What are the three most important factors of a good stag weekend? In my opinion its good food, good booze and good times, as well as experiencing what the local culture has to offer. Throw in a few fun activities and a couple of nights experiencing the clubs and bars, and you’re onto a winner!
First up, guys have gotta eat, and while some of us are happy to find the nearest fast food joint just to get us through the day (come on, we’ve all eaten a McDonalds or a KFC in a foreign country, admit it), Spain is responsible for some great dishes. Although Valencia is responsible for paella, most Spaniards still consider paella to be a regional dish, you can still find good paella while you’re in Barcelona.
If you’re not a fan of rice and seafood then Tapas could well be the way to go. Essentially a wide range of appetisers, tapas has become popular overseas in recent years, with plenty of dedicated tapas restaurants popping up all over the UK. In Spain tapas is more a snack than a meal, mostly eaten early evening after work; however it is not uncommon to see tapas being eaten and shared in bars throughout the day. The Mediterranean style is apparent throughout as many tapas dishes consist of olives, peppers, olive oil, garlic, prawns, chorizo sausage, fried potato and plenty of other meats.
Now that we’ve covered some traditional Spanish food, what should you choose to accompany your meal and what should you drink afterwards? Sangria is popular, and often served with meals. Sangria is prepared differently almost everywhere you can buy it, but it is generally mixed using wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, such as honey or sugar, and in some cases a splash of brandy as well. Primarily a summer drink, you can usually find sangria on offer all year round in Catalan cities and towns. Be careful when you order as some sangrias can be fairly strong in alcohol content depending on how they’re mixed!
Most cavas are also produced in the Catalan region, with one of the more popular brands Frexinet being perhaps the most widely known or recognised cava brand.
When you hit the bars you’ll most likely know about the popular Spanish beers. San Miguel is the most popular export; I think you would be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of San Miguel. You may have seen Estrella Damm sponsoring the Catalan giants Barcelona CF too. Estrella Damm has been brewed in Barcelona since the late 1800s, and if I’m being honest is pretty tasty!
So that’s the food and the drink (well, booze at least) sorted, so now what are you going to do with the rest of your time on your Barcelona stag weekend?
First of all, if you’re a football fan then a tour of the previously mentioned Barcelona CF stadium, the Nou Camp should be close to, if not on top of your list. Tours are readily available and most can be booked on the day. A tour typically takes in the stadium (which, with a capacity of 100,000 is the largest in Europe); offer a little bit of history and you’ll also see Barca’s ever-growing trophy cabinet. There were only a few years between two of my visits to the Nou Camp and I swear that trophy cabinet almost doubled in size during that time!
The city is well known for its striking architecture, and a day spent walking around Barcelona will provide you with plenty of interesting buildings and structures to admire, and wonder just how they managed to build them in the first instance! The Gothic Quarter isn’t overrun with pale Robert Smith wannabes; instead you’ll find plenty of cool looking buildings and side streets that will provide you with a mountain of decent photo opportunities. The zoo is also worth an afternoon of your time, as are Barcelona’s beaches, if you’re travelling during the summer months.
That’s probably more than enough to get you through a Barcelona stag weekend, combining culture and entertainment has never been so fun!
Lee is Web Content Editor for The Stag Company, the place to book your cracking Barcelona stag weekend, as well as in plenty of other locations in the UK and Europe.