I can’t believe that I have only just been to Barcelona. I mean, I went when I was 8 years old but I don’t remember anything. This was like my perfect European destination! I’ve always been fascinated by Spanish culture; the language, the music and the dancing just to start. Only a short plane journey away and I was engulfed in all of this in Barcelona. Walking through the city one minute, laying on the beach the next. A weekend away with the girls drinking endless sangria and basking in the 30 degree sun was just what I needed!
My recommendations for a long weekend;
Things to do in Barcelona
It would have been wrong of me to come to Barcelona and not visit the infamous Sagrada Família. I remember seeing it being under construction over 15 years ago – and it still is! One of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous pieces of work, and still incomplete, the church is definitely worth a visit. Surround yourself with stunning gothic architecture and beautiful stained glass windows, trust me it’s worth it. We bought our tickets in-advance, online – and this proved better than queuing for a long time to get in.
Park Güell – Viewpoint
When entering the Park we stumbled across this lovely panoramic viewpoint before reaching the monumental area. A short hike up, there is a beautiful view over the city. This area is free and is worth a stop before entering the Monumental area.
After visiting the panoramic viewpoint we walked further and began to see more work designed by Spanish Architect Gaudi. This part of the park, called the Monumental Area isn’t free of charge. You need to purchase tickets – which can be bought online (I recommend doing) or bought there. Be cautious that you have to choose a time frame, and you can’t necessarily get into the area when you arrive.
The most recognisable area is the main terrace with a mosaic bench that wraps round the outside. The bench is perfect because Gaudí designed the bench so that rainwater slides off and people won’t sit in wet patches. This area overlooks more Gaudí designed buildings and the city view. Beautiful , bright coloured mosaics cover the park and are lovely to look at. I fulfilled the dream of my 12 year old self and where the Cheetah Girls did in their second movie lolz!
One great thing about Barca is the contrast between city and beach life. We spent one morning sight-seeing and the next chilling at the beach. Although it is a city beach, I was really expecting it to be much more disgusting in terms of litter and pollution. I was pleasantly surprised! The water was much clearer (great for a refreshing swim) and although busy we easily found a spot to sunbathe. Only downside is all the vendors selling stuff, but it’s easy enough to say no. Plus side: loads of beach bars!!
Food and drink
Before heading to the festival we headed up to the end of La Rambla for some Tapas. Txapela was perfect for some quick, delicious tapas that we could share and definitely filled us up! I think we ordered 5/6 each and a jug of sangria and that definitely gave us our tapa’s fix for the day.
We wanted one nice dinner (not too pricey though) by the beachfront during our stay in Barca. Everyone was keen on Seafood so we ended up here for some delishy fishy and again more sangria. The food came out quickly and they even chucked in some free extras like cake and bread so definitely worth a visit.
We spent our last meal by the harbour having yet again, more tapas and sangria. The selection here was great and the salads were yum. Tapa’s are defo great for sharing, especially when on a budget – you can add things like patata’s brava’s to bulk up the meal too!
This is the main promenade to the left of Barceloneta beach lined with restaurants, bars and clubs. We had one big night out during our weekend away and went to The Coconut Club for delish cocktails. There were plenty of club promoters out on the beach during the day and around the area at night. These guys/gals usually have leaflets and say “free entry before…”. I advise taking the leaflets for the clubs you’re interested in and try your luck at the door (if you haven’t been put on a guestlist already).
We decided to go to Pacha one of the biggest clubs on the strip. With the leaflet we got in for free and danced all night right on the beachfront! Never experienced anything like it!
Hints & Tips
Currency: Euros. We bought these in the UK before we left, but there are plenty of places to exchange money in Barcelona. Also plenty of ATM’s/known banks around.
Language: The primary language spoken in Barca is Catalonian. Of course Spanish/English is generally accepted everywhere.
Getting around: We used the metro to get everywhere or walked. For the metro, we bought a 4 day travel card which was extremely helpful. You can buy different ones online here or just buy them from the metro station (as well as individual tickets).
Overall, I definitely recommend a weekend break in Barcelona! I can’t wait to return to explore more Gaudi, drink sangria and experience more of what Barca has to offer.