What can I say about Barcelona that hasn't already been said? Living in one of the most popular tourist cities in the world is an amazing experience. It makes you appreciate the market you shop at, the bar you went to as a child with your parents and even… the pavement you walk on! Just thinking that people from halfway around the world have come to see these small flowers makes me want to tiptoe out of the house.
Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist cities, but it is also MY Barcelona. The perfect playground, even for those who, like me, tend to avoid crowded streets. Because, friends, there is a hidden city underneath all those tourist routes and guides with umbrellas in their hands ready to take your eye out. In MY Barcelona there are charming squares, hidden gems, quiet courtyards and alleyways that transport you to another time. If you come with me, I will share with you some of my favourite corners of the city.
Saturdays at Plaza dels Traginers
Just like the best times always happen in front of a bar door, in the Modern Age everything happened in this square. Located at the gate of the walled city, Plaza dels Traginers was the best place to chat with your neighbours or to meet a merchant from other lands. Now things are very different… or maybe not quite so much, as it is still a great place to meet with friends and chat about the new changes in your life. I usually go have an ice cream at Swiit Ice Cream in the afternoon, although, let’s be honest... I always end up going to the cocktail bar Carlos y Mathilda.
WHERE: Plaça del Traginers, 08002
Entrance to la Plaça del Traginers. | @zuckerandspice
My favourite corner in Barcelona
It may sound cliché to say that “Barcelona is full of little villages” but I would like someone to tell me where else it is possible to count the main squares and central markets or to choose where to go to trade cards. In the neighbourhood of Sant Andreu, a refuge of the past, is a place where time stands still. Plaza Masadas is a quiet square, despite its 40 terraces and 200 kids running in and out of the arcades. It also has that village smell with wafts of the creative burgers served at L’empanat. Mmmm...
WHERE: Plaça de Masadas, 08027
Plaça Massades. | @rockandmaud
A cactus garden
If I was Elvira Lindo, this place would definitely be on my list of places I don’t want to share with anyone. Because there is nothing more elegant than walking by yourself among the cacti, with the sea in the background. My cactus garden in reality is called Mossèn Costa i Llobera and, even though I imagine myself as Valentina Tereshkova when I walk through it, in 1987 the New York Times said it was one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Getting there is a little tricky. Maybe that’s why it still smells like a new book? To visit this corner of Barcelona, you have to take the metro to the station Paral-lel. From there, walk 15 minutes to Plaza d’Armada and find the entrance to the secret garden. Good luck!