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Barcelona – An Insiders Guide

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Food, Fitness & Vermouth...

I am lucky enough to be currently based in Barcelona for a whole 10 weeks while my boyfriend, Jason works from a boat here. Thanks to the wonderful likes of Zoom I am also able to continue my Pilates and Personal Training online from here too (I do love my job!).

This means that I am able to get a real insight in to living here. In between all my teaching I am on a mission to try out lots of new places and do lots of cool things and then pass all my recommendations on to you!

This is a work in progress so please do let me know if you have anything else that I must do or try whilst here.

Travel Tips:

  • No Ubers but there are plenty of taxis everywhere you go.

  • Vermouth is a real thing. My latest obsession and it is there readily available at any time of day and on every street! See below for my fave spots.

  • Tap water – it is drinkable but not the nicest (in my opinion). It seems fine when you get it at restaurants though.

  • No cash needed – everything is card payment.

  • QR codes - make sure phone has the ability to do QR codes as this is where you will find the menu in most places.

  • Foodie heaven – eat out as much as you possibly can – so much good stuff here, and not just Spanish cuisine.

  • Fitness fitness fitness – it’s a great place to be when you love fitness as much as I do. Plenty of outside classes, great studios, gyms and not forgetting the beach for all your swimming and running needs!

Watch out for!

  • Be careful of traffic! It is taking me a long time to get used to the roads here, they don’t always make sense in terms of what way the traffic is coming/ going so just be extra cautious. There are also lots of cobbled side streets that you may think are just pavements until a car comes whooshing past!

  • Bike lanes on pavements everywhere- watch out! Similar to above but perhaps a little less expected is bikes/ scooters/ roller-bladders going very fast down the lanes that are in the middle of the pavement (definitely not obvious at first!).

  • Watch your valuables - this is a tip that everyone gives me every time I go to Barcelona, yet I haven't thankfully experienced for myself (touch wood!). It's just worth being aware of this in the more busy and touristy areas.


  • El born

My favourite area by far. Full to the brim of super cool restaurants, bars, independent shops, terraces and all the cobbled lanes that you expect and want to experience when coming to Barcelona. Plenty of hidden gems here and the best place to potter around.

  • El Gotico (Gothic Quarter)

The old town of Barcelona, next door to El born and fairly similar feel with lots of lovely winding laneways and narrow streets. It's also home to tourist hotspot Las Ramblas (pickpocket zone!) and Barcelona cathedral.

  • La Barceloneta

I'm a big fan of this area, this has a lot to do with the fact it is right by the beach! It is also less busy and has some great spots to have a drink (vermouth of course!) with a more local/ Spanish feel to it.

  • Barcelona Beach

The beach has been cleared up in recent years and in my opinion is what makes Barcelona a better city and weekend away than anywhere else. The water always has that inviting look about it, even in the midst of winter! It makes for an excellent run or walk and there is always plenty of fitness going on around, including their version of muscle beach! This is where you will find the W Hotel (definitely worth the splurge if you fancy a treat!). On the downside you will struggle to find good coffee or bars here though, all quite touristy

  • Gracia

Gracia has a very local, laidback vibe with lots of quaint shops, cafes and markets. Quieter pace of life. Home to Park Guell.

To eat:

CODE: (v) – vegetarian | * - I liked | ** I really liked | *** I LOVE! | x Not worth they hype


Tapas (all on my list to try):



To drink:

CODE: (V) – Great Vermouth | * - I liked | ** I really liked | *** I LOVE!