We’re going to walk all over Barcelona. The result of that stroll is the travel log that discovers the first of the #SmilingCities of Pikolinos.

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We like to walk around with no fixed destination, just for the unique pleasure of discovering things naturally, and being open to the surprises we might find along the way.

We’re also devoted to storytelling, and this time we’ve walked around Barcelona with a special aim: to pay tribute to the work of some of the new creators who are developing their skills in this Mediterranean city. Starting there, we’ve walked tirelessly. And we’ve really enjoyed it.

Accompany us on this broad tour through the Catalan capital with the help of the travel log that we’ve created for the first of the #SmilingCities of Pikolinos.

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Strolling and Experimenting

título La monroe

Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1

An original stroll through Barcelona can’t fail to take in the Filmoteca de Catalunya in El Raval, one of the city’s most authentic neighborhoods.

It’s there that you’ll find a very special bar-restaurant: La Monroe de la Filmo or, simply, La Monroe. This place with such a cinematic name has a merry, colorful decor, –almost in Technicolor– with a dining room and covered terrace.

That’s where you can enjoy a vermouth and some tapas all day, or a hamburger for lunch or dinner if you’re hungry from all that trekking through Barcelona. Among the tasty offerings to end the perfect stroll are ‘supernachos del barrio’ and a vegan tray with hummus, eggplant and sweet potato.

imagen de la monroe
Fondo blanco
título Nat Museu

Plaza Leonardo da Vinci, 4-5
Parque del Fórum

imagen Nat Museu

Any city with some civic pride has its science museum. Barcelona boasts the ‘Nat Museu’ or Museu de Ciències Naturals with more than 140 years of history and upwards of 3 million articles from the fields of mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, zoology and botany.

It occupies three different places (Ciutadella, Montjuïc and Fórum), which house the Museu Martorell and the Laboratori de Natura, the Jardí Botànic and the Jardí Botànic Històric, and Museu de Ciències Naturals itself, something that also makes it possible to get to know emblematic places in the city.

If you’re interested in science and nature, this museum is a must.

título Espai Joliu

Badajoz, 9

imagen Espai Joliu

Coffees, plants, ceramics and magazines. In other words, everything that’s attractive nowadays. Espai Joliu is an authentic place whose rude industrial decor contrasts with the surrounding lush vegetation.

Here are special coffees, hand-crafted crockery, exotic plants and good reading. One of those places that immediately create positive feelings and that inexplicable thing we call taste. A real discovery.

título Placa d'osca

This is a good place to take a break from walking around Barcelona and just enjoy the details of this square for pedestrians only.

Located among the streets of the Sants neighborhood, the Plaza d’Osca still retains its traditional air as a market square. It’s the perfect place to enjoy after a morning of walking through the city. In spite of its peaceful feeling, when the sidewalk café tables are put in place it springs to life, an ideal setting for resting or soaking up the sun. Or the shade, if it’s summertime.

imagen Placa d'osca imagen Placa d'osca fondo
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título Paseo de Montjuic
imagen Paseo de Montjuic

Attention, walkers, here’s a long-distance suggestion. The route takes about two hours and traverses Poble Sec, with a turn around the famous Montjuic castle and the botanical garden, the highest part of Montjuic mountain.

The walk is well worth taking the time. Not only for the chance to visit the different gardens along the way, but also for the fabulous views over the city of Barcelona.

Everything’s much easier if you have some comfortable shoes, and what we will guarantee is that, at the end, your legs will have been stretched and your camera will be full of happy and beautiful memories.

título Parc del Guinardo
imagen Parc del Guinardo

There are also fine views from the top of Parc del Guinardó. And of its trees, dirt trails and Mediterranean nature.

This is one of the best places to discover the greenest side of a Mediterranean city. Walking through the park, you cease to traverse a city and jump feet first into a piece of the Sierra de Collserola that intrudes into the urban setting.

titulo Carrer de Blai
imagen Carrer de Blai

Beside being a perfect place for walking, Barcelona is also an absolute mecca for rich food. In addition to its Barceloneta area and its Michelin stars, there is the Calle Blai.

At slightly less than 500 meters in length, and set in the Poble Sec area, it is full of tapas bars. In recent years it has become one of the most popular places for eating. And that’s fine. But still more important, eating without going broke along the way. It has shown that a restaurant doesn’t have to be expensive to be good.

Beautiful details, a pleasant ambience and a culinary experience far removed from the conventionality of those large aseptic franchise chains.

título Calle parlament
Imagen zapatos Pikolinos Imagen calle parlament

Now let’s visit the trendiest street in Barcelona, where just walking becomes a social act of elegant magnitude.

This street in the Sant Antoni neighborhood has become the place for Sunday strolling par excellence, although that doesn’t mean you can’t walk along it on any other day of the week.

Names like the Federal Café (in the photo), Sirvent, the mythic Calders, Lando, El Mama & La Papa, the Vinito and Tarannà are part of an offer that includes everything: a late breakfast, sitting on a terrace, a vermouth, tapas, lunch, an afternoon coffee, stronger drinks and even fresh horchata (tiger nut milk) when it’s in season.

There was a time, it’s said, when a squirrel could cross the Iberian Peninsula from tree to tree without having to hit the ground. Today, you can travel along Calle Parlament and its surroundings from bar to bar with hardly a break.

titulo Parque de la Ciudadela
imagen Parque de la Ciudadela
imagen Parque de la Ciudadela 2

The good thing about being close to everything is that you can catch your breath and relax at any time. And that’s what happens at the Parc de la Ciutadella, the first park expressly designed as a public place, at the end of the 19th century. It provides that relaxing pause needed by anyone wanting to walk around Barcelona.

It is conceived almost as an open-air museum, with delicate gardens, large trees with refreshing shade, a lake and even the city’s zoo.

Can you imagine a better place for a picnic after traversing the streets of the Born area?

título Passatge de Tubella

No matter how lively the cities are, there are always corners that encourage a pause. They seem to be places expressly designed for this, and Barcelona has some that you can discover while walking.

The Les Corts neighborhood has a section that could have come right out of England. Which is logical: the Pasaje Tubella was built in 1925 to house British workers in Barcelona’s textile industry. But those workers changed their plans, and the houses, however British, went to local laborers.

This window to the past has been maintained almost intact since then, and retains the charm of an exotic urbanism that’s dying out.

imagen Passatge de Tubella


titulo Flowers by bornway

Melcior de Palau, 32-36

Flowers by Bornay is something akin to a cosmic flower shop, a studio of floral art founded by Joan Xapelli in 2009 to get away from convention and tradition.

An order from an unconventional client prompted them to paint some flowers, and that was when they realized that it made no sense to place any limits on creativity.

References to pop culture are constant in their proposals, and their workshop is the perfect place for you to visit and discover the wonderful stories that can be told through flowers.

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titulo Luminosos Villoro

Plaça d’Eduard Torroja, 19

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A workshop that has been making neon signs since the 1970s. This family company run by the Villoros is a very authentic place where the fluorescent light of the neon blends with the incandescence of fire. The glass is molded when it’s red hot to form the desired shape, thus creating suggestive luminous dalliances.

Luminosos Villoro has provided lighting for fashion shops, advertising, video clips and works of art. Visiting its premises is like taking a trip through the history of Barcelona. And what’s more, the Villoros radiate a lively approach to life that’s extremely positive. In other words, they’re charming.

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titulo Rooftop Smoke House

Consell de Cent, 159, Local B

imagen Rooftop Smoke House

The temple of smoked food. Rooftop Smokehouse is the project of several friends who set themselves up in the Fábrica Lehmann (the creative heart of the city). There, from an old fireplace of 1850, emerge tasty aromas. Food is smoked, fermented, cured and pickled. More than an ordinary restaurant, we could say it’s a workshop for culinary experimentation. A place where you not only can eat but also learn smoking techniques to try things out at home. Although it would be a happy circumstance if at home you had a 19th-century industrial fireplace. If you do, please let us know and we’ll drop by.

titulo Adarkabar Ima Garmendia

Sant Pere Més Baix, 56

imagen Adarkabar Ima Garmendia

Ima Garmendia works in the Born neighbourhood. That’s where he creates pieces for Adarbakar, a brand that combines poetry, photography and, above all, ceramics. In just a few years, Garmendia has joined the city’s outstanding potters. Maybe you’ve seen his vases on Instagram, since he’s one of leaders of the recent boom in craftsmanship on this platform. You may also have seen his crockery in some of Barcelona’s best restaurants. Original, authentic proposals to make the world a little more beautiful.


Eating and drinking

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título Pinullet Quesaría Urbana

Sant Gabriel, 13

imagen tabla de quesos

There’s a legend that says if you meet someone who doesn’t love cheese, you should make a wish, as if you had just seen a shooting star. But of course that rarely happens. And so it is that this urban cheese laboratory has a potentially universal clientele.

The Pinullet cheese factory rescues the production techniques for the most famous cheeses of Italy and France to create their own versions. Rural craft traditions in a modern, urban setting. The beauty of paradox.

You can order online, but it’s much better to drop by the place to also check out their wines and natural yogurts.

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título El quinto

Pallars, 173. Poblenou

imagen El quinto

It doesn’t matter whether you like meat or fish or vegetables, if you want to eat breakfast, or if you’re just looking for a reliable place to eat every day: the important thing is that you like authentic, healthy food of the kind Mom used to prepare, and enjoy real tomatoes.

El Quinto is a restaurant located in Poblenou (Barcelona) that offers home cooked, ecological food for all kinds of tastes, with vegan options or without gluten or lactose. The perfect way to end off a long walk through Barcelona.

Its dishes change daily and are prepared with fresh ingredients from farms and small local producers. Eating out can also be healthy.

título Paradiso

Rera Palau, 4

imagen Paradiso

Behind what appears to be a bar/butcher shop where they sell pastrami sandwiches can be found –and keep this under your hat– an undiscovered surprise. Only the patrons of this bar know that through what appears to be the door of a large refrigerator is a cocktail bar and speakeasy from the 20s. The 20s of the last century, of course. Cocktails and pastrami sandwiches. If that’s not a passport to happiness, then we don’t know anything about life.

título the egg lab brunch

Sepúlveda, 80

If brunch is your religion, then Eggs Benedict are your god. And to continue with the analogy, The Egg Lab is the cathedral of Eggs Benedict.

Starting with the basics –the eggs, the bacon, the toasted English muffins and the hollandaise sauce– The Egg Lab has variations inspired from all over the world: China, Mexico, Scandinavia and Southeast Asia.

The derivations of this classic dish include such wonderful things as Pad Thai, cochinita pibil, smoked salmon, pulled pork or glacé duck, all of them as pleasant as they are instagramable. So we’ll stop writing right now because we’re salivating.

imagen de la puerta de two schmucks
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título Casa Figari

Torrent de l'Olla, 141

Let’s take the best of a neighbourhood bar: talking to the locals, friendly service. Let’s eliminate the worst of some deluxe cocktail making: that standoffish, navel-gazing attitude. Throw in a little live jazz and the management’s wish to discover exactly the cocktail you are going to like, et voilà! We’ve got Casa Figari.

In the heart of the Gràcia neighborhood, this cocktail bar also serves delicious beers, interesting wines, and something to nibble on.

The place has been open for less than three years, but looks like it’s more than 30.

título Ramen-Ya Hiro

Girona, 164

Although we always celebrate the way Oriental cuisine has entered our culture, now we’re going to stop heaping praise and concentrate on what’s important: the flavor. And when speaking of flavor, at this place close to the Verdaguer metro stop we’re going to need a ton of praise.

Warning: a reservation is necessary because it isn’t very big and the word’s gotten out.

título El Mercader de L'eixample

Mallorca, 239

In the heart of the city’s Eixample area is a Modernist building with a charming terrace. Something that, like walking to discover Barcelona, can be used 98% of the year.

It’s well worth a pleasant stroll to get here, especially because waiting inside is a tasty reward. This is the place chosen by the Mercader de l’Eixample, a restaurant serving authentic, ecological and Km0 Catalan food.

You come here to eat well. And in passing to promote the neighborhood and support the slow food movement.

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título Sato i tanaka

Bruc, 79

If you like Japanese food, you shouldn’t miss this restaurant before starting or finishing a stroll through Barcelona. A good indication of its quality is the fact that it’s hard to get a reservation, and anyone who goes once will probably come back. The extraordinary quality of its raw products more than justifies the prices on the menu. And in any case, giving yourself a treat from time to time is great for your health. The specialties are the sushi and the nigiris, which are prepared right in front of you at the bar, but there are also interesting dishes like the steamed monkfish liver paté. A treat for the eye and the palate, perfect for anyone wanting to discover authentic flavors.

título Kuzu sushi

Dr. Dou, 10 - Bajos

The good thing about walking around Barcelona is that you’re always experiencing new things that you would not have done otherwise. Kuzu is a recently-opened Asian restaurant that promises to become a classic, and is the perfect finish for an original stroll.

It describes its cuisine as creative and fusion, although it’s based on Japanese dishes. It’s a small, charming place with a simple design very much in the Brooklyn style. Some of its star dishes are the scallop nigiri with yuzu pearl, shrimp gyoza and the softshell chilli crabs. And if you’re not sure what to order, there is always a sampler menu for two. An excellent choice.

título Informal

Plata, 4

There are pleasures that we should experience at least once in life. One of them is a visit to Informal. Because you deserve it.

This restaurant on the rooftop of the the Serras Hotel is managed by chef Marc Gascons, who has a Michelin star. This is an authentic gastronomic experience, in which traditional Catalan cuisine is adapted to today’s way of life.

Nearby fresh seasonal produce is the basis of his tapas and auteur dishes, in which the chef and his team rework and update Mediterranean recipes.

The perfect end to a stroll through Barcelona, with a touch of modernity and informal luxury.

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título Ugot Bruncherie

Viladomat, 138

imagen Ugot Bruncherie

It’s normal that after walking around Barcelona you have built up an appetite. And that moment may come when it’s too late for a second breakfast but too early for lunch. That’s why brunch was invented, and one of the best places in the city for enjoying it is in the Eixample: Ugot Bruncherie.

Food with Oriental and Mediterranean influences in a charming setting in which to gather strength at unconventional hours before continuing your walk.

Salads, homemade cakes, smoked beet cream with toasted coco strips, sugared celery-turnips, hamburgers… What catches your fancy?

título Dr. Zhang Dumpling Bar

Sepúlveda, 137

imagen Dr. Zhang Dumpling Bar

A light snack to regain strength to go on walking around Barcelona. And listen: for combining food and the street there’s nothing like old Asia. The Dr. Zhang Dumpling Bar serves dumplings –naturally!– in a charming location on Calle Sepúlveda.

It’s managed by a Catalan woman who, after living in China for two years, left her work as a graphic designer to set up this restaurant.

Beside the dumplings, make sure and sample the wontons, soups and bowls. And the good thing about this place is not just the food but the prices.

Don’t leave without the traditional fortune cookie, which includes a message full of good vibes to make your stroll even happier. If you’re not convinced, here’s our own message: “The road, no matter how long, is made up of small steps.”



título Hotel CoolRoom Maldà

Pi, 5

In Barcelona, as in all cities, there are hotels and there are hotels. And few offer a more distinguished rest than the Maldà, part of the CoolRooms chain.

Located in the center of the city, in the Barrio Gótico, this boutique hotel occupies a renovated 17th-century palace once owned by the barons of Maldà. Hiding behind the facade, of a different century, is an interior design that will thrill anyone who being a nobleman in another life.

https://coolrooms.com/malda/en/ imagen salón hotel
imagen recibidor hotel imagen botas pikolinos imagen zapatos pikolinos
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título Casa Vaganto

Fontrodona, 1

imagen edificio

If by now you’ve soaked up the Mediterranean character by walking around Barcelona, Casa Vaganto is just the place for the intrepid discoverer of cities to regain strength.

This boutique hotel is proud of not lodging clients but travelers, and every detail confirms its extremely careful bed & breakfast philosophy.

Mediterranean style, plenty of light, and a tasteful design in the heart of Poble Sec.