TRAVEL JOURNAL: BEAUTIFUL BARCELONA.
I still get butterflies thinking about you.
The people, culture, colors, food…all of Barcelona is no-joke, divine. More so than any other place I’ve ever been to, Barça held the most endless design inspiration for me. As opposed to the “vacay home” or feels that most tropical places bring, the inspiration that Barcelona brought to me felt different.
It provided so much unique forward-thinking inspiration that’s incredibly in-line with the way I think as far as interior design is concerned. True art is brought to life here. So much stylistically that can actually be more realistically played into a residential or commercial project design. Basically, this city is absolutely a designer’s and/or artist’s — at least mine — dream.
Praktik Hotels: There are 3 in Barça (Bakery, Garden, and Rambla). I stayed at the Rambla which I loooved. Think gothic, 16th century, and elegant. Such a work of art, this hotel! It’s on a beautiful tree-lined street, Rambla Catalunya, and had everything you’d need really close: shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops.
EAT + DRINK
Boca Grande + Boca Chica: Grande is the restaurant portion and beyond the delish food, the design inspo alone was insane. Fresh oysters, black spaghetti out of this world, and details, details, details. Such a sexy, chic atmosphere and design… I loved it all. Chica lounge upstairs is a no-brainer for getting a drink and people watching. But the very best part? THE UNISEX BATHROOM on one of the floors between Grande and Chica.
IN. SANE. LY. BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED.
Lupita: Randomly walked into this one! The signage outside actually solely reads, “TACOS.” No Lupita. But Lupita is a trendy, hip Mexican restaurant that made me feel like home, which is SO appreciated while traveling sometimes, right? Delish and authentic tacos + margs + + great music made the vibes relaxing and entertaining at the same time…. There was even a twist of Snow Patrol and Bob Marley mixed in — I vividly remember it — truly a homey California moment in time reserved just for me.
Bormuth: Great spot for tapas, getting your drink on, mingling with locals + hanging into the night. Definitely a lot of younger people, like mid-to-late twenties which was right up my alley and fun! Absolutely a spot to soak up the present-day culture of Barcelona!
Catedral de Barcelona: This is in the maze-like and stunning Gothic Quarter. The immense amount of intricate architectural design detail of the Cathedral is so profoundly inspiring that even I can’t explain it fully, nor can any textbook or image on the internet. Nothing does it justice unless it’s your eyes witnessing it. Art and culture everywhere. The entire space was incredibly peaceful and simply breathtaking. Like, just let me move in and meditate my life away here. One of the most memorable parts of my time in Barça, hands-down.
Gracia District/Neighborhood: The first full day entirely solo on this trip was toward the end of my time overseas… By this time I need a mani/pedi, to purchase something reminiscent of home (as opposed to another piece of Euro-Spanish culture), some serious exercise, and a juice cleanse. For. Sure.
So what did I do? Laced up my Nikes, grabbed my Beats headphones, pressed play to Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ album (my soundtrack to this entire trip, FYI!), and hit the ground running for miles! — And where did I find myself? AT HOME. I had an LA day in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona and embraced every present moment that the comfort of that day brought to my soul. First I stumbled into a whole foods + pressed juice café: Green Shots (I know, you’re thinking gross; who does that on vacay — I do! I remain me no matter where I travel to…major key tip for you while traveling, too!); sipped on my greens and walked right into a boutique carrying the pair of Adidas NMD’s sold out in my size on my side of the world (serious score!), found a pretty bomb sushi spot: Monster Sushi (sidenote- LOVE the way all of the restaurants, including this one, have all this secretive seating upstairs overlooking the streets!), realized in that moment that I had found “my” neighborhood as I felt like I had been living in Barça for years by living through that particular day just as if I were at home; and then finally got that mani/pedi! Got my toes tickled by some little fishies at an AquaBliss Fish Spa — first time for the mermaid here — you just have to literally eject the thought of, “OHMYGOD THERE ARE TINY FISH TEETH EATING MY FLESH” and replace it with, “OH! MINI MASSAGERS!” and you’re good! — Silly but big deal bucket list item: CHECK!
Pablo Picasso: I’ve been to a handful of Picasso pop-ups over the years and I was actually hesitant to step into Museo de Picassco simply because I thought to myself, “seen one, seen ’em all” …WRONG! Worth it, worth it, worth it! No other Picassco exhibit on this planet compares nor captures this artist’s life, and representations thereof, in such fluid detail. I can’t even give this away, you just have to trust me!
Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi!: Everywhere. Creatively mathematical artistic GENUIS. Even if you don’t particularly feel the unique Gaudi design vibe, there is something inexplicably magical about visiting any of his architectural masterpieces that will allow you to find a new form of appreciation. My favorite? Sagrada Familia.
I studied these artists and architects in extensive detail during college. Never did I ever imagine the capacity of PRICELESS that would be brought to my third eye by embracing these historic works of art in person. The space of gratitude definitely grew a little bigger in my heart after these experiences.
MoiStore: The chic/designer/”cool girl” in me was all over this spot. It felt very LA-friendly actually, but I enjoyed seeing the slight Barça trend differences.
Chic & Cool Atelier: The boho fashionista in me adored this spot. Perfect for women’s clothing and adorable, dainty yet detailed Spanish-style accessories. The navy silk pants + white linen jacket I came home with from this post are from here! I could have brought an entire suitcase of their decor + pillows home with me… And I did actually have to purchase an additional XL piece of luggage on wheels, around the corner from this boutique, to take back everything I had already purchased! *insert monkey-covering-eyes emoji* …Oops?!
Barcelona, you stole my heart. I’ll be back!