Heres the first in our ongoing series of City Guides, where we curate the best spots to check out, dine, see and buy while your travelling. Our man Frank was in Barcelona this month as were many for BBB, check out the spanish city through the eyes of Slam X Hype and stay tuned while we circumnavigate the globe and make your travels more productive.
Multiple stops, Barcelona City
This is the official tourist bus of Barcelona city. It costs 20Euro to get on but it's a day ticket so you can get off at any of the stops around the city and get back on. Here's a tip – the South route is better, and if you get on the one to the North route I would just get off at Sagrada Familia, because there's nothing else to see after that. Aside from the Futbol stadium.
Located in a weird spot upstairs in a side mall this is the third shop in the LE line-up. It sells 99.9999% Nike… and 0.0001% Visvim, with a couple of Visvim shoes on the wall. Ask the guys at LimitEditions or ChikaShitshu where to find it.
C/Duc de la Victoria (opposite LIMITEDITIONS)
The home of the hi-end Japanese labels, which is looking like a must for every city nowadays. A converted record store, and from what I can make out they work in with the SlamJam family from Italy. Visvim, Goodenough, Head Porter, Head Porter Plus, W)Taps, Undercover, Neighborhood and more. Nice dark subterranean fit-out but we warned though, the Euro prices for Japanese gear is not for the faint hearted.
Stocking high-end men's fashion labels like Comme Des Garcons & Iceberg we managed to pick up a Kaws Comme Des Garcons wallet which apparently had been sitting there for a while. Very good service, the guys speak fluent English in there… a rare privilege in Barcelona. Go see them.
Las Ramblas (City Centre, joining the Colombus Monument & Placa Catalunya)
Las Ramblas seems to be the central meeting point and one of the craziest bits of the city. Lined with tourist traps, small eateries, bars, street performers, it becomes a bit of a madhouse in the evening with literally thousands of locals & tourists who swarm the street. Go there for the true BCN experience and if you're looking for a quick place to eat.
Las Ramblas (closer to Placa Catalunya)
According to the NY times in October 2006 this is not only the best sandwich bar in Barcelona, but the world. They are famous for this Iberian cured ham sandwich/bocadillo (Iberic). Nice little bar with friendly service, but I'd practice my Spanish before going there.
TRUST NOBODY & TRUST NOBODY GALLERY
Carrer d Tallers (close to the top of Las Ramblas)
Situated on a side street close to the top of Las Ramblas is Trust Nobody. One of the best stores in town, these guys sell a large range of shoes including Nike, Vans, NB Super Team, and DC. They own a gallery space further down the road but they also display some art in store. When we were there it was works from LA Based Foreign Family. A must visit place and one of the friendliest we encountered during our stay in Barca.
C. de Mallorca
If you haven't seen this in some picture somewhere somehow then you must be partially blind. One of Barcelona & Spain's biggest landmarks, it is the 125+ year construction-in-progress masterpiece designed by one of Barcelona's most famous sons – Antoni Gaudi. Worth the 8Euro to get in to see it.
Carrer BonSucces, Off Las Ramblas
A local Catalan restaurant. Fantastic local cuisine with breads, hams, meats, and this amazing veal dish. Genuine local cuisine and it's one of the best in town, thank you to the TN fam for introducing us, we owe you one. Worth a try to get a table there as the food is top notch.
C/Duc de la Victoria
Just across the road and down a few alley ways is Limited Editions. It's an Adidas Consortium store, and they also sell a large range of shoes along with the usual streetwear fare including Vans Syndicate. Don't let the front fool you, it's long and narrow store. Impressive interior build and displays.
C. de Comerc
We almost missed this one, but looked like they were closing for the afternoon siesta. The Montana paints store, and from what we could see behind the grill on the street it looks like they sell cans, art supplies, and a bit of clothing.
C. de Comerc
Lots of vinyl art, and great books make this a must stop place. Located on Carrer de Comerc, it's off one of the sidestreets of the Arc de Triompf plaza. There's a gallery space, and a small fashion boutique next to it, all under the same name.
C. Rec (around the corner from 24Kilates on C. De Comerc)
Located literally around the corner and down the road from 24 Kilates is the Carhartt store. American readers might not understand that Carhartt Europe is completely different to the workwear they're accustomed to back home, judging by the reaction of some of the Americans who were at BBB who saw the store. Worth a look, they also sell Pointer UK shoes.
C. de Comerc
At the end (or start?) of Carrer de Comerc is another local mainstay – 24 Kilates. They hold down some of the best NB stock in town, along with New Era, Addict and Rocksmith. Impressive Vinyl range and also a nice little book section in the rear. A must visit.
MUSEO PICASSO ( PICASSO MUSEUM )
One of Barcelona's must see turisto attraction has to be the permanent Picasso Museum , dedicated to the famed cubist. There's a temporary exhibition in there at the moment showcasing Picasso's personal collection as donated by his widow Jacqueline and friend Jaume Sarbates, which chronicles his influences and is an interesting insight into his life… Cez anne, Renoir, Matisse, Dali. The permanent collection houses mostly the work that Picasso did relating to when he was in Barcelona , with the other half sitting in the Picasso Museum in Paris.
P. de Colom
Whilst you won't find this listed in any tourist guide, this was our local bocadillo spot. We ate at plenty of different ones in the city but we loved this one, the bread was the best here, and they served olives with the sandwiches. That and the owner was one of the friendliest peoples we met here. Salut.
Off P. de Gracia
Tapas is an institution here. We were told by a few locals that this is one of the best places in town. Not for traditional tapas, but for their somewhat experimental dishes and their attention to details. Be warned, there is a line to get in to this place in the evening. No bookings.
ST JOSEF BOQUERIA
One of the biggest establishments off La Ramblas, the Boqueria markets has stood the test of time and is a favourite for locals, chefs and tourists alike. Fruits, candy, hams, meats, fish. It's all there.
P. de Gracia (Guadi building)
Located partially inside one of the Guadi buildings on P. de Gracia, this is a true masterpiece in homeware/cooking ware/any kind of ware shop. You will find some of the best designer furniture, utensils, light fittings, stationery, and all kinds of knick knacks in here. Two levels and sp anning almost an entire block, it's definitely worth a visit. You'll need to look closely to find the entrance though.
C. Pau Claris
Stocking a more eclectic brand list like Comme des Garcons, Kim Jones, Kenzo and Fred Perry along with a few local designers, this is worth a look if you want to see a little more of what Europe has to offer in terms of trends and lines that sometimes go under the radar.
P. de Gracia
A big box store no doubt, the Replay store is worth going in to check out the interior build. Aside from this they sell their own in-house brand.
P. de Gracia
Neil Barnett, Prada, Dolce & Gobbana, Gucci and select designers live here in this upper scale three storey mens and womens boutique. Nothing too much in the way of being different or daring but worth a look if you're after the main boutique fare, we spotted some brilliant Prada jackets in there.
C. de Tallers
Off Las Ramblas and close to TrustNobody Store is LTW, also owned by the same people behind TN. World famous for their ink, their waiting list is up to six months long at times. If you need ink, these people are the one to see.