Planning my EPT Barcelona trip
The ninth season of the European Poker Tour is kicking off in Barcelona, and I'm really excited about it because is probably within the top five of my favorite cities in the world.
The first place anyone must visit is La Rambla. This is my favorite street because there is always so much happening. The street is lined with shops, market stands, restaurants and street performers leading down to the ocean. Hidden behind the main street is La Boqueria, a huge market full of endless colors from all the rows fruit and vegetables. This is a great place to pick up a snack of fresh fruit, or some lunch on the run. Inside the market there's a place called El Quim De La Boqueria, a world-famous tapas bar, and one of my favorite places to sample some local cuisine in a traditional way.
I really enjoy observing all the different architecture while on my travels, and Barcelona is home to some of the world's greatest artists. Almost every corner you turn will prove this. The most outstanding attraction within the city is Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, a church that bursts through the city's skyline. Its most amazing feature is that there is not a single sharp edge to the detail. All carvings are rounded to give it the appearance of being made of wax. Another crazy building worth visiting is La Pedrera (also constructed by Gaudí), you can get very cheap tickets to explore most of it, including the roof for a nice view and cool pictures of the city.
I'm most excited about returning to the Grand Casino and The Arts hotel, host of the PokerStars.net EPT, which is right in the middle of all the fun in Barcelona - situated on the waterfront opposite Port Olimpic, a long strip of bars and nightclubs. This area is heavily touristic, so they do tend to rip a lot of people off with overpriced drinks, which is one benefit of being a Spanish-speaking visitor - that helps me avoid the tourist prices! - don't be afraid to bargain a little when shopping.
Besides the poker I'm really looking forward for the Barcelona vs Real Madrid match happening at the end of August. If you are a soccer fan this is just a MUST. I already had the chance to watch these two in my last visit to Barcelona and it was probably one of the most incredible experiences (sportswise) of my life. You guys absolutely have to go.
If you enjoy clubbing, Barcelona will not disappoint. There are plenty of options, I recommend doing some Google research according to preferences in music, atmosphere, etc.
A restaurant I'm planning to visit this year is Tickets, a very famous tapas place which I have heard amazing things about. Apparently is not easy to get a reservation so I better try hard!
Hope to see you guys in Barcelona!