We spent most of our time in Barcelona in the tourist centered Rambla/Barri Gotic area with regular excursions to the vaguely less overrun El Born area. There is much to do there and it wouldn’t have been a loss if we had spent the entire time wandering the corners and alleys of this area, but I wanted to see a bit more. A friend who had lived in Barcelona told me to check out the Gracia neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood more for locals than visitors with quite a few bars, shops and restaurants and a vibe that is less about selling stuff to tourists than offering a cool environment where people actually live.
As usual, we ended up getting up there just in time for siesta. Most shops were closed and the area looked more sleepy than interesting. We killed a bit of time having a couple rounds then walked around and found the neighborhood waking up around 5pm.
We grabbed a snack and some wine at DO (above) then went looking for another tapas spot in the area that was closed. In the end, we went to Bo, recommended in the guide book, but not particularly great.
We did end up coming across a Portuguese shop that sells art, wine and snacks from Spain’s neighbor to the west. I’ve been to Lisbon once, on the same trip that had brought me Spain last back in 2002-2003. The shop reminded me that I want to go back there at some point as well.
The next time I’m in town, I hope to try to head over to Gracia a bit earlier (or later) in the day to get a better look at the area and to partake in more of the food, drink and shops there.