I want to begin by sharing a little back story around this city break to Barcelona.
When it came to writing about Barcelona, as soon as I started to put pen to paper, or shall we say fingers to the keyboard, I realised how special the trip to Barcelona was for me and always will be. My mum and I had planned to go to Barcelona with our friends to celebrate their new beginnings, but sadly they could not join us. Devastated by this news, we suddenly found ourselves being unsure about whether we should still go ahead with the trip. It wouldn’t have been the same without our friends as we were used to spending at least one weekend together every year. After much contemplation, we decided to go ahead with the trip as everything was already paid for and we knew we would make up for the lost time.
The trip to Barcelona took place in September 2017. This was a time where my life truly was a little ‘all over the place’. I had just left my job and family home in Newcastle as I was moving to Manchester to be with Ahmed. My Mum and I flew out on a Thursday evening and returned on the Sunday. The following Monday I started a new job, a new role, in a new city! At the time Ahmed and I did not have an accommodation secured in Manchester so it meant living in a hotel for a few days when I got back. In some ways the trip to Barcelona was the perfect ice breaker with my new colleagues. As well as an insane plan!
Since our friends were unable to come with us, it meant that this was the first time me and my Mum travelled anywhere on our own! I was petrified to say the least to be honest as we both have zero sense of direction when it comes to travelling as I usually have Ahmed to rely on.
However, at the same time the trip felt like a lot of new beginnings. A trip on my own with my Mum, moving to a new city and starting a new job. So much to look forward to despite the unknown.
When we went to Barcelona I had no idea I would start a blog in time to come. But I have put together a brief itinerary of the places we visited while we were there. But most importantly sharing this precious journey with anyone reading this 🙂
Flights: £109.98 return flights for two people with Ryanair. Absolute BARGAIN!
Please see Link above for our accommodation. We split the cost between four people so it worked out okay for us. The place was really quirky and spotless. They provided us with milk, bottled water, juice tea etc.
This was an amazing location as we walked down the street to get the tram into the city centre! Super quick and easy 🙂
La Rambla: We woke up super fresh and went straight out for some breakfast. Walking down the La Rambla, absorbing our surroundings. La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona and was completely heaving with tourists and most likely locals too. We found it to be an easy stroll that can be done at any time of day. Unfortunately, you do need to be on your guard against pickpockets on this popular stretch though! There are tonnes of restaurants and cafes located in this area. We tried out a couple of them during or visit and were impressed about the affordability and service.
La Sagrada Familia: After exploring La Rambla we decided to head over to the see the awe-inspiring La Sagrada Famila, a large unfinished Roman Catholic cathedral. This beautiful building was designed by Antoni Gaudi (the renowned Catalan architect) and it ended becoming his biggest obsession.
Can you believe this beautiful cathedral has been under construction for more than 100 years and attracts over 2.5 million visitors per year?
Park Guell: Park Guell is an enormous garden with gorgeous and distinct architectural elements designed by Gaudi. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and is a place that is definitely worth all the hype that it receives.
It was easy enough to get there, however, it was a fairly steep walk, uphill all the way and took at least 15 mins (probably more). So it might be worth considering getting a taxi there.
Point to note: We made a huge mistakes: we didn’t pre-purchase tickets. Tickets have timed slots and limited numbers so it was completely sold out by the time we got there. So we only go to explore the outside of the park. I still thought it was worth the journey as the park was like no other that I have been to!
Casa Batllo: I thought I had seen it all in terms of architecture, but I was so wrong! Casa Batlló is a building in the centre of Barcelona. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, and is considered one of his masterpieces. As soon as we arrived at Casa Batllo, we were immediately reminded of what a genius Gaudi was. His work and imagination was truly unique in every way, shape and form. I have not seen architecture or buildings like it anywhere in the world.
Top tip: Book the tickets in advance! Once again we made the mistake of not booking the tickets earlier and by the time we arrived, the queues were so long it put us off from waiting to purchase them. We wanted to explore some more of Barcelona so ended up getting some cold drinks and wandering in the gorgeous streets of Barcelona for an hour or so!
We never got to see the inside of this amazing building. Perhaps a reason to return to Barcelona?!
Palau de la musica catalana (Palace of Catalan Music): The most beautiful concert hall in the world! I kid you not. In a city filled with incredible architectural masterpieces by Gaudi, I would not be surprised if people have not heard of this stunning piece of architecture. This beautiful concert hall was built in the early 1900s and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
We paid for a guided tour of this beautiful building and were so impressed by the experience. The tour was well presented and well priced! We would highly recommend seeing this place for yourself!
Caterdral de Barcelona: From Palau de la Musica, we made our way to the Cathedral of Barcelona. We entered the Gothic Quarter district which is one of the oldest and most beautiful districts in Barcelona. It is home to lots of little restaurants and shops.
We ended the trip with some delicious Paella and discussing my crazy plan to live in a hotel for a few days and starting a new job! I could not have asked for better company and weekend before starting a new chapter in my life.
Barcelona was the perfect getaway! It offered great public transport, stunning architecture, city life, and the best part: delicious food. A city trip of about 3-4 days would be enough to cover most of the highlights. I have only shared some of the things you can do during a Barcelona city trip.