Hello everyone! Most probably you have figured out that as Simple Community, we prefer to go beyond the routines by acting creative with the idea of simplicity in our life style. We apply this idea in our daily routines like a philosophy but don't take us wrong we don't do it like a trend. When we started focusing on how we want to live life, we came up to this point.
Traveling is a part of this idea. Traveling is the best thing in my life that feeds me from tip to toe and touches my soul. I come up with a new awareness every time I travel so I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I am a person who is being asked what to do and where to go whenever someone decides to go on a vacation. Sometimes I feel like a tour guide because I find myself writing long suggestions and making a route plan for those asking me. So now I will try to list some key points of hacking the routines during your travels.
For me, routine hacking means acting like a local, exploring new apps and websites rather than using the regular travel sites and making those memorable days more adventurous...
How do I do it?
1)I first visit www.spottedbylocals.com and take note of their suggestions so that I do not go to touristic restaurants and eat unsavory food with high price. I am one of those that like local tastes.
2)I like living like a resident and experiencing people's lives so I've been using airbnb for a long time as accommodation. You may spend lower budgets and feel the warmth of home during your stay. Only that you might need to be careful with your choice so take a time to find the best house for you. Beyond this, if you are willing to share you own house with someone else, you may try www.homeexchange.com You might remember this house exchange from the movie Holiday. Who knows maybe you also meet the love of your life :)
3)Never ever carry heavy luggages. Grab a small hand luggage and a backpack. If you really need someting you will easily find it where you go. Look at it from another point of view, you may remember the places you visit whenever you wear it.
4)This is the rule I strongly suggest everyone. Even if it is once in a lifetime, go on a vacation on your own. Meet new people, chat with new cultures. Take time end enjoy your meal when you are hungry. Believe me you will be more responsive for yourself and your environment and you will have more self respect.
5)Dive into unpopular roads. Get to the streets that seem nice to you. Have your map and walk without knowing. This is a way to explore new things and you wouldn't imagine what you would face by entering the unknown.
6)Find an object and get that from everywhere you go. The easiest one is the magnet from souvenir shops but I mean something more meaningful without any price. For instance the napkins or the cards you can collect from the cafes/shops/excursions you visit.
7)Lastly I will suggest some useful apps. For making travel logs and reading others', I go with Bonjournal, for the ones that look for something rather than tripadvisor I would say Triposo, for those who run for the events and social gatherings I would pick eventbrite and heylets, for concert chasing I can advise bandsintown and again for every kind of local suggestions I use likealocal app.
Among all, I would of course recommend to take photos as much as you can and to use cellphones just to find your directions and necessities. Don't forget it is just a tool of communication so leave it aside and enjoy your precious time...
Even though I moved out from Barcelona 3 years ago, I still have the same question from my friends: ‘How should we plan our Barcelona trip?’
For sure, it’s one of the most beautiful and touristic cities in Europe and that’s why I wanted to end this conversation by sharing my tips with all of you through my favourite platform. =)
Every frequent traveller knows that it’s always more precious to have a friend’s tip rather than digging up and finding a Foursquare / Trip Advisor suggestion.
So here are my Barcelona highlights after having that amazing year in that beautiful city for my studies. I hope you’ll like it!
Let’s start with the touristic attractions part, you shouldn’t miss these:
Placa de Catalunya (the classical square)
La Rambla: The most touristic street, there is the harbour, a shopping mall and an aquarium at the end of this street...Just walk until you reach the sea.
Barceloneta: One of the symbols of the city that you may see in many photos..Very peaceful spot! You should enjoy your Sangria or beer while enjoying that great view.
Passeig de Gracia and Rambla de Catalunya: The most luxurious and beautiful streets...Full of beautiful shops and some Spanish brands.
My favourite two houses of Gaudi: Casa Battlo and La Pedrera..They are already on Passeig de Gracia...
Sagra da Familia: The biggest symbol of Barcelona..The words are not enough..Must see!
Parc Guell: Again a Gaudi architecture that you should definitely see. Disappointing that now you have to pay for entrance.
The most stylish, historical and beautiful two neighbourhoods: Gothic and El Born (they are so close that you can even walk from one to another)
Gracia: Very popular neighbourhood between hipsters, there are very nice restaurants, pubs and boutiques full of Barcelona spirit..you should get lost through the narrow streets..
Tibidabo: The highest point in the city..Great view with a nostalgic amusement park in it.. Enjoy the funicular ride to the top..
Montjuic: One of the hills with the best city and sea view..But while turning back to the city don’t miss the Fontana Magica that takes place in Placa Espana.
Let’s jump to the gastronomy part which is my favourite:
For the ones who’d like to hang out in the famous squares of Barcelona and breath in the Spanish culture (especially perfect for summer time):
Placa del Sol in Gracia: Both the square and the bars around it are full of locals having their drinks, making music and enjoying the Spanish soul..
Another square more into the center is Placa Reial..You may have a joyful night hanging out in the square or at Ocana, my favourite bar located in the square..You should have a tasty dinner or a drink while listening to the street musicians..(more touristic when compared to Gracia)
My special suggestions for food:
Maka Maka: Delicious burgers near the seaside..Actually not just the burgers, the parmesan french fries and cocktails are also worth trying..You may even go there for a snack after the beach time. Great atmosphere all day long..
My favorite tapas spot: Paco Meralgo..You shouldn’t leave Barcelona without tasting the tapas here. My other favorites are: El Velodromo, Ciudad Comtal and Tapas 24
Kaiku or Cal Pinxo: If you really want to taste the typical Spanish dish Paella, you should prefer one of these places..
Granja Petitbo and Federal: Favourite brunch spots
Cup & Cake: Don’t miss the Red Velvet!
Vioko and Gocce di Latte: If you are an ice cream lover like me, both of these places are awesome..
Il Cafe di Francesco: It wouldn’t really be the right choice to go to Starbucks to have coffee if you're in Barcelona. My favorite chain..not really a chain because it has a few coffee spots. Try the ‘cafe con leche’..
Boca Chica: If cocktail is always the right choice for you, if you’re open to new tastes and if you’re looking for some original stuff - you should definitely pop into this spot. Very cool and chic. Please don’t forget to have a tour into the toilet area, it can convert into a club any time with a private dj. =)