Anytime is a good time for a shopping break in Barcelona, whether you travel overland or from the islands by sea. Gourmet hamburgers, vintage luxury and the latest record shops.... We give you the lowdown on all the latest trends... and on some of the classics.
Luxury oozes from every pore of the Cherry Heel boutique (Mallorca, 273), an exquisite Italian shoe store that opened a year ago in a modernist building in l'Eixample. The store is a gold mine for footwear addicts —both men and women— who will find brands such as Casadei, Rupert Sanderson, Alberto Guardini and Roberto Botticeli, together with silk scarves from Moschino, bags and accessories.
Paris Vintage (Carrer del Rosselló, 237). This is the go-to place for anyone seeking haute couture with a retro touch. This l'Eixample shop sells exclusive vintage garments by Lanvin, Carven, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Lauren and Jean Paul Gaultier from the 1950s to the 1990s.
But you don't need a bulging wallet to allow yourself a vintage treat. Just strolling along Rieira Baixa, the epicentre of retro, will reveal some of the temptations on display in its shop windows. Visit on a Saturday morning, when the stores in this corner of El Raval display their wares in the street. A new arrival is Kilostore (Rieira Baixa, 11), selling second-hand clothing by weight, which opened a month ago.
Sant Antoni, one of the new hot spots for leisure and shopping, is home to surprises such as the new Rollito Así (Carrer Rocafort, 12), selling skirts, bags, broaches, headbands and accessories hand made by the owner, a colourful and original designer from Mallorca. The Gràcia neighbourhood is also home to shops with a
do it yourself philosophy. For example, Oslo (C. Torrent de l´Olla, 164) is a workshop selling limited edition works of art straight from the artist.
If you love your music, then you should also stop off at the Psycho Rock and Roll Club (Piquer 27), in Poble Sec, one of the city's new, popular rocker bars. Next door to the Apolo venue, it opens until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 2.30 am the rest of the week.
Swing is invading Barcelona this summer. If you want to check it out, take a stroll around Gràcia where you'll find enthusiasts dancing in the plazas on Sundays. The
Swing Maniacs (Carrer Església, 4) is one of the local dance schools behind this irrepressible movement.
No fan of Italian food can afford to ignore Il Magazzino (Carrer de Londres, 103), half-delicatessen, half-restaurant. Pay a visit to try delicious pizzas and pasta, and to take them home with you. They sell panettone, olive oil, mozzarella di bufala and tiramisu del Venetto, and also hand-made Italian crafts.
In the Borne, Kiosko Burguer (Marquès de L'Argentera, 1 bis) is the place to go for burgers. They serve up gourmet burgers cooked to order on their charcoal grill using fresh ingredients. They tell us their beef comes from Asturias, Castilla y Leon and Lleida in the Pyrenees.
If you are looking for somewhere chic, try Muy Mío Plaza (Plaça de Cardona, 4), a restaurant that opened at the start of this year, combining the bohemian with a touch of class. Its Mediterranean food and its carefully-crafted but informal decor make it both welcoming and modern. It offers set menus for between 20 and 30 euros.
Anyone looking for some morning glamour in a bar should check out Bar Rosso (Carrer del Comte Borell, 68), in Sant Antoni, on a Sunday. This charming oriental-inspired spot has a lovely terrace that opened recently. Its brunches are famous throughout the city.
Still looking East, the select Japanese restaurant Minamo (Consell de Cent, 360) also opened this year. Its glass dining room has lovely views of a beautiful garden, with the atmosphere evolving as your dinner progresses with the flight of hundreds of butterflies. This is a dreamy setting to enjoy some sophisticated food.
Two steps from Les Quinze Nits, on the second floor of the Plaza Real, awaits a different local accessed after ringing the doorbell of a portal. We speak of Barcelona Pipa Club ( Plaza Real , 3) , a cozy club of smokers with british air where the smoking law does not apply . In the evenings hosts gatherings and , at night , lively jazz and jam sessions , plus dinner and drinks . However, to enter you must be a member (10,20 euros per month ) . Its usual , Joan Manuel Serrat, Ariadna Gil or Angels Barceló.
Find a place to eat in the Gothic Quarter pocket without scratching too can be a complicated matter. And if you look for a restaurant with a touch of sophistication , even more . One of the economic and elegant option is the popular Les Quinze Nitz ( Plaza Real , 6) , where you can sample dishes with a twist in a caring environment, for about 15 euros. We will locate easily by the tail usually found in the street : no reservations accepted .
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