Top 6 things to do in Gracia

BEST 6 THINGS TO DO IN GRACIA NEIGHBORHOOD

Gracia is located just a few step of Passeig de Gracia, but it is like entering a different world which is small, tight but has a large population with true artistic and traditional lifestyles, which makes people-watching here very amusing. From buildings and streets to plazas, many things in Gracia are on a smaller scale than those in the center of town. It is said that Gracia is self-sufficient, which means once you stay here, you don’t need to leave because the area has everything you want: great bars, cafes, lovely restaurants, fashion stores, art galleries, cinema,…Suitelife introduces you the best 6 things to do in Gracia – a diverse and entertaining area.

1. Carrer Verdi

The first thing in our Top things to do in Gracia selection is having a stroll on Carrer Verdi. Small, tight, sloped but artistic, Carrer Verdi is one of the trendiest streets and is also host to some of the best nightlife spots in Barcelona. The street is packed with amazing atmosphere coming from many well-decorated friendly restaurants, quirky bars, independent fashion stores and local boutiques.

Carrer Verdi

  • Verdi82: Casual and cozy, Verdi82 has long been the favorite spot for young people and wine lovers. This small restaurant offers traditional Catalan cuisine and gluten free specialties with very good price.
  • Cine Verdi: This is one of a few cinemas showing movies in original language (VO cinemas). The films on show in this cinema are a mixture between art house and new releases. Cine Verdi is an independent cinema, so it brings a different feeling from other multiplex cinemas in BCN. The screen and quality of movies shown here are very good and the seats are comfortable. This small and humble cinema has been voted by Time Out Magazine as the best cinema in Barcelona. The best part about Cine Verdi is that it is surrounded by various good restaurants and bars, which is perfect for going with friends and swapping opinions.

Cine Verdi

If you want more info Carrer Verdi, check out our blog Carrer Verdi Street Profile

2. Restaurants and bars

The central El Born and El Raval are the most well-known areas having big options in eating and drinking. But Gracia has the highest concentration of foreign restaurants in Barcelona. There are many options for dining and drinking ranging from elegant to casual. Here are some our recommendations:

Best things to do in Gracia

  • Botafumeiro: Located on Carrer de Gracia and founded in 1975, this restaurant is one of the best Catalan cuisine and traditional sea food restaurants in Barcelona. It offers the freshest product from the Cantabrian and Mediterranean seas. Each morning, the freshest sea food on the market is collected from harbors in Catalunya and Galicia, and served up just a few hours later. With its classic style setting, Botafumeiro is a great choice for fine dining. The restaurant has several rooms for couples, families, business meetings,… and a majestic bar.

 

Things to do in Gracia

  • Con Gracia: One of the most well-known restaurants in the neighborhood is Con Gracia which is a small but luxury and romantic restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine with surprising oriental touch. Con Gracia receives very good reviews, especially for its creative and fusion cooking. Check their website for menu details in English, Catalan or Spanish.

 

Best restaurants in Gracia

  • Gut: Gut is a small and nice restaurant having impeccable design in white. It offers great healthy and original food influenced by Mediterranean and Asian. It also serves great dishes for veggies.

 

 

 

 

  • Things to do in GraciaMacchina Pasta Bar: For lunch and cheap eats in Gracia, Macchina Pasta Bar should not be missed, especially for those love pasta. Located on one of most charming streets in Gracia (Asturies 17), this pasta bar is an order-and-pay before you sit styled restaurant. The concept of Macchina is to let you choose type of pasta, sauce, toppings, desserts and drinks and bring them to your table. The staffs always make sure the pasta dishes are served in hot and delicious plates. If you want to try some local beer, Macchina has different choices for you. It has busy, relaxing and laid-back atmosphere with its vintage interior design with wood walls, glass bottle hanging lamps, bicycle on wall,…This gem is located just a few step from Fontana metro station and crowded with a mix of tourists and local people.

 

Things to do in Gracia

  • La Vietnamita: This is another cheap eat option. Friendly, casual and have good menu for both veggies and meaty, La Vietnamita has become a frequent stop of many locals and visitors. This small and relaxing restaurant serves Vietnamese fast food with fresh, delicious quality and cheap price. Don’t forget to try Bun Bo (Rice noodle with fresh vegetables & herbs, lemongrass marinated beef, peanuts and fish sauce), Goi Cuon (Rice paper rolls filled with vegetables, herbs, rice noodles and fish sauce) and especially the famous Banh My and Pho !

 

 

3. Admiring Gaudi’s architecture – Park Guell and Casa Vicens

Barcelona means Gaudi and his architecture. Park Guell is the second most famous Gaudi’s maspterpiece just after Sagrada Familia. The park is the main attraction in Gracia neighborhood and attracts a large number of visits each day. The park contains amazing stone structures, stunning tilling and fascinating buildings. Park Guell is the perfect combination between nature and architecture. It is a mixture of textures and decorative elements like rubble-surfaced arches, irregular-shaped pieces of ceramic,…, which shows fully Gaudi’s imagination.

Gracia

Casa Vicens is the first of Gaudi’s buildings and it reflects his aesthetic when he began his work as a young man. This project has curving horseshoe arches as well as Persian and Byzantine details. It is now a family residence and you can enjoy it from the outside.

Things to do in Gracia

If you want to discover more about Gaudi’s work, don’t hesitate to check out our Barcelona Gaudi Guide.

4. Enjoying local vibe at Plaça del Sol, Plaça de la Virreina and Plaça del Diamant

These three Plaças are well-worth the visit, especially at night when you can feel the heat of Gracia. The square Plaça del Sol is very lively at nighttime with a bohemian vibe coming from skaters, musicians and street performers. You can see local young people sitting and having a cold beer while listening to guitar music. Plaça de la Virreina is a pretty square where you can sit on the steps of the church of Sant Joan on the north end and watch locals wandering. Last but not least, Plaça del Diamant is a square that the famous Mercé Rodoreda’s The Time Of The Doves novel (La Plaça del Diamant) named after. This novel is the most widely translated and published Catalan novel of all time. The novel is a brutal story of a young woman devoured by the Spanish civil war. On one side of the square, there is a bronze statue of a woman waving her hands in the air in desperation, which portrays the novel’s protagonist.

There are many other beautiful Plaças in Barcelona, which you can know more in our blog The best 5 Plaças in Barcelona.

Nightlife in Gracia

5. Being amazed by the colors of Gracia Festival

The Gracia festival is an incomparable free one-week festival in August each year. Lively, crowded and colorful, The Gracia festival is when you can see this barrio being transformed. Streets in this area are decorated and compete with each other to win the prize of being the best decorated street. The themes are from Roman history to Alice in Wonderland or underwater sea life. You will be amazed by the creativity while walking down each street. Moreover, throughout the festival, there are various music shows and concerts taking place as well as food stands which not let you leave hungry.

Things to do in Gracia

6. Gracia fashion

Fashion in Gracia is a mix of old, new, vintage, bohemian, traditional and trendy stores and boutiques. The area is youthful with a lot of students choosing to live here. There are a lot of independent stores in area, which makes having a stroll and window shopping in Gracia very interesting. Carrer Verdi, Carrer Torrijos, Gran de Gràcia, Travessera de Gràcia have many quirky fashion and accessories stores and boutiques that definitely should be visited. For women’s fashion, check out Modeart, Philo, Boo, Mushi Mushi, Sueños Negros, Camisería Pons. For exclusive footwear, there is 2046 shoes.

Shopping in Gracia

You probably don’t want to miss out our ebook Shopping in Barcelona which covers everything you need about Fashion stores in Barcelona.

If you think there are many other things to do in El Born, then we would love to hear from you, let us know by a comment below.

~ Trang

 

 

Karts in Barcelona – All you need to know about karting!

Karts Barcelona

Hey there karts aficionados from Barcelona! Up for some some adrenaline rushing through your veins? This blog is about what you need to do in order to satisfy your need for speed. You’re definitely looking for KARTS IN BARCELONA! Accordingly, you can find down below the most essential info about where you can find karts in Barcelona gathered in just one place – here! So let’s get the kart engines running!!

 

INDOOR KARTING BARCELONA

Karts in Barcelona

 

KARTING CARDEDEU

Karts in Barcelona

 

KARTODROM CATALUNYA

Karts in Barcelona

  • LOCATION: Llisa de Vall, 30km from Barcelona (25 mins)
  • HOW TO GET THERE: by car only
  • CHARGES: 15€ – 30€ / person (depending on the options selected)
  • OPENING HOURS: May – October 9:30am – 8:30pm ; October – May 9:30am – 8:00pm ; Mondays and holidays closed
  • WEBSITE: www.kartodrom.com

BONUS! – They have their own karting school, so if you want to improve your kart driving skills, go for a course! Here you can find their website!

 

GENE KARTING TERRASSA

Karts in Barcelona

  • LOCATION: Terrassa, 30km from Barcelona (25 mins)
  • HOW TO GET THERE: http://www.transportebcn.es/FGC/linea/S1.html
  • CHARGES: 14€ – 19€ / person (depending on the date you go – more expensive in the weekends)
  • OPENING HOURS: Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 11 pm; Thursdays 11am – 11pm; Friday – Saturday 11am – 1am; Sundays 11am – 11pm
  • WEBSITE: www.genekarting.com

 

KARTING PARCMOTOR CASTELLOLI

Karts in Barcelona

  • LOCATION: Castelloli, 60km from Barcelona (40 mins)
  • HOW TO GET THERE: by car only
  • CHARGES: 43€ – 58€ / person (depending on the options selected)
  • OPENING HOURS: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8pm; closed on Mondays
  • WEBSITE: www.kartingparcmotor.com

 

These are the most important places in and around Barcelona where you can rub that rubber on the track. If you have another alternative for a day off dedicated to karting in Barcelona, we would love to hear from you! Hasta luego!

 

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (aka El Dragon)

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 English-speaking hair salons in Barcelona

BEST ENGLISH-SPEAKING HAIR SALONS IN BARCELONA

There are a lot of English-speaking hair salons in Barcelona. As a vibrant and multinational city, many hairdressers around the world chose Barcelona as their second home to develop their skills and careers. A new haircut can refresh your look as well as boost your confidence totally. Choosing a hair salon is risky and difficult, especially when you move a new city. You will ask a lot of questions such as “Where would I go ?”, “How would I explain to them what and how I would like to do with my hair when I do not speak Spanish well ?” But don’t worry, today Suitelife will help you pick out the best English-speaking hair salons in Barcelona. All these hair salons have already been in Barcelona for years. They understand what customers want well and surely will not disappoint you.

ANTHONY LLOBET

Anthony LLobet is definitely the most well-known and oldest English-speaking hair salons in Barcelona.  Having already been in Bcn for 14 years, Anthony Llobet has 5 salons in the best neighborhoods in Barcelona, from Gracia to El Born.  When you come here, you do not have to be worry about language boundaries because their friendly and welcoming London-trained staff are from all around the world. There are 11 languages are spoken between them and you can explain exactly what you would like. With 25 years experience in hair dressing, Mr Anthony Llobet, who is of English-Catalan decent, has traveled around the world to style in various fashion shows, catwalks, TV and so on. He is also a TREsemmé Spain ambassador. You can feel his passion reflected in the retro interiors and the slogan “Don’t let your Spanish come between you and your hair”. If you want to book an appointment, you should telephone the salon directly. Their website has lots of useful info that you can check here

English hair salons in Barcelona

ONDA SALON

If Anthony Llobet can make you feel like you enter a friendly and casual pub, Onda Salon is like having dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant. The salon was founded in 2009 by Piero Zatra, an Italian stylist who used to be a style director of Toni&Guy in London and finally chose Barcelona as his home. The staff at Onda are laid back Italians who speak English very well. The salon offers variety of services both in hairdressing and aesthetics. At Onda, you can find hairstyle for every occasion, latest hairstyles trends as well as waxing, massages, treatments, make up and so on. The staff are very friendly and they can give you the best advice for hair and beauty services. The salon follows the luxurious interior design with flourish wallpaper and big chandelier lights. The price might not be as cheap as many other hair salons in Bcn, but it is reasonable for their excellent services. Their website is very cool, especially their 3D virtual interior tour letting you see inside the shop. If you wish to schedule an appointment, you can contact them via telephone, Whatsapp, email or contact form on their website.

English hair salons Bcn

TOUCH

Elegance and sophistication is what Touch brings to its customers. Touch hair salon is owned and managed by the Dutch hairdresser Gijs Hoogendam who has diverse experience as a stylist for different fashion shows. The mission of Touch is to enhance your look, bring out the best of your features and boost your confidence. With Gijs’s incredible artistic flare  and his 20-year experience on and off catwalk, Touch’s aim is to ensure you leave the salon feeling like a million dollars. When you come to Touch, Gijs will be a great listener and consultant as he will discuss with you carefully about what are you looking for.  His excellent eyes for details can be reflected in the salon’s black and white interior design with the ornate Baroque mirrors and furniture being imported from his old salon in the Netherlands. If you want to feel like having your own stylist in a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, Touch always welcomes you. Check out their website here

English-speaking hair salons in Barcelona

DTOX

The cool thing about hair salons in Barcelona is that they are so trendy, which makes you admire the design and never get bored waiting for the haircut or treatment process. Dtox is another hair salon opened by a Catalan and Spanish team who speaks English well. Dtox will amaze you with their professional team who were featured on Catalan newspapers “el Periódico” and “La Vanguardia”. Although Dtox is hidden in an old 50′s building located in El Raval, the salon is very lush and beautiful with modern furniture and industrial look. If you want to find a place to spend an afternoon before having dinner or drink at the evening with a new look, Dtox can be a good choice ! Unfortunately, their website is only available in Spanish, so if you want to know more about their services, you should contact them via telephone at here

English hair salons Barcelona

SHIBUYA WORLD

You definitely know the two most popular hair-straitening treatments recently: Japanese Hair Straitening and Brazilian Keratin Treatment. And if you want to go to a place specializing in Japanese treatment, why not try Shibuya World, a small quirky salon which is opened and operated by a passionate Japanese team. With 2 branches in Barcelona, Shibuya World is the place where nothing is impossible. They specialize in different treatments and dyeing hair from popular colors to rare ones such as green, blue and orange,…Also, they have a large stock of hair extensions in different shapes and size, which can please any clients with any weird hairstyle ideas. Once you enter this small salon, you will experience the feeling of being in Shibuya neighborhood known as fashion and nightlife area in Japan.

If you are into Japanese culture, you can check out our blog Best of Japanese culture in Barcelona

English-speaking hair salons Bcn

Winter is coming, why not have your hair cut and recharge your energy ? If you know any other English-speaking hair salons in Bcn, we would like to hear about them, leave us a comment below !

~Trang

 

Movember Barcelona 2014 – Making the Mo’st of Fundraising

Let’s Hair it for Movember!

Movember Barcelona

What’s up my MoBros!? How’s it growing? Or hanging, ’cause we all know what this cause is for, right? Well in case you don’t know, this blog will be all about No Shave Movember!

Movember Barcelona

And of course this blog isn’t just for the men among us. We also have some (some might think of it as something unlucky) women among us who don’t have to wax anything this month around their mouths! Of course I’m kidding. You’ll never grow such a manly beard as we do. Pfft, you wish. We are strong! We are hairy! We are men! But we can’t be strong and amazing all the time. And that is exactly what Movember is for, to raise awareness for diseases of men, for example Testicular Cancer. Yeah, Movember isn’t just fun, it has a serious side as well. (Although I must say some people can be pretty hilarious with a moustache, take this one for example:)

Movember Barcelona

Life Shavers

So what IS Movember? Why is it so popular? Well like I mentioned before, this month is all about raising awareness. The goal is to ‘change the face of men’s health’. It is to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as testicular and prostate cancer. By encouraging men (referred to as MoBros by the cause itself) to  get involved, the cause tries to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment, and in the end, tries reduce the number of preventable deaths. Therefore, all the money they raise goes to all men-related cancer-research (prostate cancer for example).

Movember Barcelona

The cause started with events and raising funds in 2004 in New Zealand and Australia. In the years after many countries have followed with the cause, and since 2011, Canada is one of the best fundraisers for the Movember cause! (Yay too the Mouse! Ehh, Moose.) Of course I know the Moose isn’t really Canada’s symbolized animal, but people mistakenly do think so, right? There are a lot of countries that actually participate in the Movember Foundation. If you want to stay updated on who is performing best at the moment, here is a list which stays up-to-date on which country has donated the most (and the last spot is just a combined ‘rest of the world’; SHAME ON YOU IF YOU BELONG THERE!)

Movember – A Moust-have

Movember Barcelona

So how DO we raise awareness? Well you may already have figured it out with my amazing puns, but the cause raises awareness by encouraging men not to shave their moustaches. So the idea is simple. But there are actually some rules that come along with this cause! – Start on the first of November, shave everything! And then.. Let’s get growing! – Just a moustache. Not those slick little goatees, or beards, no, just moustaches! – Use the power of the moustache to start serious conversations about the actual goal of the cause; to raise awareness and donations! – Every MoBro has to behave as a gentleman AT ALL TIMES!!

Where’s That Moustache Taking That Man To?!?

Okay, so what are the activities here in Barcelona, dedicated to Movember? Well there are some! And I found you a few; – Belushi’s Barcelona, located at C/ Bergara 3, they have this awesome Movember Manwich for sale, and every 1 euro from each sale of that sandwich goes to the cause! And they also have a few 2 for 1 drinks! Go check it out with your Man-velous Moustache!

Movember Barcelona

- Irish Pub Flaherty, located Plaza Joaquim Xirau (Just off La Rambla), has an amaaaazing event at the end of the month. Untill the 30th of November, everybody shares their photo of their moustache on Instagram and Facebook with #growasexymo. At the 30th of November, there will be a ‘shave-off’, and that’s a contest on who has to most awesome moustache! And for the Mo-Sistas among us, they need to have some really original ideas for their moustaches to participate! For every pint that will be ordered throughout this event, the pub will donate €0,50! Oh, and the winner will win a dinner for 2, now isn’t that awesome? And all you have to do is show-off your manhood! – Visit one of these english-speaking hairdressers and try out some new looks to go with your moustache during Movember!

This Blog Might Be Mover, But Movember Is Not

So, MoBros and MoSistas, sign up at the official Movember website of Spain, and support this amazing foundation. Oh, and here is an awesome song! If you want to share your experiences of Movember, please leave a comment and we can exchange experiences! Doesn’t that sound fun? And one last pun, because we all love hairing puns;

Movember Barcelona

(Must-dash, get it?)

Untill next time, ~Tjeerd

FC Barcelona: Why is it “More than a Club” ?

FC BARCELONA – MORE THAN A CLUB

Based in Barcelona – the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona Football Club also known as FC Barcelona or Barça is one of the biggest clubs in the world as well as the biggest club in Spain. Winning 22 La Liga, 4 Champions League and countless trophies, the team attracts millions of fans around the world by its long tradition, chequered history, and especially by the Tikitaka style of play. Tikitaka has not only brought huge success to FC Barcelona but also contributed greatly to the Spanish national team’s glory during the period of 2008-2012. The Germany national team also adapted successfully the Tikitaka’s possession philosophy with its ruthless efficiency in the team’s road to be World Cup 2014 Champion.

FC Barcelona

Yes, FC Barcelona is great. However, for the people of Catalonia, FC Barcelona is more than just a local and successful club. It is a part of their lives. That’s why the FC Barcelona chose the phrase “Mes Que un Club” (More than a club) as the official slogan, which is somewhat speaking for Catalan nationalism.

THE ROLE OF BARCELONA IN CATALAN INDEPENDENCE

In the 20th century, Catalonia was laid under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco who repressed local culture and language of different regions of Spain. During Franco’s dictatorship from 1939 to 1976, basically, every aspect of Catalonia’s society was banned and the Catalan cultural activities were imposed by Franco’s policies.  Remembering all these things, Catalan people were determined to change and abolish policies that Franco had created, while keeping their own identity from the habits, language, music, cuisine,…

In this silent war, football and FC Barcelona is a great bridge between Catalan people and their aspiration of independence. Because when all aspects of Catalonia were suppressed by the Franco dictatorship, Catalan people supported the Barcelona club and regarded it as the flag and the symbol of the Catalan community. FC Barcelona is their voice, their honor and pride.

Catalan Independence

For people outside Spain, the El Clásico is considered as “the fiercest rivalry of the football world”. With the number of high-profiled players on show, every El Clásico is always a must-see spectacle of skill, class and unpredictability. The 1 billion EUR El Clásico game on 25 October 2014 had a global audience of 500 million viewers. But, beyond legendary football rivalries, El Clásico is connected to customary political connotations. At any El Clásico match, it is easy to recognize many banners on display by Barcelona’s fans: “Independencia”, “Catalonia is not Spain”,..They chant in unison “Independence” making the atmosphere in Bernabeu or Camp Nou become even more epic and heated. The clash between the two biggest teams of Spain can be seen as a battle between Catalonia and the central government of Madrid which also represents for a unified Spain. FC Barcelona sees itself as the symbol of independence, Catalan traditions, and democracy. For Catalans, Barcelona club, football and media plays an important role to spread the message of Catalonia to the world. Thanks to the success of F.C Barcelona and the huge impact of media, millions of people outside Spain know about Catalonia and its independence movement.

Barcelona FC

WHAT HAPPENS TO BARCELONA CLUB IF CATALONIA BECOMES INDEPENDENT ?

Just a few weeks ago, Artur Mas, the president of the Generalitat of Catalunya, announced to cancel the referendum that is planned to be on 9 November. This cancel shows that it is not easy for Catalonia to be independent. Catalonia contributes 20% of Spain’s GDP and the government of course does not want to lose that big contribution. About football, if Catalonia breaks away from Spain, Barcelona would have to leave La Liga. This will affect both La Liga and Barcelona. La Liga will be much less competitive comparing to other tournaments such as Premier League or Seria A. On the other hand, Barcelona then will have to join another small tournament such as Catalan league where Barcelona just needs to play against Espanyol and other small teams such as Girona, Sabadell, Llagostera,…And who wants to watch a tournament where there is the same champion through the years ?

Catalonia

Although Barcelona club will have many disadvantages if Catalonia becomes independent, the team still joins the push for Catalan Independence Vote. In details, the club has signed up to the National Agreement on the Right to Decide, a organization lobbying the central government to allow the vote regional officials. The Barcelona-born defender Gerard Piqué and Xavi also support for referendum in Catalonia. Xavi said “We have all the right in the world to vote. We need to vote, we need the people to show their opinions and I am in favour of the referendum obviously”. Pique said “I consider that, in a democracy, everyone has the right to decide. If people don’t have the right to express what they feel, we would be going back to a bygone era.” He and his son Milan also joined the march for Catalan Independence through the streets of Barcelona on 11, September 2014 – The National day of Catalonia.

Pique and Catalan Independence

It is undeniable that many Catalans want to be independent because there are so many demonstrations in recent years and the Catalan Way 2014 on 11 September 2014 is the biggest peaceful mobilization in European history.  But there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. It seems that Catalans still have to be patient and wait until Madrid shows more positive signals.

We hope that you enjoy this blog and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments.

~Trang

 

Page 1 of 12512345102030...Last »