Barcelona

Top Travel Destinations From Your Favorite Films

We watch films in the hope of being transported to another world. Sometimes that world is not so far from our own. In fact, it might even be our very own city. If you’re looking to relive your film fantasy or walk down the same streets as an Oscar winner, jet off to these hot locations.

RELATED: Top 7 European Destinations for 2014

London, England

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Walking through the streets of Central London, it’s difficult to find a place you haven’t previously seen in a movie. If you’re a fan of Bridget Jones’ Diary head to Borough Markets, or Postman’s Park from the Natalie Portman hit, Closer.  Try going past St Pauls Cathedral without thinking of the bird lady in Mary Poppins.

 Salzburg, Austria

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Speaking of Julie Andrews, lovers of The Sound of Music (and I assume that is everyone!) will lose their minds in the real-life playground that is Salzburg. Trek up the alps to “The hills are alive…”, visit the abbey and sing with the nuns, or walk through the park with several friends and re-enact the entire Do-Re-Mi number. Almost the entire film was shot here and you can’t visit Salzburg without doing a film tour.

Koh Samui, Thailand

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Thailand’s islands were no longer a secret after Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach exposed them to the masses. Despite the film being more of a warning against secluded beaches and forbidden jungles, you can’t help but be drawn to the crystal waters of this top tropical location.

Barcelona, Spain

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Woody Allen is well-known for his powers for turning the city of Manhattan into a standalone piece of art, but for those who caught his 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, you will see how Allen’s magic worked on the city of Barcelona. The film captures the city’s artistic, bohemian underbelly, as well as its major sites – including the unique surrealist architecture of Antoni Gaudi.

New York, USA

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While NYC is arguably the dream location of the small screen (Sex and the City, Seinfeld, Friends) it has also hosted a number of silver screen hits for the young and old, from Sleepless in Seattle (Empire State Building) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If you visit your DVD collection, I’m sure you’ll find at least one pic set in this iconic city.

October 13, 2014

Best Cafes In Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city, full of unique artistic experiences, great beaches and one-of-a-kind nightlife. Unfortunately, it’s not the best city for finding a hearty breakfast. During my month in Barcelona, I made it my quest to find the city’s best cafes for breakfast. Here are my top picks for a caffeine fix and a delicious meal.

RELATED: Top 5 Spanish Foods to Try

Federal Cafe

Expats delight: if you’re longing for a breakfast experience akin to that on offer in your own trendy neighbourhood, look no further! You will see Federal on most Barcelona foodie guides. The coffee is delicious, the food is amazing and there is free Wi-Fi! What more could you want?

I ate: A lot. Yogurt, fruit and muesli (not too bad – bonus points for stewed fruit); breakfast burger; pan fried eggs with parmesan and spinach (with an added side of smoked salmon). I recommend the latter with a cortado coffee.

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Satan’s Coffee Corner

I should mention that this is not technically a cafe, as there are no tables or chairs. However, if you are looking for the best latte in Barcelona – Satan is your man! Hidden in the Raval area, the coffee shop doubles as a vendor of things cute and quirky, like kitsch stationery and souvenirs.

Tip: Be sure to check opening hours. Satan’s Coffee Corner (FYI: not actually on a corner) is hard to find and you’ll probably walk down many wrong streets in the process. When you’re in need of a strong coffee, an unexpected closed door can be heart-breaking.

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Milk

Older brother of the equally commendable Marmalade cafe, Milk is hidden in Barri Gotic – one of Barcelona’s trendiest neighbourhoods. While I went alone, it’s really the kind of cafe you should attend with a group of friends after a big night on the town.

I ate: A delicious “breakfast” burger that seemed far too calorific and delicious to be eaten in the morning. I’d take a hangover everyday if this was the cure.

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Cosmo Cafe and Art Gallery

This is more of a lunch spot, but look no further for a fresh juice or tasty sandwich, not to mention the best apple cake in Barcelona! The coffee isn’t fantastic, but they have a large selection of herbal tea to compensate. It also doubles as an art gallery! Mighty pretty, I do say.

I ate: the Kiko sandwich – chicken, avocado, salad, mayonnaise, and a side of crisps; I also went out of my way for a slice of their amazing apple cake… more than once.

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Images and article via becmitch.wordpress

September 29, 2014

Why Barcelona Should Make Your Bucket List

Barcelona, Spain is one of the most exciting cities in Europe, raving with nightlife, beautiful beaches, art, fashion and incredible architecture. This vibrant city is one to put on the bucket list

Architecture

Barcelona is filled with innovative buildings designed by famous Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, known for his Catalan Modernism. You will find his work throughout the city with organic-like shapes, curved construction stones and twisted iron sculptures. The most recognisable is the Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, which has been in construction since 1892 and surprisingly not expected to be completed until 2030. The Church is a representation of the relationship between the elements of nature, man and religion.

From the moment you step in and look around the colourful stain glass windows, intricate ceiling and unique alter your breath will be taken away. Then with a short walk downstairs a museum awaits filled with current construction projects, biographies of Gaudi and the different plans through history of what the Cathedral will look like.

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Park Güell is another wonder that was commissioned by Eudebi Gaudi, in order to craft a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. The walk around the park leads to amazing stone structures, beautiful views and stunning mosaic tiling. A whole day seems short to stroll through every section to admire the natural shapes influenced by Gaudi himself. There is even a love wall along the walkway to the park terrace, where you can express your affection for your significant other with tourists and locals.

Shopping

Although most stores are closed on Sunday, there are fabulous places to spend some money from Monday to Saturday. You will find yourself not only loving the apparel, shoes and accessories but also historical buildings. If you are a luxury shopper then there is one avenue you must visit, Passeig de Gràci.  Numerous high-end labels from all around the world are positioned here; you can explore the new season products from Chanel, Prada, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Esprit.

Just keep wandering further down the avenue and you will slowly come across shops for fast fashion. Step into some of the most popular stores for women such a Zara, Mango and Bershka for some stylish yet affordable pieces you can make everyone back home jealous with. There you have it, only a few splendors of Barcelona, Spain, there is so much to love in the many districts with collections of medieval streets and buildings mixed with a contemporary and fun vibe. Be sure to take a trip there, enjoy some wonderful local tapas and a glass of the famous sangria and maybe even a flamingo dance show to top off the cultural holiday.

Image via missionhome.com

By Amy Miller

June 17, 2014