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Barcelona

Barcelona you have never seen

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Barcelona you have never seen

Why Barcelona?

Because this wee city is a true marvel on the Mediterranean Sea.

It is quirky, cosmopolitan, cool and with great character!

Barcelona has got it all: the unearthing gothic streets and the charm of the modernist city. You simply need to come to discover what makes Barcelona one of Spain’s most livable and energetic cities and one of the most interesting cities in the whole Europe.

When I put together my Urban Yoga Adventure, many clients came back to me asking why of all the places available I have decided to go there.

In fact, apart of Scotland, Barcelona is my favourite place of all times. I love those colourful little stone streets, the beaches, the sun, the hidden roof top terraces. The flight is so quick and the airport so close to the city, it's the perfect spot for a long weekend. And if you have as good accommodation as we have for the retreat, it's close anywhere and you don't have to worry about being tired in the city. You just won't!

But seriously, why Barcelona?

After I go though the first set of 'why' questions, I normally get: 'I have been there already, what's the point of going to Barcelona again.’ 

Let’s face it, in a city as popular as Barcelona, it can be tricky finding a new hang out that not everyone has already heard about. Fortunately, there are a lot of places which aren’t on all the guide-books…yet! Read on to discover some of the coolest hidden gems in Barcelona, or just come and spend 4 days with us betwern 9-12 February 2018.

Did you know that there is a hidden bar inside already hidden bar?

Yes! And it’s called El Paradiso. This stylish speakeasy is hidden away behind the cover of a trendy Pastrami Bar in the heart of El Born. Simply give a knowing look to the person behind the counter and they’ll let you in through to the back when the time is right.

Pastrami Bar is pretty much what it sounds like. It isn't much, but it's excellent and be assured that you are getting the only and the best artisan pastrami in town. However, If you open the wooden fridge door, which takes up half a wall and gives itself away a bit thanks to its hinges, you'll be transported into El Paradiso – a speakeasy that's not just any cocktail bar. This is an elegant cave lined with wooden slats where Giacomo Gianotti was awarded best cocktail mixologist in Spain in 2014. But don't worry, their aim is to serve great signature cocktails at affordable prices.

There is more tho… just head to the loo. It’s a bit of a fiddle to find it but there is another hidden door behind the mirror! Behind it you can find the inner, inner sanctum: the Carrollian lair. Are you excited?

It’s teeny — just a single, soundproofed room — but as inviting and artfully furnished as the rest of El Paradiso, with tall stools, a gleaming copper finish and a hipster barman. This is coolest spot within the coolest spot in town.

Have I got your attention now? Good, there is more too come. Stay tunned!

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Must see in Barcelona

We went to Barcelona in November, which was warmer than the north of Scotland but sadly not a beach holiday. You definitely need a warm jumper and a waterproof coat as it does tend to rain there quite heavily but the city itself is beautiful and charming regardless the bikini tan. If you are going in the winter I would definitely stay in the city as you won't be able to sunbath and walking to the old town anytime you want to eat is annoying and takes time. The Gothic Quarter is definitely the place to be as it is very central and busy with things to do. (Remember that they don't have double glazing and thick walls, so it's very noisy at night whether you rent a flat or a hotel...this is an important tip if you are an insomniac).  

We got a wee apartment as you normally don't get a kettle in a hotel, and coming form the UK you should understand our need for a good cuppa! 

The top 3 things you just need do are:

1) Aire de Barcelona - Arabic baths in the heart of the city. An amazing, relaxing and truly rejuvenating place. Whether you are here in rainy November or ridiculously hot June, I would still recommend this place. We had such a stressful day, dealing with our business back at home, huffing and puffing at each other and getting soaked in the rain (twice). All that stress was gone in the first 10 minutes of floating in one of the warm water baths.

I would recommend going to the warm, hot, ice and the hot water again (in this order). At first it may feel impossible and unbearable. But give it 30-40 minutes and you will grow fond of it;)

2) Eat TAPAS and drink lots of SANGRIA. We loved all the small pubs, Ocaña or La guingueta (a water front pub, especially amazing for cocktails and fresh juices)

3) Yogalinda Hot yoga studio. Fabulous hot yoga studio close to the center. The owner had-picks her staff and those guys really know how to build a class and are very attentive to alignment and form. Definitely a good place to get some sweaty yoga! 

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