What’s the best way to discover Barcelona? My favourite is to get lost in its streets and shopping areas with some amazing tradition and architectural details! There is such a melting pot of cultures, a mixture of old and new, full of curiosities waiting to be discovered.
Do you know what locals eat or buy? Have you ever tried the typical “jamón serrano” (Spanish ham)? Do you know how to tie the traditional “espardenyes”? This is the way in which you will get into the new city: the perfect tour.
Feel the essence of this culture with a guide who knows each corner of the narrows streets of the neighbourhood. The most exclusive designers will allow you to see their ateliers behind their shops, not possible if you were alone. They will also explain you personally its creations as they did during our visit! Remember you can still do this tour until the end of September, no longer!
Two areas you just can’t miss in Barcelona:
This area was inside the medieval walls. Now it has become one of the most fashionable areas of the city. Walking through these streets during the tour was amazing. The conservation of its cobbled and narrow streets is combined with the growth of unique and craft businesses. You will not find two identical stores! This diversity and authenticity will make you enjoy every step you take in this neighbourhood. The guide will lead you to the narrowest street in Barcelona. Less than one meter wide!
Don’t miss the market of El Born. It is the largest covered square in all of Europe and marked the start of «Modernisme« in Catalan architecture. Also with this style you will find the Palau de la Música Catalana, a garden of colourful stones, mosaics, crystals and irons that represents the nature in all its facades.
Another market you must visit is the Santa Caterina. The amazing colourful cover is inspired by Gaudí «trencadís«. A technique based on the combination of ceramics and crystals of different colours previously broken on purpose.
It is the Roman Barcino’s original nucleus, a labyrinthine of streets where the Catedral is the main point. Also the Plaça Sant Jaume where there are the City Council and Parliament. Try to take the same route twice… almost impossible!
Many of the buildings date from medieval times. In fact, the squared Roman Wall can be seen around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south.
The medieval Jewish Quarter, El Call, is also located in this district. Nowadays, the streets are plenty of museums, palaces and official buildings but also you will find restaurants in every corner. If you are looking for some bars to go out, check its frenetic nightlife.
The best shopping stops
During our tour we visited different emblematic shops savoring Barcelona’s lifestyle, a real pleasure for the senses.
Jewellery. Have you ever seen precious stones? Hábit is a space that will surprise you with the natural gems that adorn any piece of jewellery. You will discover the secret of mystic jewels. You will be lucky if the master is at home. The famous jeweler Miquel Barberà will explain you every detail of the process and where come from every jewel of the shop. His passion to convert each natural stone in an artwork is pure imagination and precision. The guide will help you to see his secret atelier downstairs!
Fashion. Next stop: Otto Van Rhusk, a boutique specialized in leathers and furs fashion. At the shop you will find answer for all your questions and doubts about which clothes fit you better. Feel like the most VIP clients taking a picture in front of the photocall with some of these exclusive leather jackets. Try on the elegance of the simplicity and the good taste.
Shoes. The best bespoke shoes in town. In the Ramon Cuberta’s shop you will not find a pair like another. Exclusivity in its purest form. This designer only makes about 18 pairs of shoes per year so just the most exclusive clients can buy his artworks. This is a high quality collection inspired by austere and singular classic designs, made on bench-work and sell it with their original shoe-trees inside to ensure their long-lasting.
Ceramic. Mosaiccos is a space where you can not only buy beautiful souvenirs of Barcelona but also make your own designs in boxes, frames, figures… The handicrafts have the technique of Gaudí, such the “trencadis” or ceramic or glass mosaics. Angelika Heinbach, its Creative Director, offers courses and workshops for children and adults.
Decoration. Everything is possible in OMG BCN. They have wooden rimmed sunglasses, necklaces with innovative forms, cactus made of clothes for decoration and many more inspired and original objects you can’t imagine. All made and designed in Barcelona.
Flamenco. Have you ever visit an atelier where you can not only find clothes for flamenco shows but also for flamenco weddings, cocktails and even flamenco dogs? Mercedes Mestre has some pieces you can’t miss.
Food. Where can you find a family business with over 80 years of history in the world of alimentation? Andreu Xarcuteria i tastets opened the doors of a store of olives in the New Central Market Sabadell in 1930. Now they sell the best jam, cheese, salmon, Spanish chorizo… and of course all types of olives. A real delight to the palate! The best stop to recover strenght and continue the walking!
With the tour you will receive also Visit Barcelona Shopping Card with discounts to use in many shops of the city. Don’t forget to use it at the shoe shops specialized in the traditional espadenyes very comfortable and useful for the hot summer in Barcelona (You should try to tie them at less once in your life). Remember it has a technique. The colourful Catalan brand Desigual with its fresh designs inspired in the city is another must.