Curio Collection Local Guide, Barcelona
We sent Barcelona Yodeler Nicanor Garcia to Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton to create a Barcelona, Spain travel guide. This designer boutique hotel is where fascinating history, modernist details and avant-garde meet. Moments from Passeig de Gràcia, the fashion, culture and commercial heart of Barcelona, this hotel is a quick walk to Rambla de Catalunya, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and other top attractions. This renovated 19th-century building reflects the charm, elegance and spirit of its surroundings. Nicanor created an incredible travel guide full of local secrets and destination tips just for you.
Name? Nicanor García
Occupation? Travel and architecture photographer
Preoccupation? To travel and share interesting places in the world
Place you live? Barcelona, Spain
How long have you lived there? All my life
Can you sum up Barcelona? Barcelona is an exciting city that “has it all.” It is ideally situated close to the Mediterranean Sea and Pyrenees Mountains. It has a fascinating history full of strong characters, many of whom left their marks on the city. One of the most famous characters is Antoni Gaudí. There is a lot of gorgeous architecture to be discovered in Barcelona. The galleries and museums in Barcelona make it culturally and artistically vibrant. The incredible variety of amazing food and activities you can find make it a magnet for visitors.
What is the best thing about Barcelona? The weather is absolutely the best thing about Barcelona! Compared to other European cities, it boasts one of the highest numbers of days of sunshine per year. Thanks to this fabulous climate, visitors and locals have a lot of options for activities in the city.
What is a perfect day in Barcelona? To start a perfect day in Barcelona, you could wake up early and walk around before the sun is strong. If you’re interested, this is the moment to take some great photos while the light is golden. Afterward, you could enjoy a delicious breakfast and coffee at Roast Club Café. If you want to visit or revisit a place designed by Antoni Gaudí or other Modernist architects in the Eixample area (the Modernist Route), morning would be the best time – before they get crowded. Afterward, you could walk through the amazing markets Mercat del Ninot or Mercat de la Concepción near Alexandra Barcelona Hotel. Eat your way through the markets and taste all the incredible local Tapas. Try some Iberico Ham and Manchego cheese. You could visit one of the wonderful art museums in Barcelona or the gallery inside Palau Robert. When the sun starts to be less intense, you could head towards Barceloneta Beach by taxi or metro for a refreshing coastal walk. Make time for a leisurely horchata at Horchateria Sirvent along the way. Later, you could have dinner at one of the city’s many Michelin Star restaurants (try Disfrutar).
If Barcelona was a person who would it be? Joan Manuel Serrat, a Spanish singer-songwriter and musician.
Tell us about your experience visiting Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton: My partner and I had a superb experience at the hotel! The hotel Team Members were so cheerful and helpful. Our room had gorgeous original details from the 19th century, and it had a beautiful street view. The breakfast buffet indoors as well as breakfast outdoors on the patio terrace were heavenly. Dinner at Solomillo Restaurant was absolutely fantastic, with excellent service and food. It is an incredible steakhouse where you get to choose everything; the type of meat and cut, the weight and the point and method of cooking the meat as well as the garnish. (Try the Iberian Ham Joselito and the Frisian Steak.) Everything about Alexandra Barcelona Hotel helps create a wonderful travel experience that you won’t forget.
What did you love about Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton? I love how the location of the hotel in the Paseo de Gracia area is outstanding for visiting Barcelona. It is literally right in between two houses designed by Antoni Gaudí, Casa Batlló, and La Pedrera.
The patio terrace, with its beautiful Mediterranean-style garden and pool, is a paradise. It gets put to maximum use all day long, which is impressive. Breakfast on the patio is highly enjoyable. The space then transforms into a pool area from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, after which dinner is in full swing for local families as well as hotel guests.
If a friend was visiting Barcelona would you suggest they do? If a friend was visiting Barcelona and staying at Alexandra Barcelona Hotel I would have them wake up around 6:00 am and enjoy the indoor breakfast buffet at the hotel at 7:00 am. I would tell them to order an omelet with their favorite ingredients.
Afterward, I would recommend them to walk down the Avinguda Diagonal toward the awesome Sagrada Familia. It opens at 9:00 am, and with pre-bought tickets, they could have a unique experience before it gets crowded. When they finish, it would be best to take a taxi straight to Barcelona’s Harbor Port Vell to relax a bit by the beach.
They would have a lunch reservation at 1:30 pm at Cinc Sentits a beautiful restaurant near Alexandra Barcelona Hotel. Here, they could experience a high-quality local lunch with Catalan ingredients cooked to perfection.
Upon returning to the hotel just before 4:00 pm, I would recommend a refreshing dip in the pool on the gorgeous Mederterainan-style terrace. There would still be a few hours before Spanish dinnertime, so I would have my friends walk a few short blocks to visit the fabulous La Pedrera with pre-bought tickets. They would finish the tour around dusk on the rooftop terrace, where they could catch a magnificent sunset.
They would have dinner reservations at Solomillo Restaurant on the patio terrace at Alexandra Barcelona Hotel at 9:00 pm. Here, they could feel at home in a lively atmosphere with locals as well as hotel guests. They would have a superb sirloin steak dinner with a variety of choices of cuts and weights, sauces and sides. The menu can be studied beforehand here.
Barcelona is known for nightlife that goes until early morning but I would highly recommend going to sleep early and getting a solid night’s rest in their king size bed because it would be very cool to see the sunrise over the city the next morning from a unique spot high above the city called the Bunkers del Carmel. It is just a short taxi ride from the hotel. Afterward, they could return to the hotel for a delightful breakfast on the patio terrace at 8:00 am before packing and checking out of the hotel.