We love our apartment, it's is a home-away-from-home and you're welcome to stay, too. It's a 68 square meter, two-bedroom retreat in the inner-city Eixample district. We're close to cafes, bars, restaurants and grocery stores and less than one minute's walk to the Monumental Metro station.
If you're a fan of architecture you'll be happy with our location as we're in the heart of modernist Barcelona. Antoni Gaudi's awe-inspiring La Sagrada Familia is only a 10-minute walk. Other nearby Gaudi masterpieces include the beautiful La Pedrera and Casa Batllo, which houses the Gaudi Museum.
We spend our time working between China and Spain so it's always a great feeling to walk in the door here and fling open the balcony doors that overlook the street. We're on the 5th floor and one of our favourite afternoon pastimes is to drink a glass of sparkling Spanish Cava while watching the bustle of locals downstairs.
We escape here whenever we can so the apartment is well set up for visitors. It can sleep up to four people. It's fully air conditioned, has a large-screen TV with DVD player, Ipod docking station, Nespresso coffee machine, dishwasher, washing machine/dryer and a very comfortable couch (great for those afternoon siestas). We have two double bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms as well as a dining room that easily converts to an office. We also have WiFi and a printer set up as we work from here when we stay.
We're a relaxed 15 minutes’ walk to the beach and you'll pass an amazing array of cafes and restaurants. Thankfully our neighbourhood is quiet but not too sleepy. Like many spots in Barcelona, the area comes alive in late afternoon and picks up at night as people wander out for tapas and drinks.
The good thing is that you don't need a car to stay here. In the morning, we often take a walk along the street down to the local bakery for fresh bread. We're a few minutes' walk to one of the city's major avenues, Passeig de Gracia, where you'll find major boutiques and stores if you like a spot of shopping.
Our apartment is in a small complex and is very secure. Only tenants can access the entrance, we have a lift and an excellent doorman. I'm afraid we don't allow smoking inside but we have an ashtray on the balcony where you can smoke. And sorry, no pets allowed. We provide all laundry including bed linen, pillows, doonas and/or blankets, towels and tea towels for up to four guests. For longer-term stays we replace all the linen every week.
You'll be looked after by our good friend Alexander, who lives in Barcelona, not far from flat. He can answer any questions for you about the neighbourhood and the city. He can also arrange tours and offer you tailored guides to restaurants, tourist attractions and nightlife. The price will depend on your needs. He can also arrange for a trained massage therapist to come to the apartment after a long day of wandering the cobble-stone streets. There's a range of different therapies on offer including Shiatsu, Reflexology and stone-massage therapy.
If you're not familiar with Barcelona you can visit year-round as the temperature can still reach 20 degrees celsius in the mid-year winter months. Even if it's colder, there's usually plenty of sunshine. Failing that, there's plenty of cosy bars. In summer, the beachfront comes alive with DJs and pop-up bars. There's also wineries not that far away by car. We particularly love Cordorniu Winery, which was founded in the 16th century and has amazing cathedral-like ceilings and excellent Cava.
Here are a few places we like to go when we're here. We'd be happy to give you extra tips, too, if you have any particular interests:
- Gorria Restaurant, Carrer de la Diputació, 42. Has fantastic local food, please don’t be fooled by the exterior. It's in an atmospheric old underground vault.
- Can Ravell, Arago 313. Excellent authentic Catalan food in the back of a local deli.
- Boca Chica, Passatge Concepció, 12. A chic gin bar that's made it into Conde Nast Traveller.
- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is walking distance from our place at the Passeig de Gràcia, 38. The rooftop BAR is still an insider's secret so it's not too crowded and is great for a light lunch or glass of wine.
- There's so many amazing art galleries in Barcelona, including one dedicated to Barcelona native Joan Miro, called Fundacio Joan Miro, and the extensive contemporary art museum MACBA. But our favourite is the Picasso museum (at Montcada, 15-23). It's in a series of beautiful old palaces in a central part of the city that we think has the best collection of Picasso's oils and ceramics, particularly his early work.
- If you're up for an indulgent overnight trip, the dining capital of San Sebastien has a mind-blowing concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and is less than six hours' drive.Get the full listing »