Discover Southern Europe | A Weekend in Barcelona
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. Photo: Wikipedia
Saturday: the old town and the best panorama The best way to soak up Barcelona is on foot. As a metropole in pocket size, you can easily get from one hotspot to the next without having to hit the subway. Kick off your journey at Plaça de Catalunya, the city’s biggest square and the gate to Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gràcia and the magnificent old town. In contrast to the geometric pattern of Eixample, Ciutat Vella (Catalan for ‘old city’) is a labyrinth of alleys packed full of secrets. Leave your map in your backpack and let your intuition guide you from the cosy shops to the picturesque squares and fragrant coffee bars. Try to pass Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, as well. The walls of this well-hidden square in the heart of Barcelona are Tainted by bullet holes, a dark souvenir from the Spanish Civil War. Once the clock strikes 2pm, most Spanish stomachs start to rumble. If yours does too, try to resist the attraction of big international 30 | Issue 7 | August 2019
chains and faux-Catalan ‘classics’ like paella and sangria. Instead, try a fideuà, a traditional dish of vermicelli and seafood. For lunch, most restaurants also offer lunch menus for anything from 11 to 20 euros. For that, they serve you a nice three-course meal, bread and a drink. Having digested your potential meal (with or without a traditional siesta), it is time to go upwards. The tops of both Montjuïc and Mount Tibidabo are great spots for gazing out across the city. Yet, the absolute prime spot for watching the sun set is Bunkers del Carmel. The remains of this military bunker from the Civil War attract plenty of people to admire the city with a drink and a tapa. To get there, you will have to hike a bit. The best option is to take Metro L5 to Sant Pau / Dos de Maig and walk to the nearby Carrer del Telègraf, where a series of escalators and elevators will take you halfway up.
Bunkers del Carmel. Photo: Wikipedia
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