I recently got back from the best holiday in Barcelona with my boyfriend and two of our friends, and I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about it! I love a good mini break, I tend to go on lots of little holidays throughout the year rather than longer ones as I just feel like you get to experience so much more of the world, and get to see it for the same price; sometimes cheaper! We chose Barcelona as our next destination after having a look at Skyscanner – a flight comparison website. (This post is not sponsored by the way, I’m just a fan!) We always search flights leaving from any London airport, and going “everywhere” as you’re then shown flights in price order. We had a pick out of the most affordable places and thought, you can absolutely never wrong with Barcelona! As this was my second time in Barcelona we’ve now got a really decent round-up of all things you absolutely need to check out on your next holiday there. Without further ado, here is what we got up to!
We decided to book an air bnb for this holiday – in European cities at least, it is such a good way to save some money over booking hotel rooms. It’s also really nice to have the communal living room areas with the rest of your party, and our flat had a gorgeous balcony which we enjoyed some drinks on – on a few occasions. I think if you’re going far away from home or in cities that seem a little more risky/unknown to you, hotels can add an extra sense of security. Whilst it’s good to be aware everywhere, hopping over to Barcelona after was a great way for us to make the most of the deals as we know the good spots and what to expect. It was right in the middle of the gothic quarter whilst still being only around 10-15 minutes walking distance to the beach and la rambla – Ubers are also super cheap in Barcelona so it was really quick and easy getting to the further away points.
We flew from London at about midday, so made perfect time for check-in. We headed straight for the flat and settled in before having a stroll to the beach as we were so close. There are always a huge amount of sales people taking up the floor around the beach – whilst it can feel intimating we didn’t notice too much being in a group. (Obviously these people are in most cities and seaside towns, it’s never normally an issue, but about 100 all at once did seem a lot haha, just something to note!) As we walked along the beach we found lots of gorgeous open-plan hut/shack restaurants. Such a beach vibe so we decided to go ahead and grab a drink, whilst taking in the sea breeze. Most of these places are super expensive, but I’d say they’re definitely worth stopping at for one or two – feeling the sand beneath your feet as you sip on a cocktail is definitely a winner to me.
We set back in the direction of the flat hoping to find a restaurant on the way, and stumbled into the loveliest hotel bar – with a roof terrace overlooking the Marina. We ordered a bunch of sides and some more drinks and talked the evening away for a few hours. I don’t know what exactly it is about rooftop bars but they just do something to me! We visited a few more bars we spotted on the way back – including a craft beer place which was just perfect for one of our friends. If you’re into craft beer, Barcelona have so many options worth checking out! We decided to see Las Ramblas at night and bought some GIANT sangrias and beers – it was a boozey first night hahaa.
We spent the next morning wandering around la rambla in the daylight and bobbing through amazing markets – so much fresh fruit and sooo many colours! I would love to go on a food crawl through here, but even if you’re not buying it’s so worth checking out and taking some snaps. We grabbed the most ridiculously massive slice of pizza and headed to Park Guell which was top of my to do list.
It was for sure my highlight of our whole trip! We didn’t get to go in the lizard mosaic area as it was all booked up; it is beautiful to see but as I had seen it before I wasn’t too disappointed. We ended up hiking to the absolute top part of the park and wow. Those views. I pulled all my non-existent muscles walking up here and my legs hurt for the entire rest of the trip.. but it was worth it! So worth it. We sat and chatted for ages at that top point and I recommend everyone who has the chance to go and see it! It’s a very steep climb, but you can get an Uber to the highest entrance point to save on some of the walking. (A good tip if you’re completely unfit like me!) We were saying how lovely this peak would be with a picnic, seeing the whole city below you slowly light up at night! Next time we will come more prepared!
We checked out the Hard Rock cafe to get our obligatory hurricane souvenir glasses, watched the fountain show dance away and ended up in a shisha bar close to our airbnb. Check our guides for all the names and recommendations because they are so lovely to check out! (Although I can never help but cough like a madman when having Shisha – just me? I can’t get used to the feeling!) We got a quick cheap bite to eat at a pasta bar (Macchina Pasta bar) – which is well worth a visit if you’re looking for a cheap delicious meal. Everything is so fresh and cooked there and then for you, and you can mix and match all the sauces, pasta choices and toppings.
We spent the next day ticking off some more bucket list places you absolutely must see in Barcelona. Our first port of call was the Sagrada Familia – what an epic masterpiece of architecture. Sadly we didn’t quite plan this one right and hadn’t pre-booked tickets. The queue would have taken about 2 hours so we decided to get a bunch of shots from the outside instead, next time we’re here we will definitely be going in! As this is such an old building you often see a whole load of cranes over the place (which is why I hid in the trees for this picture!) but it’s still so worth seeing. They often have to redo parts and touch things up to keep it safe, so there’s usually not a set end time to seeing this without the cranes.
From here, we hopped over to a house designed by Gaudi – Casa Batllo. You’re spoilt for choice by all the beautiful things he designed in Barcelona, and there are so many Gaudi inspired designs all over. We visited over a special event so got to admire all those roses. It’s still so stunning to see without any additions but we especially enjoyed the addition for our visit! We had a tour inside the house, went through all the rooms and roof terrace, and hopped to a gorgeous American style bar full of games and great food afterwards. Check out the Barcelona food guide for more on that!
The next day we had a late afternoon flight home, so we checked out of our flat and asked to leave our cases there for a couple of hours – which was all fine thankfully! We strolled back to the beach and had a look at all the sand sculptures. Some of them are absolutely genius and you can’t help but stare! If you do enjoy them and take any pictures you should leave a tip – the people here are lovely and they’re so worth it. We ate at a beach front bar and visited the Ciutadella Park. You are actually spoilt for choice for lovely parks in Barcelona, and we wished we’d realised this earlier in the holiday! We could happily have had a picnic here a day, enjoying all the water features and greenery.
Check out our Barcelona guides for a bucket list, things you definitely need to eat and do, and we’ll see you soon!!