Barcelona is a beautiful part of Spain but is referred to Catalonia. It sits on the Mediterranean Sea and while I was there the people of Catalonia gained their independence from Spain becoming their own country, therefore the streets where filled with protests. My favorite part of this city was how everyone was so connected to their country you couldn’t go down one street without a Catalonian flag hanging from the window or balcony.
I have to admit when I decided to study abroad in London, Barcelona was not on my list of countries to see. But after meeting some friends and comparing prices to other places we wanted to go to Barcelona became one of our destinations and I am so glad it did the country was way beyond my expectations.
How to get to Barcelona
My friends and I were traveling from Rome to Barcelona. We had a early morning flight via Ryanair and what a s**t show that flight was! We were sitting on the tarmac for at least 45 minutes with no AC before they said their was an issue with the plane we had to deplane and board another plane. Which we then did but it took another hour just to put everyone and our luggage on the plane! This cut into our first day in Barcelona but by the end of the trip we still got to see everything. Word from the wise the cheaper airlines may be worth it because the price is cheap but always be prepared for complications.
Where to stay in Barcelona
As a student I have to be smart with my money. Therefore when traveling I stay in either Airbnb’s or hostels i decide on which I am going to stay in based of price and location. I always use Hostelworld when it comes to booking a hostel they are the best. For this trip my friends and I stayed at the Itaca Hostel in the Gothic Quarter. This is a PRIME location and the hostel was amazing. The rooms were clean and so were the bathrooms and the whole place was so cute. Our room had a balcony which was great and the living area was awesome to with tons of bean bags and balconies to eat breakfast off of. 10/10 recommend, even if you don’t stay in this hostel stay in the Gothic Quarters because its near everything and is so pretty with all its little shops and narrow cobblestone streets.
What to do in Barcelona
Day 1: For me after the stressful flight issues the first thing I wanted to do when I got to Barcelona was go to the beach. Although it was November it was fairly hot and I wish I brought my bathing suit on the trip but I didn’t so remember to bring yours! But first I had to get something to eat so I headed to the Boqueria Market where I swear I think I tried one of everything at each stall. It was amazing this place is a must if you are visiting. After my stomach was full with the best meats, cheeses, smoothies, fruits, and candy I decided to walk to the beach. The walk is not bad at all and the views are great you’ll pass a gorgeous cathedral on your way then you’ll hit Port Vell. There was yachts in the harbor from all around the world and vendors lined up. I finally got to the beach and was able to relax the beach wasn’t sand like normal beaches it was more like gravel and theres was beach glass all along the shore i collected so much I was able to fill up a mini bottle with it! Worked as a great souvenir for myself! BEWARE: The worse part about the beaches in Barcelona is the vendors on the beach they will try and sell you ANYTHING and won’t stop that is the only downfall to the beach. After my relaxation at the beach I met up with my friends for lunch I had a liquid lunch aka a whole pint of Sangria Cava! Its a must try in Barcelona while my friends enjoyed Paella which is also a must.
Nightlife: Espit Churitos was our nightlife for day one and it was so much fun! The place has over 200 different shots all for €2.50 each! We found out this was a hotspot for pregames for students studying abroad. You must stop in it’s a blast!
Day 2: We spent the whole day touring architect Antoni Guadí’s work. If you don’t know who he is well open a textbook! Just kidding I didn’t know who he was either but now I wish he was alive to build my future house. He was a Spanish architect who built the most unique buildings in Barcelona.
We started at his house Casa Batlló which is covered in colorful mosaics and has this awesome water ball room on the roof. We stopped and ate lunch at Brunch and Cake a breakfast and lunch place it was too boujee for my liking and the menu is very limited. After we ate we were ready for more walking so we headed to the nearest metro station and took the metro to Park Güell.
We then had to walk up to the park once you reach a certain point they have escalators but honestly it was a HIKE I recommend taking a taxi to the entrance of the Park. But once you get into the park the views are well worth the trek. The park overlooks the whole city! After embracing the magnificent views there head to the Sagrada Familia which was my absolute favorite part of the trip. Construction on this church started in March 1882 and is still not complete. You walk inside and the stained glass lights up the whole church different colors.
Be sure to get tickets to the façades the nativity one has the best views! You take an elevator up 367 feet and exit and you get an even better view of the city than at the Park well worth the extra money.
Dinner: After playing tourist all day we needed a good meal so we headed to El Japones which was an amazing sushi restaurant. I still have not had sushi as good as I did there. Its in the L’Exaimple region of the city, in a small ally between Rambla Cataluyna and Passeig de Gracia. It was expensive but it was a great last meal to celebrate our weekend in Barcelona
Day 3: It was our last day so I only had a few hours to kill so I headed to Montjuïc. You take a cable car ride up and I think this truly gives you the best view of Barcelona.
To the left you have the sea and to the right you see the mountain tops and in the middle of it all is the bustling city of Barcelona. When you get to the top explore the castle and make sure to walk the perimeter its so beautiful you can see the airport and cruise ship terminals from it! After that head to Rambla Street to do some souvenir shopping!
Lunch: Before heading back to the hostel to pack up our things and take a taxi to the airport I grabbed lunch from El Nacional. There are four bars in the restaurant and four different restaurants within it so you can choose from seafood or something from the grill at La Braseria. It was so cool and I recommend making a stop there for a few meals.
All my tickets for the sights such as the Park, Sagrada, and House of Gaudi were purchased very much in advance make sure you book in advance so you don’t miss out on these amazing places!
I flew Vueling home and although the flight was delayed it was an overall pleasant flight back to London. This trip was amazing and so eye opening to me truly from the culture and amazing sights I saw. I am so happy I ended up making this a destination of mine and you should add it to your list of future travels if you haven’t already since you started reading this.