11 Things You Haven’t Done in Barcelona

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Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and one of the world’s most popular destinations. Here’s a list of 11 out-of-the-ordinary things to do in this vivacious and unique city.

1. Spent a day at the Labyrinth Park of Horta–one of Barcelona’s oldest historical gardens.Parque del Laberint d'Horata

Photo by Fen 

 

2. Dined at a rooftop or ‘terraza’ bar to escape the heat of the streets. This particular terraza is one that belongs to the Ohla HotelOhla hotel terraza

Photo by Jessica Bowler

 

3. Seen Casa Vicens–a modernist house designed by the famous Antonio Gaudí. It was bought by a bank recently and will eventually be turned into a museum.Facade of Casa Vicens in Barcelona

Photo by Jessica Bowler

 

4. Taken in the city from above at the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor. It is located at the summit of Mount Tibidabo.Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

Photo by I’m Out of the Office 

 

5. Visited the Hospital de Sant Pau. It was commissioned at the beginning of the 20th Century and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona

Photo by Jessica Bowler 

 

6. Had a drink at Barcelona’s Bar Marsella. It’s supposedly the oldest bar in Barcelona and is known as the ‘absinthe bar’ by locals. Apparently Ernest Hemingway used to frequent the Marsella.Bar Marsella in Barcelona

Photo by Chasing Amber 

 

7. Viewed W Barcelona from Barceloneta Beach. The clubs and terraces surrounding the W are popular among locals. W Barcelona hotel

Photo by I’m Out of the Office 

 

8. Taken a stroll through the Parc de Cervantes. It’s home to over 10,000 roses!Parc de Cervantes in Barcelona

Photo by Jessica Bowler 

 

9. Bought tickets for a show at the Palau de la Música CatalanaPalau de la música catalana

Photo by Ruth Avelis 

 

10. Packed yourself a sandwich in true Spanish-fashion and picnicked at the Bunkers del CarmelBunkers del Carmel

Photo by Hannah Elders

 

11. Relaxed and had a drink at a chiringuito (a beach bar). chringuita bar barcelona

Photo by I’m Out of the Office 

Can’t get enough? Here’s an even longer list of Barcelona’s Best.

11 cosas que no has hecho en Barcelona

English

Barcelona es la segunda ciudad más grande en toda España y uno de los destinos más populares en todo el mundo. Aquí tenemos una lista de 11 actividades imprescindibles en esta ciudad viva y única.

1. Pasar el día en el Parque del Laberint d’Horta–uno de los jardines más antiguos de Barcelona.Parque del Laberint d'Horata

Foto by Fen 

 

2. Comer y beber encima de las calles en una terraza para escapar del verano. Se puede encontrar esta terraza particular en Ohla HotelOhla hotel terraza

Foto por Jessica Bowler

 

3. Ver la Casa Vicens–una casa modernista diseñada por el famoso Antonio Gaudí. Recientemente se fue comprado por un banco bank y con tiempo se hará un museo.
Facade of Casa Vicens in Barcelona

Foto por Jessica Bowler

 

4. Disfrutar de la vista de la ciudad por arriba en el Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor. Se ubica a la cumbre del Monte de Tibidabo.Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

Foto por I’m Out of the Office 

 

5. Visitar el Hospital de Sant Pau. Se encargó a la comienza del siglo XX y fue declarado por la UNESCO como Sitio Patrimonial Mundial **. Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona

Photo by Jessica Bowler 

 

6. Tomar una copa en Bar Marsella. Se dice que es el bar más antiguo en toda Barcelona y se conoce como el bar absinthe. Además, el autor famoso Ernest Hemingway pasaba mucho tiempo aquí. Bar Marsella in Barcelona

Foto por Chasing Amber 

 

7. Encontrar el hotel W Barcelona cerca de Playa de la Barceloneta. Las discotecas y terrazas que rodean el ‘W’ son muy populares entre los habitantes.W Barcelona hotel

Photo por I’m Out of the Office 

 

8. Darte una vuelta por el Parc de Cervantes. ¡Posee más de 10.000 rosas!Parc de Cervantes in Barcelona

Foto por Jessica Bowler 

 

9. Comprar billetes para un espectáculo en Palau de la Música CatalanaPalau de la música catalana

Foto por Ruth Avelis 

 

10. Llevarte un bocadillo y comer con los amigos y la familia en los Bunkers del CarmelBunkers del Carmel

Foto por Hannah Elders

 

11. Relajarte y tomar una copa en Chiringuito Las Sardinitaschringuita bar barcelona

Foto por I’m Out of the Office 

¿Tienes ganas de continuar explorando Barcelona? Aquí tienes una lista aún más larga: Los mejores sitios de Barcelona.

6 Solo Female Travelers You Want to Be When You Grow Up

Many folks dream about “throwing the bowlines” and casting off from the workaday world, in pursuit of a life of never-ending travel.

For most of us, it doesn’t go further than that. We give in to the lure of dependable income, hot running water, and easy access to Starbucks. The dream of eternal travel gets postponed.

But a few bold folks decide postponing dreams is unacceptable. They find a way, and live the life of their dreams.

Here are a few women who are making their travel dreams come true. They live the life of adventure, meeting every day on their own terms.

Stoke the fire of your own travel dreams with these six bold solo travelers:

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Global-Gallivanting

Anna of Global-Gallivanting grew up in a quiet English town and craved more out of life. After university, she hit the road and hasn’t looked back. She seeks out sumptuous beauty in every place she goes: beaches, temples and city centers are her favorite discoveries. She blogs at global-gallivanting.com.

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Fen

This globetrotting lady loves finding a quiet nook to sit and watch the world go by. Her secret weapon for warding off boredom and loneliness on the road? A good book. Read more about Fen’s solo journey in our Spotlight post on her, Insights From a Successful Introverted Traveler.

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Gigi Griffis

A digital nomad traversing Europe with her small dog, Gigi shares photos of gorgeous vistas, classic Continental cuisine, charming villages, and dog-friendly locations. She blogs at gigigriffis.com.

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AdventureJ

Jill of AdventureJ is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, always seeking the next outdoors adventure. Follow her to explore glaciers, salt flats, lava tubes and snorkel with sharks. She blogs at adventurej.com

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Bohemian-Backpacker

Becci the Bohemian-Backpacker started traveling on her 18th birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. She’s pursuing moments of bliss by traveling slowly – staying with locals, eating street food, couchsurfing, and trying on traditional clothes. Follow her exploits at bohemian-backpacker.com.

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Lale Gil

This outgoing, “unrelenting-hugger” DR gal spends time backpacking around the Middle East and the Caribbean in between completing her Master’s in Deaf Education in New York City. She’s a big fan of genuine connections with local folks, splashing in warm waterfalls, and of course doing headstands in every location she goes. She blogs at laleswanderlust.com.

Insights From A Successful Introverted Traveler: Fen

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Meet Fen: accomplished solo traveler, with more than a dozen countries’ stamps in her passport.

Her secret weapon for never feeling alone on the road? A good book.

A Book is the Best Traveling Companion

Her wanderlust started early in life, with bedtime stories her father read aloud. The stories about world history and adventure encouraged her to go explore the world for herself.

When she grew up, Fen wanted to make those tales come true. She helped in her family’s business in Surabaya, Indonesia, took side jobs tutoring in English, and saved up like mad.

Along the way, she took short trips with friends, and learned group travel was not for her. She’d rather set her own pace, and choose exactly where she wants to go.

And thus, a determined solo traveler was born.

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Corniglia, Italy is ideal for quiet afternoons in the sun, surrounded by vineyards and seaside cliffs. Photo by Fen.

If solo travel (read: traveling exactly how and where you wish) sounds enticing, Fen has a few tips she’s learned along the way.

These common-sense tips will help keep you safe and happy while on the road:

1.     Accommodation: Always check out local guest houses/hostels with good reputations. A very expensive hotel doesn’t guarantee satisfying service, so it’s important to know what you’ll get during your stay.

2.     Don’t Forget Your Medicine: Traveling is certainly not fun if you’re sick! If you’re allergic to something, make sure you have your medicine with you. Easy to say, but if you forget it, you’ll be very sad.

3.     Investigate The Neighborhood: Local information is easy to access these days, thanks to the Internet. Ahead of your trip, check out crime rates and dangerous neighborhoods, so you know how to avoid them. It’s never good to tempt fate or risk your safety for the sake of exploring. Know your limits.

4.     Watch the Rates: Once you’ve decided when and where to go, watch for ticket deals! Budget airlines can help you stretch your travel budget to the max. (And while you’re checking, you might as well check the non-budget ones as well – they also often have promotional prices!)

If luxuriant slow travel is your speed, get inspired with Fen’s recent travels to beautiful Cinque Terra, Malta, and Spain. And start planning your own adventure today!

In Pursuit of the Perfect Dumpling

Are you obsessed with dumplings? Don’t worry…so are we. Your quest for the perfect dumpling ends here.

Dumplings – soft dough wrapped around a scrumptious filling - can be almost any size, color or flavor. They can be sweet or savory. In fact, you wouldn’t be wrong to call them the “ultimate comfort food.”

Although food historians trace dumplings to European peasant cuisine, today these tasty treats can be found across every culture and class. And since they have been around for centuries, each culture has its own unique take on the “perfect dumpling.”

USA: Steamed Dumplings

Steamed dumplings are very popular in American cuisine. You’ll find many varieties in the States: chicken dumplings, pork dumplings, short rib dumplings, shrimp dumplings, apple dumplings, juicy dumplings, and bean dumplings.

Handmade steamed dumplings. Photo credit:

Handmade steamed dumplings. Photo credit: Emily C.

Scottish: Clootie Dumplings

A Clootie dumpling is a Scottish steamed pudding, flavored with dried fruits, cinnamon and treacle. These large dumplings are traditionally mixed in a pudding cloth and then suspended in simmering water for hours. The end result is a rich, sweet and moist dessert.

Matt Riggott from Reykjavik, Iceland - Clootie dumpling Uploaded by Diádoco

Clootie dumpling, ready for dessert. Photo by Matt Riggott via Wikipedia.

China: Xiao long bao, aka Soup Dumplings

Xiao long bao is a type of steamed bun from the Jiangnan region of China. They are traditionally prepared in small bamboo steaming baskets, which gives them their name. Typically filled with warm soup, they are served with straws. Customers suck out the soup and then eat the dumpling.

Soup dumplings in steamer baskets in Shanghai. Photo by Bryan Tighe

China: Tang Yuan aka Sweet Dumplings

Tang yuan is frequently used as a metaphor for “family union” in China. This traditional Chinese sweet is often served during festivals. These small dumplings are made with glutinous rice flour and filled with sweet pastes: sesame, peanut, and red bean are all common flavors.

Sweet dumplings in Xitang, China. Photo by Scuba Mami.

Hong Kong: Abalone Dumplings

Abalone dumplings are arguably the most sought-after seafood delicacy in Hong Kong. Traditionally made during the dragon boat festival, these seasonal delicacies are eaten with family and friends. These dumplings are counted as one of the most luxurious food of Hong Kong.

Abalone dumplings in Hong Kong’s Choi Fook Chinese Restaurant. Photo by Vincent Wong

Taiwan: Xiao Long Bao aka Handmade Soup Dumplings

Soup dumplings are quite popular in Taiwan. These thin-skinned dumplings are filled with pork and steamed, creating a delicious juicy little package .

"Xiao Long Bao at Nanxiang Mantou Dian 1" by Eason Lai from 上海 - Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Xiao Long Bao at Nanxiang Mantou Dian. Photo by Eason Lai via 上海 – Flickr.

Canada: Pierogi

Pierogi originally hail from Eastern Europe, but have been enthusiastically embraced in the New World. Made with unleavened dough, they are first boiled and then baked or fried. Their fillings vary widely: sauerkraut, ground meat, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese and even mashed potato can be found inside the humble pierogi.

"Ruskie". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Pierogi topped with pork cracklins. Photo by Stako via Wikipedia.

Germany: Klösse or Knödelin

Dumplings are a favorite food throughout Germany. Known as Klösse in northwestern Germany and Knödelin in the southeastern region, these plump morsels are generally spherical and either boiled or steamed. In Germany, dumpling enthusiasts can indulge during every course of a meal – dumplings can be the main dish, a side, a soup, and served sweet for dessert.

"Semmelknödel" by Kobako - photo taken by Kobako. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Semmelknödel ready to be served. Photo by Kobako via Wikipedia.

 Italy: Gnocchi aka Potato Dumplings

This classic Italian pasta dish is actually tiny potato dumplings! Gnocchi are tender pastas, boiled and then served with a variety of sauces and cheese. Local tip: because gnocchi is best when made fresh, Thursday is the unofficial gnocchi day across Italy. Many restaurants make and serve gnocchi only on this day, so plan ahead!

Cheesy gnocchi served with bacon at Ristorante Caratello, outside Florence. Photo by Alessandro Ricciardi

Indonesia: Ketupat Dumplings

Ketupat are rice filled dumplings, packed inside woven palm leaf pouches. These tasty morsels are found across southeastern Asia and nicknamed “packed rice.”

Ketupat dumplings at Badung, Indonesia. Photo by Astri Diani

Georgia: Kinkali dumplings

Khinkali are Georgian dumplings, filled with spiced meat (usually beef or pork), herbs and onions. A drier dumpling, khinkali are often eaten with black pepper but can also be eaten plain.

Meat-filled khinkali at Begheli in Tblisi, Georgia. Photo by Georgia Pictures

South Korea: Kimchi Mandu aka Kimchi Dumplings

Mandu are baked dumplings often found in Korean cuisine. They are believed to have been first brought to Korea by Mongolians in the 14th century CE. They are usually served with kimchi and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar and chili peppers. The most common fillings include minced meat, tofu, green onions, garlic, ginger and kimchi.

Korean dumplings at Myeong Dong in Seoul. Photo by Peter Tsai

Feeling hungry? Indulge your craving with the Dumplings Around the World list and plan for your own quest for the perfect dumpling.