I know, I know…you are wondering how it is possible that this was my first time in Barcelona! This is what people have been telling me for ages when I candidly admitted that I never traveled to Barcelona or Venice! I felt a bit ashamed about that too, that’s why I went to Venice two years ago and, after a canceled trip (please don’t ask me more about that because even after years I’m still mad at someone for doing me this) and a few postponements, I finally spent a long weekend in Barcelona in April.
Although I’m not a fan of highly tourist-packed cities (which may explain why it took me almost 40 years to visit Barcelona and Venice!) I couldn’t resist the incredible charm of this town. It’s so one-of-a-kind, there’s nothing similar in the world. Gaudí left his awesome and rich heritage to this city and Barcelona is still living of it but it is also paying tribute to his most famous artist, like all the thousands of tourists visiting La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera or Parc Güell. We can say that, like Rome for different reasons, Barcelona is an open air museum. Even in its most crowded and touristic place – La Rambla – you can find a piece of art, a Miró mosaic that almost no one sees but that is the only thing that I liked there (exception made for the Boquería Market but only if you visit it at its opening at 8.30 am like I did on a Monday!).
Being my first time there I had a very typical Barcelona trip with a little exception: first thing that we did when we arrived was to visit the Raval, one of the best areas for vintage shopping in Barcelona! There I found one of my favorite vintage shops, Lullaby (where I bought vintage jewelry, dresses and a bag but only when I came back for the second time…too many things there before I decided what to get!) among many other cheap shops where it was so easy to get fab vintage bargains!
It is only on the day after that I started a serious tour of the city from the Barcelona famous flea market El Mercat dels Encants Vells where we loved the atmosphere and I got some interesting African bargains; and then the Sagrada Familia, one of the most breathtaking monuments that I ever seen in my life: I still remember this feeling that I have in front of incredible monuments. They literally take my breath away: it happened in Manhattan when I got out of the metro station and I felt my head turning around because of the incredible skyline and buildings; but it also happened in Moscow in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and in the Red Square or in Saint Petersburg when I saw the Church of the Savior on Blood.
After a quick lunch I headed to the Parc Güell, one of the biggest Gaudí’s fantasy creations: I got lost in this amazing park and I took so many pictures that my phone battery almost died there (thanks God I always bring a charger with me!). Such a shame that it was a cloudy day but at least we didn’t get the rain!
When you start with Gaudí in Barcelona you may feel like you can’t get enough: that’s why after visiting the Pacr Güell I immediately headed to Casa Batlló first, then La Pedrera, two very different pieces of art but still coming from the same incredible mind. I had the chance to visit both of them and all that I could say was: Wow! I was completely speechless and I started thinking “why did it take so long for me to come here?” I was missing to many incredible things!
Although it was such a busy day I made time for another vintage shop in town: Love Vintage! This was the temple of vintage denim – but not only! – and the prices were so good that I couldn’t help adding new items to my vintage wardrobe: finally I got a vintage Levi’s 501 exactly as I wanted it, a pair of Balenciaga vintage heels and a pair of vintage earrings, all this for around 60 euros! Vintage shopping in Barcelona was so good! Also I added non-vintage items taking advantage of the lowest prices in Mango (I found out in Madrid that it is cheaper than in Italy!) by buying some new interesting pieces of their new collection!
Even if I was almost destroyed by the tour I couldn’t help enjoyingBarcelona nightlife: sangria and tapas were our main food and drink of the whole weekend and I couldn’t be any happier! By the way, at the end of this post I will give you some hints of my best tapas bar in Barcelona (at least those that I tried and I liked a lot!).
On Sunday morning I got up early and took the Funicular to visit the amazing Miró museum and to enjoy a different area of Barcelona, very calm and peaceful with beautiful views and this great museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists and hosting also very interesting exhibits dedicated to the bees and to Japanese portraits artists. I decided then to head to Barceloneta to have a nice walk on the sea side and to see what I miss in Milan every day: the sea. The weather was still cloudy and I couldn’t enjoy the real summer atmosphere there, but seeing the sea was enough for me at the moment!
Then it was time to get lost in the Barri Gotic tiny streets, visiting the Cathedral and enjoying the little antiques market in the city center as well as the few open shops (like the vintage kilo shop Pink Flamingos, an American vintage shopwith incredible pieces at very affordable prices where I bought a marine dress for 15 euros!) and the Rambla. I finished the tour at the beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana, maybe less famous than the other modernist buildings in town but still one of my favorites.
Last thing that I did before leaving on the day after was visiting the Boquería Market on a Monday morning without the usual crowd of the day: I had breakfast there in the morning and I really enjoyed watching the market getting started! I had lovely chats with the market sellers and I loved this relaxed atmosphere that I was going to miss badly once in Milan!
Anyway, you have the vintage addresses for your vintage shopping in Barcelona (honestly I found great quality and bargain prices!) now let me give you a couple of hints for good tapas bars or at least those that I tried and I loved while there. Casa Lolea was definitely my favorite place near the Palau de la Música Catalana: amazing homemade sangria and delicious tapas (best patatas bravas ever!). In the same area, just in front of my favorite building I had super tasty tapas and red wine at Tosca.
(Navy coat Max&Co, Turban Madame Ilary, Shoes Marella, Striped sweaters Zara, Grey jeans Levi’s, Mom Jeans Topshop, Bag Vintage).