Hello hello hello!
It’s been a fair few months since i’ve written a blogpost and to be honest it’s been a mixture of lack of motivation and life stuff simply just getting in the way. But alas i am back in the blogging world with a brand spanking new post, yay!
So as the Autumn months seem to have crept up on us pretty damn fast, i thought it would be a good time to take you momentarily back to the Summer sun. I was lucky enough to jet off on holiday twice this summer- once in June to Ibiza and then again in July to the beautiful Barcelona. Since the latter is relatively fresh on the brain i thought it would be apt to write a post talking all things Barcelona. I wanted to combine my most recent photographs and experiences with ones i’ve taken/ had over the years of visiting this fabulous city, on the off chance that anybody was planning a visit and/or just generally wants some highlights of things to see and do. Brace yourself as i have a feeling this is going to be a fairly hefty post.
This time around was my third time visiting Barcelona and i can honestly say it’s definitely one of my favourite cities to holiday in. It’s always interesting when i tell people this, as a lot of people think that it’s just an inland built up city much like Madrid – but it is in fact on the coast with a huge beach that stretches for miles, a beautiful harbour (in which you will spot THE most incredible luxury yachts you ever did see – think Wolf Of Wall Street) And this incredible place has everything you expect from a city – beautiful architecture, huge buildings, shopping, restaurants, coffee houses and bars. But for me having the beach side to it, also makes it the perfect combination holiday!
Before we jump in to the post, i just want to make it clear that by no means am i an expert on Barcelona nor have i experienced everything there is to see but these are my personal condensed highlights, so i hope you enjoy reading!
Things to see and do
When it comes to sight seeing there really is something for everyone on every corner of Barcelona if you simply just look up from your phone and live in the moment. Pretty double standards of me i know given the amount of pics i took, but i did make a conscious effort to experience the city more visually this time around and really embrace everything that was happening or was there to see around me. From landmarks and insane peices of architecture , to simply wandering the streets and taking in the culture, for me Barcelona caters so well for all different types of people looking for different experiences from their holiday. So let’s jump in with some of my personal favourite things to see and do.
La Sagrada Familia/Casa Batló
These incredible buildings are arguably two of the most ‘must see’ sights in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is an insanely beautiful Roman Catholic Church which began it’s formation in 1882, and is still being built to this very day! It was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí (you should 100% look him up as his work is amazing) and it’s probably one of the most breath taking things you’ll ever see. It’s simply impossible to capture the shear size and detail of it in a photograph as it is a definite must-see-in-real-life kinda thang. Another of his works is the Casa Batló which is thought to be one of his ‘masterpieces’ and really is something else, i mean just look at it! These are just two of his great works and are permanantly swarmed with tourists hoping to get that perfect shot. If you do get the chance to look in to Gaudí a little further you’ll see the amazing scale of works he has created, mainly in Barcelona and how incredible they really are.
Looking at Gaudí’s work isn’t the only sightseeing to be done, you can also jump on a cable car and make your way up to the top of Montjüic mountain and find yourself able to take in the whole of Barcelona from up there which is super dreamy (wear trainers of some sort there is a lot of walking to be done up there). There’s a castle, lots of history to learn about and perfect spots to have a picnic!
La Ramblas and El Gothic Quarter
La Ramblas is the main street in the centre of Barcelona which branches off in to lots of smaller area – one of which is the the Gothic Quarter. This is an area filled with bars, eateries, shops, bakeries, architecture, hostels, Irish bars (yay) coffee houses and so much more. You can enter this area down any street off La Ramblas and will find yourself in awe wandering around discovering cool spots to eat and drink and to take those all important photographs. It really is the heart of Barcelona and a general area where most tourists hang out during their visit. There are some really cool Vintage shops and independant clothes shops in this area too which are always great to explore.
The place all football fans are in their element – Camp Nou is the Barcelona FC Stadium and it really is something. Despite not personally being a football enthusiast i have to say this place is definitely worth visiting, as even i had fun wondering around looking at all of the history of the team through the years.
Arc De Triomf in Parc De La Ciutadella
This park is another beautiful spot to wonder around, take a picnic, lay and catch some sun or eat at the little cafe within. The Arc De Triomf is another landmark and is within the park – another great spot for photo opportunities!
I would say if you’re wanting to get the most out of your days when sightseeing a top tip is to definitely hire bikes! You for sure will see way more way quicker and your day is definitely more fun on two wheels! You can even hire segways or mopeds if you’re really wanting to be adventurous.
Relax On the Beach
An obvious to do on a beach on holiday, i know. But in Barcelona if you head to the supermarket by the beach you can pick up cans of beer for around 40 cents each!! And alos all the snacks you could possibly need for a day at the beach as well as water of course… gotta stay hydrated! Do not buy the ‘cocktails’ that people offer you on the beach i’ve read horror stories on where they get their ingredients, where they store it all and have witnessed some of them get arrested on the beach for selling these drinks along with massages and that kind of thang. Stay safe people!
Food And Drink
If sightseeing is not your thang or you’ve simply spent hours walking/cycling around then you may have food and drink on the brain (or if you’re like me then these two things are always on the brain) well i can certainly give you a few pointers of places i’ve dined at during my visits to Barcelona. On the day we arrived this time around it was late in the evening and after a super stressful day leading up to the arrival to the airport, the flight then being delayed and getting to the hotel later than planned, we were so bladdy hungry and so on the hunt for somewhere to eat pronto. We ditched our bags and wondered over to La Rambla and came across a bar/restaurant named ‘Schilling’ and oh my! If i can say anything about this place it’s that it made me feel as though i was in Sebastians jazz bar in the movie La La Land! The ambience was fantastic, there was live jazz band playing and the food and drink was superb. Exactly the kind of thing we needed after a stressful day. In true blogger failure style i forgot to get a photo but if you look it up you’ll hopefully get the feel of it. There were a couple of places we made bad decisions on so we wont talk about them, instead i’ll just highlight the goodies for you! The Bars and restaurants we visited in the evenings which were massive stand outs for me were Mikkeller, Two Scmucks, Betty Ford and The Aperol Spritz bar (yes you heard right!)
This craft beer place as well as being fantastic in booze also serve the most delicous food comprising of a combination of American and Spanish which i absoloutly loved. Mikkeller have spots all around the world and their menu has everything from Texas Ribs (which can i add were bloody ginormous) to fish tacos to veggie burgers to Sombrassada and brie sandwiches to chicken wings and the list goes on! Something else i also loved was that they have a snack menu which i thought was a great idea for those who just wanted to nibble at something while they drink there. One thing i can say about this bar is nothing is too much trouble and if you wanted to know information about any of the craft beers the staff were super keen and very informative.
This is a cute little bar on a corner that we found by mistake, wandered in and was pleasantly suprised. It’s relaxed layout and chilled feel was a great setting to wind down in an evening and it’s offering of cheap fruit beer (which is my jam) also made it a stand out place for me! They also apparantly serve incredible burgers which i did not have the chance to sample this time around but it is definitely on my to do list for next time.
With Betty Ford literally next door the pair go pretty well hand in hand. There’s almost a communal feel with these two bars even though they stand as two seperate businesses. Two Schmucks make the most insane cocktails and have walls covered in the most weird and wonderful things including the headshot of young Jim Carrey (love) One of the owners has described it as ‘A Five Star Dive Bar’ and i totally get where his head is at with this statement as it has that grunge sort of feel but is also relaxed and professional too. When i was researching more in to the bar i found the story of how it came about particularly heart warming. You can read up on it here if you fancy gaining some knowledge on the local scene. Unfortunately it was pretty dark and with only my iphone in hand the below picture is all i managed to capture (face palm)
In terms of morning goodness for coffee and breakfast i’d highly recommed checking out Black Remedy. We found this place by chance as we were wandering around the Gothic Quarter and it was definitely a blummin happy find. I had their Eggs Benedict and it was (bold statement alert) the best i think i’ve ever tasted! They serve speciality coffee, breakfast/brunch/lunch food as well as cakes and sweet treats. The interior was delightful and the external walls were almost completely made up of windows which meant it was so bright and inviting.
Another fab coffee house to check out would be Nomad Coffee if you love fabulous interior and delicious speciality coffee. Nomad is spread across three locatons within Barcelona – one spot is their roastery, one their ‘coffee lab and shop’ and the other their every day pick up a coffee spot. We headed to the latter and it was a relitively small spot but worked so perfectly. It can be found in ‘Ciutat Vella’ and the design of the shop combined with the delicious coffee worked so perfectly. I went for Iced Latte because dang it was hot out there and with almost black hair i be feeling the heat!
Satans Coffee Corner
Finally if you fancy checking out another coffee spot then Satans Coffee Corner is definitely worth a trip to. This Aptly named spot, given the place it resides in being not so far from the Cathedral, is a cool and very on trend place to enjoy a relaxing coffee and spot of breakfast. I particularly like how they offer their menu to you and a check list, collect it then return it as your receipt. They also have two spots – once in Eixample and one in El Barri Gòtic. I personally have only visited the one in Barri Gotic as it is just off La Ramblas and has been the most convienient for us when visiting and have always enojoyed my experience there.
So there we have it a mini guide to Barcelona. What i love so much is that after three visits there is still so much left to see and do and i can’t wait for my next visit to this amazing city. I hope for anybody planning a trip here that you found this informative and if not then thanks for reading anyways!