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That Familia Feeling: Egyptian Star Amr Waked Shares His Best Barcelona Hot Spots

Photography Vladimir Marti

Amr Waked, photographed by Vladimir Marti

With starring roles in blockbusters Syriana, Lucy, and Geostorm under his belt, you’d expect to see Egyptian superstar Amr Waked living under the Hollywood sign. Instead, the 45-year-old has made Barcelona his home, fueled in part by his love for the Spanish coast. “The combination of seaside and mountains is very soothing,” he says. So much so that he’s currently working on a new film in the city, as well as taking Spanish lessons. Of course, the home of FCB is also known for its tapas, Gaudí architecture, and sunny weather. Heading there soon? Here are Waked’s favorite spots.

Where to Eat

bar_canete_high-215 Best Barcelona Tips

Image courtesy of Cañete

Cañete: “Barcelona has an incredible variety of restaurants, with plenty of places to try authentic cuisine. I have a very special place I go to for Spanish food, called Cañete. It’s not on the cheap side but the food is exceptional.”

Ciudad Condal: “Ciudad Condal is known for serving some of the best tapas in the city. It’s an indoor restaurant but they also have an outside sitting area, which is beautiful.”

Parco: “If you like seafood, especially Japanese sushi, go to Parco. It’s not cheap but it’s not too expensive either. It’s definitely worth the amazing experience and probably the best sushi I’ve had in Barcelona. I love seafood and this is one of my top places to eat.”

Chez Cocó: “For those who enjoy grilled food, whether it’s chicken, lamb or any meat, then Chez Cocó is a must. Don’t miss the beautiful terrace.”

What to See

Sagrada Familia Best Barcelona Tips

Sagrada Familia

Beaches: “If you’re visiting Barcelona for the first time, you need to go to the beach and at night, go to the clubs – most close at nine or 10 in the morning. My favorite beaches include Playa de Bogatell and the one near the W hotel. It’s not just a beach, it has lots of shops close by; it’s very lively. I like places where I can walk around.”

The Marina: “As well as having lots of great local seafood restaurants, the marina features a number of aquariums. It’s great to see how many species exist underwater that we hardly know about. It makes you realize that we don’t know much about the world – it’s very informative.”

Plaza de España: “Plaza Espanya is famous for its fountain, with music shows every Sunday. It’s a great spot to take photos, especially at night because of all the colorful lights.”

Tibidabo and Figueres: “If you are fond of nature, take a trip to the Tibidabo mountain, which overlooks the whole of Barcelona and the sea. If you travel slightly further up from the mountain it will take you to Figueres, where Salvador Dalí was born. There’s a museum dedicated to him and he’s buried in the crypt below.”

Sagrada Familia: “If you are a fan of Antoni Gaudí, visit Sagrada Familia, an exceptional feat of design by the famous architect. His work can also be spotted along Passeig de Gràcia.”

Where to Shop

The shopping havens of Passeig de Gràcia Best Barcelona Tips

The shopping haven of Passeig de Gràcia

La Roca Village: “It’s about 40 minutes from Barcelona and has outlets for big brands at reasonable prices. It has everything you need, from homeware to fashion.”

Passeig de Gràcia: “A very beautiful and historical shopping avenue in central Barcelona. I like to take walks there. It has close to a hundred shops, you can get almost everything here, from high-end to high street. So you won’t need to go to many places.”

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