The best souvenirs of Barcelona
Forget the “made in China” figurines of the Sagrada Familia, mugs with pictures of La Pedrera, hats, or shirts with the typical I ♥ BCN.
When you visit or live for a while in a place that is not your hometown, you tend to find exotic and fascinating everything around you, you are more perceptive to any stimulus that can receive. That’s why we look at objects or in the gastronomy of the place that we can take back as a souvenir or gift for our beloved ones once we come back. That’s why we like to bring with us some part that has attracted our attention to our place of origin and show that, in our time abroad, we remembered our friends and family. From The Streets Apartments, here are some ideas so you may buy something representative of Barcelona!
A Barça T-shirt: you can buy the original shirt in Barça stores in Plaza Catalunya or in the stadium of this famous and renowned football team, but perhaps its price above 60 euros scares you a little. You can also opt for imitation T-shirts at the stores of the Ramblas.
Some ham: depends on where you go traveling with this gastronomic souvenir and restrictions of the destination airport you can buy some ham in the street and put it in your suitcase. You can also purchase this delicious product in the airport’s “duty free” making sure that it has the European sanitary labels so you don’t have any troubles checking in.
A “Porró”: this vessel is very traditional and is used to drink wine holding it at some distance to your mouth and pointing at the right direction. The technique is somewhat difficult for those who never didi it but surely you will hit it with some practice. There are different sizes and different materials and designs, the typical is made of glass and quite fragile, so be careful if you put it in your suitcase.
A bottle of wine or cava: in Catalonia, as in the rest of Spain, there are fine wines emerging from the best vineyards in the country, as wines from the Penedès area. A typical wine is always a good gift for those who can appreciate it. You can also choose to buy a bottle of cava, very similar to the champagne also taken to celebrate, and to enjoy some good food.
What about offering the best souvenir someone can experience: accommodation? The Streets Apartments offers a new way to stay and feel like a local in the city. When staying with us you are not simply a tourist, but a traveller exploring the city from the comforts of your home base/own apartment. The Streets concept is to offer experiences and try to turn the need to sleep in a host of unforgettable stay.
A bit of history.... Carrer Ferran
No24 The Streets Apartments located in Carrer Ferran: The Carrer Ferran links the Plaça Sant Jaume and La Rambla, and is one of Barcelona’s most atmospheric streets. In the 1920s many Barcelonians used to go there for a stroll and to admire the window displays of the city’s most elegant shops. From the end of the 19th century it was the home of some of Barcelona’s most important jewellers and silversmiths. The street was originally known as Carrer de Fernando VII, as a tribute to the king at the time. However, he wasn’t a very popular monarch with the city’s inhabitants and they soon removed the epithet “seventh” (VII). In the 1970s, with the arrival of democracy, the street regained its original name, but this time the “seventh” was officially removed.
In order to know the zone better
The Plaça Sant Jaume has traditionally been Barcelona’s core, where the two main streets of the Roman city – the cardo maximus and the decumanus – converged. The construction of the Carrer Ferran transformed the small square into the space it is today, leading to the new streets of Jaume I and Princesa on the other side. The redevelopment of the area involved the demolition of the medieval church of Sant Jaume and, as a result, the new façade of City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Catalan government, now faced each other across the square. As you enter the Carrer Ferran from the Plaça Sant Jaume the first thing you come across on your left is the Pas de l’Ensenyança followed by the famous Carrer Avinyó, which is the only street that stretches uninterrupted as far as the Passeig de Colom. Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century, was named after this street, and is a clear tribute to the brothels in the area which the painter used to frequent. The church of Sant Jaume, which has had a somewhat chequered history, stands between the Carrer Rauric and Carrer Avinyó. It was originally a synagogue which was made into a Christian church by the converted Jews in 1394. It has undergone many changes yet much of the original façade survives. There used to be an arsenal opposite the church where the Romans held their tournaments and festivals. The Passatge Madoz marks the side entrance to the Plaça Reial. The Carrer Ferran comes out onto La Rambla, just opposite the opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Historic Streets… Carrer La Rambla
The city streets are an extension of the lives of its inhabitants; they are part of their homes, their way of sharing and living together in what is, in short, their home or everyone's home. If we walk through Barcelona and look at its street signs, we'll see the names of poets, architects, scholars, politicians, property owners and families, as well as guilds or words that have their origins not so much in an intellectual act but in a popular saying. Every street has its own unique story to tell. They contain the memories, events and remnants of history that have shaped the soul and spirit of the thoroughfares in the heart of the city.
The word “Rambla” comes from the Arabic word “Ramla”, meaning “sandy river bed”. When it rained, water flowed down from the mountains and ran along the river bed. After the hospital had been built, the river bed was turned into a street known as La Rambla; it was Barcelona's first and only major wide boulevard. At the time, Barcelona only had narrow streets that kept the houses cool during the summer months. This made La Rambla the best street in Barcelona for taking a walk. It also gave the well-to-do the chance to show off their wealth, as their exclusive attire and jewellery didn't catch anyone's attention in the dark, narrow streets. The word “Rambla” was even turned into an expression “ramblear” which means “to people-watch”.
No49 The Streets Apartments is located in La Rambla, so if you want to “ramblear” we have the right accommodation to do so!
A bit of history… Carrer dels Escudellers
No18 The Streets Apartments is located in Carrer Escudellers and this street is named for the terrissaires (earthenware potters) who worked here making escudellas (bowls or stew pots), this colourful loop is an interesting sub trip off La Rambla.
Go left at Plaça del Teatre and you'll pass the landmark Grill Room at No. 8, an Art Nouveau saloon with graceful wooden decor and an ornate oak bar; next is La Fonda Escudellers, another lovely, glass- and stone-encased dining emporium.
Nos. 23–25 is Barcelona's most comprehensive ceramics display, Art Escudellers. Across the street is Los Caracoles, once among the most traditional of Barcelona's restaurants and now mainly the choice of tourists with deep pockets. Still, the bar and the walk-through kitchen on the way in are picturesque, as are the dining rooms and the warren of little stairways between them.
Another 100 yards down Carrer Escudellers is Plaça George Orwell, named for the author of Homage to Catalonia, a space created to bring light and air into this neighbourhood.
What to visit / Interesting district / Esquerra de l'Eixample
oldest part of the district, built at the end of the 19th century at the same time as the neo-Romanesque Barcelona University building, in the Plaça de la Universitat. Nearby, is the section known as the Ninot, which takes its name from an old inn which had a carving of a small child (the ninot) outside. The carving now stands above the market entrance. As you walk through the neighbourhood, you'll be surprised by the bustle and activity of the shopping streets, and the ones around the busy Mercat de Sant Antoni. The area between the Ronda Sant Antoni and the Ronda Universitat is known as the "Gaixample", where Barcelona's gay community have opened bars and restaurants.
Further west, the most modern part of the left side of the Eixample consists of buildings in different architectural styles built from the 1930s onwards. However, the landmarks are two older buildings: the old Batlló factory, now the home of the technical college, the Escola Industrial, and the former municipal slaughterhouse, now the site of the modernista style Parc de Joan Miró, with the artist's monumental sculpture Dona i Ocell (Women and Bird) rising up in the centre.
Are you looking for accommodation? No130 The Streets Apartments is a building of 10 cosy apartments located in the Esquerra de l’Eixample District, one of the most emblematic neighbourhoods of Barcelona. The apartments are a 10-minute walk from the Fira de Barcelona and are designed to offer maximum comfort and the best services. The nearest metro station is Urgell (Line 1) and is just 4 minutes walking distance from the property.
Music is invading Barcelona in June
The month of June in Barcelona comes charged of open air festivals and good music, with interesting proposals for all kind of public:
Primavera Sound (1-4 of June)
The month starts to the best with one of the most interesting proposals, where artists by the independent scene are mixed up with well-known artists, covering whatever musical style or genre, in search for quality with a special focus on pop, rock and the most underground tendencies of dance and electronic music.
Pedralbes Garden Festival (11-30 of June)
This festival runs along the month of June and July offering a wide variety of music through concerts of several musical styles with interesting proposals of the national and international scenario.
Sónar (16-18 of June)
The International Festival of Advanced Music, Creativity and Technology is renowned as one of the most important proposals of the present panorama of electronic music that embraces the most well-known artists as well as emerging talents in the several fields of music and audio-visual productions.
Loveland (17 & 18 of June)
On the same time of the Sonar, Loveland gets off for the first time in Spain with two proposals: a showcase by the Drumcode seal and a party dedicated to live music.
Good Night Barcelona (11 of June)
Keeping in mind the philosophy of a festival outside of the crowd and with a “green” spirit, this year Good Night Barcelona comes with a daylight timetable with the will to invite to dance to all participants.
Embassa’t (9-12 of June)
Although this is not celebrated in Barcelona city, it is a good proposal to discover the last contributions to the independent scene by Catalan, Spanish and international bands.
Already got your tickets? What you need to make the most of your trip to Barcelona is just the accommodation? Then The Streets Apartments offers many apartments located in best spots!
The best tapas in Gràcia – Barcelona
Gràcia is one of the most loved districts in Barcelona. With its small-town atmosphere and diversity, you’ll love wandering the streets and getting to know the beautiful squares. When it comes to tapas, Gràcia is the perfect place to have an authentic experience away from the tourist masses. Read our guide and try some of the best tapas in Gràcia. At The Streets Apartments we recoemmend you some of the best places to ”tapear”.
This tapas bar can be found in Carrer Sant Domènec in Gràcia. L’Anxoveta is small yet very inviting. The anchovies (anxoves), which give the restaurant its name, are their specialty. However, L’Anxoveta also offers many other traditional tapas and small Catalan dishes, always accompanied by good wine.
La Pepa Tomate
Fresh informal and up to date… Pepa Tomate has on offer, tapas, dishes and tastes of traditional Catalan and Barcelona cuisine with an originality that comes from Pau Corderas, the young chef.
All the food on offer is made from fresh ingredients many bought in the nearby Mercat de L’Abaceria Central. The colour red is predominant in the restaurant in both the furniture and the decoration, including some shelves where you can find tomato preserves from many different places.
For those who enjoy taking in the Mediterranean sun, Sol Soler’s terrace, located in the popular square Plaça del Sol, is the ideal place to enjoy some tapas. The menu consists of a wide variety of tasty tapas, salads, and tortillas, and every weekend there are new original tapas offered off-menu.
And after dinner if what you need is an accommodation then No23 The Streets Apartments offers newly refurbished apartments in the very heart of Gràcia!
The Barri Gòtic
Head to the medieval alleyways of the Old Town for a perfect introduction to Barcelona!
Combined with a wander down frenetic, commercial La Rambla, a stroll through the medieval alleyways and secluded squares of the Old City is the best possible introduction to Barcelona and the starting point for most visitors upon arrival in the city. For a taste of the town's more grandiose architecture, Plaça Sant Jaume is flanked by two government buildings, the Renaissance palace of the Generalitat and neo-classical façade of the Ajuntament.
Restaurant in “el Gòtic” recommended by The Streets Apartments:
Els 4 Gats
This legendary venue began as a pipe dream: as a space for artists who, by definition, don’t have a penny. Some of the most important figures of the late-19th century visited this bar: like Picasso, Ramon Casas and Rusiñol. In the 1970s it opened as a restaurant serving traditional dishes.
Barcelona’s oldest restaurant, and one of the oldest in Spain, is still going strong. The Agut-Manubens family, with mother and daughter to the fore, serve good Catalan cooking at very reasonable prices, notably their cannelloni with cod, roast sea bream and escudella i carn d'olla. And I promise you, afterwards you’ll never be hungry again. An ideal place for an enjoyable low-key Sunday meal.
Our apartments No24 and No18 are ideal to enjoy a gastronomic break and they are located in the same Barri Gòtic!
Bars in “el Gòtic” recommended by The Streets Apartments:
The Mingus is just as much of a rarity among the tourist bars in the Gothic quarter as the black jazz musician Charles Mingus was, a man who dared to play a white man’s instrument back in the day. Compared to all the plastic tapas in the surrounding bars, the Mingus produces tasty meatballs and an amazing ensaladilla rusa. And there’s great beer on tap.
Get into the Delorean and relive the best years of your life!
The 80s and 90s are still alive in this bar full of pop references of music, movies and videogames from that era. Polaroid Bar has become a staple in barrio Gótico. Special cocktails, a selection of local, imported and craft beers, promos and special events every week... and a great atmosphere!
SPA, Health and Beauty
Aire de Barcelona Banys Àrabs
It seems untrue that, among all the bustle of the Paseo de la Barceloneta, traffic, visitors and urban buses find a place as quiet as the Arab Baths of Barcelona.
Aire de Barcelona revives the tradition of the Arab baths, themselves successors to the great Roman public baths. In the midst of the remains of medieval Barcelona in the Born, these carefully restored and modernised Arab baths offer the classic bathing combination of Templarium (warm), Caldarium (hot) and Frigidarium (cold). The basic package also includes a hamam steam bath, but can be extended to include massages and exfoliations on hot marble.
Of many SPA centers in Barcelona, we recommend this one because it is the most beautiful, also our apartments No 15-The Streets Apartments located on Rec Comtal Street are just 6 minutes walking distance!
January - Calçots season starts
Calçots’ menus in Barcelona
Who does not like calçots? It is one of the delicacies of Catalonia and although there is nothing like going on a barbecue and grill them, we always look forward to eat some more. But, did you know that you can also eat calçots in the city?
One of the most recommended restaurant for calçots is Restaurant Carmen. Located in Sants, it offers a very complete menu for 30,90 euros that includes: calçots, meat grilled accompanied with potatoes, homemade dessert, wine and coffee!
Jardí de LApat
Another good calçots restaurant, located near the Park Güell is Jardí de L'Apat. Their menu is actually quite similar to the previous one, including its price of 32,00 euros. Calçot with romesco and an array of grilled meats and the quintessential Catalan sausage, botifarra, white beans, artichokes, roasted potatoes all accompanied with traditional bread.
Can Travi Nou
However, if you really want to try the authentic calçotada, you'll have to go to the Can Travi Nou restaurant. Its menu features a mini-salad with tuna and calçots, grilled meats, coca bread with tomato, wine and dessert. Its menu rises to 40.85 euros but ii is delicious!
At The Streets Apartments we love calçots!!!
Easter in Barcelona
You may find a few shops closed, but there are many options you can enjoy on Easter in Barcelona.
There's lots going on during Easter week (April 13 to 17) in Barcelona, from the most traditional celebrations to parties, concerts, exhibitions, things to do with kids and other getaways if you feel like a break from your city break!
Special lighting of the Sagrada Família
During Semana Santa (Holy Week, aka Easter Week), on April 10, 11 and 12 from 8pm to 10pm, there will be special lighting at the Sagrada Família on the Passion façade. The light show is free and open to everyone. The best place to see it is from C/ Sardenya. There will be three shows each day that last about 10 to 15 minutes. No322 The Streets Apartments has been refurbished the past two months to the highest standards.
In front of Barcelona's Cathedral in the centre of town, Good Friday activities include the 'Sermon of the Seven Words', followed by the worship of the passion and death of the Lord, and then at 6.30pm the stations of the cross, which enacts passing to 12 stations that represent the steps Jesus took toward his death. Various parishes around Barcelona celebrate the stations of the cross in addition to the one at the Cathedral. No18 The Streets Apartments has the best accommodations to offer as it is just 10minutes walk from the Cathedral.
Les aromes del 1700
Kids (and adults) love gobbling up the special 'mona de Pascua' Easter cake and chocolate eggs. But do you know where the Catalan tradition of the mona comes from? This workship invites kids to travel to Barcelona 1707, where Archduke Carlos III prepared a game to celebrate Easter with the children in the Old City of the Born. Through a game of clues (in Catalan) you'll get to know the origin of the mona, which is linked to European tradition, and also learn more about the world of chocolate in the 18th century, taking in the aromas of vanillia, pepper, ginger... And finally, each boy and girl gets to make a mona and a chocolate egg to decorate it with in this delicious workshop. No24 The Streets Apartments is a good accommodation option as it is closed to this workshop.
At The Streets Apartments we can offer you the best Holidays Apartments ideally located so you can enjoy a hopping good Easter in Barcelona!
La Mercè, history of Barcelona’s patron saint
During the 17th century, Barcelona was affected by a locust plague which made the City Council request the Virgin of Grace’s help who was then chosen as the patron saint of the city.
After this, the feast in honour of the Virgin of Grace was set to be in September. In 1092, these celebrations became the festival that is still taking place nowadays in Cataluña.
The Feast today
After democracy arrived, La Mercé gained its distinctive folkloric trait thanks to the cooperation between the bodies of the city. Nowadays, the Mercé celebrations are carried out in numerous public spaces throughout the city and its programme focuses onto the Mediterranean culture. In less than a week, Barcelona offers a wide range of activities varying from street performances to music, from concerts to traditional dances…
Barcelona and La Mercé
The activities carried out during La Mercé represent, among other things, a combination of Cataluña folklore. Amongst them there is the sardana, a typical dance, and the human pyramids, the Camp de Tarragona devils and the folk dances that are still taught in Cataluña nowadays.
The most typical activity during La Mercé is the pasacalle, street music players go through the city resembling the religious processions taking place over centuries. These are ancient street shows still celebrated nowadays. Today like yesterday, the street musicians work closely with fellow street artists in order to organise the event. Their joint work is fundamental to preserve the festive and theatrical vocation with which these events were born.
Wonderful Mercè ambient is waiting for you, book your apartment with us and enjoy Barcelona.
On the 23rd April, Barcelona fills up with roses, books, and lovers: during the World Book Day, in Cataluña also lovers celebrate their day. This especially romantic feast falls on the same day when the patron saint of Cataluña, Sant Jordi, is celebrated. This feast has a distinctive folkloric aspect which brings together culture and romanticism.
The tradition dictates couples exchange presents: men receive a book and women a rose. This turns Barcelona into an open-air book and flower shop. The streets fill up with people strolling among books and roses, looking for a present for their beloved one as well as for their family or friends.
You will see stands with the latest books throughout the city as well as authors of these books signing them while immersed in the smell of roses.
Sant Jordi and its celebrations are the result of traditions of different periods. On one hand, Sant Jordi is the saint patron of Cataluña since the 15th century, and on the other, the legend narrates the dragon was slayed by Saint George. During this day, another tradition, this one dating back to the Middle Ages, has people visiting the Palace of the Generalitat, where a rose and lovers fair was carried out. For this reason, Sant Jordi is also known as Cataluña’s lover patron saint.
This day is perfect to visit the Generalitat Palace as its door remain open the whole day and in the inside patio roses are sold for charity. Equally, during Sant Jordi you should take the chance to see the folk music concert and to take part in the numerous activities which include, among others, the official mass in Sant Jordi chapel and in the gothic patio of the building.
What are you waiting for? Book your The Streets Apartaments accommdoation now and live Barcelona like a local!