We visited Barcelona in August for 5 days. In hindsight, August probably isn’t the best time to visit as temperatures were up to 35 degrees Celsius and everywhere was extremely busy in the height of the summer holidays.
– You have to book all tourist attractions online beforehand, which unfortunately we were not aware of when staying in Barca.
– We took the Airbnb option as being there for 5 days it meant we could have our own breakfasts and make our own lunches (saving ourselves from buying €10 baguettes or salads for lunch in the main touristy areas!)
– Always ask for a menu with prices on as we were stung with a bill of €30 for 2 drinks!
– Barcelona is a lot bigger than we originally thought so I would recommend getting a metro ticket or a hop on, hop off bus tour ticket for the duration of your stay.
Things not to miss:
Park Guell – A fairytale park with amazing views of the whole of Barcelona. It has beautiful artwork from Gaudi and Guell. I would suggest going early though to beat the crowds!
Sagrada Familia – Gaudi’s most famous building which is spectacular to look at. However it is still being built (as you can see the cranes in the picture below) due to lack of funds to finish his design. Even still, it’s definitely worth not missing! We unfortunately did not get time to go inside the building due to not being able to book it online (it was fully booked and us not being organised enough!) If you can I would definitely get tickets to go inside.
Walking down Passeig de Gracia – This street is the most expensive street in Barcelona, but walking down it you can explore the beautiful architecture of the buildings Casa Batlló and La Pedrera (see my pictures below). We also stayed near this area and the street parallel to it, Rambla de Catalunya, has some lovely restaurants and bars down the middle of the street.
Walking down Las Ramblas – This is the main touristy road down towards the marina. It is usually very busy and as you can imagine it can be quite expensive for drinks and food. I would recommend taking the back roads and alleys, veering off the Main Street to find some cool (and much cheaper) bars and restaurants.
The fruit and vegetable market, La Boqueria – This is definitely not to miss. You will find it just off Las Ramblas. It is a market full of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. If you can I would try to pull up a stool at one of the bar restaurants that serve amazing fresh tapas cooked right in front of you. However, prices are still the same as restaurant prices so don’t be fooled because you are in a market!
El Raval – This is a new up and coming area which has pockets of cool bars and restaurants. With the recommendation from Lonely Planet we visited a bar here called Bar Marcella, which is apparently one of the oldest bars in Barcelona. If you fancy something different, and when I say different I mean almost going back in time, then definitely take a visit here. We also ended up having the ‘local’ drink which turned out to be absinthe mixed with sugar and water! It was an experience to say the least!
Camp Nou – If you are into football like Will then Camp Nou is a must. We managed to watch a local cup game and witness the atmosphere of the stadium as well as seeing the famous Messi play.
The Beach – The beaches go on for miles and are full of glorious, golden sand. I would suggest walking up along the beach to find ones that are not so busy and you will also find some lively beach bars to have a cocktail or two with a view.
The Cathedral – The cathedral is in the centre of Barcelona and is free to visit. Make sure you wear something to cover your shoulders and longish shorts as they were quite strict on clothing. It is beautiful inside and worth visiting. Nearby there is a lovely little restaurant called El Cercle. It looks like you are walking into a ruin but upstairs is a restaurant where you can have some lunch or dinner looking out on the terrace.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it helps if you are looking to go to Barcelona, or if you just enjoyed the read.
Follow me on Instagram @mywherenext to follow my travels and living in Dubai 🙂
Keep your eyes peeled for My Where next?
Please leave a comment or hit the like button if you enjoyed the read or want to know anything more!