Spain, had always been on my travel to-do list. But it wasn’t until January 2018 that I’d actually made plans and visited, despite its proximity to the UK. This surprise trip to Barcelona that Dan organised, come at a much needed time. We only visited Barcelona for two nights/ three days but managed to cram in a lot during our two night/ three day trip. So if you’ve never been to Barcelona and need a helping hand when it comes to what to see, eat and do on your first trip to the city, keep reading.
Catch a glimpse of Sagrada Família
For those interested in Gaudí’s work the Sagrada Família is a must for those visiting Barcelona. Or even if you’re not too familiar with his work, the Basilica is an impressive sight. Gaudí spent over forty years of his life working on the project until his death, but even by the point it was no where near complete. Construction is still happening to this day, and has been taking place since the first stone was laid in 1882. According to their website, construction could be finished during the first third of the 21st Century, so there’s still a way to go.
Visit Castle Montjüic
We visited Castle Montjüic on our last (and sunniest) day in Barcelona. Getting there is a bit of a trek as it’s located high above the city, but it makes for a great viewing spot of Barcelona. Take a book, some food and some drinks and you’ll be set for the day. I’ll have to say that this was one of the highlights of the trip and a must do if you want to experience a different way of seeing the city.
Practical things to note. You can catch the cable car to the top or walk about 25 minutes uphill to get there. Or if you’re carrying six tapas dishes, three days worth of clothes and are full of bread, pastry and potatoes you can hail a cab too. Admission costs only €5 but if you’re 29 and younger it will only cost you €3. If you’re on a tight budget and are not too fussed about visiting the castle you can just explore the area surrounding it, whilst still getting views of the city and the castle.
Wander off the beaten path
During our time in Barcelona we spent a lot of time walking around, slightly lost, slightly sure of which way we were going. It was a great way to see the city. We had nowhere we had to be, so spent time walking around the quieter residential streets. The ever present flags and window boxes full of plants were lovely to see and you can imagine when summer is in full swing in the city, flowers would be blooming in the windows and people would be sitting out on their balconies catching the sun.
Eat tapas and pintxos
And finally, food. Tapas (small appetiser dishes) and Pinxtos (snacks on tiny pieces of bread) can be found everywhere in the city. Whether it’s along Las Ramblas or down a quieter road you’ll find a number of places offering this. We headed to Blai Street which I’d found out is known as the Tapas Street in Barcelona. Dishes start from €1 and you’ll find a variety of meats on bread, croquettes and of course patatas bravas. You can stick to one place or jump from bar to bar, it’s entirely up to you.
Just a note if you don’t eat meat like us, I’d recommend doing a lot of research on where to get good food. We found a lot of places only offered one or two veggie dishes and the one veggie restaurant we visited had a lot of choice but the food was only average. So if anyone has any recommendations let me know.
Explore Park Güell
Another must do for Gaudí fans is Park Güell. Located a little way out of the centre you’ll find lots of open green space, another great view of the city and lots of mosaics. The entrance fee covers the Monumental Core, where you’ll see the Consergeria, the Casa Del Guarda and the Monumental flight of steps, which are of course covered in colourful mosaic designs. But you can skip the entrance fee if you wish and walk around the grounds for free. We did pay admission but ended up spending more time walking around the park than in the Monumental Core section.
We had a relaxing few days experiencing the city of Barcelona and we saw and ate a lot. If you’ve recently been to Barcelona where did you visit?
Until next time.