We spent 3 nights and 2 full days in Barcelona. Going into the trip Barcelona was the city I was most excited to see and I was a little disappointed we weren't going to be there longer. But TBH, 2 full days and we got all the hot spots in! I'm growing to love writing these guides for you all as they allow me to relive my trip so I hope you love reading them! And they become helpful to you as you plan your trip!
- Train - I love the train in Europe. They're so nice and you can see the areas/cities you go through on the way. I suggest booking in advance and getting there early though as you go through security and the doors close 5 minutes before departure.
- Plane - There's small airlines throughout Europe (i.e.: RyanAir) who you can book a quick flight through pretty inexpensively. However, they do charge for bags including carry ons.
- Subway - The subway is easiest here. I suggest taking this or walking and do not rent a car. You can also take a taxi or uber to get around.
Where to Stay:
- El Born - In the heart of the old city surrounded by adorable shops and amazing restaurants & bars.
- Barceloneta - If you're going for the beach, stay in Barceloneta. This is a little further from the sights but beautiful.
- Las Ramblas - This is where we stayed as it's in the heart of the tourist everything. But I would not suggest staying here. It's a little grimey of an area and a friend we were traveling with had his bags stolen out of the hotel and the area is swarming with pick pockets.
WHERE WE STAYED: Hotel NH Barcelona Ramblas
The hotel was nice and conveniently located and close to the subway and most things but honestly if I were to do it again, I wouldn't stay on Las Ramblas again.
Where to Eat & Drink:
- Boqueria - A big food market with produce and meat as well as some snack foods and a few restaurant-type food stands.
- Arume - Go. So good we went twice. Get the paella & the blueberry mojito.
- El Diset - Didn't get to go but supposed to be amazing for tapas. Make a reservation.
- Ziryab - Tapas in the El Born area.
- Paradiso - A speakeasy in the back of a pastrami deli. You walk in and the guy awkwardly loitering at the door judges you asks how many and ultimately lets you in to get you seated. The cocktails were delicious! Sweet but really good. I'd go for the vibe more than anything else - it was a really cool spot to check out and we felt pretty 'in the know' as tourists.
- Dr Stravinsky - A small cocktail bar with a cool bar in El Born.
- Espit - A bar with more than 600 different shots and the bartender puts on a show when he makes them.
What to do:
- Camp Nou - FC Barcelona's stadium. You can take a tour through the stadium and the field.
- Cathedral Barcelona - Beautiful and the view from the top are really cool. It's not a standout cathedral in Europe so do it if you have time but nbd if you can't fit it in.
- Sagrada Familia - Incredible. A MUST do. Buy your tickets online here in advance so you don't have to wait in line and can just walk right in. They're timed tickets to book in advance and plan accordingly. Get the audioguide!
- Casa Mila (aka La Pedrera) - Cory is a structural engineer so I knew he'd be fascinated by Gaudi's work. It was cool but honestly, not worth it. Def walk by but skip it - there's really no need to go inside.
- Park Guell - A beautiful park with a few Gaudi buildings in it that you can walk through - we didn't have time so we didn't.
- Montjuic - Go for the views. Travel Tip: Easy to get to via cab or vernacular but take the Fernicular at least one way. It was a pretty cool experience. From Sagrada Familia, we grabbed a quick lunch nearby and jumped in a taxi to head to Montjuic. Travel Tip: The cabs only take cash so have your Euros ready. The cab to Montjuic is only like €15.
- They eat lunch around 2 so plan accordingly or you'll be left hungry or stuck somewhere you don't really want.
- Drink the rioja and the cava.
- Cabs are cash only.
- Beware of pick pockets. Barcelona can be a dangerous city and as a NYC girl I don't say that lightly. The first day we were there one of the guys we were traveling with had his bag stolen out of the hotel lobby. Another night we were on our way back from dinner and our friends walking behind us started screaming Cory's name. When we spun around there were 2 pick pockets face-to-face with us so close we could've kissed them. And we had no idea! They didn't get anything thanks to our friends who saw them but it's such a violating feeling. I don't tell you this to scare you but to warn you. Keep your bag close to you (I frequently carried mine inside my coat) with your arm on the strap so no one can grab it, keep any items in your pockets in your front pockets only and be aware! Like VERY aware. I know everyone says this about Europe and they're right but Barcelona was on another level. I hate to even put this in here and bring the vibe down but safety first ladies!
Drink the cava, the rioja, hit the cocktail bars and enjoy! The city is beautiful.