Barcelona, it is definitely one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Maybe you are planning a weekend break away there, or are reading this for a little bit of holiday inspo!? This blog shares with you the must sees for this stunning and quirky city.
1.) PARTY AT GATSBY'S:
So we arrived in Barcelona Saturday late afternoon. We hopped on the 'Aeropuerto bus' which was only about 5 euros each and headed in the city. The drive wasn't too long, and the coach was well air conditioned, so if you are unsure where to start when you arrive, look out for one of these buses, as they come and go every 10 minutes! (Such a bonus!)
We spent our first evening at Gatsby's, I booked a table there a few months back before our trip to surprise my boyfriend; so if you want to dine there, booking is essential, as they get extremely busy. We weren't used to the Spanish tradition of eating late at night, so we were very pleased with the service of the restaurant and how quickly the food arrived.
We actually managed to walk straight past Gatsby's initially, then realised our mistake after consolidating google maps. The outside of the venue does not do it justice. As we stepped into Gatsby's, we arrived pretty much soon as it had opened, so it was a little quiet, but the decoration was amazing. It felt smaller than what I expected, but I definitely preferred this as it felt more cosy and welcoming.
We decided to go for the set menu, and began with a tapas starter, it was slightly out of my 'food comfort zone', but it was good to try something new! The main meal was amazing and so flavoursome. The set menu included a bottle of wine, (which somehow seemed to last forever!) Throughout the night we were accompanied by various performances for the show, and after each one we could feel the venue getting busier and livelier. Before we knew it the DJ came out, and the restaurant effortlessly ceased into one of the best clubs I've ever been too! (One more song I kept saying to my boyfriend, as all of our favourite songs rolled out, each time we said we were going to go, we were caught up into the next song!) As we were only staying four nights and had so much planned for the next day, it seemed sensible not to stay out too late.
At 2 am we arrived back to our hotel, which was only a 15 minute walk away. Maybe it was a little later than anticipated. It was definitely worth it though!
If you are planning to go out clubbing in Barcelona I would definitely recommend the clubs around this area- don't get caught up in Las Ramblas with someone trying to sell you some dodgy ticket, that takes you on some bus with a load of other tourists!
Check out Gatsby Barcelona online:
2.) VISIT HISTORIC SPAIN AT POBLE ESPANYOL:
I spent quite a lot of time googling and researching different things to see in Barcelona, and decided to buy tickets online to see this old Spanish town. Filled with historic buildings, shops and restaurants, maybe I wouldn't say it was completely worth 12 euros each, but it did have a couple of 'instagrammable' spots, and some nice scenery to look at. I had read some reviews online about the place, so gave it a try. We went in the day time, and got a drink at a cute little cafe, however it would be interesting to see what the old town looks like at night time. If you do plan to go here, book in advance online as it is a lot cheaper and you can choose what date to go for, 7 days after the day you book it for. Check out the website online at:
3.) SEE THE VIEWS AT MONTJUIC CASTLE:
If you want some pretty cool views of Barcelona I would definitely recommend visiting here. We went on the Sunday after visiting Poble Espanyol, and a bus ride later we arrived. On the first Sunday of every month the entrance is actually free after 3 pm, so it is something nice to see and do in the afternoon. (As Barcelona can get pretty expensive!) Unfortunately for us it was pretty hot, so walking around here was quite tiring. We got the cable car down, which was really beautiful, and got some more magical views of Barcelona.
See what's on and check the opening times for the castle at:
4.) SPEND AN EVENING AT THE MAGIC FOUNTAIN:
This is a must! I came across this whilst researching some things to do in Barcelona, and it definitely impressed me and was so much better than my expectations! We checked out the magic fountain schedule and visited it Sunday evening at 9:30pm! The magic fountain was absolutely beautiful, maybe even better than the fountain display in Vegas! (Sorry Vegas!) The display seemed to last a long time, at least over half an hour, the colours and lights were mesmerising! For those travelling as a couple this was such a romantic spot!
Above: wearing the Riara Black Bodysuit, available at BECCI Fashion, order at: www.beccifashion.com
See the fountain show times and dates at: www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com
5.) BE AMAZED BY PARK GÜELL:
If you are going to Barcelona, Park Güell is a typical tourist spot, but you shouldn't miss it! Gaudí's work here is incredible, and although the park was very busy when we visited, the attention to detail was great! I would recommend getting a guided tour here, as you can understand what the park is all about and its history, and you don't have to wander round aimlessly or miss anything important. Although we only just made it on time for our guided tour, definitely allow yourself plenty of time to get here- as even getting off at the nearest metro station, you still have about a 2o minute walk.
Which is mainly uphill, (it is so steep they have actually put in escalators!)
So we ran most of the way to make it on time for our tour, even for an overcast day the weather was boiling, but we made it!
6.) GO TO THE TOP OF THE TOWER AT THE SAGRADA DE FAMILIA:
We stepped out of the metro station to see this beauty, and suddenly you turn around and BANG this massive church is here. I don't think I have ever seen a building so impressive and once again with so much detail! I booked our tickets in advanced for the Sagrada, and if you pay a little extra you get to go up one of the towers, which again is definitely worth the view! We went up the Nativity tower which was really beautiful to see the view of the city. Inside the church they give you an audio guide so you get to learn about its history, which is really interesting. The amount of work that has gone into this church (and still is going into it), is just breathtaking. It's a must see!
7.) TAKE A STROLL BY THE HARBOUR:
We decided that for the evening on Monday we would go down to eat by the harbour. We asked our hotel receptionist about where the best places are, though our only advice was being told where the cheap and expensive restaurants were. The harbour was really beautiful in the evening and as the sun came down we walked to the beach to have a glimpse of what it looked like. (Even fairly late at night people were swimming in the sea!) The harbour is a lovely spot for a romantic meal out.
8.) EAT, EAT & EAT AT THE MERCAT DA LA BOQUERIA:
Tuesday morning we headed down to the market, next to Las Ramblas. What a shock! I don't think I have ever seen so much fresh food! (Even the crabs and lobsters were still alive!) We visited the market at about 9:30am so it was pretty quiet still, as later in the day it gets extremely crowded! It is worth having a stroll around here, and if you are staying in Barcelona with the option of self catering, some of the fresh fish should definitely be tried out!
9.) GET LOST AROUND THE GOTHIC QUARTER:
Okay, don't literally get lost, but there are so many cool streets to explore down! The Gothic Quarter is a pretty awesome place to visit in Barcelona, where you can wander around the lively streets and admire the unusual architecture; and of course have a look in a few interesting shops! One of the highlights around the gothic quarter for me was returning there in the evening and enjoying a romantic meal at one of the nearby squares. The Gothic Quarter becomes very popular at night, and again there is such a great atmosphere within its bustling streets. After our meal out we headed to one of the impressive Gelato shops, which was named 'Gelaaati Di Marco' , make sure you visit it if you are around in this area!
10.) SHOP INDEPENDENT AT VILLA DE GRACIA:
If you are on the hunt for some independent shops to bring back some 'not so tacky' souvenirs that Las Ramblas has to offer, then check out the area of Villa de Gracia. This place has a few small independent shops, including a beautiful handmade jewellery store called 'PIA'. The stores aren't massive and you have to hunt around a bit to find what you like, but some of the shops stock some really beautiful clothing, that feels a little more special than buying a garment from one of the many thousands of Zara shops in Spain. Around the streets they also have some really cool art work and graffiti, which always makes a good photo!
11.) SHOP 'TILL' YOU DROP AT PASSEIG DE GRACIA:
Down the street of Passeig de Gracia there lots of luxury shops to take look in! We had a look in some designer shops, such as Chanel and GUCCI so I could get some fashion inspiration, as I am studying fashion at university. However if you walk further down the street there are also more high street shops to see such as Berska, which we don't have in the UK, and then shops like Zara and H & M. Passeig de Gracia is a really beautiful area too as there lots of interesting buildings to see, such as Casa Batlló.
12.) EAT FRESH AT THE MARKET:
My final 'to do' if you intend to go to Barcelona is to experience lunch at the Mercat da la Boqueria. As you enter, on the right side, there is a restaurant where you can sit at the bar, drink Cava, and enjoy some super fresh seafood. Surprisingly, you also feel a bit like a local, as it is such a small little stall, that maybe not that many people know about. You can see the people working there make the food and paellas right in front of you which is pretty fun to watch!
I really enjoyed my visit to Barcelona, and really can't wait to go again! Hopefully this blog has inspired you to give this busy but beautiful city a try!