Eating Out: Barcelona

Author: , April 16th, 2017

Barcelona - Pixabay

According to an August 2015 report from LGBT Capital, an investment firm based in London and Hong Kong focused on the LGBT consumer market, Spain is Europe’s most valuable LGBT travel destination, with in-bound gay and lesbian visitors pumping in some $6.8 billion to the economy. That puts Spain second behind the US ($21.5 billion) among the 14 global nations counted in the report.

From Alicante to Zaragoza, Spain calls gay travelers to some 11 destinations country wide, but few come as hot as beautiful Barcelona. From bustling Eixample (locally, Gaixample), the city’s gay epicenter to the nude beaches of seaside gay-magnet Sitges, southwest of the city, Catalonia’s capital sizzles year-round.

With flamboyant fiestas including the legendary Sitges Carnival (February), Bear Pride (March), Pride Barcelona (late June into early July), and wild Circuit Festival (which celebrated its 10th anniversary this August) for visitors to enjoy, count Barcelona’s globally recognized culinary scene among the seductions, too.

From its beachfront snack bars (xiringuitos) to its 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, Barcelona’s food scene runs as hot as its men. Even going for coffee here is on an amorous level, per the Catalan phrase “Fotem un café?” or “Let’s make love to a coffee.” On that appetite-whetting possibility alone, here are just a few of the myriad ways to eat your heart out in Barcelona.

LA BOQUERIA

LA BOQUERIA - BarcelonaWith Catalonia designated the European Region of Gastronomy for 2016, Catalan cuisine, reaching back to medieval days has lasting African and Arabic influences, exemplifying the saying that “the history of the world is found on the plate.”

Based primarily on ingredients cultivated, foraged, and harvested from Catalonia’s bountiful seas, valleys, and mountains, the Catalan menu dances to its own exotic beat. Typically cooked in wine, brandy, or extra-virgin olive oil from some of the oldest olive trees in Europe, Catalan dishes characteristically contrast sweet and spicy or sweet and sour accents.

By Jeff Hailman – Full Story at Passport

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Alain Visits Barcelona’s MNAC

Author: , March 5th, 2017

MNAC Barcelona

To be honest, I never had the chance to take a peek of Catalan Art at MNAC (Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya). I arrived at almost 4 in the afternoon on my last day in Barcelona and I simply didn’t have much time. Instead, I went around and admired the museum’s facade.

If you look at it from afar, MNAC’s dome looks familiar, right? That’s because it’s modelled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It has the world’s largest collection of Romanesque frescoes.

Inside, you’ll find the works of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso when they were still young – trying to carve a name in the art world.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona’s Barri Gotic – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 26th, 2017

Barri Gotic

To step back in time at Barri Gotic, you better be here early in the morning when the narrow streets are empty. When the Gothic Quarter is deserted, you can really feel like you’re time-traveling. From the cold cobbled stones on tapered paths to the sharp spires above, visitors are enchanted by the sheer magnificence of Gothic architecture.

Here are some important places to check out to step back in time at Barri Gotic.

Barcelona Cathedral. Make sure you’re properly dressed because they won’t allow people to go inside in shorts or mini skirts and in flip flops. Prepare to be blown away by the grandiose interior of complex designs and elaborate carvings.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Casa Batllo – The House of Bones – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 23rd, 2017

The House of Bones - Alain

The locals in Barcelona call Casa Batllo -as The House of Bones. You can’t blame them because if you look at it outside from afar, the casa looks like bones, indeed. Its eclectic facade design carries through the walls, door, floors and rooms inside the house. So, it’s a good idea to have an audio guide – and prepare to be dumbstruck by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since the casa is a work of Gaudi, expect a whopping price of 23.5 euros. Yes, it is thatridiculously expensive! If you want to skip the line to the ticket booth, buy your ticket online. Go in the morning for photographic reasons. There’s a different price for an early morning (36 euros – for first 10 people) visit but don’t buy it. Wait for a while until they decide to let you in for general admission.

 

Barcelona From the Sagrada Familia Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , February 19th, 2017

Sagrada Familia

Yes, you can go to the top of Sagrada Familia by elevator. However, the lift doesn’t really bring you to the topmost floor. You’ll have to climb some steps to go to the uppermost part. The elevator is too small and the steps are too narrow. That’s why, you can’t go up there anytime you want. You have to follow the time you’re scheduled to go.

And by the way, you have to pay a separate fee for this. It’s not included in the general admission. You also have to remember that since the area is too narrow, you won’t be able to take a picture of yourself with the city’s skyline in the background.

Visiting Tips: 
It is so much better to book your visit online so you can choose the time that’s convenient for you.

Out of the 18 towers, only 8 are currently completed. You can’t go to all of these towers. When buying the ticket, you have to choose between the Passion Towers and Nativity Towers. You also can’t use the elevator to descend but the steps only. So, if you have mobility problems, this might be a difficult task for you. Children younger than 6 aren’t allowed to go up.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Catalunya Gay Travel Resources

10 Interesting Facts About Sagrada Familia – Keep Calm & Wander

Author: , February 18th, 2017

Sagrada Familia - Keep Calm and Wander

There’s no doubt that Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudi’s most ambitious and most celebrated work that’s waiting to be completed. Though the artist had died long time ago, his vision of the church lives on. Construction is still going on but it’s getting to the finish line. After 134 years of construction, the world will be able to see the spectacular Sagrada Familia in its entirety soon.

For now, there’s nothing much to see inside for a regular tourist like me. While I was there last summer, the central part of the church was wholly covered. It was disappointing, especially if the entrance fee was excessive. In Barcelona, everything that has Gaudi trademark on is expensive. You could feel Spain’s economic crisis. The struggle is real. 🙂

Since I’m not a hardcore Catholic, the only thing that fascinated me is the architecture in itself.  Looking up, I was blown away by the complicated, intricate and beautiful structures of its columns to the roof. I was literally blown away. It’s the same feeling I had when I first set foot on the Great Wall of China or when I witnessed the first break of dawn at the summit of Mt. Sinai. I had goosebumps and I had no one to talk to or share that feeling – a disadvantage of travelling solo.

Gay Barcelona

Author: , December 2nd, 2016

gay Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world to be gay. With its open community, incredible nightlife, vast array of restaurants, and glorious summer weather, the city doesn’t leave you wanting much.

I visited gay Barcelona once before, and saw it through the eyes of a young first-time tourist. This time around, I was visiting for Pride, and the experience underlined just how great a city this is for any LGBTI individual. (No surprise, given same-sex marriage and LGBTI adoption have been legal since 2005.) Here are some quick tips so that you can have the best, and gayest, time in Barcelona…

Barcelona, like any big city, has a plethora of things to see and to do. It can sometimes be overwhelming trying to plan your excursions. If you find yourself in this pickle then you should definitely check out Rainbow Barcelona Tours. They offer private excursions so that you can discover all the must-see monuments and places in Barcelona at your own pace without the fear or getting lost or missing something.

By David Calderon – Full Story at Gay Star News

Bareclona Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona on a Budget

Author: , May 10th, 2015

La Sagrada Familia - Apple MapsWith the euro now in favor of American travelers for the first time in many years, European cities with chic, cosmopolitan flair are an attractive travel option this summer. Barcelona is one of our current favorites, with its world-class architecture, museums, abundance of tapas restaurants, and seaside ambiance. Sure, flights are still seasonally priced — we found round-trip fares of $1,300 for mid-July between New York City and Barcelona — but what you’ll pay on the ground can easily make up for the flight. Here are five ways to explore Barcelona on a budget.

1. Explore the free museums.

Time your visit right and you’ll have the chance to soak up tons of culture gratis. On the first Sunday of the month, plus Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Museu Picasso waives admission, saving you [euro]14 (or a little over $15). You’ll also find free admission at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya on Saturday afternoons, from 3 p.m. to close, as well as the first Sunday of the month. Yet another Sunday perk: Get in free at Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona (commonly referred to as CCCB) from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

By Kristine Hansen – Full Story at Shermans Travel Blog | Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Tango Diva – 72 Hours of Seduction in Barcelona

Author: , March 16th, 2015

Barcelona - Tango Diva

A visit to Barcelona, Spain’s largest city and the capital of Catalonia, offers a truly unique travel experience. Upon arrival, visitors are seduced by the architectural pageantry, picturesque plazas and parks. But it is Barcelona’s attitude – adventurous, edgy and high energy – that captured my heart.

During peak summer months, Barcelona is a seductress that requires no beauty sleep. The streets are alive with activity 24/7, outdoor cafes and bars buzz with conversation and music fills the night air.

Over the last 2,000 years, Barcelona has reigned as Catalonia’s capital city. Barcelona has masterfully blended the best of old and new blossoming into a world class urban oasis of art, culture and history with nine designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Barcelona’s prime coastal location on the Western Mediterranean has kept commerce and tourism on the rise. Today, Barcelona is a top port of call for cruise ships welcoming 2 million passengers annually.

By Sheila Gaspers – Full Story at Tango Diva | Barcelona Gay Travel Resources

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia

Author: , January 23rd, 2015

Sagrada Familia BarcelonaThis was not my first time in Barcelona, but yes indeed the first time spending almost two hours exploring inside-out, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sagrada Familia. Right after my Facades and Architecture walk/tour along Paseo de Gracia and Av. Diagonal, I arrived right to Sagrada Familia, considered by many as the most famous landmark of Barcelona.

Designed meticulously by the great architect Antoni Gaudi. This work of art has taken over 100 years to build and contains the finest architecture in the city. Construction continues and they estimate will come to full completion by 2026.

Construction of Sagrada Familia had commenced in 1882 and Gaudi became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete.

The story of his death is quite shocking. He was run over by a tram, while contemplating his creation. Struck by a passing tram and lost consciousness. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of identity documents and shabby clothing, the unconscious Gaudi did not receive immediate aid. Only day after, he was identified. Not many know, but Gaudi’s remains are to be found at the Neoclassical church, located right underneath Sagrada Familia.

Once inside, you will be amazed by the work on the pillars, but mostly on the way natural light has been utilized. Each side represents two seasons. The green and blue, represent Summer and Spring. The orange and red, represent Winter and Fall.

After my tour, I jumped into a taxi right across the street from Sagrada Familia and head to Villa Olympic and the Beach Line of Barcelona, to enjoy a lovely lunch at Xiringuito Escriba.

Special Thank You to Eloi at Rainbow Barcelona for such a great tour and all the information shared.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Barcelona Gay Travel Resources