If you’re looking for a great place to chill out, I have the one for you.
We decided to book a family trip to Barcelona – my sister and myself, our boyfriends, our dad and my boyfriend’s parents. When I was looking for apartments, one came up in Badalona which I could see was just outside of Barcelona. The more I looked at it, the more I realised it was absolutely perfect for the type of holiday we could make from it. We booked up for 5 days, and decided to make this a combination trip: beach holiday and city break.
I don’t travel in any great sort of style – I like to be comfortable and functional! Here are my handbag essentials!
I like a good book for holidays like this and at the moment I’m enjoying exploring personality traits and their effect on our lives in Mini Ikonn’s book (I love her and her husbands Instagrams/YouTube’s!). I always carry my sunglasses for that beautiful moment when you walk off the plane into a sunny climate, the essential passport and I downsize my purse to a little coin purse – this one’s from New Look.
Comfort is essential. I was gifted this ION8 vacuum flask a while back and I love it! The trick with airport security is to make sure it’s empty for going through security then you can keep refilling it! This flask is great as it won’t leak and it keeps drinks hot or cold! I keep meaning to buy the bigger one for work now that I’ve tried this one out! I also keep a lip balm, deodorant and hand cream and antibacterial gel handy.
We flew to Barcelona from Edinburgh which is a relatively short flight, and decently priced with Ryanair. People can say what they want about Ryanair – I think they’re great.
I then arranged return transfers using Sun Transfers who were absolutely fantastic. Both our drivers arrived in clean and comfortable cars with space for all of us and our cases. The first man was waiting for us in arrivals with a sign with my name, and the man taking us back to the airport arrived early and has us in the airport promptly. I can’t recommend them more.
I’ve previously hired apartments through other websites, but Air B&B had the best options and prices on this occasion. This is the exact apartment we stayed at (referral link).
This is taken directly outside the apartment – you are literally on the beautiful beach promenade.
If you stay directly in Badalona, the train station is right in the centre. Our apartment was a good 10-15 minute walk there and back which was fine when it was sunny, and a little annoying on the days where the weather wasn’t looking too chirpy!
The railway and metro system in Barcelona is amazing – it’s punctual, clean and they take you anywhere you’ll want to go. We bought the T10 ticket which allows 10 separate journeys and this can be shared between multiple people. It took two of us all over Barcelona and then home. There are other transport options, but that’s all we used as it was cheap and convenient.
Eating & Drinking
Our apartment block had a Mercadona Supermarket which was absolutely fantastic. A huge range of products and it was seriously good value for money too. We bought loads of beautiful fresh fruit, cheeses and deli meats for snacking, breakfast items and wine and spirits for the apartment.
There are loads of restaurants, beach bars and cafes in Badalona on the promenade, so there is absolutely tons of choice. When we weren’t in the city centre, here is where we ate:
This was the first place we saw when we arrived. We had time to kill while we waited on our check in time, and the friendly staff served us gorgeous cocktails, beers and some beautiful olives to snack on. Those olives were the most delicious I’ve ever had – we were all obsessed with them!
We then ordered a mixture of nibbles for the table – chicken and ham croquettes, pizza, calamari and Gambas Pil Pil. The food was fantastic. Sitting in the sun eating, drinking and lapping up the stunning view just gave us all the most beautiful start to the holiday!
Pizzeria San Marino
We ate here two nights because their pizzas are absolutely to die for and they’re very good value for money too!
This place is further in to Badalona and is situated on the beach promenade. We sat outdoors as the weather was gorgeous on our last day and we enjoyed some delicious Spanish Rioja with some good old fashioned paella.
Things to do
I will be honest: we didn’t do anything in particular, and that was the beauty of it. We spent our busy time in Barcelona, and I decided that on the final day I was doing absolutely hee haw apart from enjoying the beach, sunshine and local food and drinks! Some things to see:
Pont Del Petroli
This is a massive pier observation deck which comes off the beach promenade and bizarrely has a bronze statue of a monkey holding a bottle of Anise, just for a laugh.
It was so windy, but a great walk – especially for the views it provided. The colour of the sea is stunning and I just find the tough sea winds so exhilarating and refreshing! The view from here is amazing; you can see out as far as the sea goes to the horizon and you can see right up the mountains. Looking out to sea, you can spot the big cruise ships and goods tankers in the distance. When you look back over the land, you can pick out landmarks in Barcelona.
This is a lovely park in the centre of Badalona – perfect if you’re looking for shade from the sun and a nice walk away from the beach!
This is where I spent most of my time. Eating watermelon, ordering mojitos and snuggling my toes into the soft, hot sand. I am at my happiest by the sea, and breathing in the sea air and soaking in the Spanish sunshine was absolutely glorious. I wish I was back there now!
Badalona is somewhere I see myself going for a weekend to escape the rat race and rain. It’s a low-key, quiet escape break rather than somewhere to explore.
If I could get a late Friday night flight there and a late Sunday flight home I would. It’s a gorgeous area with the big city right within your grasp – but only if you want the big city! Our parents visited Barcelona with us on one day and spent the rest of their time in Badalona, just enjoying the views, weather and local hospitality. It’s the perfect peaceful little get away, and especially perfect if you’re going away with a group with mixed wants from the holiday.
Here is a photo of me, being a dweeb, on my holidays.