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Walking route through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

Walking route through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

One of the great secrets of Barcelona, and where part of its magic resides, is its enormous variety of architectural styles built throughout the city. On foot, and in a matter of 20 minutes, you’ll find yourself marvelling at modernist, medieval or contemporary works.

In this post we bring you the best way to get to know Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The best choice is undoubtedly a walking route to discover all the secrets of this style.

Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter: what to see

You can start the tour in Las Ramblas, next to Plaça de Catalunya. One of the most touristic sites in the Catalan capital, and at the same time the gateway to the old part of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. In addition, it was a significant road in medieval times, as it was a torrent that channelled water to the sea and defined the limits of the old city.

Our itinerary will continue down Las Ramblas, to Carrer de Portaferrissa, where there is a ceramic decoration reminding us of what the wall was like in the Middle Ages. This was also one of the entrance gates to the walled medieval city.

The Gothic cathedrals of Barcelona

After this short historical introduction, we come to the main features of the Gothic style in Barcelona: its churches and cathedrals. Taking Carrer de Petritxol, you will arrive at Plaça del Pi, where you will find a beautiful Gothic church dedicated to the Virgin.

We continue our way through the Carrer de la Palla, which will take us to the most important Gothic work in the city, the Cathedral of Barcelona. Its visit cannot be ignored, but we recommend that you enter the cloister, to begin your tour of the oldest part of the temple and thus follow the chronological itinerary inside.

Essential nooks of the Gothic Quarter

After visiting the Cathedral, if you go straight ahead you will find Carrer de Sant Sever, a small street that will take you to one of the most magical corners of the entire city: Plaça de Sant Felip Neri. At this location one can still see one of the worst Francoist bombings during the Civil War.

This impressive visit will mark the beginning of the end of our tour. Returning to Carrer del Bisbe, and in the opposite direction to the Cathedral, you will find the Palau de la Generalitat, which preserves its original 15th-century Gothic façade. In the middle of the street there is also a beautiful Gothic-inspired bridge.

And to finish, you will arrive at what is considered the great centre of the city of Barcelona: Plaça Sant Jaume, where the main façade of both the Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat de Catalunya are located.

The façades facing the main square are not Gothic, but neoclassical. Another example of the contrast of architectural styles in the city.

Following the route through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a must-see in the city! But the best thing to do is to stay at the Pere Tarrés Barcelona hostel, from where you will have access to any location in the city.

Activities in Barcelona for the weekend

Activities in Barcelona for the weekend

Can only escape to Barcelona for a weekend? Don't worry, because at the Barcelona Pere Tarrés hostel, the best hostel in the city, we’re here to make your job easier by recommending the best activities so you can enjoy the city across two intense and very productive days.

Tradition Saturday

Your ideal weekend in Barcelona should start, without a doubt, on Passeig de Gràcia, one of the most important avenue in the city. This street stands out for its modernist architecture and for its large number of shops. You can combine a morning of shopping with the entrance to two of the most significant modernist buildings in the Catalan capital: La Pedrera and the emblematic Casa Batlló.

After touring the entire Passeig de Gràcia, you will arrive at Plaça Catalunya, the nerve centre of Barcelona. From there, you will continue to Las Ramblas, one of the best-known tourist locations in the city and the gateway to the labyrinthine streets of the Gothic Quarter. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of those narrow alleys, where you will be constantly amazed by church squares, palaces and institutional buildings. Among the great attractions of this area are undoubtedly the Gothic Basilica of Santa María del Mar and the Cathedral of Barcelona.

After a whole morning discovering new places, you’ll surely have worked up an appetite, and we have just the solution. You can take a lunch break at the Boqueria Market, where a universe of colours and flavours awaits you and where you will find all kinds of products, from fish to fruits, as well as typical specialties such as Catalan sausages.

Finally, the afternoon can be spent visiting some of the many museums in Barcelona. In this area, the MACBA stands out, in the heart of the reformed Raval neighbourhood, and the CCCB.

Modernism and Beach Sunday

And on Sunday, you will enjoy some more weekend activities in Barcelona, since you will discover the great classics of modernism by Antoni Gaudí. You’ll start early in the morning visiting the Parc Güell, a great example of the influence that the natural elements had on his work. You will continue this modernist route to possibly the Gaudí’s crown jewel, the Sagrada Familia. Although still a work in progress, it will leave you breathless. Apart from enjoying its façade, you will also have the option of visiting the interior.

Finally, you can finish this modernist route by visiting the largest modernist enclosure in Europe, the Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau in the Guinardó neighbourhood.

To end your Sunday in style, we recommend you enjoy a good meal in front of the sea, at Barceloneta Beach. During the trip to the beach you will pass through two of the most historic places in Barcelona, the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf.

Finally, put the finishing touch to your visit with the Magic Fountain show in Montjuïc, a huge fountain with the Palau Nacional façade in the background, an unmissable spectacle of music, water and colours.

5 places to visit in Barcelona for free

5 places to visit in Barcelona for free

In Barcelona, there are endless opportunities to discover the magic of the city. So, if you are looking to enjoy the metropolis while spending as little as possible, here we offer the best places to visit in Barcelona for free, which are great to be enjoyed without spending any money!

The markets

Barcelona is widely known for its traditional Mediterranean cuisine. A good way to fully explore the city is to taste the best dishes and culinary delights, and the best is that you can discover this gastronomic variety for free in the markets.

The most emblematic market of the city is the Boqueria Market, located on the Ramblas. However, it is gradually focusing on tourism. If you want to discover markets that still maintain their traditional essence, we recommend the Mercat dels Encants, one of the oldest markets in Europe still working, or the Mercat de Sant Antoni, which has been recently reopened and features some Roman ruins.

Sound and light show

Another thing the city offers for free which is an absolute must-see is the show of the Font Màgica de Montjüic. Built in 1929 for the World Expo, it has about 7 billion of possible combinations of water and electricity.

Also, as if that were not enough, it is located in a vantage point: just in front of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, from where you can also enjoy the incredible views of Barcelona.

Best views in Barcelona

A visit to Barcelona would not be complete without enjoying its beauty from up high. In this sense, the city has two free viewpoints to enjoy the views. The first, located on top of Turó de la Rovira, is popularly known as Los Bunkers. It is a natural viewpoint where you can take 360-degree panoramas—and it also has the remains of an anti-aircraft battery from 1938.

The second, standing 513 meters high, we find Tibidabo. It is the highest peak in the Collserola mountain range. It also has several recreational spaces, such as an amusement park, amongst many other options. However, enjoying them does have an extra price.

Getting lost in the city parks

In Barcelona, there are many urban parks that you should visit. The most popular is the Ciutadella Park, the first public park in the city. However, you also have the option to escape from the hustle of the city walking around the Montjuïc Park. Also, if you want to get lost in a maze of cypresses, visit the oldest historical garden in the city, the park of Laberint d'Horta.

Catalan culture

In the end, although most museums in Barcelona charge admission, there are more places to learn about Catalan culture for free. You cannot miss the Palau de la Virreina, which is considered a treasure of the Catalan civil baroque, or the Palau Robert, a neoclassical building with beautiful gardens offering a wide variety of activities.

So, the budget is not an excuse for not visiting Barcelona. There are so many things to do without spending a single euro. And, to make the most of your experience, stay at the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés Barcelona—it is the best in the city!

How to move around Barcelona: transport tickets

How to move around Barcelona: transport tickets

Are you planning to visit Barcelona soon but you are not sure which the best options are to get around by public transport? There are several alternatives available, and the choice will depend on which Barcelona transport ticket offers top features and suits your trip—and your pocket—best.

It should be emphasized that 2020 arrived with important updates on the type of public transport tickets. In this way, in the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés Barcelona, we have put together the different options so that you can choose the one that suits best to your trip.

T-Casual, T-Familiar or Hola Barcelona Travel Card

The first thing you should keep in mind is that the three transport options we will discuss below are valid for Metro, Tram, Funicular de Montjuïc, Cercanías, FGC and all buses—except tourist and special services, such as the Aerobús, in the Zone 1 of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Each of them has special features.

T-Casual

This is the former T10 card, but with a significant difference: it is individual and you cannot share your trips with other people. However, it is still the cheapest option of all, since it costs €11.35 for 10 trips in zone 1 or €22.40 if it includes zones 1 and 2.

This alternative can be purchased online or at the ticket-vending machines on the Metro, FGC and Cercanías stations. Of course, you should pay attention since it is not valid to travel from or to the Airport with the L9 Sur line. Nevertheless, you can use it on the Cercanías that also takes you there.

T-Familiar

One of the few multi-person options—which, therefore, can be used by several people—is the new T-Familiar, valid as of March 1. It is a shared ticket which costs €10 and offers 8 trips to be used by a group of passengers. Like the T-Casual, it is not valid to travel from or to the Airport with the L9 Sur line, but with the Cercanías.

Hola Barcelona Travel Card

There is an option for those visiting Barcelona for a few days—the Hello Barcelona Travel Card. This is a TMB card that allows unlimited travel for 2, 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days within zone 1 of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.

You can purchase this individual ticket on the TMB website. It is also available at the ticket-vending machines on the Metro stations. Children under the age of four travel for free!

It is also the only alternative including trips from or to the airport with the L9 Sur line.

Barcelona Card

Lastly, there is an option that TMB does not offer, but the Barcelona Tourism Office: the Barcelona Card. An individual tourist card, which includes a Hello Barcelona Travel Card for 2, 3, 4 or 5 days as well as visits to museums, discounts in establishments of the city, a map of the city and a guide. This way, you will not miss anything! You can check all the details and purchase it on their website.

The choice will depend on the type of trip to the city you have in mind. If you want an alternative for just one day, you should consider the new T-family, as it can be shared by a group. However, if your stay will be longer, the Hola Barcelona Travel Card is the best option to enjoy the capital of Catalonia without worrying about transport. And, if it is your first time in Barcelona, the Barcelona Card will offer you the opportunity to visit the most important tourist attractions of this great metropolis.

Top 4 pizza places in Barcelona

Top 4 pizza places in Barcelona

Anytime and at good price. Who does not fancy some pizza after a hard and intensive day? Italian gastronomy has made itself a place in everyone’s heart! In our opinion, these are the four places you should go to. Get ready, because you will not be able to stop eating these tasty delights.

La Balmesina

Located on Balmes Street—hence the name—we find La Balmesina. This is the gastronomic project of three Italian men from Veneto: Max Morbi, Alessandro Zangrossi and Mattia Ciserola. They make “gourmet” pizzas with sourdough without yeast, as well as seasonal products.

It will not cost you more that €10 and you will taste some of the best pizzas in Barcelona—they were even recognised amongst the 50 best pizzas in Europe. So, do not hesitate anymore and make a reservation to judge by yourself.

Parking Pizza

Berta Bernat an Marcos Armenteras, who are both owners of Parking Pizza, began their journey in 2015, with a small restaurant in the middle of Esquerra de l’Eixample (Londres Street, 98). It was a success within a few days. Its impact was so important that they invested on a new establishment—a 500-square-meter car park close to the Passeig de Sant Joan (Passeig de Sant Joan, 56). Here not only do they make pizzas, but also pitas.

It should be emphasized that they prepare quality dough everyday using good flours, which are cooked in a wood-burning oven and topped with excellent ingredients. Undoubtedly, the best pizzas are the black truffle, fontina, egg and parmesan pizza as well as the mozzarella, tomato and basil one. Come and try them!

Frankie Gallo Cha Cha

In the middle of the neighbourhood of Raval, we find Frankie Gallo Cha Cha—a bustling establishment where you will not find much quietness, but will be able to enjoy some pizzas you will absolutely love.

The quality of their pizzas is based on the top-quality dough with biga and organic stone-ground flour, an eternal fermentation (more than 72 hours), excellent Italian ingredients and a total obsession for perfection in their creations. You can accompany a huge variety of pizzas with their selection of natural wines. You will live a total experience.

La Briciola

Coming to this place in the neighborhood of Sants (Carrer d'Olzinelles, 19) is like visiting Naples in the 1970s. It is one of the first pizzerias in Barcelona, with more than 30 years of history, which continues keeping the traditions. Both their dishes and the decoration will make you feel the magic of Naples in all its glory.

Surely, all these examples will have worked up your appetite and now you have a terrible desire to eat pizza. In this case, do not hesitate to complete your visit to Barcelona with some pizza in one of these great places. And, if you want your trip to be the cream of the crop, do not miss the opportunity to stay in the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés Barcelona, the best hostel in the city.

Which activities will be held during Women’s Day in Barcelona?

Which activities will be held during Women’s Day in Barcelona?

Barcelona is not just a city to enjoy parties, culture and tradition—it is also a place for fight and vindication. Along with Madrid, they both serve as a hub in Spain for the biggest protest actions against unfairness and partiality.

In this way, one of the days generating most expectation in Women’s Day, on March 8. It has been almost two centuries since women started taking the streets this day to claim better wages and working conditions, family reconciliation and equality, as well as to totally reject sexism.

In this new post, we will explain how you can collaborate in a protest which is gradually becoming more important all around the world: Women’s Day.

Taking the streets

The major act during Women’s Day, which is held March 8, is the greatest demonstration organized simultaneously in all major towns of the territory, including Europe.

On Sunday, from 5 pm, Plaça Universitat will become one of the most important protest hotspots of the city, where people will call for full equality between men and women.

Culture to eradicate inequality

Furthermore, it should be emphasized that this demonstration is closely related to culture, since this gap between men and women in some contexts must be eradicated from everydayness. That is why vindication is very relevant at a cultural level in Barcelona, in the civic centers of the city.

During this month, in almost every neighbourhood, many of these social centers draw up a transversal programme divided in sectors. It focuses on highlighting the role of women over the course of history, but also today. On the website of Barcelona City Council, we can find all the activities which will be held in the different centers of the city during Women’s Day. For example, we can point out the workshops organized by the Institut d'Humanitats de Barcelona at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCB), which focus on the revolution carried out by the feminism during the 1970s. It will run until April 1.

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) also participates in this vindication. Every year, it tries to make visible its fight to abolish discrimination against women in the fields of artistic and intellectual creation and production. To this effect, it organizes different activities, which will be open to the public. In addition, on March 8, the museum organizes an open day for all women.

Feminist routes all over Barcelona

Lastly, on the occasion of Women's Day, several associations remember the role of women—often forgotten or silenced—throughout the history of the capital of Catalonia. From artists and intellectuals who forged the cultural ideology of the current city of Barcelona to vindicating feminists, fighters and rebels who defended the Second Republic or the resistance during the subsequent dictatorship.

Do not miss the opportunity to celebrate this type of days, which are fundamental nowadays, in one of the great world epicenters where actions for Women's Day take place. So, enjoy your accommodation at the Youth Hostel Pere Tarrés Barcelona, the best hostel in the city to experience these activities in the city.

Mexican food in Barcelona: What restaurants should you visit?

Mexican food in Barcelona: What restaurants should you visit?

Mexican food places have long been a feature in Barcelona. Nachos and the guacamole opened the door to more typical and traditional dishes such as esquites, aguachiles, moles, chiles en nogada, white pozole, huarache, chicken with pipian sauce, cochinita pibil or Yucatecan tamales, to mention just a few examples of Tex-Mex cuisine.

Mexican cuisine holds pride of place as one of the richest and most varied in the world, due to the variety of flavors and preparations. There are lots of places to eat in Barcelona: from Mexican restaurants offering signature cuisine with a touch of tradition, to taco bars and other establishments offering quality fast-food.

Given this variety, we want to help you find the most authentic locations: we have a great selection of the best Mexican food establishments in our city.

La Taquería

La Taquería, located in Passatge de la Font, 5, boasts authentic Mexican street food. The tacos are spectacular, ideal to go with a good michelada. Among the taco proposals there’s the ever-popular flank steak, and many other options such as steak tacos, tongue, sausage, chicken, nopal cactus, and tacos al pastor or gringa-style.

If you feel up to it, try out their special cucarito, with surprise ingredients. On weekends they prepare traditional recipes such as aguachiles or chicken with mole. Great tequila and Chavela Vargas songs give this locale a great touch of authenticity!

Tlaxcal Cantina

On 27 Calle del Comerç, Tlxacal Cantina is a gastronomic taqueria, as defined by its owners.

A genuine restaurant which seeks to honour traditional Mexican cuisine with a dynamic format, where you can eat quality Mexican dishes at a very affordable price. In addition to an interesting taco menu - the fish ones are very good - they serve more unusual dishes which we recommend: tortilla soup, chilaquiles or enchiladas.

Don’t forget to leave room for the scrumptious homemade desserts. Their lunch menu is very economical and well worth it.

Taco Alto

This chain has 4 locales in Barcelona, located in Universitat, El Born, El Raval and in Barceloneta. In any of these locations you can eat tacos by unit, and try as many varieties as your stomach has room for.

Each piece comes with an abundant filling accompanied with incredible fresh tortillas to delight your palate.

Among the specialties of the house are the taco de cochinita pibil and the Pirata, as well as grilled veal with melted cheese, with an intense, rich flavor which feels like it could go on forever.

Cantina Machito

If any place in Barcelona can boast of offering real Mexican cuisine since the 1990s, it’s Cantina Machito.

Located on the calle de Torrijos, 47B, this eatery is characterized by an informal and colorful atmosphere, where you can sit down to exquisite preparations of many different kinds of Mexican classics, and an extensive menu to suit all tastes.

The best thing on the menu? Without a doubt, you have to try the cochinita pibill, the chicken with mole poblano and the green enchilada -- fabulous dishes that you must try if you visit Machito Cantina.

Oaxaca

Located on Pla de Palau, 19, stands Oaxaca, a bastion of Mexican food in Barcelona. Traditional Mexican dishes refined with cutting-edge techniques make their dishes something truly special.

Among their star dishes, we should highlight the octopus and the chicken with mole. They also have their own vegetable garden where they grow the Mexican herbs and vegetables that they use in their cuisine.

A total luxury. In addition to the restaurant, Oaxaca has its own mezcalería with more than 200 types of mezcal brands to choose from.

Clearly, Barcelona boasts an ample choice of restaurants to visit. These are a just small sample of what’s on offer. So if you find yourself in the Pere Tarrés hostel in Barcelona, you can visit the ones we suggest, or discover others for yourself.

How do people celebrate Carnival in Barcelona?

How do people celebrate Carnival in Barcelona?

Carnival (or as it is known here, Carnestoltes) is one of the most special weeks of the year in Barcelona. These are days when the city becomes a veritable pageant of tradition and celebration.

As you may know, Carnival is a lunar party! This means that it starts in the cycle before Lent, seven weeks after the first full moon following the winter solstice. Therefore, the dates on which it is celebrated vary from year to year.

Specifically, in 2020, the city will be filled with music, light and colour from February 20 to 26.

Seven days when Barcelona hosts hundreds of events and activities to celebrate traditional Carnival with joy. In this post, we’ll tell you in detail about the main celebrations held every day, so that you don’t miss out on one of the most representative holidays in Catalonia.

A week of light and fun in Barcelona

The Carnestoltes King is responsible for kicking off Carnival in Barcelona. This is the central character of the festivities throughout the region, the figure representing the spirit of fun and celebration.

During Carnival week, Fat or Greasy Thursday (Catalonia known as Dijous Gras) starts with a musical parade with devils and correfocs beginning on the Rambla and moving to the Mercat del Born, where it ends with an orange fest and fireworks.

This is also a day marked by eating and typical fare, where families gather to enjoy some of the region’s traditional specialties, such as butifarra d'ou, tortilla and coca de llardons. Food plays a key role in the celebrations, for obvious reasons! So don’t hesitate to join in some of the many tortilla contests taking place in the different neighborhoods.

Between one delicacy and another, we arrive at Saturday, one of the most special days and, the one with the greatest carnival atmosphere in Barcelona. On this festive day, different street parties are organized in all the neighborhoods throughout the city - there’s no escape from the fun!

So don’t hesitate to join in some of the many tortilla contests taking place in the different neighborhoods. The presence of King Carnestoltes, a pitched battle with oranges and El Sarau de la Taronjada, a traditional masked dance, make up the centerpiece of the day.

Carnival ends on Ash Wednesday (dimecres de cendra), also known as the Burial of the sardine, when the imposition of ash symbolizes penance and repentance for the days of Carnivalesque excesses.

The night of Carnival

Apart from the official events, throughout the week there is also much nightlife to enjoy. Most clubs in Barcelona organize themed parties to celebrate Carnival.

However, the place where the nights take on a new dimension during Carnival is undoubtedly in Sitges, one of the most happening areas on the Mediterranean coast. Its pubs, nightclubs and street parades offer a remarkable contrast to the more traditionally festive atmosphere of the capital, and it’s the perfect spot to let your hair down during Carnival.

Without a doubt, Carnival is one of the most special times to visit Barcelona. Holidays, tradition and all-out fun that you’ll enjoy even more when you stay at the Pere Tarrés Barcelona Hostel

Upcoming concerts in Barcelona for you to enjoy if you’re in the city

Upcoming concerts in Barcelona for you to enjoy if you’re in the city

One of the great advantages of being in Barcelona is that the city constantly plays host to some outstanding concerts. In addition, another thing to keep in mind is that in this great metropolis, there is room for all musical styles and genres.

The daily offer of live musical performances is immense, and whatever your musical taste, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a magical night of great music in Barcelona. Thus, in this post we bring you what, according to our criteria, are the most outstanding concerts in Barcelona during 2020.

Musical legends

During 2020, some of the world's greatest music legends will grace the stages of the top venues in Barcelona.

Starting with a tribute to one of the great Spanish artists of all time, Raphael, who will perform at one of the most classy and glamorous festival venues in Barcelona: the Jardins de Pedralbes Festival. The legendary singer will delight spectators with some of the hits of his decades-long musical career in a privileged setting on June 7, 2020.

Only a few days later, on June 17, one of the most important musical events of the year is scheduled to take place in the Catalan capital: this is a one-night only opportunity to hear renowned Beatle, Paul McCartney.

The Olympic Stadium in Barcelona is the venue chosen for McCartney's latest show in Spain. After three years’ absence, the former Beatle returns in style, following the launch of his latest album Egypt Station.

Already into autumn, on Saturday, October 3, the Palau Sant Jordi will host the irrepressible Elton John on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. A great show promising a musical journey through the hits of his musical career which spans half a century.

There are still tickets available to see these three legends, but you’d better hurry as they’re expected to sell out very shortly.

Pop icons

Barcelona will also be the scene for the concerts of some of today’s greatest pop music icons, both Latino stars and international talent. Maluma (March 28), Dua Lipa (April 28) and Camila Cabello (June 30), three of the singers who are currently hitting the headlines around the world, are sure to make Palau Sant Jordi vibrate in 2020.

Not to mention the stream of shows given by this country’s best-known artists over the year, including David Bisbal (May 15) and Dani Martín (October 31), both also in the Sant Jordi, and Manuel Carrasco (June 12) at the Sant Jordi Club.

Big festivals

Finally, 2020 is also a year for some amazing music festivals in Barcelona. Spring Sound 2020 will be held at the Parc del Fórum from June 3 to 7. One of the top festivals on the Spanish scene with both independent and chart-busting artists: Massive Attack, Lana del Rey, Iggy Pop, The National, The Strokes, Amaia, Bad Bunny, Tyler, The Creator are just some of the names on the line-up. Only two weeks later, from June 18 to 20 the Fira de Montjuic, will host Sonar 2020. Although the artists taking part have not yet been confirmed, the festival is a sure-fire winner year after year thanks to a unique format, combining artistic talent and technological innovation.

The offer of music in Barcelona is as eclectic as it is classy. When you visit, there are just two things you can’t afford to miss: enjoying a live musical performance and staying at the Pere Tarrés Youth Hostel, the best hostel in Barcelona.