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The Barcelona Travel Girls’ mini guide to Barcelona’s hidden gems

 

Who better to show us Barcelona’s hidden cafes and off-the-beaten-track neighbourhoods than Soledad and Sol, a.k.a. the Barcelona Travel Girls?

 
Soledad and Sol set up Barcelona Travel Girls to connect women who love to travel and show them around Barcelona, a city the girls are clearly passionate about. Their all-women guided trips to Barcelona capture the essence of “what it is that makes you fall in love with the city over and over again.” Barcelona’s best brunch spots, lessons on Catalan cuisine from local chefs, bike tours and the city’s most Instagrammable places all feature on their itineraries.
 
It’s not just about seeing the beautiful places; having a group of people to share it with is important, too. Both girls have travelled solo but, as Soledad says,

“The best experiences and memories are both about the places we see and the people we see them with.”

That’s a sentiment we’re fully on board with at Thelma & Louise!
 
We asked the Barcelona Travel Girls to share their tried and trusted tips for getting to the heart of Barcelona.
 
Soledad and Sol’s mini guide to Barcelona’s hidden gems

What makes Barcelona such a special place?
Soledad: “Living in Barcelona, I feel blessed to walk its streets and be amazed by everything I see, every single day. Nothing ever gets boring or old! I think that’s what Barcelona is for me:

“A place full of vibrant, positive energy, an ever-changing mix of old and new, traditions and trends.”

Sol: “Barcelona is home. Barcelona is a city that has so much to offer. It’s a magical place, the little old streets, the big and elegant avenues, the beach… In my opinion is a city that has all.”

Eat healthily
Soledad: “I’m a fan of healthy and veggie food and I know it’s not always easy to find these options when eating out and around, so that’s why I love Flax & Kale. I admire how these restaurants have built a successful brand and opened beautiful restaurants based on healthy and conscious eating. Their menu is so varied and their dishes so nutritious, it’s hard to choose one thing so I love going there for brunch and order lots of sweet and savoury dishes to share with friends. If you want to enjoy some sun, they also have a terrace upstairs which also serves as a garden for home-grown veggies and herbs.”
 
Grab a coffee
Sol: “I love to discover cafés where you can just sit with your laptop and work. My top three are: ImaginCafé, a café and sheltering space located in the city centre – the atmosphere is so inspiring; Departure Coffee, a new spot in Barcelona (they opened a little more than a year ago) and I just love it – it’s small but cosy and they serve amazing coffee; and Camelia Art Café – what I love about Camelia is its decoration, cakes and great coffee. It’s a few minutes away from Sagrada Familia, so I’d totally recommend you walk away from the crowd and visit it!”
Browse market stalls
Soledad: “I definitely recommend Palo Alto Market, a market taking place the first weekend of each month that is perfect for finding unique, beautiful clothes, accessories, beauty products and art by small local designers. I also love going through their vintage stands! There’s a food truck section with some of the most popular or up-and-coming restaurants serving delicious street food so you get to taste some very interesting options, all in the same place.”
 
Get your fashion fix
Sol: “My favourite place to go shopping is Glòries Shopping Center or Portal de l’Àngel. You will find shops like H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear and more. If you want something more exclusive you can go to Passeig de Grecia or La Roca Village (a town near Barcelona with outlets!)”
 
Hit the hiking trails
Soledad: “If you have some time and a sunny day (which means almost any day in Barcelona) you can go for a hike on Collserola Park, the big natural park which surrounds the city. Here you can enjoy some amazing views of the city’s skyline, pure air and peace that you won’t find anywhere else. Make sure to look for the best hiking trails for you in advance and to bring enough water and/or food with you.”
 
Hang out in a park
Sol: “I love la Ciutadella Park, it’s near the beach and I just love the atmosphere there.”

Explore Barcelona’s neighbourhoods

Soledad: “The little streets of El Born are probably my favourite thing about the city. I have to admit I’ve been living in this neighborhood for more than four years now and I still get lost in them, and I definitely don’t mind that. Especially the ones decorated with colourful flags or details, with unique street art, and lined by little designer shops. I would say when you come to Barcelona, do save enough time to wander around El Born!”
Sol:

“My favourite attraction of the city is the Gothic Quarter, just wander through the little old streets makes me happy. I love the feeling of being in such an old place.”

Where to stay

Soledad: “Hotel Brummell is a small boutique hotel in a calm area not too far from the centre. I love the design and the attention placed to every detail of the hotel, which makes it beautiful and elegant yet not overwhelming at all. In fact, the simplicity of its design lets you focus just on what you should: relaxing and enjoying the experience. I definitely recommend their weekend brunch by Tropico, a brunch classic in Barcelona. I think it’s the perfect oasis to be based in while exploring the city!”
Sol: “An iconic hotel of Barcelona, Casa Fuster. The hotel was built in 1908 by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner. It was a present from Mr Fuster to his wife. The terrace is opened to everyone and has an amazing view to Passeig de Gràcia.”