Barcelona Photoblog


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Top Tips for Exploring Barcelona’s Natural World

Costa Brava north of Barcelona

Barcelona is famed for being home to one of the most cosmopolitan cityscapes in the world, where people travel from countries far and wide to see its beautiful baroque buildings and learn about its history. But, that is not all there is to it. In fact, within the city and surrounding its edges are numerous natural wonders which people overlook when they visit. If you are hoping to inject a dose of the natural world into your trip and escape from the busy crowds of the centre, you will not be disappointed. From city beaches to mountainous abbeys, there is something here that everyone can enjoy, whether you are a nature lover or not.

Visit city parks 

One of the city’s biggest perks is that you don’t have to travel far to find some green spaces. There are many parks you can find that are easy to reach by jumping on the metro or walking the short distance. For example, the famous Park Guell is home to some of Gaudi’s iconic architecture, where bright trees line the paths that lead to the perfect picnic spots and colourful buildings. Here, you can also catch a glimpse of the sea on the horizon. A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without heading to the Ciutadella Park, where you can catch sight of exotic wildlife in the zoo. For a more natural escape, the Jardi Botanic de Barcelona has views of rolling hills, forests, and exotic fauna in contrast to the bustling city alongside it. Such places are the perfect setting to take some pictures to commemorate your trip.

Travel outside the city

The green spaces inside the city are a great introduction to the natural world that lies beyond the metro line. In such places, you can enjoy hiking and biking, but you can also go camping in the warmer weather for an unforgettable experience. To make the most of the mountainous land nearby, you should make the short drive to Serra de Collserola, where you can catch mountain views as you explore. To get to these areas, it is best for you to travel in a car rental if you don’t have your car with you. This will ensure you can see some of the best natural scenery on the drive there. 

Relax on the beach

When people think of the natural world, they often picture green forests and mountainous terrain. However, beaches are also a great way to make the most of it if you don’t want to spend your days surrounded by greenery. There are many city beaches you can relax on like Playa de la Barceloneta, but you can find the most peaceful by traveling further down the coast. For a few short hours or an evening trip away, you should catch the train to Platja de Sant Sebastia, which offers great views of old town and the sea. There are other beaches to explore nearby. For a more unique beach experience, travel north to Platja de L’Illa Roja, where you can find impossibly clear waters and rocky, coastal hikes to indulge your beach dreams.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Find Best Barcelona Spots Suggested by Locals

Spotted by Locals
source: Spotted by Locals

Would you like to explore a city and skip most of the typical touristic places so you do not end up having paella in Las Ramblas for example? Would you be willing to waste your precious time going straight to Sagrada Familia without buying the tickets online in the right website if you could avoid it? 

Many are the mistakes we can make when we play the tourist in a foreign country. But what if we were able to get the best advice from dozens or hundreds of local 'guides' that volunteer to give you the best hints about places they have spotted for you, places that are their favorite secret troves. 

Yep, those things you can have with Google reviews, Google Maps' local guides, Foursquare, Yelp or the omnipresent but sometimes dubious Trip Advisor. In fact, there is a jungle out there of contradictory opinions that you have to sift and filter a lot to make your final decisions. Many of these helpful sites have their own biased interests, like selling accommodation, earning commission from restaurants, favoring the big business in the city and ruining the good guys, you name it. Well, sometimes money counts. Many of us sell stuff online with more or less success. It is just that the big shots are very unfair in their game.

And so, let's keep going with our hypothesis of the, what if? What if you could take those volunteered opinions in one city guide that you can navigate offline like a map, that you can update with fresh opinions from locals and to which you can add your own favorite spots? What if not only you could cover Barcelona for example but also 70 other cities in one single website? Or what is best, what if all that, traveled with you in a single app? 

Spotted by locals, founded by two experienced nomadic travel experts, Sanne and Bart back in 2008, is a network of almost 500 hand picked local spotters from all over the world that meet each other regularly and enjoy the benefits of sharing their own findings among them and fortunately with us. And they not only offer this excellent service on their website but now also in an app available for android or ios.

And you would say, this guy is selling me stuff, just like the rest. You are right! I am selling you a bright idea, an all-in-one travel app recommended by the New York Times. What did I get for this? What if I tell you that I am a happy user of the Barcelona Spotted by Locals app? I wish I could pay 3.99 euros for every city I visit. It would save me a lot of trouble. So far I just got Barcelona. It comes handy on many occasions. Another good reason is that last year Barcelona Photoblog was selected among the best Barcelona blogs of 2017 by Spotted by Locals. They were kind enough as to try my site and found it useful. I have tried their app and I loved it. And so why would I keep it just for myself if everything Barcelona, everything good in my lovely city is the reason for this blog to exist. I hope you enjoy their great work as much as I do.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Best Local Markets to Cover When in Barcelona

Art and craft, vegetables and meat, trinkets and souvenirs, the markets of Barcelona boast of having the most delicious produce, the most intricate art, dynamic people and energetic atmosphere. Plan your vacation in such a way that you can include all of the wonderful things that the city markets have to offer.

Markets of Barcelona

For a true foodie, Barcelona is nothing less than a shrine. Meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits all collected fresh in the morning is a lovely sight to behold. Team it up with local chefs working their magic, the aroma of the fresh spices, and you have the best gastronomic experience one can ever have! For all those looking to take back memories in the form of trinkets, you will find here a number of antique shops giving you precious delicates that will forever be special to you. And for an art lover, adding to the beauty of this ancient city are the modern artists spreading the joy of colours.

Take a look at our list of the best local markets to cover when in Barcelona and plan your trip soon!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

Often called as La Boqueria, this market is the most famous market of Barcelona. A tourist magnet, you will see people flooding the streets of the market to get the best foodie experience of the city. Famous for the fresh produce that it offers, it prides in selling fruits, vegetables, meat, flowers, spices and everything that would tickle your senses.

Mercat de la Concepció

Photo credits: Gerhidt

Famed to be the best “social” market in the city, Mercat de la Concepció aims to bring people together. With excellent food options, this market organises events and activities for people to get to know the city and one another better. A delight to be a part of, this is shopping, dining and mingling at its best!

Mercat de Santa Caterina

The most significant part of this market is its roof. Not as large as the others, but definitely not less diverse, you will be attracted to its atmosphere like a bee is to a flower! Mercat de Santa Caterina flaunts a vibrant design, a work of art by Enric Miralles, Benedetta Tagliabue and the artist Toni Comella. Mosaic art flashing hues of fresh produce, you will not be disappointed by the offerings of this market.

Mercat del Ninot

Photo credits: Jordiferrer

An authentic experience of Barcelona food, this is the market where the locals shop! Fresh produce of vegetables, fruits and meat fill the trays early in the morning, and the fresh aroma is tantalising. A hidden gem in the city, a casual morning shopping tour will only do you good.

Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep

Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep is an artist’s haven. Opened as a tradition every week, this market features 15 artists who come to showcase their talents. The hues, the strokes and the emotions that flow through the air are surreal and mesmerising. Also boasting of a fun side to it, artists are more than happy to discuss art, and caricatures can be enjoyed at every other stall!

Mercat de Sant Antoni

Photo credits: Valugi

One place that has it all, Mercat de Sant Antoni showcases to its visitors, clothes, souvenirs, and trinkets, as well as fresh fruits, meat and vegetables. One of the largest markets in the city, it is frequented by locals. To get an exotic shopping experience, don’t forget to include it in your itinerary!
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