Top Coolest Bars in Barcelona

Barcelona is home to some of the highest rated and coolest bars in the world.

We are talking secret doorways, desserts served with your cocktails, old fashioned unheard of locations, and bars made completely from ice

Whether it be a cocktail, some traditional sangria, a good old beer or purely the entertainment of a spectacular venue, read on to find the best bars in Barcelona.

See also Where to Get the Best Ice Cream in Barcelona and Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona

The top 9 coolest bars in Barcelona

Paradiso: ‘The pastrami bar which hides a secret’

Paradiso was ranked 19th in the world’s best 50 bars. The owner, Giacomo Giannotti, and his team spent the good part of a year designing this menu, and speaks for itself.

In Paradiso, you will walk into what appears to be a pastrami bar, in which you can walk through the cabaret entrance which is disguised as a refrigerator, into the incredible dark and mysterious bar. 

The cocktails in Paradiso are presented in the most theatrical way. Ensuring that the presentation is unbeatable, Paradiso is the place to go for an unforgettable experience

Address: Carrer de Rera Palau, 4, 08003 Barcelona

The Antic Theatre: The Palau de la Música’s fun neighbour!

The Antic Theatre can be found next to the Palau de la Música Catalana, it is filled with locals and serves very reasonably priced drinks, serving beers at 2€ and wine at 3€. Although a small and hidden bar in Barcelona, they have a garden area and inside terrace giving you an incredible view of the enormous courtyard.

The perfect location on a hot day, they provide everything from live music, to poetry and theatre

Address: Carrer de Verdaguer i Callís, 12

See also The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona

Creps al Born: Cocktails and a crepe?

Creps al Born provide you with the fascinating combination of the finest alcoholic beverages and cocktails served with delicious French crepes

Creps al Born is a local pick, located in the heart of El Born. They serve everything from classic cocktails to their own signature cocktails, created by professional mixologists, as well as both sweet and savoury pancakes and are renowned for their cheery and friendly staff, and unique and cosy atmosphere. 

Address: Passeig del Born, 12, 08003 Barcelona

Bobby’s Free: You can only enter with the secret password…

Bobby’s Free looks from the outside as your everyday barbershop, when you enter, you won’t see any drinks or bar stools. In Bobby’s Free, you have to provide the ‘barber’s’ secret passport to enter, which changes every month. Don’t worry, this can be found on their Instagram and Facebook

Once in their bar, you’ll see that it has a classic 1920s prohibition vibe, with an outrageous selection of gins and cocktails to try. They are in easy access for all you G&T lovers, you can find them close to both the Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça de Catalunya. 

Address: Carrer de Pau Claris, 85

Bar Mariatchi: The very first clandestine bar in the city!

Located in the backstreets of the Gothic Quarter, Bar Mariatchi was one of the first clandestine bars to open in the entire city. Squatters would occupy buildings which owners could no longer afford to run and transform them into underground drinking dens. 

Today, there’s no chance of finding yourself at the centre of a police raid like in the past! Its tagline is ‘bad parties, worse hangovers’, and it regularly hosts musicians for some live events alongside some tasty drinks.

It’s definitely one of the bars in Barcelona with the most street cred.

Address: Carrer dels Còdols, 14

El Bosc de les Fades: Fancy a fairytale?

El Bosc de les Fades is less of a bar and more of an enchanting forest, making you feel like you just fell into a fairytale. In fact, the name of the bar literally translates to ‘The Forest of the Fairies’. The place is surrounded by leafy trees and mythical creatures, and they serve everything from coffees to delicious mojitos. 

El Bosc de les Fades can be found just a short walk from La Rambla, in the Museu de Cera, Barcelona’s famous wax museum. For a unique and magical experience, el Bosc de las Fades is the place for you. 

Address: Passatge Banca 5, 08002 Barcelona 

See also The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona

Manchester Bar: Bucket hats at the ready…

If you’ve ever visited Manchester then you can probably guess what this bar entails… bucket hats, parkas at the ready. This place is your go- to for the Mancunian music scene, located in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. 

Manchester Bar is decorated with iconic black and yellow stripes of the Haçienda, an old Mancunian club from the 80s and 90s. 

In this bar, you can enjoy whatever beverage you like, whilst jamming to the likes of The Stone Roses, Joy Division and Happy Mondays. Both tourists and locals love this little hidden gem in Barcelona, and whether it be solely a cheap drink or some Mancunian culture education you’re after, this is the place for you. 

Address: Carrer de Milans 5, 08002 Barcelona

IceBarcelona: Subzero temperatures on the beach in Barcelona?

Barcelona is not the place you would imagine to experience subzero temperatures, but in the IceBarcelona, your surroundings will be maintaining -5ºC (20ºF). You may sit and relax with your cocktail, surrounded by ice sculptures and furniture made with ice. 

A ticket price to this bar includes a warm coat, gloves and a drink, meaning you don’t have to worry about ruining your party outfit. This place is a hit amongst both tourists and locals, and the most unusual part about this bar is that it is actually located on the beach… if you want your heart warming in subzero fun, this is the place for you. 

Address: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 38 A, 08005 Barcelona

Futballárium: Football Fanatics prepare yourselves

Barcelona is nonetheless a football mad city, Futballárium is literally a bar which is entirely dedicated to the sport. They have memorabilia plastered on every wall, making them a football lover’s dream. 

Futballárium is a family- owned business and a relaxed venue in which you can enjoy both delicious food and a wide range of beers, whilst of course watching whatever live football is showing at the time. 

They are situated in Les Corts, just a couple of steps away from FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium (which we recommend visiting), this is not one you want to miss if you’re into football!

Address: Carrer de Benavent 7, 08028 Barcelona 

Futballarium in Barcelona, Spain.
Futballarium in Barcelona, Spain.

These are a just a few of the best bars in Barcelona to try out. The city is teeming with incredible things to do and places to visit, check out some of our other posts below for more places to explore:


A Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Wouldn’t it be nice to travel the world and get paid for it?

It may sound like a pipe dream, but this is the reality of a TEFL teacher’s life. Basically, you get paid for teaching English abroad.

With English being a global language, there is a demand for it in virtually every part of the world. And where there is demand, there are jobs.

English is a tool that will open doors for so many people, providing them with opportunities that they didn’t have access to before, and, as the English teacher, you’re the person facilitating and supporting that process.

Being a TEFL teacher is an exchange: the door to the world is open for you to set off and explore it, and in return you do the same for others by removing the barrier of the English language.

So, how do you get started? Keep on reading to find out!

Here are our tips on teaching English abroad

1.     Figure out a location

First and foremost, you have to narrow down your options. Having the whole world at your disposal can be overwhelming.

The sooner you can pinpoint a general part of the world you’d prefer to get started in, the sooner you can start figuring out what the process is to get set up as an English teacher.

For Europe-based teachers wanting to visit the rest of the continent, this is usually a far simpler process. You can put feelers out for English language assistant programs across Europe, such as with Meddeas, to get started, and then choose whichever you feel is the best fit for you.

Home will always be a short flight away, as will other European countries, giving you the perfect balance of travel and family time during the holidays. 

For those that have their hearts set on travelling further afield, platforms such as Teachaway are a lifeline for TEFL teachers, providing current listings of job openings, requirements, and application deadlines in various schools across the globe.

The process for arranging your work visa and organizing flights is usually done with the support of the schools, and many also offer travel stipends to cover the costs of their teacher’s flights. 

All that’s left for you to do is brush up on the culture to avoid making any cultural faux pas upon arrival.

2.     Do your research about what it takes to teach English abroad

Many schools require TEFL teachers to have a university degree, and teaching English abroad is often appealing to university graduates as an exciting opportunity to gain some life experience.

For that reason, your professors will no doubt know a couple of students either currently working in this field, or who worked in it for a period. Utilize this and ask them to get in touch with those people to see if they’d be willing to answer any of your nagging questions about what to expect.

In the case that you don’t know any TEFL teachers or have no connections to anyone that knows someone you could ask, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to connect with people in the industry. In the click of a button, you can reach out to various teachers to request their input on your questions or concerns.

For those that aren’t feeling as extroverted, blogs like the ones you can find written by The TEFL Org should cover nearly every query you may have.

3.     Learn the local language of where you’re going to teach

The best way to really delve into another culture is to start learning the local language.

Often TEFL teachers can find themselves in an English-speaking bubble in the work environment. For those that want to broaden their social circles and really feel like a local when travelling, getting to grips with a basic level of the native language can lead to new friendships, as well as make everyday life run a little smoother.

There’s nothing like being able to order something in a restaurant in another language to give you that sense of independence and belonging, simultaneously. 

Not only will learning the language help you feel settled, but it will also give you a new insight into what your students experience and feel when learning English as a foreign language.

You’ll be able to empathize more with the anxiety they may feel when pronouncing, but also better understand the common mistakes your students make due to translating their language into yours when trying to speak. Understanding these errors means you’ll be able to draw comparisons between how certain things in English are expressed differently to their language, ultimately making you more knowledgeable as a TEFL teacher.

4.     Share your experiences of teaching English abroad

Once you’ve become a seasoned teacher, the best way to move on to new adventures in different parts of the world is to talk to other TEFL teachers about where they’ve been and taught.

Straight from the horse’s mouth is where you’ll get the most honest and useful information on the places you should absolutely check out, and more importantly, where not to go.

Your fellow TEFL teachers have no ulterior motives. They’re floating around on their own travels, and you’re helping them as much as they’re helping you to continue doing so in the best and most informed way possible. 

Thinking back to the beginning of your journey where you researched and read other teachers’ blogs, once you’ve gained some of your own experience, there’s no reason not to share your own tips and advice to inspire and help others by starting your own. The industry is constantly evolving, new resources are always being developed, but TEFL teaching has always remained a community of people willing to share ideas and help one another.

You can also share some articles about how to get an experience like volunteering. Go that one step further to keep the cycle of content TEFL teachers scattered across the globe in motion.

You all share the same passion: travelling. 

With the knowledge of these four main steps now under your belt, the last part of the process is to get qualified. Obtaining your TEFL Certification is your ticket to the first of many adventures you’ll have as a TEFL teacher.

The TEFL companies will support you with all the information and resources you need to join the industry, and then the rest is up to you.

Be that a 2-hour flight, or 16 hours, the beauty of teaching English abroad is that you get to decide where in the world it takes you.


Taxes for Travelers Abroad: 5 Things You Need To Know

 

Americans sure love to travel. Over 45 million Americans traveled abroad in 2019 – some of them for business, others for pleasure. And while the pandemic has dampened those numbers, the need to experience the sights and sounds of the world remains.

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, here’s a quick tax guide to get you started.

 

 

Can I work remotely from another country?

Yes! A few have even decided to make the most of the ongoing situation to travel the world. 

In an effort to boost flagging visitor numbers, some countries such as Estonia and Bermuda have offered special visas for Americans who want to temporarily work abroad. Since many companies have allowed their employees to work from home for the foreseeable future, the idea is to attract people who might want to continue working in an exotic destination.

It sounds like the perfect solution for people who don’t want to spend their time cooped up in their homes or apartments. They get to live in a foreign country while keeping their old jobs. But traveling and working abroad comes with responsibilities, chief of which is your taxes.

 

What is my tax situation?

Your tax situation depends on where you stay, and the length of time you spend abroad. It is estimated that over 10 million Americans live abroad long-term. Some of them stay in one place, while others jump from country to country.

But what does this mean for you?

If you spend a total of 330 days abroad during a 12-month period, you meet the Physical Presence Test. Meeting this test is crucial if you want to avail yourself of the many tax benefits available to American expats and travelers.

It’s important that you keep track of your time spent abroad. Even coming up a day short of the 330-day requirement means you forfeit any expat tax benefits that will help you reduce your tax liability.

Your length of stay could also determine your tax residency in that country. This means that you would be subject to that country’s tax laws. It’s important that you do your research ahead of time before making any big decisions.

 

Do I pay U.S. taxes if I work overseas?

Yes. The United States is one of the few countries in the world to adopt a citizenship-based tax system. This means that American citizens and permanent residents (also known as Green Card holders) have to pay U.S. taxes and file a federal tax return, even if they are based overseas.

Your worldwide income is also taxed by the IRS. Let’s say you decided to open a small side business during your stay abroad, while still keeping your day job for a U.S.-based company. Even if you don’t live in the United States and the business is based in a foreign country, both sources of income are subject to U.S. tax laws.

 

How do I reduce my tax liability?

Living and working abroad, while exciting, also comes with a lot of challenges. You have to navigate two different tax systems, which could lead to double taxation. It’s important that you understand all the benefits available to you if you want to minimize your tax liability. 

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

One of the biggest tax benefits available to expats is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).

The FEIE allows expat taxpayers to exclude a certain amount of foreign earnings from federal income tax. For the tax year 2021, the FEIE threshold is $108,700. You still need to file a federal tax return even if your income doesn’t exceed the threshold and you have no tax liabilities.

To claim the FEIE, the taxpayer must meet the Physical Presence Test.

Foreign Tax Credit

Another tax benefit you need to know is the foreign tax credit. Expats who have paid income tax to a foreign government can claim a dollar-for-dollar credit to reduce their U.S. tax bill. 

Let’s say you’ve paid $1,000 of income tax to a foreign government. You can take a tax credit to reduce your U.S. tax bill by the same amount.

Once you have claimed the FEIE, you cannot take a tax credit for taxes on excluded income. You can, however, take a tax credit on foreign-earned income that exceeds the FEIE threshold.

 

How to file an expat tax return?

It’s important that you straighten out your finances before deciding to move abroad. Moving to a foreign country without a proper plan can lead to issues with your tax return. You can always talk to tax experts, such as those at TFX, if you need help clarifying your tax situation.

This post was written by Veronica Rhodes of TFX. TFX is a women-owned tax firm that offers all U.S. tax services — for both American citizens and non-citizens with U.S. tax filing requirements. From straightforward expat tax preparation to complex cases involving multiple factors — we’ve handled it all for over 25 years.

 

The post Taxes for Travelers Abroad: 5 Things You Need To Know appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Why Merino Wool Clothing is Ideal for Traveling

If you’re a traveller, you need to consider Merino wool clothing. Whether jet setting in cities or hiking outdoors, staying active is simple when wearing merino clothes.

Merino wool clothes are some of the best travel clothes, for all kinds of travelers. They’re great for layering and keep you both warm and cool depending on the climate – amongst many other benefits!

Keep on reading to find out why Merino wool clothing for travel is so helpful for any traveller – plus, where to get some of the best merino wool clothes. 

What is Merino wool

Merino wool is obtained from Merino sheep and is of high quality, with many unique properties. 

Merino clothes are known for their softness, breathability, adaptability, and elasticity. It’s also not scratchy like other wool types. These are just some of the reasons why merino wool clothing for travel is so popular! 

History of Merino wool clothes

We’ve been using Merino wool for centuries, as merino wool sheep were first bred in Spain and eventually moved to Australia in the 18th century. It was later in Australia where sheep farmers improved the wool quality drastically through selective breeding. 

In the fashion world, Merino clothes became popular in the 1920s with Coco Chanel’s first fine wool jersey dress. Today, wool has become more prevalent in fashion and agriculture, and many different types are available. Australia and New Zealand are still major producers of Merino wool globally.

What’s so great about traveling with Merino wool clothing?

Merino wool clothes should be at the top of your packing list because it’s as close to ‘magic’ as you’re going to get. 

Firstly, you can pack fewer clothes if you choose Merino wool travel clothing, as Merino wool is lightweight. The ‘magic’ happens as its fibres change depending on the temperature. When it’s cool, the wool fibres crimp and bend to trap in air, which will insulate you. In warm weather, Merino wool wipes sweat away quickly from your skin, helping you keep cool and dry. 

Secondly, merino wool clothes are known for being wrinkle-resistant and elastic. They’ll look good after many years, as long as you are taking care of them. Merino is also antimicrobial by nature, meaning it’s odour-resistant, so you don’t need to wash them as often as other clothing. 

Thirdly, you should know that merino wool travel clothing can help provides natural UV protection against the sun. Merino wool clothing has an Ultraviolet Protection Rating of around 40+, which is higher than cotton clothing that only has a score of 5. This rating means that Merino wool can block approximately 97% of UV rays from your skin.

Additionally, you should know that Merino wool is a sustainable material. Merino is a natural and environmentally friendly fibre, it’s also biodegradable and will disintegrate into the earth in about 1-5 years.

Finally, if you’re a hiker, you need Merino wool clothing for your next adventure – it’s the ultimate addition to your hiking gear.

Having a solid base layer for your hike is essential to keep your body temperature in balance, which is where Merino wool travel clothing truly shines. Due to its breathable and natural fibres, Merino wool is a recommended base layer as it is odour-resistant, quick-drying and soft. Its lightness pairs well with heavy jackets and overshirts in cold weather, and it works well on its own in warm weather.

Merino wool clothes for travel
Merino wool clothes for travel – Deposit Photos

Where to buy Merino Wool clothing

Some of the top Merino wool clothing brands include: 

Merino Wool t-shirts

Choosing a merino wool t-shirt is an excellent idea because they’re simple yet stylish and will feel silky smooth on your skin. They’re suited for any activity you may encounter on your travels, whether backpacking through the city, going on a business trip or trekking on an adventure. Merino wool clothing for travel is naturally fast drying, too.

Here are a few great Merino wool t-shirts for men and women:

Unbound Merino t-shirt
Unbound Merino t-shirt

Merino Wool travel shirts (button-up)

Merino wool travel shirts are an ideal travel companion. You can dress them up or down for any occasion, whether you’re going hiking or having a fancy dinner out on the town. Their lightweight material won’t take up too much room in your suitcase.

Unbound Merino button shirt
Unbound Merino button shirt

Merino Wool long sleeve t-shirts

Wearing a merino wool t-shirt with long sleeves is perfect for the traveller on the go. They’ll work for any occasion. Long sleeve t-shirts are ideal as a warming base layer for hikes but are also suited for casual wear due to their elasticity and anti-wrinkle properties.

Unbound Merino long sleeve shirt
Unbound Merino long sleeve shirt

Merino Wool hoodies

A merino wool hoodie is a classic outerwear choice. It has enough comfort for daily travels and offers temperature-sensitive fibres that will keep you warm in cold weather. They’re also incredibly soft and will not scratch your skin like other wool types. 

Unbound Merino sweater
Unbound Merino sweater

Merino Wool underwear

Merino wool is naturally moisture-wicking, and this can help it pull away sweat from your body, which could keep you drier than regular cotton underwear. It is antimicrobial, bacteria and odour resistant, so you will feel fresher for longer with merino clothes. 

Unbound Merino boxers
Unbound Merino boxers

Merino Wool socks

Socks are perhaps the most popular merino wool travel clothing. They can protect your feet from a full day of walking on a hike or around a big city as they offer warmth and superior moisture management thanks to the Merino wool fibres. Some merino wool socks brands offer cushioned soles for added support.

Unbound Merino socks
Unbound Merino socks

Merino Wool travel dresses

Merino wool clothing for travel, such as a travel dress, offers superior comfort and quality. Merino wool clothing has excellent stretch thanks to its high elasticity, making merino dresses the ideal choice for any activity, whether travelling or working.

Smartwool travel dress
Smartwool travel dress

Merino Wool leggings

Merino wool leggings are an excellent choice for travelling. They offer unmistakable softness and natural odour control, so you could have a full day’s hike on a mountain and still feel fresh. The elasticity of merino wool clothes makes a difference and acts as a second skin, offering an extensive range of movement. The wool’s thermoregulation helps keep your body feeling cool when working out and warm when the weather is cold. 

MERIWOOL leggings
MERIWOOL leggings

Merino Wool accessories

Merino wool accessories, such as beanies, gloves, buffs and scarves, are a great way to stay toasty. Merino wool clothing has natural thermoregulating properties, meaning you will stay warm in cold weather.

How to care for Merino Wool while traveling

We know that cleaning your clothing is the last thing on your mind while travelling.

The first step to take care of your merino wool clothing is to check your clothing’s labels. Most brands include recommendations for washing, such as suggesting to wash a merino wool t-shirt after every 10-20 wears. Generally, merino clothes can last longer between washes.  

If you have limited access to facilities while travelling, you can hand wash your merino wool clothing in the sink. Turn the clothes inside out and use warm (but not hot) water with a neutral soap, with a pH level of around 7. Do not use fabric softener, as this can negatively impact the moisture-wicking properties of the wool. 

You can leave your merino wool clothing to soak for up to 15 minutes, then rinse and lay it flat to dry to help it keep its shape. You can also hang your clothes, and you should be fine.

The best long-term travel clothes

If you are an avid traveller or simply want more high-quality, sustainable clothing to add to your collection, merino clothes are a perfect match.

Merino wool is renowned for its elasticity, anti-wrinkling, thermoregulating and anti-odour properties, meaning it will look good and stay fresh for longer than other materials. 

Merino wool clothing for travel is also one of the softest wools available and will not scratch or irritate your skin. We highly recommend picking up a few merino basics – your suitcase will thank you on your next trip, as merino is lightweight and won’t take up too much room!

Whether you’re after a versatile merino wool t-shirt or warm merino hoodie, we think you’ll enjoy the luxurious feeling of merino no matter where you’re going. 

Looking for more tips on sustainable travel? Check out these posts:


A Week in Barcelona | 7 Day Itinerary

Barcelona is one of the best city destinations in Europe, that can offer something for every kind of traveller to enjoy. From breathtaking architecture to world-renowned restaurants and miles of sandy beaches, it has everything you could need for a fantastic holiday!

The only issue you face when coming to Barcelona is that there is just so much to choose from, it can be hard to fit it all in. That’s why it’s important to plan your trip wisely, so that you don’t miss out on the best bits. So, here’s our useful guide to spending a week in Barcelona.

Check out our Barcelona 7 day itinerary.

How to spend a week in Barcelona

Day 1: The Old Town

The Ciutat Vella, or Old Town, is one of the most popular parts of the city for visitors. A visit to this area, with its winding narrow roads and old buildings, feels like travelling back in time!

A week in Barcelona - Ciutat Vella
Ciutat Vella

There is a mix of gothic and neo-gothic architecture in the aptly named Gothic Quarter, we recommend visiting the Barcelona Cathedral and the Ancient Synagogue, believed to be one of the oldest in Europe. 

Head across from the Gothic Quarter to the El Born neighbourhood, to see the Santa Maria del Mar Basilica, and to visit one of the many artisan workshops and fashion boutiques selling local goods. 

The Old Town is also home to La Rambla, which is on many visitors to do lists in Barcelona. On this iconic street you can find the La Boqueria Food Market, perfect for a wander round to sample the delicious fresh fruit, tapas, or meats. 

See also The Best Viewpoints in Barcelona.

Day 2: Modernist Barcelona

Barcelona is famed for its Catalan Modernism style of art, championed by architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domenech i Muntaner

We recommend a stroll up the Passeig de Gràcia street, which is lined with designer shops such as Chanel and Prada, but also the breathtaking Casa Batlló and La Pedrera buildings. From here you’ll also stumble across the Quadrat d’or, a square mile brimming with eye-catching modernist mansions. 

See also Unique Things to do in Barcelona.

Casa Batlló (Unsplash)
Casa Batlló (Unsplash)

Day 3: Beach or Park Day

Barcelona has a glorious year-round climate; it would be rude not to get out and enjoy it! The city has nine beaches that stretch over five kilometres, so there’s a selection of sunbathing spots to choose from. Our favourite beach in Barcelona is Nova Icària, which is a peaceful beach with a great range of sports facilities, including volleyball and paddleboarding

If you’re not in the mood for swimming costumes and sand, the Ciutadella Park is where many locals come to relax at weekends. It is a beautiful, green oasis in the heart of the city, with a lake, fountain, palm trees, and much more. 

See also Water Sports in Barcelona.

Ciutadella park, Barcelona (pexels)
Ciutadella park, Barcelona (pexels)

Day 4: Hop on, Hop off Bus

Give your legs a rest and get to see all the sights of the city by hopping on one of Barcelona’s tour buses of the best landmarks. This allows you to discover places that could be harder to get to alone, such as the Olympic Stadium and Museum on Montjuïc, or the Poble Espanyol, which is a model village museum. 

The best stop off of all is the Sagrada Familia, one of the most famous churches in the world. It is famously uncompleted, but still such a breathtaking experience. Getting in during peak season is likely going to be busy and require queueing, but the exterior is free to see!

Book your ticket here.

The Sagrada Familia (pexels) in Barcelona
The Sagrada Familia (pexels)

Day 5: Tapas and drinks

Barcelona is a foodie paradise. It has an enormous selection of tapas bars, fine dining restaurants, and fresh food markets, to whet the tastebuds of any visitor to the city! We recommend a visit to the El Born neighbourhood, which is jam packed with excellent bars and restaurants – try Bona Sort for tapas and Bar Sauvage for a late-night cocktail. 

See also Cheap Tapas Bars in Barcelona.

Tapas, Barcelona (unsplash)
Tapas, Barcelona (unsplash)

If you’re wanting to take some edible souvenirs back for your friends (or yourself!) take a visit to the Santa Caterina Market or the Mercat de la Llibertat in Gràcia. These are the best places to pick up some Spanish specialties, such as jamon serrano, locally made olive oil, or a bottle of vermouth. 

Day 6: Museum visits

For art-lovers, there are few better places than the Catalan capital. Aside from being a piece of living art itself through the city’s architecture, there are also several fascinating art museums to visit too. Take a trip to the Picasso Museum, which showcases some of the legendary artist’s most famous pieces. Another iconic artist hailing from Barcelona, Joan Miró, also has a museum dedicated to him of his works, the Miró Foundation

See also The Most Unusual Museums in Barcelona.

Picasso Museum, Barcelona
Picasso Museum, Barcelona

There are two contemporary art centres worth visiting in Barcelona: the MACBA (contemporary art museum of Barcelona) and the CCCB (centre for contemporary culture). These centres display artwork from modern and emerging artists from Spain and beyond. 

Day 7: Parc Güell and Tibidabo

End your week in Barcelona on a high – quite literally high above the city! To the north of the city, up on the mountains, you can find the fascinating Tibidabo. Visit the beautiful Sacred Heart Church, which can be seen from below all over the city and unleash your inner child at the Tibidabo Amusement Park just next to it. This is the oldest theme park in Spain, and one of the oldest in Europe, being built way back in 1901!

Head down the mountain and end your day at Gaudí’s iconic Park Güell. This whimsical park is jam packed with architecture and colours, and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset over beautiful Barcelona. Book your ticket online.

See also Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide.

Park Güell, Barcelona
Park Güell, Barcelona

Check out more of our tips for spending a week in Barcelona


ETIAS Guide to Visa-Free Travel in Europe

We’ve all dreamed of glorious European vacations, right? Whether it’s spending a week in Barcelona, visiting Sardinia in Italy or eating our way through Paris – there are many European travel dreams.

Citizens of roughly 60 countries, including the US, who can travel visa-free in Europe will soon need to make an ETIAS application electronically before entering any Schengen country.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds though and merely involves a few extra steps to add to your travel planning routine. We’ve covered everything that you need to know about applying for ETIAS for your upcoming trip to Europe below.

ETIAS application
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System and requires non-European Union citizens seeking visa-free travel to any of 26 nations in the Schengen area to register online and gain approval before being allowed to board planes to the region. It is an entirely electronic system that allows entry and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone.

It’s similar to ESTA (United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which many travelers need to complete to enter the US. ETIAS aims to lower crime and terrorism risks in Europe and to ease border procedures for visitors.

When will ETIAS take effect?

ETIAS was initially scheduled to take effect from January 2021 but is now expected to become operational by the end of 2022, with transitional measures planned for a smooth introduction.

A list of the ETIAS countries

Countries that require an ETIAS to enter include all countries within the Schengen zone.

The Schengen zone encompasses Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Who will need ETIAS?

ETIAS targets citizens of countries who can enter the EU zone visa-free. This includes 62 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, etc. You can check if you require an ETIAS here.

How does the ETIAS system work?

The ETIAS system will be efficient and straightforward to use, ultimately saving time for applicants and processing.

The ETIAS application can be made in three steps:

  1. Complete the online ETIAS application: It takes about 10 minutes to complete and includes biometric information, citizenship, address, contact details, EU country you’re visiting and background and eligibility questions.
  2. Pay the ETIAS fees and submit the form: When you complete the application, you will have to pay the fee and submit it. The system will process your information and approve your application.
  3. Receive the visa waiver by email: In addition to being sent via email, the approved ETIAS visa waiver is linked electronically to the applicant’s passport.

During your application, the system will automatically process your identity, travel documents and answers to background questions against databases (SIS, VIS, EUROPOL DATA, SLTD & TDAWN (Interpol), EURODAC, etc.) and its screening rules and watchlist.

ETIAS are valid for three years or until the end of validity of the passport registered during the application, whichever comes first.

An example: Venezuelans traveling to France

Since Venezuela is part of the European Visa-Exempt Program, travelers must complete an ETIAS application before traveling to Europe.

Once ETIAS becomes mandatory, Venezuelan passport holders will apply for an ETIAS for France (which is within the Schengen zone) before departure. With an approved ETIAS visa waiver, Venezuelan passport holders will be able to spend up to 90 days in France.

Here’s an example of getting an ETIAS for Venezuelans to travel to France:

  • In the online ETIAS for Venezuela to travel to France application, Venezuelans require the following documents:
    • Venezuela passport: this must be valid for at least three months from the date of entry
    • Debit or credit card: this is required to pay the ETIAS for France fees
    • Current email address: the approved visa waiver will be sent to the email inbox
  • While completing the ETIAS online form, you’ll need the below information on hand:
    • Full name as it appears on the passport
    • Contact details including current residential address and email address
    • Passport information such as the number and expiry date
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe

How much does ETIAS cost?

It is planned for ETIAS to only cost €7 for each application for adults over 18 years. Travelers under 18 will not have to pay any fees.

Enjoy visa-free travel to Europe

For members of the 60+ countries that don’t require a visa to enter Europe, don’t let the ETIAS application process scare you away. It’s simply a 10-minute online application that is super simple and efficient!


Where to Find the Best Beaches in Cinque Terre, Italy

If you are looking for a relaxing summer destination to visit during a trip to Italy, then you may consider Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Coast in Italy.

Known for its famous clusters of brightly coloured houses by the sea, the beaches in Cinque Terre are worth a visit. 

Cinque Terre beaches are full of coves, smooth rocks, and old stone harbours – which may not seem apt at first glance but are very well-suited for sunbathing and swimming. Other activities you can expect in the area include a national park and various hiking trails set amongst the Mediterranean sea. 

If you are looking for beaches in Cinque Terre that may be off the beaten path but still offer an unforgettable seaside holiday, look no further! There are amazing Cinque Terre beaches in each of the five villages: Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare. Here are our favourite beaches in Cinque Terre.

See also Best Places to Visit in Northern Italy.

Cinque Terre beaches
Vernazza, Cinque Terre.

The best beaches in Cinque Terre

Vernazza 

Vernazza is well-known for being a famous fishing village and the only natural port of Cinque Terre. This historic town is also known for its olive oil, as the village is surrounded by steep olive groves that produce some of the tastiest olive oil in Italy.

In Vernazza harbour, you will find two Cinque Terre beaches. The first Vernazza beach is a sandy, small beach that offers flat rocks perfect for sunbathing. You can expect to find calm water and local fishing boats here. It’s located along the main street, about 2 minutes from the railway station.

The second Vernazza beach is on the east side of the village and is very stony. However, this is a more private and secluded beach that visitors can find by walking through the cave on the left side of the village main street.

Corniglia

Corniglia is a hamlet located within Vernazza in Cinque Terre, Italy. This ancient Roman village is one of the only places in the Cinque Terre without direct sea access.

If you are looking for a secluded Corniglia beach, look no further than Guvano. This uncrowded beach is located on the hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia, so it isn’t strictly in Corniglia.  

Look for the sign that says ‘Spiaggia Libera’ or ‘Public Beach’. Guvano is also known as one of the unofficial nudist beaches in Cinque Terre, so be warned when visiting that you may see some skin – however, it is relatively quiet and peaceful. 

Corniglia in Cinque Terre, Italy
Corniglia in Cinque Terre, Italy

Monterosso 

Monterosso is one of the largest villages that form the Cinque Terre in Italy. Its prosperous hills produce olive oil, lemons and vines like no other.

If you’re looking for Cinque Terre beaches here, you’re in luck because Monterosso has two main beaches to visit.

If you’re looking for a traditional Monterosso beach, go to the long sandy beach in the ‘new’ part of the village called Fegina. You’ll find sand, umbrellas, beach chairs and a promenade full of restaurants, bars and ice cream stores. This Cinque Terre beach is located right in of the train station in Monterosso.

If you prefer to visit the old part of the village, also known as Aurora, you will enjoy the Monterosso beach on the Vernazza trail. It’s a very sandy beach near the boat rental hub and offers both private and public areas. It is a 10-minute walk from the train station, on the left side.

If you’d like to do some extra exploring in Monterosso, you can find old castle ruins, narrow medieval streets and multi-coloured terraced houses in the village.

Join this boat cruise to Riomaggiore and Monterosso

Monterosso beach in Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso beach in Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the southernmost region of the Cinque Terre in Italy. It is a small village located in the La Spezia province in the Liguria region. This historic village is said to have originated as early as the 8th Century. 

Riomaggiore beach is a public beach just east of the village itself. It offers crystal clear waters, a harbour, a ferry dock and a stony setting. 

You’ll also find many boulders at Riomaggiore beach, but this does not hamper the experience and is very typical of Cinque Terre beaches. 

Riomaggiore is also well known for its Via dell’Amore or ‘Lover’s Lane’, a romantic path that offers incredible views of the Mediterranean coastal landscape. This walk takes around 20 minutes to complete and will lead you to Manarola.

Manarola

Manarola is a small town within Riomaggiore in the north of Italy. It is the second-smallest of the Cinque Terre villages and sits 70 meters above sea level on a high rock. 

While there are no official Manarola beach, you will find a beautiful harbour here that is perfect for deep-water swimming. Manarola is one of the smallest regions in Cinque Terre, so you can expect a lot of privacy when visiting, especially if visiting during the off-peak tourist season.

For those with an adventurous spirit, take the ladder and be rewarded! There is also an outdoor shower available to freshen up. To get here, you’ll need to walk about 3 minutes away from the train station. 

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

Alternate Cinque Terre Beaches

If you are in the area and looking for more Cinque Terre beaches, you may consider Levanto beach. Levanto is not one of the main Cinque Terre beaches but is only a 3-minute train ride from Monterosso (book your train tickets here). 

Levanto beach is long and beautiful, blessed with a sandy shore perfect for all kinds of summer activities. It includes both private and public sections and offers many amenities such as a bar, outdoor pool, beach chairs, umbrellas and outdoor showers. 

Additionally, there are many types of water sports equipment that you can rent, such as canoes, peddle boats, surfboards and motorboats. 

Ready to hit the beach in Italy?

No matter which of the Cinque Terre beaches you choose to visit, you’re in for a beautiful vacation! While the beaches in Cinque Terre may err on the rocky side, this doesn’t mean that they can’t fulfil your dream of having a relaxing Mediterranean getaway! 

Remember to consider the Cinque Terre region of Liguria, Italy, when planning your next fantastic holiday. 

Looking for more Italian beaches to explore? Check out these posts:

Where to Stay in Sardinia, Italy

Best Beaches in Sardinia, Italy

Best Places to Visit in the Amalfi Coast in Italy


Where to Stay in Cinque Terre, Italy

Are you looking at staying in Cinque Terre on your next trip to Italy? Between the historic villages, clear waters, private bays and fantastic landscape, we highly recommend visiting the region if you happen to be near the Mediterranean sea in Northern Italy.

One thing you’ll need to decide is where to stay in the area. Are you looking for a Cinque Terre camping experience, or do you prefer glamorous Cinque Terre hotels? What about a sleek apartment or Cinque Terre hostel?

We’ll help you decide where to visit while staying in Cinque Terre, including some of the most popular regions and different kinds of accommodation. 

See also Where to Find the Best Beaches in Cinque Terre.

Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre: Vernazza and Corniglia 

Here are some of the most popular options to consider when staying in Cinque Terre, Italy. 

Vernazza

Vernazza is one of the five villages that comprise the Cinque Terre region in Italy. This fishing village set amongst the Italian Riviera is the only natural port of the area, and you can expect to see exquisite houses while visiting.

Cinque Terre hotels in Vernazza – Hotel Gianni Franzi

Hotel Gianni Franzi is located just below the Doria Castle and features three main buildings. Each room includes terracotta flooring, rustic decor, private bathrooms, free wifi and beautiful views of the Ligurian Sea. There’s a sandy beach just a few steps from the hotel, and the train station is near. You will find this proximity to the sea rings true for most Cinque Terre hotels.

Book your stay at Hotel Gianni Franzi 

Cinque terre hotels in Vernazza - Hotel Gianni Franzi
Cinque Terre hotels in Vernazza – Hotel Gianni Franzi

Budget accommodation – Affittacamere Graziella 

Located within Cinque Terre National Park, Affittacamere Graziella is a bed-and-breakfast nestled within the countryside. Located 8km away from both Vernazza and Monterosso Al Mare, each room includes a private bathroom, satellite tv and a breakfast buffet at a great price.

There are many room types to choose from, including studio or larger apartments or hostel rooms to suit your budget. This Cinque Terre hostel offers good value for money.

Book your stay at Affittacamere Graziella

Affittacamere Graziella budget accommodation in Cinque Terre
Affittacamere Graziella

Cinque Terre Apartment – Lassu Apartment with View

If you’re after a ‘home away from home’, Lassu Apartment is perfect for you. Featuring a terrace overlooking the ocean, air conditioning, free wifi and proximity to Vernazza beach, you’re all set to have a relaxing visit here.

This Cinque Terre apartment includes two double bedrooms and ample dining and living space to enjoy. With charming decor and every necessity catered for, you’ll never want to leave!

Book your stay at Lassu Apartment

Lassu apartment in Cinque Terre
Lassu apartment

Luxury Stays – The Sunset Suite Vernazza

Are you looking for a romantic, luxury getaway with a loved one? The Sunset Suite is a perfect choice. This modern, clean apartment boasts some of the best views in the whole of the city of Vernazza, rivalling some of the top Cinque Terre hotels! 

Enjoy sweeping views from the terrace, a 60-meter walk to the nearest train station, air conditioning and daily housekeeping facilities in this sleek apartment, equipped with modern finishes.

Book your stay at The Sunset Suite Vernazza

The Sunset Suite Vernazza
The Sunset Suite Vernazza

Corniglia

Corniglia is a hamlet located within Vernazza. It is one of the smallest villages in the region, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. 

Cinque Terre Hotels in Corniglia – Locanda Il Carugio 

Locanda Il Carugio is one of the newest Cinque Terre Hotels and offers sleek design coupled with comfort. You can expect to find a rooftop terrace, modern restaurant, and ample common areas. Many rooms include a balcony for private outdoor dining. 

Book your stay at Locanda Il Carugio 

Locanda Il Carugio in Cinque Terre
Locanda Il Carugio

Budget Accommodation – Ostello Corniglia Hostel

If you want to experience Corniglia on a budget, look no further than Ostello Corniglia, a true Cinque Terre hostel. Its close location to Vernazza beach, affordable room options, free wifi and shared amenities would be perfect for a solo traveller. You can also expect a daily continental breakfast during your stay.

Book your stay at Ostello Corniglia Hostel

Ostello Cornigia Hostel
Ostello Cornigia Hostel

Corniglia Apartment – Residenza Solferino

Residenza Solferino is a secluded yet comfortable stay that won’t break the bank. 

Located in the middle of the Cinque Terre, this renovated and clean apartment is spacious. It features a private inner courtyard that keeps the condo quiet despite being on a busy street. This apartment offers a nice change from staying at Cinque Terre hotels.

Book your stay at Residenza Solferino

Residenza Solferino in Cinque Terre
Residenza Solferino

Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is part of the Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy and is separated into two parts: the ‘old town and the ‘new’ town. This village has the most extensive beaches of the Cinque Terre towns and has become a popular international tourist destination. 

The area is also known for its expanse of lemon trees and top-quality white wines, olives and grapes. 

Cinque Terre hotels in Monterosso – Hotel Marina

Hotel Marina is just a few steps away from the beach in Monterosso. It’s also located in the Cinque Terre national park and includes garden access for each guest. You can expect modern luxury decor with exposed stone brick finishes and country-style furnishings. Most visitors enjoy the breakfast treats part of the package, including cakes, freshly baked loaves of bread, and fresh juices.

Book your stay at Hotel Marina   

Hotel Marina
Hotel Marina

Cinque Terre Camping in Monterosso – Area Sosta Camper Il Poggio Campground 

If you’re more of an adventurous person, you might enjoy camping in Monterosso on a budget. This campground offers electricity, drinking water, and shuttle service for guests. It’s set within the Cinque Terre national park, known for its tranquillity and prime location. 

Book your stay at the campground

Cinque Terre Camping in Monterosso - Area Sosta Camper Il Poggio Campground 
Cinque Terre Camping in Monterosso – Area Sosta Camper Il Poggio Campground 

Apartment in Monterosso – LungoMareNostro

Lungo Mare Nostro, meaning sky, sea and sand, is a beach-themed apartment on the Monterosso seafront. This charming apartment is furnished with blue touches throughout and offers a small balcony overlooking the sea, with fantastic views of Palmaria and Punta Mesco. 

Book your stay at LungoMareNostro

LungoMareNostro
LungoMareNostro

Luxury Stays – La Casa del Gigante Luxury Collection 

La Casa del Gigante is one of the most unique finds in Monterosso. This large villa is situated right on the Fegina beach. This two-bedroom villa offers modern finishes combined with rustic stone walls to provide a truly rare, castle-like stay, complete with a massive window overlooking the beach in the villa’s dining room. 

Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore and Manarola

These two villages are must-sees when staying in Cinque Terre, Italy. 

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the first village of the Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy. It is uniquely located in a small valley. It is the most southern village of all the Cinque Terre locations.

Budget accommodation – Scaglie di Mare Apartment 

This cost-effective apartment is in the historic centre of Riomaggiore. It offers a beautiful view over the sea and village and has one full bedroom with an optional sleeper couch. We’re sure that you’ll enjoy many evening dinners on the terrace of this well-maintained apartment. The apartment is accessible from the pedestrian path at the railway station in the village.

Book your stay at Scaglie di Mare Apartment

Scaglie di Mare Apartment
Scaglie di Mare Apartment

Cinque Terre Hotels in Riomaggiore – Scorci di Mare

Scorci di Mare is a seaside hotel in Riomaggiore. It offers daily housekeeping services, free wifi, and is only a few meters away from public transport. 

There are many different room configurations to suit your budget. Some of the premium room options include a beautiful view of the ocean, as well as terraces for private dining.

Book your stay at Scorci di Mare

Scorci Di Mare
Scorci Di Mare

Cinque Terre Apartment – Al Castello Apartment 

Al Castello is a private apartment located near Canneto beach in Riomaggiore. This apartment is centrally located in the centre of the village, and attractions are just a short walk away. Its prize feature is its massive rooftop terrace with sea and city views. It also features every amenity you may need.

Book your stay at Al Castello Apartment 

Al castello
Al castello

Manarola

Manarola is a small town within Riomaggiore. It is the second smallest village of the Cinque Terre villages and offers a secluded experience.

Budget Cinque Terre Apartment – Le Coste by Arbaspàa

Le Coste is a collection of small eco-friendly apartments within Manarola. It is near the Via dell’Amore path, and each unit features a modern design with energy-efficient features. 

Guests enjoy this apartment collection because of its brightness, cleanliness, and proximity to the centre of the village. Some units include a balcony or terrace, but budget options are also available.

Book your stay at Le Coste by Arbaspàa

Le Coste by Arbaspaa
Le Coste by Arbaspaa

Cinque Terre hotels in Manarola – Hotel Marina Piccola

Hotel Marina Piccola is in the centre of Manarola. This beachside hotel offers some rooms with balconies that overlook the sea. Regarding its interior, this apartment includes modern finishings coupled with comfortable, spacious rooms.

Guests enjoy the continental breakfast, friendly staff, and close location to most attractions in town. There are a variety of different room types to fit many budgets.

Book your stay at Hotel Marina Piccola

Hotel Marina Piccola
Hotel Marina Piccola

Luxury Guest House – L’Attico Giallo Oro di Giulia 

If you prefer a private guest house with luxury finishes, L’Attico Giallo Oro di Giulia is a perfect choice. This two-bedroom house includes the ultimate sunbathing terrace for your lounging pleasure, complete with sea and hill views.  

The interior finishes are modern and elegant complete with brand new appliances, while the house’s exterior is bright and inviting. This luxury apartment is located in the upper part of Manarola, offering a restful, secluded stay. 

Book your stay at L’Attico Giallo Oro di Giulia 

L'Attico Giallo Oro di Giulia
L’Attico Giallo Oro di Giulia

Beautiful views and quaint streets – what more could you want?

You may have a hard time deciding where to stay in the Cinque Terre! From the smallest towns Manarola and Corniglia, to the larger cities of Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Monterosso – accommodation is abundant in the Cinque Terre region of Italy. 

Whether choosing Cinque Terre hotels, hostels, camping experiences or apartments, we think there’s a property out there for any traveller who is lucky enough to visit the Cinque Terre.


Mexico City’s Newly Revealed Ancient Treasures to Prompt Future Tourism Upturn

Toya Sarno Jordan  / Reuters

Archaeologist Sergio Gomez displays a pot that’s shaped in the image of storm god Tlaloc, found inside a 2,000-year-old tunnel built under the ornate Feathered Serpent Pyramid, which Gomez believes recreated the underworld and was used to initiate new rulers among other religious rituals, in the ruins of Teotihuacan, in San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico August 12, 2021. Toya Sarno Jordan / Reuters

Skift Take: Teotihuacan near Mexico City has drawn visitors for decades. But archaeologists have just revealed more of their finds from under the ruins. In the future, they’ll put these treasures on display.

— Sean O’Neill

Read the Complete Story On Skift