Ryan Craggs

Correspondent

  • New York City, New York, USA

Ryan Craggs is a correspondent who lives in New York City and covers Cleveland, Madrid and Barcelona for Forbes Travel Guide. Craggs grew up outside Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, he stumbled into journalism while teaching English in Madrid. He has lived and worked in Chicago, Rome and New York as a reporter, editor and TV correspondent. His favorite place in the world is atop the terrace in Barcelona’s Park Güell — or, perhaps snacking on jamón in Madrid after a tour of the Reina Sofia. He has been lost in the Sahara Desert without shoes

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  • On August 16, 2012
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    What are the five best Barcelona food experiences?

    You’ll be hard-pressed to find a place with food as varied and fresh as Barcelona; its location on the Mediterranean and closeness to the mountains give the city the best of both the land and sea. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best food experiences in Barcelona:
     
    1. La Boqueria. You name it, and if it’s indigenous to Catalonia and edible, you’ll find it at the famous La Boquiera. This expansive market sells the freshest fruits, vegetables and seafood around — and you can even have your purchases prepared in corners of the market, so you can nosh while you shop around.
     
    2. Pa amb tomàquet. It sounds simple — bread with tomato — and that’s what makes pan con tomate beautiful. Find yourself a restaurant with terrace seating and enjoy this typical dish that squashes and spreads tomato over the bread, topping it off with ham, sausage or cheese.
     
    3. Arròs negre. While in Barcelona, don’t shy away from black rice, a variation of paella made with squid’s ink. Each region has its own take on paella, and Catalonia’s specializes in seafood. The squid’s ink isn’t like many ingredients you’ll ever have — and that’s why it must be tried.
     
    4. Cava. If you’re at all into wine, then you must drink like the locals by sipping on a glass of cava, the Spanish version of Champagne. What better place to have Spain’s sparkling wine than in the very place from which it hails?
     
    5. Crema Catalana. Similar to the French dessert crème brulee, crema catalana is a custard dish traditionally served on St. Joseph’s Day. The custard is often flavored with lemon, orange zest or cinnamon, and the sugar is traditionally caramelized with a special iron broiler, as opposed to the crème brulee technique under an open flame.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Ryan Craggs answered the question: Ryan Craggs

    Where is the best nightlife in Barcelona?

    Forbes Travel Guide editors say the best nightlife in Barcelona is in the neighborhood of Eixample. There you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, depending on what sort of evening you’re looking for. If you want to dance, or even to learn to dance, head to Antilla BCN Latin Club, where classes are offered earlier in the evening. If sitting on a veranda and sipping vino is more your scene, there are a handful of upscale wine bars with a great selection of bottles and glasses. Or to see and be seen, VIPs know that Otto Zutz, a local disco with nightly DJs, is the place to go.
     
    And of course, you’ll find a slew of bars and clubs near the sea, including an outpost of Gimlet, a terrific cocktail bar, and CDLC Club, one of Barcelona’s most exclusive clubs, which fills up with yacht owners and jet-setters.
  • On August 16, 2012
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    What is the best way to see Barcelona in one day?

    The best way to see Barcelona in one day will be jam-packed, so our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend that you wake up early. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, as the sun will rise over the Mediterranean Sea, beckoning you to start your day.
     
    Head to Cafe de l'Opera (just across from Liceu Opera House) to enjoy a cup of coffee in the heart of Las Ramblas. While you’re in the area, stop by La Boqueria, a public market, and peruse the fresh fruits, vegetables and fish — and if you’re already hungry, grab a snack of fresh olives, meat and homemade pizza slices. From there, beeline to  architectural feat Casa Milà to get your first taste of Gaudí for the day.
     
    After that, go for the gusto and ride to the top of La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece cathedral, before heading up to Parc Güell, a garden complex designed by Gaudí, where you can rest for a bit while looking out toward the sea.
     
    At this point, you’ll need a lunch break; we recommend Passadís del Pep, a relaxed restaurant in Pla de Palau specializing in fresh seafood. From there, head to the Gothic Quarter to check out the Museu Picasso, which houses more than 3,500 works by the prolific artist. If you have time, catch a few afternoon rays by the seaside and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Do a little shopping in the shopping district Portal de l’Àngel so that you have a few things to bring home, then get yourself prepped for a night out.
     
    Consider noshing on a few tapas-style snacks, which aren’t native to Catalonia but have become increasingly popular. Then enjoy a long dinner, and if you can stomach it, get ready to hit the town — the best spots are in Eixample. Relax in a wine bar or lounge or dance in the local clubs. Most people won’t show up until 1 a.m., so don’t worry if you think you’re running late, and don’t hesitate to hop from place to place. As your night winds down, don’t be surprised if the sun is already coming up again over the Mediterranean Sea — such is the way when you’ve only got 24 hours to spare in a city like Barcelona, with so much to do.
  • On August 16, 2012
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    Where is the best shopping in Barcelona?

    The best shopping in Barcelona isn’t constricted to just one street or area; really, you have a number of different shopping streets to stroll through, and likely not enough time to get to all of them.
     
    In Ciutat Vella, Portal de l’Àngel is a pedestrian street that offers loads of stylish shops such as Zara, Mango and Massimo Dutti, along with a huge El Corte Inglés. El Raval has a really diverse community, and with that comes interesting boutique shopping — so if you desire something wholly unique, this may be your best bet. And many of the highest-end designers calls Avinguda Diagonal home, including Armani and Gucci. If you’re after a more American experience, Diagonal Mar has more than 250 stores, a movie theater and activities for kids, along with a great view of the Mediterranean.
     
    But the best advice our Forbes Travel Guide editors have about shopping in Barcelona is to wander. Each neighborhood and street, even close to the most frequented tourist spots, has its own feel and vibe. Your sense of adventure is the only thing stopping you from coming home with clothes, art or accessories no one else will have.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Ryan Craggs answered the question: Ryan Craggs

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Barcelona?

    The Mediterranean climate, sea front and rich culture in Barcelona add up to an endless wealth of activities for you and your kids. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the five best things to do with your family in Barcelona:
     
    1. The beach. Sure, it may seem simple — but that’s the best part. Dig your toes into the sands along the Mediterranean with a beachfront that stretches from Barceloneta past Vila Olímpica and enjoy a number of water sports in the temperate sea.
     
    2. Rent a bike. Bikes aren’t just for kids getting around the neighborhood. The weather in Barcelona is typically so nice that you can tour the city on two wheels, with loads of rental options throughout the city. And if your kids are a little older, you might even consider renting a Vespa to scoot around in.
     
    3. CosmoCaixa. This interactive science museum makes learning a hands-on experience. Kids will enjoy a number of different permanent exhibits, such as the touch and play exhibit and the planetarium, and temporary exhibits, such as Techno Revolution, which teaches kids all about brain waves.
     
    4. Camp Nou. FC Barcelona has been one of the most successful teams in Europe over the last decade, and you can watch greats such as Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and three-time reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
     
    5. Musical fountains. From May through October, the fountains in Plaça d’Espanya light up in spectacular fashion with shows lasting 30 minutes, starting at 8:30 p.m. and running through 11 p.m. Shows run Thursdays through Sundays only.