3 Days in Barcelona
Having booked our short trip late on in the year and deciding in favour of a short city break as opposed to a relaxing beach holiday (I have no idea why), I was eager to get away on Monday morning and get myself in the glorious sunshine. I hadn’t actually had a hot holiday since April 2015 (which felt like a lifetime!) and I felt as though my skin was in need of some serious vitamin D. Arriving late Monday evening, we set our alarms early for the following day ensuring we would make the most of our short stay. However, to our disappointment it was cloudy and we felt as though we had made the worst decision coming to stay in the city but not to cry over spilt milk we decided to trek around the city, covering 16km in a day and yes my feet were in pieces but totally worth it as it is the best way to see Barcelona. I just wanted to share some of the places I would recommend to anyone visiting Barca.
EXPLORE AND EAT AT LA BOQUERIA
Situated just off the main street of Las Ramblas, you will find the local public market. If it isn’t the bright coloured and oversized fruit that draws your attention over, you are bound to find something that you just want to try and explore further in to the market. We wondered around on our first morning, wanting to have our first taste of Spain. We stopped at a little breakfast bar towards the front of the market, I had scrambled eggs with prawns and mushrooms and Josh sampled the chorizo and patatas bravas (a firm favourite tapas dish of mine that you must try!). We sat and watched everyone walking by and noticed what a multicultural place it really was.
BIRDSEYE VIEW OF THE CITY
If your hotel has a rooftop bar/pool area, spend some relaxation time away from the hustle and the bustle of the city. It is surprisingly quiet and perfect for catching the rays. We stayed at Hotel Barcelona Universal, a good 15 minute walk from Las Ramblas but it had the perfect rooftop terrace, with artificial grass, a great cocktail bar and a small pool to cool yourself down in. It was great to just sit and relax from all the walking we had done the day before and also a great place to start the evening before heading in to town for dinner.
LA SAGRADA FAMILIA
We got the chance to meet up with some friends that were staying a short train journey away in Salou. We decided that we would do a little exploring together but ended up spending most of the afternoon drinking wine and eating tapas. We did however, make our way to the la sagrada familia, a beautifully detailed Roman catholic church designed by the famous Antoni Gaudi.
RIDE IN A RICKSHAW
One night we walked from our hotel to the beach front for dinner which really was further than we thought, I would say a good 45 minute walk! By 11pm we were ready for bed and couldn’t face the walk back so when a guy passed us on a rickshaw, we knew we just had to hitch a ride. For €7 pp every 15 minutes, we thought why not! We ended up paying 20 euro’s but we really enjoyed whizzing along the beach front and chatting away to our driver who was really great at recommending loads of different places to see and not so well known things to do.
BEACH & MAKA MAKA BURGER
You can’t visit Barcelona and not head down to the beach. Although it is jam packed throughout the day, there are plenty of restaurants and beach cafe’s dotted along the beach front. There’s a lot to choose from but don’t hesitate to stop for crepes and waffles!
Maka Maka is a burger/cocktail restaurant just off from the beach. We visited here one evening and it was jam packed so it was a bit of a wait but well worth it. I had the ‘hot mama’ burger and Josh got the ‘big maka’ and we shared the most amazing fries ever.. Garlic and parmesan fries! Seriously, try them if you ever get the chance to go. The atmosphere was chilled, everyone seemed really laid back and just enjoying their night eating fantastic burgers off of quaint mix n’ match tables under delicately hung fairy lights.
On our search for a restaurant one evening, we stumbled across Fabrica Moritz. I couldn’t tell you where it was located but I’ll post a link below if you want to check it out. What stood out for me was the red glow shining out of it’s windows and the amount of people heading towards it. Of course, the more people means a much more pleasant atmosphere and it must mean that whatever they are offering, is going to be good. We waited a good 45 minutes for a table to free up whilst Josh tried their own beer, which I believe was brewed on the premises. Once we finally got our table, we chose a number of different tapas choices from the menu to share. I personally recommend the patatas bravas in spicy aioli oil, it is seriously delicious.
A waterpark, not far from Salou. A good 1 hour and a half train journey from Barcelona. We were unsure whether to spend the day here and last minute decided to get the train. With train fares at €17.50 pp return and then €29 pp for the water park, it wasn’t a cheap day. However, if you are looking for a little fun, it really is just that! It was very busy during this time of year, perhaps because of school holidays and August – September being such popular holiday dates. This meant we couldn’t go on that many rides as often as we were queuing a lot but definitely worth a visit if you enjoy slides and racing your friends!
There are a number of things I wanted to do but never got chance and I didn’t really think 3 days was enough to do the things I wanted, as well as relax. If I were to go again, here are some things that I would definitely try to fit in or some things I would recommend anyone to try on their trip to Barcelona.
RIDE A TANDEM OR A BIKE
I was desperate to ride along the beach front one afternoon on a tandem bike to give my little tootsies a rest. There were a number of spots that rented bikes but we just didn’t have enough time.
There are cable cars that give a great view of the city (or so I imagine). We could see them from our bedroom window, this would be great on a sunny day.
This was on my list to see during my visit but I couldn’t believe how far apart everything was. Unlike Rome, popular sight seeing spots were atleast 35-45 minute walks away. We should’ve got the open top bus!