The series “Holiday like a local in…” aim to show you a destination through the eyes of locals living in any European city. Discovering a place’s hidden spots, the things that are not included in any guide book, and the charming cafes with amazing views or the best known sights from a different angle are just a glimpse of what locals can show you.
Today we will discover Barcelona through the eyes of a local – Bruno from GeekyExplorer.com, who shows his favourite places, insider tips and many more. Follow Bruno on Facebook and Twitter for more crazy world adventures.
#1. Please, introduce yourself, your blog and the city you live in!
Hello fellow travellers! My name is Bruno and I run GeekyExplorer.com. I’m a digital geek focusing on having enjoyable travel experiences without spending much money. I’m portuguese born in the Azores Islands but based in Barcelona, Spain since 2014.
#2. What do you love the most about Barcelona?
1) The international vibe. Barcelona has not only loads of tourists, but also expats from everywhere which make the city a very interesting cultural melting pot.
2) The mobility. Barcelona is probably the city where it’s easier to go from point A to point B. While the network of public transportation (trams, metros and buses) runs smoothly even on weekends, the urban planning is also very well thought, allowing for a safe and enjoyable walk or a ride on skate or roller blades! Barcelona is also very bike-friendly city and you can enjoy the spectacular must-see highlights combined with the undiscovered corners of the city going beyond beaten touristic routes.
3) The architecture. I love architecture and it’s a delight to see not only the hyped monuments like Sagrada Familia, but also the “normal” residential buildings, which are very well preserved and always having some interesting construction detail.
#3. What are your favorite local meals?
I love a good tapeo: a full tapas meal! Don’t even think leaving Barcelona without having some patatas bravas (the Catalan version of chips), chipirones (little fried fish), bombas (filled potatoes) or pintxos (small bread pieces with anything on top – originally from Basque country).
#4. What’s the best place to have breakfast?
My favorite places for breakfast in Barcelona are two very different realities. One is Café Federal, which has an AMAZING brunch. The huevos revueltos with smoked salmon are a tasty option. Otherwise, Organic’s in Plaça Urquinaona is a great place with reasonably priced all-organic food.
#5. What’s the best place to have dinner?
For great pintxos, I highly reccommend Blai Tonight, in Poble Sec. Awesome food at 1€ a piece. It’s a great place to start your night because in the same street, you can find many others places with great tapas.
#6. What are the top three attractions in Barcelona?
Sagrada Familia is just magnificent, specially on the inside. El Gotic is a great place for an afternoon walk. And I would go with Parc Guell as well, another of masterpieces of Gaudi. His work is all around the city!
#7. Where can you get the best view of Barcelona?
For me, the best views are from the highest hill in the city – Tibidabo. It’s impressive how much of the coastline you can see from up there. There is also a cathedral and an amusement park (I know, weird combination!).
#8. Are there any possibilities for exciting day trips from Barcelona? Where to?
The thing about Barcelona is that you are near many different and interesting places. Andorra in the North, Valencia in the south, Majorca is a ferry ride away. But for day trips I can reccommend three places:
1) Montserrat – I haven’t been there yet as I’m waiting for warmer weather, but it’s a good mountain getaway. Perfect for hiking!
2) Girona – A small city north of Barcelona with loads of history.
3) Sitges – A small town near the coast with an easy-going vibe to it. Don’t miss the Carnival there!
#9. Your favorite cultural attractions or activities?
As a general rule, museums in Barcelona are free on Sunday after 3pm. My favorite is Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona , there are always very interesting exhibits when I go there. Other thing I love to do on the weekends is go to the local markets. La Boqueria or Santa Caterina have great quality vegetables, meat and fish normally at better prices than the supermarkets.
#10. What are the best traditional festivals or events throughout the year?
1) Festas de Gracia. Every August the streets of the neighborhood of Gracia, in center Barcelona, compete to win the prize of being the best decorated. It’s completely wacky and fun! Worth to see it during the day and to party by night!
2) Sonar Festival. One of the most famous festivals of electronic music in the whole world happens in June in Barcelona.
3) Festival La Mercè. Happening in 24th September, is the day of the Holy Merce, patron of Barcelona. The bank holiday is celebrated with fireworks, free concerts and parades of giant figures and castellers – the Catalan tradition of building human towers.
If you want to participate in “Holiday like a local in…” series on Travelling Buzz, send an email to: [email protected] with the city you live in. Currently wanted: Athens, Barcelona, Istanbul, Paris, Valencia, but always ready to include other European cities.
Have you been in Barcelona? What is your favourite place there or the place you would love to see the most?