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NYLON’s Guide To Barcelona (& Primavera Sound)

Nine locals recommend their favorite spots to eat, drink, and shop in the Spanish city.

As anyone will tell you, music festivals are marathons not sprints — and Primavera Sound is an exceptional one even at that. Over the last few years, the annual Barcelona festival has become one of the hottest international destinations for music lovers in the world, if not the largest. With over 400 artists descending upon the city each year in June, Primavera Sound has grown to become more than the sum of its two weekends of scheduled performances. Of course, there are the afterparties and pre-parties, but there’s also Primavera a la Ciutat, the week-long slate of events between the two weekends where artists play additional shows at venues scattered across the city.

With such a vast and evening-concentrated itinerary, first-time attendees may find themselves with with a lot of extra time to fill, especially considering the actual festival also operates on a very European schedule: performances don’t start until 5 p.m. (with the majority of people arriving much later than that) and last acts play as late into the night as 5 a.m. So what to do with all that daylight?

Luckily, the festival being located in the heart of Barcelona opens up a world of possibilities for filling up that dead time, from tourist must-dos, like visiting La Sagrada Familia, to having a beach day, a perk of staying so close to the city’s seaside. Up-and-coming neighborhoods and streets throughout the city, like Poblenou and Carrer del Parlament, have also become havens for standout restaurants and bars — the best places to fuel up before a long night of dancing.

Below, NYLON connected with nine Barcelona locals to get their favorite spots in the city to eat, drink, shop, and dance (some more). From meticulously curated concept stores to some of the best Italian food in the city, their picks guarantee any trip to Primavera Sound — or Barcelona in general — won’t be incomplete.

Miss Kleckley Store

Name: Sara Jacue

Age: 39

Occupation: PR & communications project manager

Hot Spot: Miss Kleckley Store, Carrer del Parlament, 15, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

This concept store is located in one of the nicest areas of the city, Carrer del Parlament. Surrounded by cute coffee places and restaurants, Miss Kleckley Store stocks stuff for positive people, as its founder Marina explains. Discover curated local clothing brands like Bobo Choses or Colmillo de Morsa, and international brands like House of Sunny.

Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

An event that I made the PR for. It was a big installation by the artist and fashion designer David Mendez Alonso.

The best time to visit this place is...

Before the festival to add some fun and colors to your outfits or get your nails done.

The Hoxton, Poblenou

Name: David Lluís Fernández

Age: 35

Occupation: Community Builder and PR

Hot Spot: The Hoxton, Poblenou, Avinguda Diagonal, 205, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

The Hoxton is located in Poblenou, one of the upcoming neighborhoods in Barcelona where the most creative hubs in the city are concentrated. Even though The Hoxton is part of an English company, it has given the neighborhood an extra touch, from its Detroit-style pizza restaurant for a good resurrection meal after a night out, to the option of being able to eat some tacos with a cocktail by the pool at their rooftop restaurant Tope.

Malena Mora
Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

Probably the opening party where DJ Pascal was deejaying for hours surrounded by friends on a Tuesday night, one of those unexpected nights with consequences the next day...

The best time to visit this place is...

I would not hesitate to book a table on the Tope rooftop to take a dip in the pool and eat some tacos and cocktails — best recovery from the possible hangover ever. Also, I wouldn't hesitate booking a room there either, since The Hoxton is located at a comfortable distance from the festival's main venue and its rooms are some of the coziest in the city.

Sala Apolo

Name: Erik Fernández Jiménez

Age: 24 years old

Occupation: PR PS

Hot Spot: Sala Apolo, Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 113, 08004 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

Because it is an internationally known club that’s always been involved in the scene of Barcelona. It's where electronica was born during 1994 with its famous party (Nitsa), and where I still have the pleasure to work today.

Malena Mora

What is your favorite memory there?

Really, every weekend I go there is a new memory for me.

The best time to visit this place is...

After the festival, because there are so many artists who have already played at the club, it's better to see it directly at the festival than again at Apolo... but it's always a good time to stop by and dance.

Mercado del Borne

Name: Martin Monteagudo, Manu Vázquez

Age: 24, 19

Occupation: PR at Vampire Studio

Hot Spot: Mercado del Borne, La Ribera

Why should people know about this place?

We think it is one of the most beautiful and cozy places in Barcelona. Moreover, since they discovered that underneath this historic neighborhood were hidden some ancient Roman ruins, the place has become even more magical than it already was.

Malena Mora

What’s your favorite memory there?

We always talk about the memories we have spending summer nights with our friends sitting on a bar terrace and not worrying about anything but getting drunk.

The best time to visit this place is...

An ideal place to stop by if you still need a look for the festival. They have the coolest stores in town.

Carlos and Matilda

Name: Alex Nikolov

Age: 28

Occupation: PR director of Primavera Sound and Vampire Studio, founder of Lexa and Misato Studio

Hot Spot: Carlos and Matilda, Baixada de Viladecols, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

The best cocktails in town.

Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

When Carla and Mat started it, when Idan designed the whole spot... a lot of great memories here!

The best time to visit this place is...

Start with a nice drink and some snacks before you start your journey to Forum.

Parking Pizza

Name: Jordi Chicletol

Age: 36

Occupation: TV host, content creator, PR

Hot Spot: Parking Pizza

Why should people know about this place?

Besides their delicious menu, it has very cool architecture and interior design, simple, minimalistic and kind of industrial, and the large tables make you feel like you are on a school excursion.

Malena Mora
Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

A few years ago, my best friend surprised me for my birthday with plans around Barcelona. The last part was a massage and dinner at Parking Pizza. Perfect ending.

The best time to visit this place is...

It has very cool lighting during lunch time. Perfect place to get some energy before dancing for hours.

InstBerlin

Name: Adriana Cruz

Age: 33

Occupation: TV host, content creator, PR

Hot Spot: InstBerlin Carrer de Sant Rafael, 27, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

It’s a unique place, where you can get the coolest haircut without being scared of not being understood, or sounding crazy. People come as they want and how they feel like. That’s why they practice non-gender prices, the price is fixed depending on the hair’s length. There is a really familiar ambiance, and you could always get in touch with the three dogs as you spend the day there: Pancho, Sixteen, and Oliver.

Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

I actually work there part of the week and there are so many memories of our clients getting literally transformed, haircuts and colors without limits. People come and shop our host of designers since we have a showroom of local brands.

The best time to visit this place is...

It’s the perfect place to go before Primavera Sound because you must get your hair on point and get your outfit ready for the fest. A must-visit before you leave this town.

Bacaro

Name: Paloma Fernández Blanco

Age: 31

Occupation: Sita Abellan project manager, Cami Alberti manager

Hot Spot: Bacaro, Carrer de Jerusalem, 6, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Why should people know about this place?

Best Italian restaurant in BCN. If you want to feel real Italy, it’s your place.

Malena Mora

What's your favorite memory there?

I have lot of memories there... Always when I go with my friends to drink limoncello shots.

The best time to visit this place is...

Dinners are always the best!