Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Quick Guide to visiting Barcelona

Destination: Barcelona
Travel Companions: (1st time: Jennifer; 2nd time: Maria, Sandy, Nancy and Elie; 3rd time: Bechara, Marie and the little Rafael)
Duration: 5 days
Budget: 550$ (excluding flights)

 
When I visited Barcelona back in 2011, I wasn't writing down any travel tips. But fortunately, I went back again two more times, so hopefully there's enough to help you plan a trip to Barcelona with some quick recommendations and must do's.

La Sagrada Familia


1) Where to stay

I recommend staying a bit further from La Rambla, but still close to a bus stop / metro station. It will be cheaper, less noisy but still easily accessible. Barcelona is big, so get on airbnb or booking and find a suitable place close to a bus stop / metro station. The second I went, we stayed in La Rambla and was quite noisy at night.

Beautiful shot of Barcelona by Bechara (Instagram)


Old Part of Barcelona

2) Things to do

Roads trips from Barcelona to surroundings (such as Costa Brava):
  • Figueres / Cadaques (Dali's hometown, Dali's museum), can be done in a day but better to stay over for one night. More on this road trip that my friends and I did 3 years ago in this post.
  • Tossa de Mar
  • Pals
  • Girona (Day Trip)
  • Montserrat (Day Trip)
  • La Pertusa
  • And well many many more!
Girona
Pals
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar
Montserrat
Pals. Photo by Bechara (Instagram)

 

 3) How to move around

We rented a car over two days, first day we did a stop in Girona then drove to L'Escala where we stayed for the night and on the way back we passed by Pals and Tossa de Mar. They all have medieval towns, lots of history and in Girona, some places will be familiar to you if you are a Game of Thrones fan. You can do most of them over two days as well. A difficult thing will be to find a place to park your car in Barcelona city though. So try to rent the car from near a the train station and then return it there.

Hop-on Hop-off bus pretty much takes you to most of the stops listed below. You can also use the metro and bus system, very easy to use, specially that now Google Maps tells you exactly their schedule.

Old Barcelona

4) Places to visit

  • La Sagrada Familia (Book tickets online, and get an audio guide so you really understand the genius behind Gaudi's architecture)
  • Camp Nou (worth a visit if you're a football fan, you can get there by metro or even use the hop
  • Park Guell (website
  • Walking around Barcelona, you'll be able to see specific Gaudi buildings. For a more detailed list, you can check this website.
  • La Rambla street
  • Arc de Triomf
  • Flamenco Show (I recommend this place "Palau Dalmases - Espai Barroc", the dancers were incredible)
  • Picasso Museum
  • Barceloneta Beach
  • Park de la ciutadella
  • And the old area below is a must visit, plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.
Park Guell


Flamenco Performance at Palau Dalmases which is situated in the old area
The old Palace where we saw the Flamenco show

Gaudi Building
Sagrat Cor de Jesús. Photo by Bechara (Instagram)

5) What to eat

  • Tapas
  • Basque-style Tapas (yes there's a difference)
  • Seafood
  • Paella
  • Chocolate Con Churro 
  • Jamon

Barcelona Food
Specific restaurants to go to that we tried and liked:
  • La Barceloneta (Fish!)
  • Picnic
  • El Fornet D'en Rossend (more on Breakfast places in 6 cities
  • Brunch & Cake Rosselló (great presentation, average food)
  • Ice Cream at La Lletera in Girona
  • Irati Taverna Basca (for Basque-style Tapas)
  • La Placeta in Tossa de Mar
  • MariscCo Paella Restaurant at the Plaça Reial in La Rambla - We recommend the lobster Paella
Know what I mean when I say seafood? This was in La Placeta.
Never say no to Dessert!

6) What to drink


Barcelona has this amazing scene of talented bartenders who make crazy and awesome looking cocktails. There's a whole show to it as well so try to be at the bar. Two places we went to and enjoyed are:
  • Paradiso
  • Dr. Stravinsky

Paradiso: The bartenders were on fire!
 #FROMBARCELONAWITHFUNK (Instagram)

If you're also heading to Madrid, here's a quick guide for Madrid!

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