At the beginning of 2019, I renewed my passport as an incentive to do some travelling. As the months passed, a couple of circumstances changed but my desire to travel hadn’t. So I booked Barcelona with my lovely friend Jess for three nights.
We went mid-October which was ideal as it wasn’t boiling hot but not cold either. It was perfect ‘walking around in a t-shirt’ weather. We stayed at the ICON BCN by Petit Palace, a fantastic boutique hotel which was perfect for a girly trip away. As it was such a nice place, we willingly stayed there to eat on the first night as we were worn out from travelling.
On the first day, we wanted to see as much as possible. The first stop was Sagrada Familia, arguably the most well-known attraction in Barcelona. Part of me worried that this building had been so hyped up that I’d be underwhelmed when I saw it in real life. But I needn’t have fretted because it was absolutely breath-taking. In fact, we walked around it twice as it was so mesmerising even though it was unfinished! Not even the construction work or cranes stopped me from admiring it.
Next, we headed to the famous Las Rambla in central Barcelona. Full of culture and beautiful architecture, it’s a typical tourist landmark. I couldn’t wait to go to La Bouqueria, a huge public market bursting with fresh produce, vibrant colours and wonderful smells. If you’re a foodie, a visit here is an absolute must.
Later on, we visited the Gothic Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral, which is another spectacular building. As you can see from the photos, I couldn’t stop looking at it! After spending most of the day sightseeing, we were ready for a pitstop at Barceloneta. Beer (non-alcoholic) & tapas of course!
Following dinner, we had a leisurely stroll and an ice cream at Ciutadella Park before seeing the amazing Arc de Triomf. At this point, we were starting to flag but I was desperate to visit the Palau de la Música Catalana, a glorious concert hall in downtown Barcelona. If we had more time, I would have loved to have had a tour of the inside but I was more than happy to see the building from the outside.
Park Güell was at the top of our list on the second day. As one of the masterpieces of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, I urge you to head here. With the mosaic-covered buildings, stunning architecture and spectacular colours, it is photograph heaven. It’s a bit further out of the city centre but absolutely worth it the trek!
We also stopped by Casa Batlló, which was also designed by Gaudí. Again, it would be rude not to capture this beautiful modernist building. Additionally, tt was lovely to wander around a local vintage market, go shopping at Passeig de Gracia and have lunch at Flax and Kale, a great health food restaurant which I was desperate to try!
The best part of the trip was the company and I loved every minute with Jess. Not only are we the best of friends but we have the similar interests and wanted to get the same out of the trip. I think it’s so important to go on holiday with someone who not only you get on well with but someone who is on the same level as you. For example, it’s pointless going away with a party animal if you want a chilled out holiday. Luckily, Jess and I both wanted adventure, sightseeing, good food and lots of walking!
Overall, Barcelona is the ideal place if you’re the sort of person who likes a “bit of everything” in their city break. From landmarks to beaches to shopping to art to museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy. My favourite places to visit were Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and Casa Batlló, purely for their magnificent architecture. La Boqueria was also a highlight, it was the best market I’ve ever seen! If I ever went back, I’d make it a priority to go on a tour inside the Palau de la Música Catalana but as I said, I’m still glad I saw the building. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Camp Nou either. I’m not an avid football fan but both my dad and stepdad are so it would have been cool to report back to them about it! Maybe next time, Barca!