BARCELONA TRAVEL DIARY: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE CITY





Oh Barcelona, what a beautifully perfect city. This trip was by far one of the best I've had this year, firstly because I had surprised my other half with the trip for his birthday, secondly because I got to spend four days in the sun with him and thirdly because it was a perfectly timed break that was much needed. I had the fantastic opportunity to collaborate with three of my favourite brands as well, but there's more of that to follow. Now I'm no Barcelona expert, for that kind of knowledge I'd recommend checking out Em Sheldon's Travel Guide which I definitely read a few times before heading out there myself. But I thought I'd put a little guide together nonetheless as a more 'beginners' addition.

I'd like to start by saying we honestly had all intentions of splitting our days up by sunbathing in the morning then sight-seeing in the afternoon, but in 28-30 degree heat there was no chance! If you're heading to Barcelona to see the sights I'd recommend doing this out of season. When you have the choice of being hot and sweaty up one of the spiral staircases at Sagrada Familia or lying on a beach with a cocktail, I'm sure the beach option would win 75% of the time. However we did spend our last day making our way round the city but we didn't see as much as I'd have liked to, but then that's an excuse for coming back soon!


The Gothic Quarter

After tonnes of research I decided the Gothic Quarter was where we'd be staying, thinking it was in the middle of everything but as I look back I do wish I'd booked somewhere closer to the beach. If we'd have gone out of season with cooler temperatures then this area would of been perfect, but we did spend quite a lot of time on the beach which was a good 40 minute walk away. We booked the AinB Picasso apartments, which were exactly what we needed as it offered cooking facilities. With my IBS and my boyfriends training plan, we felt more comfortable being able to cook a few meals each day. This area is also full of traditional Spanish narrow streets, cute tapas restaurants and independent stores - definitely worth visiting even if you don't stay here.

I will say though, on our last night as we were about to walk in to our apartment a man had his watched snatched off his arm right in front of us - it was a scary moment to say the least but Barcelona like all European cities is full of pick pockets so make sure you're careful.






La Bouquet Market


The first place we visited when we checked in to our apartments were La Bouquet Markets. As I'd watched many vlogs on Barcelona I knew this was a spot we couldn't not visit - especially as we needed cooking supplies for our meals, there's no better place to pick fresh produce. Here you can find the very best freshly squeezed juices, fresh fruits, meats, cheeses - everything you could possibly need. There's also a few places were you can grab hot food from which, seemed to be very popular with the locals. 





Passeig de Garcia

Home to designer stores such as Gucci, Dior and Louis Vuitton, Passeig de Garcia is a more luxury area of Barcelona. We spent a few hours here one day just checking out the stores. Also close to this is El National, which came highly recommended from Em Sheldon but we had dinner reservations that night and didn't want to spoil our appetite.


Port Vert

On our way from the Gothic Quarter to the beach we passed by Port Vert which houses the most luxurious of yachts. Along the front you'll find several fish restaurants which serve fresh fish that are caught that day. Also here you'll find One Ocean Club which again had the best line of cars parked up outside, Ferrari's, Lamborghini's - you name it!



Parc De Ciutadella

We actually just stumbled upon the park on our way to the gym (yes we train still when we're away). But it was such a beautiful area so we took a little detour and walked the grounds. Here you can also find the Barcelona Zoo, Museu d'Art Modern, Zoological Museum and the Catalan Parliament if you wanted more fun activities to do whilst you're here. The fountain of Ciutadella Park, within the park was also designed by Gaudi - not one to be missed.

The Beach Front

Now there were two sides to the beach area when you walked from Port Vert, but we stuck the W Hotel side as it seemed more chilled which was definitely something we'd gone away for. We spent most of our days lazying around, under the beaut 28 degree heat whilst still feeling cool from the sea breeze and our nights watching the sun go down at one of the cocktail bars. We didn't go for like a 'party holiday' more for a relaxing break. We also eat at the Salt Beach Club on our final night which is HIGHLY recommended. We'd treated ourselves to a cheat meal, mine consisted of a Salmon Fillet Burger on a Wasabi Bun with Fries and a Large Cookie Dish with Ice-Cream - absolutely worth every last bit, it was divine! 






Must-see Antoni Gaudi Work

As a lover of architecture, I knew I couldn't go home without seeing pieces by Antoni Gaudi so we set out on our final day to see some of the beautiful sights Barcelona has to offer. 

Sagrada Familia -
I'd previously been here when I was about eight, and I remember complaining the whole day because I couldn't understand why my parents wouldn't let me go to the pool and I had to look at this half finished church - that was until I got there! I remember having my little neon green Donnay backpack on looking up at it like 'WOW' and I had the same reaction 17 years on. If you go to see one thing whilst in Barcelona, it should definitely be this. It's amazing to see where Gaudi's work finishes and the more recent work begins. Still under construction, the Roman Catholic Church is set to be finished in 2026 when the final six immense towers are to be raised. 





  
Casa Batll√≥ aka House of Bones -
Perfectly situated on the end of Passeig de Garcia, Gaudi's House of Bones is not one to be missed. The outer exterior with ascending walls are breathtaking. It really does have you questioning the era Gaudi designed these masterpieces as he was well beyond his time. Combining modernisme and Art Nouveau, the building has irregular oval shaped windows and crazy sculpted stone work. Covered with eye-catching colourful mosaic ceramic tiles, the roof is arched just like the back of a dragon which is a signature of Gaudi's work.




Fountain of Ciutadella Park -
We actually stumbled across this whilst in Parc De Ciutadella, which was a pleasant find. The waterfall was so tranquil and peaceful. Staight away you could tell it was Gaudi's work because of the dragon's surrounding the middle tier. The use of gold colouring throughout really did make this look like a grand masterpiece.


Have you checked out my other travel diaries? 
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