Getting to Barcelona city from the airport is relatively easy with the multiple options offered. There is the train, the bus or the metro. All three transport options can be used with the Hola BCN card which gives you 48, 72 or 96 hours of unlimited travel in and around Barcelona. I would definitely recommend getting one of these from the metro ticket office at the airport when you arrive.
Pick pockets are extremely prevalent in Barcelona so watch out in busy and crowded areas such as the metro stations and on public transport.
We stayed near Barceloneta, the area of the city near the beach and port. After dropping off our bags, we headed to Park Guell, a park that was designed by Gaudi. The majority of the park is free to walk around but there is a small area that is only accessible by paying a small fee. Within this area there are a number of buildings which Gaudi designed and the famous giant mosaic lizard.
After a few hours exploring the park we then headed to La Rambla, a long pedestrian street littered with restaurants bars and shops. These places can be overpriced but some of the places can be reasonable so choose with caution.
For dinner we went to a lovely tapas restaurant set just off Las Rambles called Restaurante Don Fernando which served excellent traditional tapas and the staff were lovely!
The following day we got up and went for breakfast at La Boqueria market located just off La Rambla, the market sells all different types for food ranging from bread to fish to fruits. The Iberican ham is also a popular choice of stall.
After breakfast we continued up La Rambla and eventually got to Gaudi’s famous houses, La Pedrera and El Batello. I simply love all his work. You can go inside both of the houses and on a previous trip I have been lucky enough to have sole access to the roof of La Pedrera at night which was amazing.
If you do want to visit these houses however, the queues can be long so it is definitely worthwhile pre booking tickets with skip the queue options.
We then went to the Jamon Experience. A tasting restaurant for the local speciality of Iberican Ham. The restaurant offers the world’s best Iberican ham paired with excellent wines and it’s honestly delicious!
For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Sensi, a Spanish oriental mix on traditional tapas. The food is outstanding and if you are going to have one “nice” meal out, I’d definitely recommend going here.
After diner we went to a Flamenco Show. To be honest, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. There was a lot more singing than dancing but it was good all the same.
In the mood for a dance after the show we headed to Hotel W at the end of the port. It is an up market hotel with a pool club which reminds me of those in Vegas, everyone dressed up and booths costing an arm and a leg. With the DJ was belting out great beats, this club is a great place to unwind after a long day of being a tourist!
The next day we got up and headed up to Parc del Laberint d’Horta, a historic park just outside the city. There is an old hedge maze and beautiful buildings with lots of shade, perfect for a really hot sunny day!
In the afternoon we headed to Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s largest work which is yet to be finished but still makes it to my number one favourite building of all time. It is absolutely stunning and one that needs to be seen in person to realise it’s true beauty. I could honestly spend all day looking at this gorgeous structure. I just hope I’m alive to see it finished in around 50 years!
We got lunch close to the Sagrada Familia, to be honest I didn’t expect anything special and I didn’t get anything special, but I guess you pay for the convenience.
After a quick change, we headed over to the Montjuic Fountains and Palace. The scenery is stunning around here and if you stay until dark there is a fountain show with music and lights.
The following day we took the open top tour bus around this beautiful city. It could well be more beneficial to do this on the first day of your trip if you haven’t visited before to get your bearings. Along with your ticket you also get given a number of discount vouchers which could be useful to have.
There are a number of bus companies to choose from but they all follow similar routes.
That evening we ate near to our hotel at the port. The restaurant was called La Cala and served typical tapas and paella. The drinks are SO good, so we ended up spending most of the night here after eating.
On our final day, we went to Monserrat and nearby mountainous area with a monastery built into the rock. There are many tours that will take you to Monserrat but it is relatively easy to get there yourself using public transport.
The scenery is stunning but I wouldn’t bother lining up to see the Black Madonna, the queue is insane and if you enter the church you can see it above the alter.
All in all Barcelona is a beautiful city which isn’t stupidly expensive considering it is such a major city.