I have recently returned home from the short but sweet trip to Barcelona. This city is all types of wonderful, you have the beach, the sun, the sangria, the culture and the food. What more could anyone need?
Where we stayed
We were in Barcelona for 4 days, staying at the Chic&Basic Zoo, which is close to everything and great value for money. The hotels style is in the name, its pretty basic and chic, it’s clean, central and trendy. Really lovely staff, easy to check in and out and just a great comfortable stay. The only thing I would say is that the walls are very thin ! Chic&Basic has various different styles of hotels around Barcelona, so definitely worth a look at all of them!
What to see and do
If you are an explorer and not really a beacher, see all of Barcelona, walk all of Barcelona! It’s all walking distance, of course my feet were in absolute bits and I basically moaned the whole time, however I wouldn’t off seen Barcelona any other way. Everything we saw was about an hour – hour and a half walk away from our hotel. However if you would prefer to save your feet from pain, the metro is super easy and takes about 5/10 minutes to each place and is about €2.50 for a single trip.
If you are more of a beach goer and relaxer but also like to see a bit of culture, Barcelona will be perfect for you ! The absolute must see places you should add to your list are:
- Parc D’atraccions Tibidabo – this has views, a beautiful church and a theme park. You can catch a bus from La Rambla which takes about 30 minutes, from here you will make your way up the mountain, accompanied with windy roads and amazing views! The theme park is around €28, if you would just like to look around the huge church and the park, this is free and completley worth it, if you are terrified of heights like myself, the church is high, so take a quick picture and run back down to safety!
- La Sagrada Famillia – A must, the main picture you see when you search Barcelona. A huge cathedral standing tall in the centre, still being built but the architecture is jaw dropping, so many details to see so make sure to capture them! You can buy tickets to view the inside, we however only saw the outside so I can’t comment on that! Theres plenty of cafes and a small park around the Sagrada Famillia so sit back, grab a hot dog ( they are surprisingly amazing) and take in the views.
- Park Guell – One thing I MUST say about this park, BUY A TICKET BEFORE ! I was so excited to see these gingerbread looking houses, but unfortunately when we arrived to the park ( after I walked up a huge hill ) the tickets were sold out until 8.30pm and the morning after! I was so disappointed. However, fear not you can still walk around the park and you can still take in the beautiful scenery, the bit you pay for is for more of an up close experience of the houses, the marble stairs and balcony. We didn’t get to see the houses from the front, so I would recommend getting the ticket before hand as they are really incredible to look at. It takes a couple of hours to walk around the park ( without a ticket ) so worth the trip.
There is so much to see in Barcelona, but these are my top 3 if you are wanting a more chilled holiday, other than these, check out the roof top bars on the marina which overlooks the impressive yachts and the sea and grab some cocktails by the beach bars – although they are pretty pricey at €12 euros each.
If you would like to see all of Barcelona, as well as above, take a walk along la Rambla and visit the food market La Boqueria, here you will find a million different stalls selling meat, fruit, fish and chocolate. Grab some ham to go or take a seat and take in the atmosphere.
Casa Mila should be the next place to visit, beautiful building with the most remarkable architecture, mosaic walls mixed with balconies made to look like bones. This is a super busy place so maybe avoid mid day to early evening.
Gothic Quarter – This part dates back from the medieval times so be ready for some pretty amazing buildings while walking round. Something I wish I had done was book a bike tour, there was so many of them and when you caught a bit of what they were saying, it made you look at this section of Barcelona completely differently…. have you ever wondered around a historic place and thought … this is amazing, but, what am I actually looking at? I know I have so its seems worth the time.
Aire de Barcelona – If you would like to take a couple hours our of your day ( I suggest the last day of your trip ) this place should be on the list. This spa has 5 different pools, ranging from a very hot pool, a nice swimming temperature pool, two freeeeeeezing pools and a salt water pool ( my absolute favourite ) as well as a jacuzzi and a steam room. The spa is underground in the tunnels, dimly light only with candles and is super quiet, making it the perfect place to relax. There are various spa options to choose from, we chose option one which was just spa access, this cost €39 each, we also paid €12 extra for 2 glasses of cava plus truffles which topped of the relaxation.
Another sight to see would be the Magic Fountain of Montjuic – I found this very similar to Rome, but brick coloured with a lot of fountains. This really is breath taking to see in the day, however sadly cannot comment on it at night as we didn’t get a chance to see the fountains on. So this is more of a suggestion and advice, the fountains turn on from 8.30pm in Winter season and 9.30pm Summer season. Make sure to visit here around these times to have the full effect!
So this is my City break advice for Barcelona, 4 days is enough time to see everything, if you plan to see it all you will most likely be a bit knackered after it all as its quite full on, so maybe 5 days. However if you would just like to have a holiday with a bit of culture on the side, this really is a great place to visit. So go and enjoy the Sangria, the tapas, the cocktails and the fish !