60%…”! 

 

  • Passeig de Gracia: if you are looking for Barcelona’s more exclusive boutiques, you should go shopping along el Passeig de Gracia! Other than spending a lot of money, you can enjoy some of Barcelona’s most sought after modernist buildings like la Casa Battló of Antoni Gaudí. Find stores like Yves Saint Laurent, Apple, Burberry, Cartier, Mango, Lacoste, and many more.   
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Casa Battlo by Antoni Gaudi
  • Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel: if you walk down this street, from Plaça de Catalunya to the cathedral square (left) or to Portaferrissa street (right), you will come across bigger names like Zara, Massimo Dutti, El Corte Inglès, Bershka and H&M. I recommend you walk through the area, especially down its adjacent and narrow streets (belonging to the Gothic Quarter) where you will find small independant boutiques. 


What to Do

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View from Las Arenas Rooftop
  • Eat & drink with a view
    • El Centro Comercial Arenas Rooftop: the original Las Arenas de Barcelona was inaugurated in 1900 as a bull-fighting ring. As this type of entertainment became less popular, the arena faced declining attendance and was sold to be converted into the entertainment/shopping complex it is today. The British architect in charge of the project kept its original façade and took 8 years to complete the project. It now has popular shops, a gym, a music venue, a cinema, and a rooftop full of amazing restaurants and bars with a fantastic 360 degree view on Barcelona!

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      Centro Comercial Maremagnum – Barcelona
      • El Centro Comercial Maremagnumthis shopping mall does have a few popular shops like Mango or Zara, but what makes it truly special is its location (surrounded by water and accessible by the Rambla del Mar wooden lifting bridge), La Terraza (a panoramic platform offering a 360 degree view), and the Barcelona Skyline (filled with top notch restaurants). 
  • Museums
    • This trip was too short for us to visit museums as we had done a few at our previous destination. Barcelona does have a great variety of wonderful museums, we’ll just have to go back. Here are a few on our list: Museu Picasso, Fundació Joan Miró, Museu Nacial d’Art de Catalunya, and Museu Maritim de Barcelona. 
  • Marina Port Vell & surrounding boardwalk
    • Port Vell is home to the OneOcean Club: one of the largest superyacht marina in the Meditarannean. It is stunning. I recommend you walk around and down the boardwalk. 

 

We hope you will find some helpful tips through this article. Don’t hesitate to share your personal experiences and favourite Barcelona spots!!

-EQ STUDENT

 

 

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