A perfecto day in Barcelona (on 3 wheels!)

A perfecto day in Barcelona (on 3 wheels!)

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Imagine – the Spanish breeze, an adorable sidecar plucked right out of a 60’s movie and the marvelous city of Barcelona before you. Muy bien is right. Dan and I took off with Joaquim and BrightSide Sidecar Tours for a day of gallivanting around the city in old-fashioned style.

To start, our guide Joaquim picked us up directly at the doorstep of our Airbnb apartment. Joaquim is a long time resident of the city and respected historian. I immediately claimed the seat in the side car while Dan played it cool behind Joaquim.

Spain_0001Spain_0008Before heading off, Joaquim chatted with us about our interests around the city. I was really keen on views (Montjuic) and seeing those famous charming Barcelona neighborhoods I’ve been drooling over on Pinterest (El Raval, El Born, & Gracia).Spain_0003 Spain_0004With the sidecar we scooted around easily, chatting through our mic-ed helmets as we toured. Our first stop was at Santa Maria del Mar in El Born. A gorgeous little church with heaps of history and stained glass. Spain_0010Spain_0002Spain_0007Afterwards it was on to La Sagrada de Familia (which we later toured inside) and through the Gracia neighborhood. Spain_0005Spain_0014 Spain_0006We cruised up the winding Montjuic overlooking the city and zoomed by Gaudi’s impressive Casa Batllo. It seems that around every corner Barcelona has something beautiful to offer.Spain_0013Spain_0012Spain_0009 Spain_0011Spain_0017 Spain_0018 Spain_0019As the tour came to an end, Joaquim sketched out our route on a map and marked his favorite restaurants and shops in the area. We asked to be dropped off in Gracia with our choice of zillions of tapas bars and cute boutiques. Spain_0016All of 100 feet from our drop-off point in one of the cute squares, we followed Joaquim’s advice and immediately grabbed glasses of sangria, yummy patatas bravas, pan con tomate and deeeelectable fried cheeses (the names forgotten at the same speed in which they were devoured). Spain_0021 Spain_0022Spain_0023 Spain_0020 Spain_0027Wandering through the neighborhood back towards are our Airbnb apartment in El Born, we stopped again for MORE tapas and sangria. No, we didn’t plan on a tapas and sangria crawl but yes, it happened and it was glorious. This is just how it goes in Barcelona and who was I to stop it?Spain_0024Spain_0025We stopped at a nearby boutique and I purchased this admittedly World of Wanderlust-y hat then strolled the rest of the way home in a smiling Spanish stupor. Spain_0029After a near-perfect introduction to Barcelona, we relaxed in the apartment until sundown and took to the little, cobbled, streets of El Born for an evening stroll. The energy in the neighborhood is tangible, filled with quintessential tapas bars with patrons bursting out to the street, enjoying life, it made for the absolute perfect base for our visit. Spain_0030 Spain_0031Spain_0035After a final round of tapas (yep, those are patatas bravas again…we’re nuts for them) we spent the remainder of the evening wandering through El Born with little direction. Our visit coincided with an incredibly mild weekend in early December, the holiday lights were up and the temperature was jusssst right for a cold Pinot Grigio al fresco. It was perfect. Spain_0032 Spain_0033 Spain_0034Hat’s off to Joaquin and BrightSide Sidecar Tours for a fun, informative and memorable tour through Barcelona. I can’t think of a better introduction!

  • Oh that is so cool! Such an intimate and fun way to tour the area. I love all the photos that you included as well. The food looks so scrumptious!!

    • Thanks so much Deasy! It was a positively lovely day! 🙂

  • Man, you have me craving some Patatas Bravas now! 😉 Barcelona really looks like such a gorgeous city!

    • Oh boy, I’d like some too. Mayyybe we can try and find an authentic Spanish restaurant in HD?

  • Emma

    eye-catching 😉 How´s the climate in bartthhhelona these days?

    • Hi Emma! Hmm, I think they have relatively mild winters (esp during my visit) but I’m not 100% sure. I’ve heard that summers there are painfully hot though!

  • Dan’s the man for letitng you ride in the side car!! You are right….what a perfect introduction. I love taking unique tours on the first day!

    • Ha, well it was either that or me handing him the camera every few minutes asking for pictures. He took the lesser of the two evils! 😀

  • MissLilly

    Barcelona is such an amazing place to explore!!! Miss it for a while now. Love the hat too 😀

    • Thanks Miss Lilly! 😀 Did you live there? It is sooo lovely isn’t it?

      • MissLilly

        Never lived there but that would have been nice. Just visited as a tourist

  • What a fun way to tour the city! And I had to laugh at your World of Wanderlust hat comment, as soon as I saw the picture that was my first thought ha, but you totally rock it I am digging the look!

    • Ha! That’s exactly why I added that! I just knew that someone would think that… and I also can’t deny that I wouldn’t have thought twice about buying a hat like that if I hadn’t seen her wear it 24-7.

  • Next time I’m in Europe I’m definitely renting a sidecar! Looks like a blast and as always your photos leave me in a dream-like state! http://nomoneywilltravel.com

    • ahhh, thanks so much Andrea. that’s precisely what I’m going for, actually. a little ‘overseas escape’, if you will. 🙂

      sorry to sound cheesy!

  • What a great way to explore the city!! Haha. It’s sooo cool. A must I guess!

    • yeah, I think I agree, definitely a ‘must’ for kicking off a tour of Barcelona. 😀

  • oh, patatas bravas! tapas and sangria crawl in Barcelona sounds like the best idea ever 🙂

    • their seriously my favorite carb in spain. ha!

  • Renuka Singh

    Thanks for transporting me to Barcelona without a fee! Haha! 🙂 It is SO gorgeous! Totally my kind of a place! Yummy food by the way!

    • Ah, no problem, my dear! Glad you enjoyed your little virtual tour. 😉

  • What a fantastic idea!!!

    • Yay! Thanks, love!

  • I can’t believe three people fit on that 😉 I’d love to visit Barcelona, if only for the adorable guys with that Barcelona lisp 😉

    • Ha, I know! It’s kind of adorable to get cozy on that old-fashioned little side car. I loved it. You’re so right about that Barcelona accent! So..European!

  • The slow pace

    What a cool way to get to know Barcelona!!! I would love to do a tour like that!
    I’m thinking it’s about time we go back to Barcelona… the last time we were there we suffered a heat wave in August. The city was splendid but it was HOT. Maybe milder temperaturas would be nicer…
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

    • Oye! Yes, I’ve heard how sticky-hot those Barcelona summers can be. Fortunately our visit in late November was ideal – bearing in my mind that our point of comparison are the verrrry cold and gray skies of Germany. Perhaps somewhere around late September would be perfect?

    • Laura Gomez

      I’m from Barcelona and to avpoid the heat I would recommend going in spring (April to early june) por fall (september-october)

  • This is making me super excited for Spain in a couple months!!!

    • Woohoo! So excited for you!

  • What a fun way to get around Barcelona!! And the El Born district looks so adorable and quaint!

  • barcelona looks so so lovely. the food! and what an awesome way to tour the city!
    xo, cheyenne

  • Shelby

    oh my goodness! this looks perfect. Barcelona is one of my all time favorite cities in the entire world! these pictures make me want to get back there as soon as possible!

  • I’ve been trying to plan a senior trip to Europe after graduation, and Barcelona seems like the perfect place! Any suggestions on where to go next? If there’s delicious food and amazing culture, I’m there!

  • Sandy Wetzel

    Hello, I sent an email to BrightSide to try booking a tour for us in a few weeks when we get to Barcelona. I mentioned you as my referral. Hope to hear back from them! Thanks.

  • Alexa Lopez

    Hi Margo,

    I’m using your blog to plan my honeymoon next month to Ireland and Spain! Could you please tell me which tapas bars you visited?

    Thanks! 🙂

    Alexa