Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Traumstadt Barcelona and meine Insider Tipps

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(Sponsored by product placement)

Hello my Aviator,

in August 2016 I moved my home base from Berlin to Barcelona. The original plan was to stay longer than three months, but then I received a new job offer which forced me to move back to Germany. Since then I did not get back to Barcelona until this summer. I was excited to return to my happy place for two weeks of vacation. I really missed the city because it feels like a second home. Unfortunately, the new network of the Airbus does not include Barcelona with an overnight. In this blog post, I will not only share with you my highlights of my vacation and give you some great insider tips, but also share my experiences during the cruel attack on Las Ramblas.

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Skyline of Barcelona from the air

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Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Barcelona is a great city to do sight seeing. Around every corner, you can discover something new. I recommend renting a scooter to do sight seeing but only when you feel comfortable driving in high traffic situations. Moto rent offers affordable prices. A scooter gives you so much freedom to go to different places in a minimum amount of time.

Since I did already a lot of sight seeing during my past stays, I did not do much this time.

What to do?

Bunkers el Carmel: A must visit if you want to enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona and the sea.  Turó del Carmel is a hill with a bunker on top. Best time is during sunset and sunrise. Take something to drink and don't think you will be alone ;-) The entrance is still free.

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Enjoying the view at Bunkers el Carmel

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Casa Batlló: Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. His architecture is world famous. One of the highlights is the Casa Batlló. I have walked by this townhouse many times before because it is centrally located on the Passeig de Gracia. If you like the outside of the building you should dare look inside. It is really impressive to discover the passion Gaudí has put into this building. I literally was overwhelmed by the beauty that I got glossy eyes. Each guest receives a smart phone as a tour guide and that way you can explore the building also in the virtual reality.

Insider tip: For most famous sights, you can buy tickets online. This way you can skip long lines at the entrance.

 

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Casa Battló on Passeig de Gracia

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Tour guide 2.0 = smart phone

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Boat trip: One of my highlights was a boat trip with Barcelona desde el Mar. I have seen Barcelona many times from the cockpit but to discover this amazing city from the sea was a unique experience. It gave me a whole new perspective of Barcelona. My little cruise lasted around 2 hours and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the sea.

Insider tip: Book the boat "Sa Nina" for yourself and take your friends with.

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My first boat trip in Barcelona / Instagram: @barcelonadesdeelmar

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Sunset cruise in Barcelona / photo by Andrés

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Where to sleep?

During my three months in Barcelona, I lived in a shared apartment in the historic Gotico. It was a great experience to live right in the center of this vibrant city. For this vacation, I stayed at several hotels in different parts of town.

I had the chance to spend part of my vacation in the Arts Hotel Barcelona. Its unique building characterizes the skyline of Barcelona and was first opened during the Olympics in 1992. It belongs to the luxurious hotel chain Ritz Carlton. As a pilot, I have slept in many 5 stars hotels around the world but the Arts Hotel is exceptional. Not only the temporary design but also the great team make the difference.

 

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Pool area of the Arts Hotel Barcelona 

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My executive suite was located on the 26th and offered me over 70 square meters of space and a fantastic view of the city and the beach. At night I could even see the Tibidabo mountain laying in my bed. The hotel itself is located right on the beach and just one kilometer from Barceloneta.

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One bedroom suite in the Arts Hotel Barcelona

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Luxury bathroom of my suite

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Over the weekend I almost did not leave the hotel, so I could enjoy all their facilities. The day typically started with a tasty breakfast. I spend some relaxing hours in a cabana at the pool and became a big fan of the Club Lounge on the 35th floor. This lounge is a bar, restaurant, cafe and relaxing area at the same time. It is like a hotel inside the hotel. It is more private since only few hotel guests have access to it.

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Check out in the club lounge

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Tasty breakfast on the patio of the Arts Hotel

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Do not miss out on the Spa 43, which offers luxury facilities paired magnificent view of Barcelona. Convince yourself in a 360 degrees video from the terrace in 150 meters height. For the first time, it took my VIRB360 of Garmin on a journey.  This compact camera takes your photos and videos to whole new level. Besides a brilliant resolution up to 5.7k/30fps, it shoots in 360 degrees. The viewer can decide himself where he wants to look at and you can even share videos in real time with the VIRB360. Check out my first 360 degrees photo from the cockpit on my facebook page. From now on you have the chance to fly with me in 360 degrees.

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https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1524204674311790/?type=2&theater

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Insider tip: Get a cocktail prepared by Diego. I was lucky to taste some of his creations. He is the funniest and coolest bar tender.

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Best barkeeper in town / Diego Instagram @dondiegobcn 

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If you are interested to stay in Eixample I can recommend the Ohla Eixample hotel. It is a five-star hotel with a minimalistic design and a roof top pool. I stayed in a spacious junior suite. The location grants you close proximity to all kind of different attractions, bars, and restaurants.

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Junior suite of the Ohla Eixample hotel

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Roof top pool in Eixample

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Which season is best to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is great all year around. If you want to enjoy hot weather at the beach then you need to visit during the summer months. But if you come to do sight seeing and to discover the city, then I recommend avoiding the high season. That way touristic places are less crowded and waiting times are less. Additionally you do not have to walk through the city in extreme heat.

Insider tip: Visist Barcelona in the spring or late summer. My favorite months was October. Of course the weather is not that stable, but the city is less crowded and you have the chance to go wave surfing. Additionally the prices for a hotel room are less expansive compared to the summer.

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Magic fountain show

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Where to eat?

Barcelona offers diverse dining options. There is much more than tapas. Catalans eat late. Either be early or make a reservation. Here are my all time favorite places to go:

Väcka: Vegan restaurant and Cafe. Try their vegan classic burger and have a raw treat. Gracia

Teresa’s Carles: Vegetarian food and juices (only indoor/more for dinner) El Raval

Flax and Kale: Healthy restaurant offering a diverse menu (all day) Make a reservation and request a table on their outdoor rooftop garden. Don't miss the brunch on the weekend. El Raval

Surf House: Restaurant right by the beach. The menu offers healthy food but also tasty burger for a cheat day. Try their waffles! Barceloneta

Vinitus: In my opinion one of the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. After 8 pm it gets really busy. You can choose your fresh fish from the display at the bar. Eixample

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Weekend brunch at the Flax and Kale

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Vegetarian restaurant Barcelona / Teresa's Carles

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Petit Brot: completely raw café, daily menus, and juices (breakfast and lunch) El Raval

Casa Gispert: Dried fruits, nuts and so much more. Best dried mangos I ever had. El Born

BeBo cold pressed: Tasty healthy juices, raw snacks (more for to go) Eixample

Barraca: seafood and paella overlooking the beach of Barceloneta (lunch and dinner)

Cafè Jaime Beriestain: high-class food in a concept restaurant (more for dinner) Eixample

Nubafancy restaurant with live DJ, nice interior and outside seating (more for dinner

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona

After a Meet and Greet in Berlin, Munich and Los Angeles, I was excited to meet my Aviators in Barcelona. One day prior my scheduled event the cruel attack happened on Las Ramblas killing innocent victims. I was at the sight just a couple of hours earlier and when it happened I was safe at the beach. The whole city was shocked and frightened that day. In the evening everyone stayed at home and Barcelona turned into a ghost town. But already the next day people were on the street again to make clear that they are not afraid "No tinc por!" This was a great signal to the world and to the terroristic organization. I decided as well not to cancel the Meet and Greet, because this would have been the signal that we restrict our freedom.

Thanks to all my Aviators who came to see me. I was really happy to get to know over 20 people. We met for one hour at Placa Catalunya to have a chat, take photos and to show that we are not afraid. Together we can create a more peaceful world!

 

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona with my Aviators

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Fantastic weather, interesting sights, cultural events, the beach and of course friendly people make Barcelona a perfect vacation spot. You can choose from a great variety of restaurants and hotels. The prices for food are decent, but the hotel prices can be expensive during high season. My dream is still to live in my two favorite cities Berlin and Barcelona!

 

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Enjoying the beach of Barcelona

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In which city could you imagine to live as well? Please comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter with your email below.

Safe travels and happy landings!

your Pilot Patrick 

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flying in airberlin business cass

Air Berlin Business Class Review

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"So sehr ich es auch mag selbst zu fliegen, genieße ich genauso die Zeit als Passagier. Vor allem wenn ich komfortabel per Flugzeug reise. "

Mein letzter Fernflug war letzten Januar in der Business Class mit Lufthansa nach Kapstadt. Deshalb war ich super gespannt mit Air Berlin in deren Business Class für einen spontanen Urlaub in die Karibik zu fliegen. Air Berlin bietet "non stop" Verbindungen von Berlin und Düsseldorf zu verschiedenen Zielen in Nordamerika, Mittelamerika und Abu Dhabi an.

Der Hinflug startete mit einer kurzen Verzögerung in Düsseldorf. Der Flug AB7446 startete um 09:50 nach Punta Cana (PUJ) und landete bereits um 14:30 im Paradies. Der Rückflug AB7315 ging direkt nach Berlin, ankunft war um 16:50.  Lese hier mein Review über mein Flugerlebnis in der Air Berlin Business Class.

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https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/1324275320971394/

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Der Sitz

Da Air Berlin keine First Class anbietet, ist die Business Class deren Premium Produkt. Die Business Class befindet sich im vorderen Bereich von deren A330 langstrecken Flotte. Mit gerade einmal 19 Sitzen ist die Kabine angenehm intim und ruhig. Das ist ein großer Vorteil gegenüber anderen großen Airlines, deren Kabinen um einiges größer und lauter sind. Alle Business Class Sitze haben einen direkten Zugang zum Gang und können in ein flaches Bett umwandeln. Ich bin 1,86 m groß und ich konnte mich komplett ausstrecken. Zwar konnte ich bequem auf dem Rücken und der Seite liegen, allerdings fand ich die Sitzbreite ein kleinwenig zu schmal.

Mein Sitz 4K war an der Außenseite direkt am Fenster gelegen. Dies garantierte noch einmal etwas mehr Privatsphäre und bedingt durch die Krümmung der Kabine etwas mehr Platz für die Schulter. Die Plätze am Gang haben den Vorteil, dass man leichter rein und raus kommt. Die sechs Sitze in der Mitte kann ich nur für Paare, die zusammen reisen empfehlen, da diese sehr nahe beieinander liegen.

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Bedauerlicherweise hat meine Bordunterhaltung (inflight entertainment) weder auf dem Hin- noch Rückflug reibungslos funktioniert. Auch empfand ich die Aufbewahrungsmöglichkeiten für persönliche Dinge als nicht ausreichend. Aber es gibt gute Neuigkeiten von der ITB diese Woche. Air Berlin präsentierte ihren neuen Business Class Sitz, den sie optimiert und noch komfortabler gestaltet haben. Die aktuelle Konfiguration wird ansonsten beibehalten.

Service

Eines der Besten Speise- und Getränkeangebote, die ich bisher an Bord eines Flugzeugs erlebt habe. Die Gerichte waren schmackhaft, warm und schön angerichtet. Das Speise- und Getränkeangebot war reichhaltig, die Auswahl groß. Sehr zufrieden war ich mit der Tatsache, dass ich einen Espresso zu meinem Dessert bestellen konnte und das auf Wunsch Zwischenmahlzeiten serviert wurden. Da der vordere Teil der Kabine klein ist, ist der Service so individual wie in einem Restaurant. Zum servieren der Getränke und Speisen werden keine Trollies benutzt. Meiner Meinung nach gab es auf der Karte zu viele Fleischgerichte. Veganer und Vegetarier können jedoch spezielle Speisen vorbestellen. (Auch in der Economy)

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Entertainment

Die Bordunterhaltung bietet Musik, Show, Spiele, Filme und vieles mehr. Die Auswahl an Filmen ist nicht die Größte, aber sie ist gut genug um einen 10 Stunden Flug zu überstehen. Meine Filmempfehlungen: Suicide Squad und Die Insel der besonderen Kinder. Die Kopfhörer sind angenehm zu tragen und reduzieren die Hintergrundgeräusche recht gut.

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Air Berlin exquisite

Air Berlin bietet allen Passagieren, die ein Economy Ticket gekauft haben, an auf ein Business Class upgrade zu bieten. Dieser online Service nennt sich airberlin equisite. Den Preis kannst Du dabei selbst bestimmen. 12 Stunden vor Abflug wirst Du darüber informiert, ob Dein Gebot erfolgreich war. Ich habe diesen Service schon einmal genutzt und war froh in der Business Class nach Miami geflogen zu sein. Das Upgrade hatte mich ungefähr 500€ gekostet. (ein Weg)

Mein Urlaub startete bereits beim betreten des Flugzeugs. Für mich ist es Luxus, wenn ich mich ausstrecken kann und während des Fluges liegend schlafen kann. Der hohe Preis für die Tickets hat sich definitiv gelohnt, vor allem weil ich nur für sechs Nächte in Punta Cana war. So konnte ich den "jet lag" reduzieren!

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Wo kann man buchen?
www.airberlin.com

Wohin?
Non stop von Berlin und Düsseldorf:  Miami (Mia), Los Angeles (LAX), Abu Dhabi (AHU), New York (JFK), Punta Cana (PUJ), Havanna (HAV )  Cancun (CUN), Chicago (ORD) ...

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Annehmlichkeiten der Business Class

  • Willkommensgetränk
  • Amenity Kit mit Kosmetik
  • Decke und Kopfkissen
  • Speise- und Getränkeauswahl
  • Bordunterhaltung
  • Priority boarding
  • Zugang zur Lounge
  • Höhere Freigepäckmenge

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Insider Tipps

  • Reserve a seat free of charge when booking your ticket
  • Exquisite: Du kannst ein Gebot auf freie Plätze in der Business Class abgeben
  • XL Economy Sitze bieten mehr Platz in der Economy Class
  • Registriere Dich beim Top Bonus Programm und sammle Meilen für Freiflüge

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Wo fliegst Du als nächstes hin?

Dein Pilot Patrick

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