Barcelona is the kind of place you will struggle to see everything in one go, there is so much to do and see! If you are planning a weekend break like me the best advice I can give is be organised. Pick what you really want to see so you don’t try to cram too much in and end up needing a holiday to recover from your holiday! To avoid being exhausted on my trip I had the perfect balance between sight seeing and relaxing by choosing a hotel with a roof top pool. I stayed in the Hotel Jazz which I would highly recommend both for the hotel it self and its location.
The whole of Barcelona is one big art gallery thanks to the very famous Antoni Gaudi and the amazing views. The big Gaudi sights are something everyone wants to see these are:
- La Pedera – Adult Tickets from 22€
- Parc Güell – Adult Tickets from 7€
- Casa Batllo- Adult Tickets from 23€
- La Sagrada Familia – Adult Tickets from 15€
All of these are magnificent from the outside but if you want to see the inside I would recommend booking tickets online at least one day prior to your visit. Not only is this cheaper, if you don’t pre book a time slot you may risk the whole day being sold out and your journey to the destination wasted!
The park in particular is a long way from the centre of Barcelona so getting there and not being able to see the famous sights could be frustrating even though you can wander the beautiful park. Personally I would recommend the Parc Guell and La Pedera, Casa Batllo and La Sagrada are much more impressive on the outside than the inside and in my opinion the price and the queue isn’t worth it unless you plan on going up one of the famous La Sagrada towers.
Other amazing sights are Montjuic and the magic fountains, this impressive palace is now a art gallery which is completely free and worth a visit to escape from the city heat. This area is close to the old Olympic Village and the Las Arenas shopping centre which is an old bull fighting ring converted into a shopping centre and viewing platform for amazing views of the city.
The Montjuic Fountains become their own attraction at night known as the magic fountains, the timings for shows this summer are as below:-
06 January – 16 February: Closed
01 April – 31 May: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 – 22:00
01 June – 30 August: Wednesday – Sunday: 21:30 – 22:30
01 September – 31 October: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 21:00 – 22:00
01 November – 31 March: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 20:00 – 21:00
Another great thing to see is the impressive cathedral which is also a main attraction of Barcelona, the cathedral is in a large square with buskers and an antiques market.
Food and Drink
As Barcelona is a vibrant city there are so many options for food and drinks. There is of course tapas options every where but some are definitely better than others. The main area’s to eat and drink are Las Ramblas, Plaza Real and the Marina. Las Ramblas is always really busy and the best spots are just off the main streets, you can find a location that works for you, from quiet intimate squares, hidden gems on side streets to the big bussing Plaza Real, there is something for everyone. These are my top recommendations in Barcelona:-
Las Ramblas Tapas – Bar Lobo
Marina Tapas – Restaurante Hispano Barcelona
Fine Dining – Arola Restaurant
Plaza Real Tapas – Les Quinze Nits – The Tapas here was amazing but the main meals were a let down, if you visit here be prepared for delicious but small plates.
Plaza Real Italians – Restaurante Italiano Rossini
Other than the main sights listed above there are some things you cannot miss when in this amazing city. These little extra’s might just make your trip.
Cocktails at the W
The W hotel is the best location for sunset cocktails, with views of the city and the beach the W makes for a memorable night and amazing pictures. The cocktails and the food are also great, it’s the perfect place to start your evening.
Salsa in the Old Town
Barcelona’s Old Town comes alive at night with cocktails and music, it’s the best place to let your hair down. I headed to a local Salsa club with no idea what to expect, we headed to Bendita Salsa which was a small bar with a live band. The local’s and the band were amazing, helping to teach novice’s like me but were also amazing to watch when they found a partner that would keep up. I would recommend experiencing this amazing night to anyone!!!
Although I didn’t know this festival was taking place during my stay in Barcelona I am so pleased i got to see it. The whole city is taken over by this festival at night with fireworks filling the sky! The streets are very busy with people are setting fire works off everywhere and the next day is a national holiday with all shops and some restaurants closed so if you are visiting during the next Sant Joan festival bear that in mind. The whole city is one big party, locals dress as devils and run round squares and the beach with fire crackers and DJ’s play late into the night. This festival was a great bonus to my trip.
Love Lottie xoxo