This post is long, but I’ve labelled each section clearly so you can skip to what you’re most interested in! I’ve included foodie tips for each area!
I’m a bit of a firecracker when I travel. I don’t have a bucket of money, so when I go somewhere, I want to see absolutely everything I can. I don’t have the luxury of returning several times to soak it all up piece by piece. So I tend to rattle around seeing as much as I possibly can. My other half if is the yang to my yin and is pretty chill, so we had a mixture of busy and simple days!
First things first – the railway and metro system in Barcelona is amazing, so I totally recommend that. We bought the T10 ticket and it was perfect for us. The T10 ticket allows 10 separate journeys and this can be shared between multiple people. For two of us, it got us from our apartment in Badalona to everywhere listed for Day 3 – this included train, metro and a bus. Fabulous value for money. There are other transport options, but that’s all we used.
Day 1: Sagrada Familia
Using a transport app, or even typing into to Google ‘directions to….’ will bring up the exact station and train line you need. We arrived to Sagrada Familia to see a lot of scaffolding and a bright but cloudy sky…but the beautiful cathedral stands SO tall and proud despite it.
We enjoyed a walk around the little park across the road – Plaça de Gaudí – which also provided some nice views (and shelter from the drizzle!).
Due to the rain, we found a cute little pub and had drinks for most of the afternoon, followed by an amazing meal at a neaby restaurant called Divan.
They barbecue everything and their food is to die for! Despite being so close to the Sagrada Familia, they are very reasonably priced!
Day 2: Guell Park
We stupidly chose a rainy day to visit a park! But we committed to it!
I have some advice: if you’re using maps to get here, then please for the love of all that is beautiful, make sure that the map is taking you to the entrance on the street called Carrer d’Olot.
We climbed these stairs to get to a side entrance.
It was pain and suffering, NEEDLESS PAIN AND SUFFERING….mainly due to the escalator that was available….
….but also because we saw the big beautiful entrance on our way out. Sigh…
From the entrance we took (Search for Güelly Sandwichpark – I had a delightful iced latte there after the stairs!) – the views were absolutely gorgeous due to the hill! We followed a cute nature trail into the centre of the park.
We didn’t pay for entry to any parts, like the Greek theatre as we were happy enough to look at it!
I absolutely adored the stone pillars which decorated the back of the park. They were especially great for the rain and whilst lurking in there an entrepreneur approached us selling umbrellas and ponchos…win win I’d say!
And of course the beautiful gum-drop village style buildings! I LOVE the use of tiles by Gaudì!
We went for some tapas at a nearby cafe called La Salut which I highly recommend.
Garlic butter cod loin! *drools*
This day could be broken down and enjoyed at a slower pace, but to be honest, I felt that despite seeing and doing so much, this day was paced perfectly for me.
We got our train to Plaça de Catalunya which is a seriously stunning piece of land in the middle of the city. I’d need a drone or to stay in a high up room hotel here to photograph the true beauty, so I suggest a Google search. It’s a beautiful big space – and home to THOUSANDS of pigeons!
La Bouqueria Mercat
You need to get there early, and I really mean that. We arrived there at 9:30am, and I think we just hit the sweet spot – it wasn’t quiet but also not crowded, and we got the last seats at the eatery we fancied – Le Quim.
Then we wandered and just lusted after everything!
I wanted my picture taken outside the market like a total geek – this was at 10:30am.
Here is a picture my sister took later that day at 2:15pm – it was so busy she didn’t even attempt to go in.
If you’re a foodie, get in there early!
This is something I never saw anyone mention in a blog or on social media when I was researching my trip and I absolutely urge anyone to take this trip to the cathedral and funfair at the top. I’m an absolute sucker for a cathedral/church – the architecture always blows me away. We took the metro from Plaça de Catalunya to the station called Funicular de Tibidabo, which has the funicular railway within it’s station and you can use your T10 for it too.
The views as you go up the hill are really beautiful, and the train station at the top has a gift for you: a viewing deck. You can stand at this train station and look over the whole of Barcelona.
From this station you then take a bus up to the cathedral – again – the T10 has you covered!
Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Just wow. I was blown away by the beauty of this place.
The views from the cathedral are also second to none in Barcelona. Truly the highlight of my visit to Barcelona – it was truly special.
If you have kids or are that way inclined, the funfair is directly across from the cathedral and you can take advantage of the Ferris wheel and other delights to heighten your vantage point of the church/city/sea view.
This was big on my list for things to see, but to be honest it was a bit boring if I’m totally honest. I found the interior a little underwhelming – it was cool of course, but also just a bit ‘meh’.
I still love his style though. Those tiles!
I want to highlight the utterly disgraceful rip off known as the ‘Skywalk’. We paid extra to get out on the roof with our hard hats on….and walked a grand total of about 10 feet and saw nothing really.
Had it not been for us sitting in the sun day-drinking for an hour beforehand and feeling a little tipsy, we wouldn’t have found it so funny.
The whole thing was just not worth paying for, especially not the extra for the roof. Take pictures from the outside, if you want my advice.
This is the famous main street in Barcelona, and it’s so beautiful with it’s lush trees in the centre of all the hustle and bustle.
There is a restaurant that I urge everyone to go to – it’s truly one of my favourite eating experiences of all time. My boyfriend and I just enjoyed it SO much – Caravelle. I’m writing a full blog post on them, but I’ll share two things with you: they brew their own beer, and they have a cheesy white bean paste with chorizo meatballs in it on their menu.
Just do yourself a favour and go there.
Cocktails at W Hotel
We finished our sightseeing in Barcelona with a trip to the W Hotel which is located on the ‘Barcelona Boardwalk’ right on the sea, with incredible views!
The vibe is very trendy….so naturally we didn’t fit in after a day of sightseeing without going home to glam up beforehand! We aren’t the types to care too much about that though, so we strutted in and drank our fancy cocktails and admired the view like everyone else!
From the foyer and that bar, it really does look like a fabulous hotel to stay in!
If you made it to the end of this post then well done – I nearly made it three separate posts but I figured that if you’re going to Barcelona, it’s handy to have it all in one place!