Barcelona is by far one of my top cities I always find time to go to every year. For the past 2 years, my husband and I have celebrated Thanksgiving is this wonderful city and we will be heading there this year as well. So, I thought I would share my favorites places to stay, eat, and shop.

W HOTEL BARCELONA

hotel-W-barcelona-13We always stay at W Barcelona, period, end of story. The property and staff are beyond amazing. The first year we stayed there, I knew by the end of the first day that we would be rebooking for the next year. The second year we went they treated us like royalty so, I can’t imagine what is going to happen this year. If you have a chance to stay at the W Barcelona make sure you have a latte, go to Bliss Spa, and use their W insider as they will definitely point you in the right direction.

THE BOQUERIA

hotel-W-barcelona-13After I have had my fill of lattes at the hotel (usually 2-3 and yes they are that good) my husband and I usually head to “The Boqueria” in the El Raval section of the city. It is easy to find as it is just off the main street (La Rambla). The Boqueria is known as one of the best markets in the world and I know you will agree once you have been here. You will see everything from handmade chocolates, cones filled will jamon and manchego cheese to snack on, fresh seafood, caviar so fresh you have to eat it the minute you purchase it, bakeries filled with fresh bread and pastries, shops that specialize in only jamon (who knew there were so many varieties), and fresh fruits and vegetables. It is definitely worth a stop.

WILDE SUNGLASSES

hotel-W-barcelona-13From here we will head east to the Barri Gotic section of the city. We always make sure one of our first stops is Wilde Sunglasses located at 21 Carrer Avinyo. To say that Wilde Sunglasses is a store that sales vintage sunglasses, just doesn’t do it justice. Yes, their amazing vintage collection of sunglasses is a result of collecting for 18 years but you can’t leave without trying on every pair of the self-designed and handcrafted collection of sunglasses which they debuted in 2009. Cao, one of the owners and designers, is amazing in helping to guide you to the perfect pair. He will not let you leave the store if you don’t look chic.

LA MANUEL ALPARGATERA

hotel-W-barcelona-13Next on the list is La Manuel Alpargatera which is THE place for handmade espadrilles. Located at 7 Carrer Avinyo, they were the first workshop to make fashion espadrilles and their clientele list is proof that you must make a stop here. You never know who you might run into, Jack Nicholson, Penelope Cruz, Ralph Lauren, & Jean-Paul Gaultier just to name a few. Plus, they are the perfect item to buy if you need a gift because they are inexpensive yet so chic.

HAPPY PILLS

hotel-W-barcelona-13If you want to feel like a kid again head to the most amazing candy store,  Happy Pills. They have a few locations in Barcelona but I always go to the one located at 6 Carrer dels Arcs. They offer their candy already bottled or you can pick a container to fill with the candy you choose. The greatest part of choosing your own candy is that you don’t have to pick just one kind of candy, you can mix your candies, as the price is based on weight. If you love gummy candy you will love this place. Make sure you get the strawberries and cream gummy and don’t make the mistake I did and only get a small container. BIG MISTAKE!

ORIO

hotel-W-barcelona-13Believe it on not it is time for lunch so, my husband and I always head to ORIO at 23 Avinquda de Francesc Cambo in the El Born section of the city. This is our favorite place for handmade iberian ham croquettes but you will also want to try Maldonado’s pure acorn iberian shoulder, handmade Basque cheeses, and their great desserts.

EL BORN

Now that we have refueled, we head deeper into the El Born for some serious shopping as this is the area which I think has some of the best shops. The
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Le Swing and Blow Boutique are a must stop on the list. Le Swing, located at 16 Carrer del Rec, is a true vintage store with good quality merchandise and good prices. The first time I stopped in, I was able to purchase a vintage Christian Dior make-up mirror for my handbag. Blow Boutique, located at 6 Bonaire,  is a high end consignment store. They carry all the luxury labels and the prices are reasonable.

Located at 42 Carrer Flassaders, Loisaida is a amazing shop that carries their own branded line of clothing, international clothing brands, “new to you” clothing, and gifts. It reminds me of a lot of stores that are located in the Lower East Side neighborhood of NYC.

The El Born is also, one of the neighborhoods I like to just get lost in as that is how I always find the best shops.

TAPAS 24

hotel-W-barcelona-13Once we have finished getting lost and hitting our favorite stores in the El Born we always head to Tapas 24 for dinner. Located at 269 Carrer Diputacio off of Passeig de Gracia, Tapas 24 specializes in 100% classic tapas. We love to snag a table outside under the heaters as you have more room to move than you do inside. Make sure and eat their potatas bravas, the bikini comerc 24 which is a little cheese, jamon, and truffle sandwich, and of course their Iberian croquettes. And don’t forget the Cava.

Full and happy we tend to head back to the W Barcelona and crawl into the amazing bed so we can wake up the next day and do it all again.