How To Be A Romantic In Barcelona

Posted on August 29, 2012

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Parc Guell Barcelona

I was staring out of the window of the bus taking me from Girona airport to the Barcelona city centre and I already knew; this was going to be an amazing week. I was surrounded by green hills, tall cypress trees and typical Mediterranean houses as far as the eye could see. It was as picturesque as I had always imagined it to be and it immediately set the mood for a romantic getaway.

With its colorful buildings, pleasant climate, long sandy beaches and an endless number of restaurants/cafes, Barcelona is not only one of the most beautiful cities in the world; it is also an ideal place to be in love. I had the pleasure of experiencing everything this magical place has to offer in the company of a fresh new boyfriend, and together we saw a Barcelona that will forever be edged in our memories.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, steamy nightlife, a relaxed beach vacation or some high-end shopping, Barcelona has it all and it caters to almost everybody. Yes, it is true that the city is overly touristic with about 7 to 8 million people visiting each year, but despite these large numbers there are still places where the pace is easy and there are enough quiet spots to be found if you know where to look.

For the lovers among us, here are some tips to inspire your itinerary.

Go for a picnic in Parc Güell
What is more romantic than a picnic and a stroll together? Especially once you add some cultural sites to the equation…
Barcelona has a number of beautiful parks spread across the city, but the one that takes the cake is without doubt the famous Parc Güell. Like so many other well-known sites, the park is designed by 19th century artist Antoni Gaudi, which automatically makes it unlike any other park you’ve ever seen. It can be quite busy during tourist season, especially close to the entrance and the mosaic benches, but the park is quite big and if you put in a little effort you will find plenty of hidden quiet spots where you can romantically share a fork without any shame. Pack your basket full of fresh goods straight from La Boqueria market, take the L3 subway all the way up to Lesseps and wander around with your lover by the hand.

Sweets for my sweets…
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, or so they say. Woo your lover by taking him or her on a pilgrimage to one of the most famous (and rightfully so!) pastry shops in Europe; Escriba. This shop has been family run since 1906, and is famous for its oh-so-delicious-can’t-stop-myself chocolate. They have 3 different establishments and a visit to the actual bakery on the Gran Via is an absolute must for those with a sweet tooth. Stand in awe for the amazingly detailed cakes in all sizes, get some chocolates or macaroons for on the road and sink your teeth in one of their heavenly cupcakes!

Tapas & Cava
A visit to Barcelona would be incomplete without some tapas and at least a couple of glasses of cava. When in Spain, do as the Spaniards do; have them standing up in a lively and crowded hole-in-the-wall. For a genuine Catalan experience, take the subway to Barceloneta and visit Can Paixano (La Xampaneria), famous in Europe for their delicious cava. Don’t be scared off by the crowds, just blend in, order a bottle of cava rosat and drink, my friend! For about 5 to 6 euro’s a pop, it’s a bargain and you get more than your moneys worth. After you’ve fallen in love with it, get some bottles to go (for €2.35 a bottle) at the counter in the back.

Get around
Rent a bike. Yes, I’m serious. I know it must sound lame to some of you, but for me it was the ideal way to get around. Away with the smelly, damp subways and crowded buses but some fresh air and a good workout instead. Barcelona has many bicycle paths and is ideal for cyclists. Whether you want to visit the famous tourist sites, ride along the coast or explore the less popular neighborhoods (I recommend Gracia!), you can get just about anywhere at any time, enjoying a cool breeze along the way.

Seaside summer nights
Watching the sun go down to the soothing sound of the sea, while a gentle breeze rushes through your hair and the sand tickles between your toes… Sounds like a dream right? Thankfully, Barcelona has some pretty amazing beaches, so it’s actually possible. This is also where a bike will come in handy, since the further out you go, the less crowded it gets. Bring a blanket and some cava, find a quiet spot and spend some quality time together.

Barrio Gotic in BarcelonaBarrio Gótico by night
West of La Rambla, you will find Barcelona’s gothic quarter, the Barrio Gótico. After a romantic dinner on Plaza Reial, just go in one of the tiny side streets and walk around for as long as you please. Whatever you do, do not bring a map! With all its tiny narrow streets, Barrio Gótico is the ideal place to get lost and be surprised at every corner. If you’re lucky (like I was), you may even stumble upon a street musician, pouring out his very soul into the most beautiful piece of guitar music. This too sappy for you? You’ll be pleased to find countless little bars selling decent mojito’s for no more than 3 euro’s.

As I said before, Barcelona is the ideal place to be in love. Can’t bring a partner? That’s okay, you can always just fall in love with the city itself.

What was your most romantic getaway?

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Posted in: Spain, Travel Tips