Barcelona. You absolute beauty. On the 3rd October, me and Alex hopped on a plane and took a 3 day mini break to Barcelona. It was a bit of a spontaneous trip, as we only booked it a week previous but it was a break that we were both yearning. And I’m so glad we did it. It’s such an amazing city with so much to do and see. Considering it was October, it was reaching 26oC which meant that we were able to take full advantage of the rooftop pool of our hotel and the numerous beach bars that resided along the beach! It was great to have the best of both worlds – relaxing by the pool, having a little sunbathe and take in the views of the city around us and then the chance to go and explore all the amazing sights and experience the city life of Barcelona.
Where we stayed: We stayed in the Vincci Bit Hotel in El Maresme which is situated just on the outskirts of the city towards the east. It’s at the very bottom of one of the huge main streets that run through Barcelona – Avinguda Diagonal. It was more of a residential area and about a 12 minute metro ride into the centre but it was so cute and every street was covered in rows of trees and it made you forget that you were in a city. The hotel itself was about a 10 minute walk from the beach and a 5 minute walk from a huge shopping centre with everything from Sephora to a Primark! It had a rooftop pool and terrace with views including the sea and Sagrada Familia. It was a funky, modern hotel on the inside and I would recommend it but we booked it last minute so if you had more time looking, then definitely do that also!
Things to do:
Sagrada Familia is probably one of the most famous buildings in the world and is definitely on top of the list of must sees. For obvious reasons. The best moment, was coming up the escalator from the metro to turn around and be greeted with such a beautiful and awe inspiring building. Sounds cheesy but I think it did take my breath away. The enormity of it, the architecture, the detail of it just blew me away. The cranes and building work didn’t take anything away from this incredible Gaudi masterpiece and I feel like pictures don’t do it justice. But I still took loads anyway.
Casa Mia – Gaudi’s house is about a 20 minute walk away from Sagrada Familia where you can witness more of his artwork in the form of the shape of the building and the artwork in the balcony railings. It’s on the corner of Passieg de Gracia which is one of the main streets in Barcelona and runs all the way down to Catalonia Square. It’s home to all the designer shops and it really is a beautiful street to walk down with amazing buildings and fountain. Just off Passieg de Gracia is El Nacional a multi zone restaurant, meaning that its divided into 4 different restaurants all offering something different and exciting. We went for tapas (obviously) and it was such a gorgeous building with gorgeous decor. Bit of a blogger haven.
La Rambla starts at Catalonia Square and runs all the way down to the port. It was so busy! There’s so much hustle and bustle with so many things going on – street artists, market stalls selling souvenirs, art, caricatures. However, be careful of pick pocketing! Bars, restaurants, ice cream shops all line either side of the street and offer you some great Spanish cuisine but the best food came from the restaurants that resided in the streets off La Rambla and as you went further away. You just need to let yourself lose and start walking the narrow, Venice like streets and you come across the most gorgeous little squares full of bars offering authentic tapas. We stopped at a restaurant called Bar Lobo, just off La Rambla for a padron pepper pit stop and it had a really chilled vibe.
Park Guell is another must see for more of Gaudi’s famous architecture, beautiful greenery and stunning views of Barcelona. We took the bus up to the entrance of the park as it’s all uphill – bit of a strenuous walk from the metro station but not too bad when you’re coming back down! It was such a beautiful day and you could overlook Barcelona in all it’s glory.
Port Olimpica – this is where you will find the majority of the clubs in Barcelona and they all reside on the beach front, such as Pacha, Shoko and Opium which stay open till about 6am. We ate at a restaurant called Carpe Diem on our first night which offered all the good vibes with it’s decor, low key lighting, Buddhas and views of the sea. It was pricey, but worth it. It was our 3 year anniversary so we spoilt ourselves a little! I got the fillet steak and Alex got the sea-bass – we were not disappointed.
If you want amazing 360 degree sunset views views of Barcelona then we went to the Barcelo Raval Hotel for rooftop drinks. Amazing views of the whole of Barcelona where the sun set over the mountains. It’s situated on Rambla de Raval which is an up and coming area for cool little bars and restaurants so if you do decide on sunset drinks, then definitely explore around that area afterwards!
3 days in Barcelona is definitely not long enough, I can’t wait to return already!