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City guideBARCELONA CITY GUIDE WITH HAYA TETRUASHVILI

From great places to hang out with little ones to the best time to visit, discover Barcelona with Haya Tetruashvili's Guide...

WITH HAYA TETRUASHVILI
OF GOOD GOOD GORGEOUS

 

Haya is the proud mum of two beautiful girls, Shirel (3) and Liel (7 weeks old). She is passionate about travelling, culture, fashion, food and people. Born in Israel to parents from Georgia, she has been moving country to country since the age of 4. Haya and her husband Jeff met in Barcelona years ago, when he decided to move there for a few months to meet a Penelope Cruz look alike and learn some Spanish, but his plan didn’t work out as he ended up falling in love with a Jewish girl who grew up in the city. They are celebrating their 6 years of marriage this September. You can follow Haya’s adventures on her Instagram, and feel free to reach out. She loves meeting new people.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING IN BARCELONA?

My family arrived from Israel to Barcelona in 1987, when I was 4 years old. When I turned ten we moved to Antwerp, Belgium but came back to Barcelona in 1999. After finishing school I studied for four years in London, came back to Barcelona until I got married in 2011, and moved to Washington DC with my husband, and finally moved back to Barcelona in 2015 with my daughter and my husband.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?

There are so many things I love about living in this beautiful city, that it is truly difficult to single one out. I love that the beach is right here in the city centre, only a twenty-minute drive away! I love the weather in this city, which gives us the privilege to enjoy being outside all year round, and the fact that it is such a walkable city, not to mention the amazing architecture (Gaudi)… I am always in awe of how beautiful this city is. I love that it has become such an international city, the tapas, the wine, and how accessible it is to hop to islands such as Menorca, or Ibiza, or a drive away from Costa Brava and heavenly beach towns such as Cadaques. I love how easy it is to get around with kids, the beautiful parks such as Ciutadella, the endless evenings sipping on cortados at Terrazas (with the girls & strollers), the design, shopping, and how alive it is night and day! It’s a never ending list.

WHEN DO YOU THINK YOUR CITY  IS MOST MAGICAL?

I believe it is most magical in Spring and Summer, when the warmer weather starts and the city becomes packed with more people, more noise, more colour and magic. I love it.

 It is most magical in Spring and Summer, when the warmer weather starts and the city becomes packed with more people, more noise, more colour and magic.

 

 

FAVOURITE THING TO DO IN SUMMER AND WINTER?

 

Going to the beach! I know it is such a cliche, but having lived in cities with no beach, that is what I have most craved to get back to. Dinner dates in Terrazas and night walks are also my favourite things to do in the summer in Barcelona, and of course drinks and dinners on hotel rooftops. Since Soho Hotel opened we’ve been loving spending time on the rooftop pool, having lunch or dinner. In winter I love going to different hotels in the city, for lunch, or coffee, many times I work from there as well. One of my favourite spots for afternoon tea in winter is Grand Central Hotel, I can never get enough of it, they have amazing mini éclaires!

 

WHAT’S THE BEST THING TO DO DURING WEEKENDS?  

 

We love walking around our neighbourhood with the girls and taking it easy. We have a park nearby called Turo Park, with a beautiful lake. Shirel loves feeding the fish, and usually, we end up having lunch at Turo Cafe which is my favourite spot for any meal of the day!

 

 

 

 

Dinner dates in Terrazas and night walks are some of my favourite things to do in the summer in Barcelona…

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO HANG OUT WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES?

We love taking them to most places we love. Of course, the parks that I mentioned such as Turo Parc, and Ciutadella, the beach and sightseeing within the city so they get to see different places and learn. Shirel loves the Cosmocaixa Science Museum, the Aquarium Barcelona, the Zoo, any and every amusement park! And there is a shopping centre called La Illa where they have a few small rides for kids outside with a jumping park, Shirel loves going there and we get to do a bit of shopping as well!

 

 

 

 

ANY SPECIAL EVENTS THAT HAPPEN EVERY YEAR?

 

Every year there is the Fiestas de Gracia which we love to experience and it is such a big event for the city and locals of Gracia! Another favourite one every summer is this amusement park in the middle of the city right above Paseo de Gracia, they are open for a few weeks and we take Shirel and her cousins a few times, kids absolutely love it!

 

WHAT RESTAURANT WOULD YOU GO TO AND SPLURGE FOR A SPECIAL OCCASION?

 

There are so many great restaurants but my favourite one is Acontraluz, it is in my neighbourhood (a walking distance which is amazing with two strollers) and it’s a secret among locals, not many visitors know about it. It has a beautiful outdoor space which is like a secret garden with lemon trees, grape vines, and a quiet romantic atmosphere with delicious Mediterranean food and wine. It is definitely our favourite and we love celebrating occasions there or simply popping in for lunch.

SIGHTSEEING PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED?

Undoubtedly I have to say every Gaudi monument, especially Parc Guell, and Sagrada Familia, no matter how many times I visit and despite it being in my city I am always amazed by these two! Also, my favourite museums are the MNAC (Modern Art Museum in Montjuic) and Salvador Dali in Figueres! If you have the time to go outside of the city it’s a must! Plaza Real and La Pedrera are also great, and I have to mention another one of my favourite restaurants, El Nacional.

DISCOVER THE HIDDEN GEMS  

Hidden gems, I love those and Barcelona has quite a few!
I love Tibidabo, up there you can get the best views of the city from Mirablau while enjoying a glass of wine, or my favourite hotel which is Hotel La Florida, this is where Jeff proposed to me. It is so charming and the pool has breathtaking views of the city. Another favourite hidden gem is the Cactus Park, it’s in Montjuic right by the Miramar hotel, and one of my favourite restaurants Terraza Martinez.

Last but not least El Borne, is our favourite neighbourhood to wander around on a Sunday or weekend, it is also right next to Parc Ciutadella, and there is a tiny little traditional tapas/cava bar called El Xampanyet it is mostly known by locals and is a fun experience with great food and drinks.

 

AND FINALLY, ANY TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS?

My tips for first-time visitors is to switch into the Barcelona slow pace to really enjoy the city, by that I mean walk and get lost in the city. It isn’t so big, and no matter what corner you turn I promise you will fall in love over and over again. It is a city that calls you to slow down, take it easy and take in everything you see and experience, from its architecture to its Terrazas and amazing sunsets on the beach. Another tip is that if you can try and visit beach towns outside of the city such as Sitges or Garraf, please do! These two are my favourite, I have been going there since I was a teenager and they never get old. Trust me, it is definitely worth it.

With thanks to Haya X

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