An Insider's Guide to Barcelona

An Insider's Guide to Barcelona

From Martini and Le Cool — Barcelona's culture cognoscenti drop pearls of travelling wisdom for visitors to enjoy.

One of the world’s most beautiful cities is coming alive this weekend for one of world’s oldest races – The Spanish Grand Prix, now a golden 102 years old.

But beyond the sweat, suspense and burning asphalt of the Formula One spectacle, the Catalan capital is preparing for a weekend of celebration. Luckily, Martini has teamed up with Le Cool – and a bunch of Barcelona heavy hitters – to help you navigate all the goings-on. Here’s a taste of the experiences on offer.


After waking up I’d go to Nomad Coffee for a great coffee – besides serving the best coffee in Barcelona it also has the best host in its inimitable barista Jordi Mestre. Around midday I love to head to the beach, and if the weather is good I would practice some paddle-surfing with Miquel from the Mokola’i Sup Center school on Barceloneta’s beachfront. Then I’d reenergise with a vermouth from La Cova Fumada or some mouth-watering black rice from Maians restaurant. In the afternoon I would visit Caixaforum, where there’s always a choice of great exhibitions, and I maybe take in the neighbouring Miró museum and Mies van der Rohe Pavillion. To finish the day in the best possible way I would have dinner at Suculent. The chef there, Antonio Romero, is a genius and everything he cooks is spectacular: oxtail croquettes with trumpet mushrooms, ceviche with red shrimp, cuttlefish with foie gras, peas with black pudding, and so on. It’s Catalan cuisine with a twist, that will leave you awestruck. After this spectacle, there’s no other choice but a cocktail from Negroni. If I still had some energy left I’d end my night dancing like a fool at Apolo’s Sala 2.

Plateselector is an online magazine with a bar and restaurant guide, interviews with chefs, barmen, foodies and stories about people that love food. Its members are Johann Wald, Alba Yáñez, Khaled Abbas and Juaniyo Navaza.


For me a perfect day in Barcelona must have some cycling, some swimming, a beach and the sun. I recommend cycling Passeig Sant Joan from Gràcia to the Ciutadella Park, taking in its brand-new bike lane. The ride passes some nice terraces, a well-known comic store (Norma Comics), amazing Chinese grocery stores, and the surreal and fabulous Aliens4sale shop with alien sculptures and other odd specimens on sale. I would stop at Granja Petitbo, a traditional café with a contemporary twist, with free WiFi and delicious fresh-pressed juices. Barcelona also hides wonderful rooftop terraces where you can swim with beautiful views over the city. One of the best is The Top, the Gallery Hotel’s roof terrace, located in Eixample, next to Passeig de Gràcia. You can swim in the swimming pool even if you’re not staying in the hotel, and it’s a great spot to drink Dry Martini and eat delicious gazpacho. I’d then head to the W Hotel’s beach and take a dip between the surfers, nudists and locals. And then I’d go back to Raval to explore its second-hand shops, galleries and concept stores, and then grab some food at the Bio Center – a veggie restaurant with take-away – to end up eating under the sun in Plaça dels Àngels, next to MACBA museum, surrounded by the skaters doing their tricks.

Originally from Ibiza, Francesca Tur is a flâneur of the world. She loves exploring cities and talking about what’s going on on them at, her own online channel about culture, art, fashion and lifestyle. She also teaches in schools and universities and works as a creative editor for brands. She loves cycling, reading and sunbathing.


I would start having breakfast at OMA Bistro. It’s the best new place for breakfast, brunch and tea in town; cozy, quiet and delicious. Then I would go to Jardí Botànic de Montjuïc, a great spot to listen to an album you love. It’s wonderfully calm, free, and you can sit and watch the waves. On the afternoon, I would definitely go to La Botiga del Primavera. Hosted by the great festival Primavera Sound, it features everything a music lover might need: albums (vinyl only), books, posters, merchandise… and great taste. Then I’d head to one of the best (and least well known) burger places in the city, De Paula. It’s small, they cook on the grill, and the fries are just excellent. At night, I would go to Sidecar. It’s one of the smallest clubs in Barcelona and one of the loudest too. Always packed, the bar is on one side, the toilet on the other and in between is the dance floor! Who cares? The music (indie rock hits, and tunes from new local bands) is always great, the crowd is always fun, and the nights at Sidecar are always unforgettable.

I’m Aleix, I’m (let’s face it) almost 30, and I guess I should say I communicate for a living. Mainly about music in Indiespot, an indie music website I founded eight years ago. Look for me at a concert, having a huge burger, or DJing at some club.

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You can find about more great things to do in Barcelona this weekend at the Martini City Circuits site.