PHOTOS: GEORGE ROCKETT
EDIT & WORDS: ZOE LONDON
*THIS POST CONTAINS PAID FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT*
EXPLORING BARCELONA USING THE GUIDE OF THE O2 TRAVEL APP, WITH THEIR £1.99 DATA PLAN
Barcelona is a vibrant city with many different areas to explore and things to see. We might all know about Parc Guell or the Sagrada Familia as obvious choices to visit, but as young people, we wanna see more past the touristy locations. Don’t get me wrong, both of those places are definitely worth a trip to, but don’t let your visit end there, let’s put it that way. With the new O2 Travel tariff, which I blogged about on it’s own here, you can explore the city in depth without worrying for a minute about how much your data is costing you. They also have an awesome app with an interactive map on, that helps lead the way to unusual, off the beaten track visits. So, let’s take a look at the alternative places I went to and the people I saw in my time visiting Barcelona!
GUITAR LESSONS AT CASA LUTHIER – C/BALMES 73 08007, BARCELONA
George being a guitarist himself, we set off finding somewhere where we could learn about the traditional Catalan guitar and it’s style of playing. Having come across Casa Luthier, we gave it a visit. Luckily for us, the owner Arnaldur Arnarson was in town, who took us around the shop and even let George play on one of his traditional guitars for sale. Casa Luthier specialises only in classical guitar, and it’s got to be one of the largest shops in the world that does so. They have an area where youngsters can come, pick up a guitar, get a feel for it and practise a recital – right there in the shop. It’s steeped in history, having one of the very first guitars ever actually inside the shop. Well worth a visit if you’re looking to pick up a new guitar, to see some of the old guitars or to buy some rare sheet music – this guy has it all. His wife also runs a music school up the road so if you’re in the market for a quick lesson or two, this is the place for you.
VINYL AT DEAD MOON RECORDS – C/DE LA LLUNA N10 BAJOS 08001 BARCELONA
Easily one of my favourite parts of exploring on the trip, we got to meet the two owners of Dead Moon Records, a wicked store in Barcelona. They sell anything from homemade zines and vinyl to casettes, and one off cds. They’re both lovely people and are great to pop in and have a chat to about the local scene. We asked them what it was like listening to punk and indie in Barcelona and they said the music scene isn’t as big for that as you can imagine. Hardly any gigs come to Barcelona and having a start up business in that sector is hard. They do it because they absolutely love it and commit everything to it, and it was so inspiring to see and hear them talk about their business. George and I loved it so much that we bought a Spanish vinyl home with us – a kind of punk meets ska riot grrrl band. Love it.
HOLALA! VINTAGE SHOP – PLAZA CASTELLA 2, 08001 BARCELONA
Oh my gawd this place was the bomb diggity. I loved it. One of the best vintage shops i’ve seen in a long time, let alone just in Barcelona! They have a few stores in Barcelona but the huge plaza one is the one you wanna make a pit stop to. Full of vintage holiday style clothing – Ibiza style – it’s cheap, fun and a wicked place to shop vintage. The huge wall by their front door changes every so often with local graffiti artists painting new pretty pieces every month or so. I could have easily bought the entire shop and I would definitely head back there again on another trip to Barcelona! You’re gonna want to use your checked in bag allowance for this one!
Of course those were just three of the main places we went to using the o2 Travel app and our incredible guide – Maria Elisa Gomez, a local on the music and vintage scene, having worked in some of the vintage shops, started her own pirate radio station and friends with the local record labels, putting out her favourite band’s music on homemade cassettes in their stores, she was the most incredible guide and really made our stay incredible. As shown in the photos above we also visited a ton of other places in Barcelona, and honestly if you just walk around the areas using the map and asking the locals, you’ll find so many beautiful stores and interesting sights. We went to so many different restaurants that we found, so i’ll actually write up a separate post about all the food we ate too!
Oh and our little tip if you’re worried about pickpockets (there are a few) is to buy a little mini suitcase lock, and after putting all your things inside (out of pockets!) pop it on the zips of your backpack to lock it up. Done. We had absolutely no issues whatsoever.
What do you think of Barcelona? Would you visit any of these places too? Check out my video below of our trip for more Barcelona inspiration!