Europe/ Spain

A Barcelona City Break

Settle down comfortably guys, it’s going to be a long one today. I’m typing this very sleepily after a hectic Barcelona city break.

My friend Rachael and I flew out on Wednesday morning and back on Friday afternoon so we were on a mission to cram as much as possible into a day and a half!

On arrival, we hopped on the airport bus to Plaza de Catalunya in central Barcelona. Our hotel, H10 Universitat, was just a few minutes walk from here and considering the brilliant location, we were really impressed with the value. The room was basic but decent with a city view balcony and some pretty darn comfy beds.

We enjoyed our complimentary drinks on arrival – Rachael went all out with champagne and I had a gorgeous peach juice – while hearing about the hotel amenities, the main one we had to check out straight away. The cutest rooftop bar had lovely views: if you’re visiting on a chillier evening, you’ll find plenty of blankets around to snuggle into. Bliss.

We hadn’t booked food for our stay as a huge part of travelling is discovering what great food options are on offer! Luckily, there was the most gorgeous cafe across the road called the Food Market Cafe with four different counters for coffee and cake, ice cream, crepes and pasta. If you’re looking for some pretty cheap eats in the city centre, I’d definitely recommend it!

After we’d settled into our hotel, we headed down to Las Ramblas to marvel at the beauty of the city. A bustling walk filled with restaurants, cafes, tourist shops and utterly stunning buildings, we were constantly looking around and spotting something new. We walked right to the end where we reached the port and had a wander around the shopping centre there.
One of our favourite parts of the city was La Boqueria, a famous market just Las Ramblas. We hadn’t heard about it before we arrived, despite it being really well known, but it was such a fabulous place to explore. One thing I instantly noticed was the sheer amount of fresh fruit and fruit juices on offer – mouth watering. Obviously we had a soft spot for the chocolate and ice cream stalls too where Rachael treated herself to mojito ice cream.
While exploring the Gothic quarter, we also had a look through the market stalls in front of the cathedral which were filled with the most beautiful trinkets.
Thursday was our only full day in Barcelona so we decided to get a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off tourist bus around the city. There’s actually two different routes but we decided that the green route on the Barcelona City Tour bus took us to the most places we wanted to see!
This cost 27 euro and while it was probably our biggest expense, I’d recommend it if you’re constricted by time and want to see as much as possible. You can stay on the bus and simply look at various places with the commentary or you can get off at whatever attractions you’d like to have a closer look at.
After doing our research, the places we most wanted to see were La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. I’m actually going to do a separate post on La Sagrada Familia because it’s so incredibly gorgeous: I took so many photos and couldn’t possibly condense them into this post.
Park Guell was stunning too however and you can access many parts of it for free: we chose to pay the 8 euro extra to get into the terrace and see the Gaudi houses closer up. It was such a lovely place to spend a few hours and Gaudi’s style is so incredible!

There was also a performance artist blowing the most massive bubbles so we couldn’t help passing a good fifteen minutes watching in awe!

Seeing orange trees was also pretty special – I could never get used to that. In the cafe I mentioned earlier, they actually squeeze the orange juice right in front of you and it’s honestly the nicest I’ve ever tasted. Going back to Tesco’s own is a bit of a wrench if I’m honest.

We’d met a couple of Rachael’s friends on our first night and got some recommendations on places we could enjoy some local delicacies. One of those places was Granja Las Pallares on one of the side streets off Las Ramblas. The road is Carrer de Petritxol so keep a lookout and hopefully you’ll find it too – it’s filled with locals enjoying churros with the thickest dipping chocolate. We actually ended up ordering two portions….

We ended up eating dinner in Bracafe where we ordered four tapas, a paella and two drinks each for 20 euro. Possibly the nicest meal I’ve had in a long time – you can see the photos on my Instagram. I’d highly recommend a visit as it’s a couple of minutes from the Plaza de Catalunya on Ronda de la Universitat where our hotel was!

For now, I’ll leave it there but don’t forget to check back for my post on La Sagrada Familia: it’s so stunning, you can’t miss it!

Have you been to Barcelona?
Laura x

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La Sagrada Familia
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  • Reply
    March 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful city! I am ashamed to say that I started salivating at Peach Juice – yum!

  • Reply
    March 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Oh wow, lovely photos. Spain's never really been top of my list but this has totally changed my mind.
    Water Painted Dreams xxx

  • Reply
    Lois Nicole
    March 23, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Haven't been to Barcelona! You make me wanna travel! xx

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Gorgeous photos. I love Barcelona but haven't been in ages. This is great inspiration for me to go back!

  • Reply
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    […] you’d like any more tips for a city break to Barcelona, head over and visit Wander with Laura for more! What is your favourite thing about […]

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