By Chloe-May Hornbuckle
Nothing beats a weekend escape to a place where the sun is (almost) always shining, where the streets are always bustling, the atmosphere is vibrant and where you just can’t get enough of the food… If that all sounds perfect, then Barcelona is the place for you! Home to 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 20 Michelin star restaurants and of course, the infamous Camp Nou stadium, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The first day of a city break is all about finding your bearings and a free walking tour is a great (and cheap) way to do this. These tip-based tours, which usually take around 3 hours, are perfect for those wanting to know a bit more about Barcelona’s rich history whilst finding their feet in this relatively large city. Of course, walking can be tiring work so you’ll want to stop and refuel, and where better to do this than the Gothic Quarter, a charming area lined with quirky bars, cafés and restaurants – Bornet café is a killer for good coffee and tapas plates. As you’re in the area, it would be rude not to visit the Picasso Museum, where you can see Pablo Picasso’s take on Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas, or, if art is not your thing, take in nature’s beauty on a stroll through Parc de la Ciutadella. Before dinner, head to Montjuïc to see the Magic Fountain show and then make your way to the nearby area of Poble Sec to embark on a tapas crawl! La Tiza is a personal favourite – the patatas bravas are second to none…
Rise and shine! Today is the day for exploring some of the most amazing architecture in Barcelona, courtesy of Antonio Gaudi. Start off by admiring the beauty of Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. Head inside for a tour of the place or simply take in the view – these are definitely Insta worthy! Just around the corner is perhaps the most famous of Gaudi’s work, La Sagrada Familia, a giant basilica which has been under construction since 1882. It really is worth paying to do a self-guided tour inside the basilica, as this will also allow you a visit to one of the towers which have the most stunning views of Barcelona. After a culture filled morning, head to La Rambla, the most famous street in the city, for a bite to eat. Discover the delights of tapas in one of the many restaurants in the area, or for a more authentic lunch go to La Boqueria. Grab some jamón and cheese, paella and a fresh fruit juice and head towards La Barceloneta beach for a chilled picnic with an awesome view. Dine at Gourmet Tapas by Sensi for the most exquisite tapas you will ever try – the beef fillet and boneless leg of lamb are to die for! End the night in the right way by popping into Rubí bar or The Box for a personalised cocktail made from their homemade infused rums and gins.
Begin your final day with a trip to Camp Nou, the home of the top dogs in Spanish football, FC Barcelona. Buy a ticket that allows you to tour the stadium, browse through the museum and take part in the virtual experience to get the most out of your day. After a few hours of exploring the stadium, take the metro to another of Gaudi’s astonishing works of arts, Parc Güell. Again, it is 100% worth paying to enter as the beauty can really only be taken in once inside (don’t worry, there are plenty of selfie opportunities!) Satisfy your hunger with a quick stop off at one of the many bakeries nearby or save yourself for a large dinner at Ziryab Fusion Tapas Bar where the strawberry gazpacho is a must-try.
Top travel tips:
- Some walking tours you have to book in advance – do your research and find out which one sounds more interesting to you!
- Look out for days on which admission to museums is free. It tends to be the first Sunday of every month, but it is worth checking out in advance in order to save your pennies!
- Pack an umbrella and rain mac just in case it rains (I learnt this the hard way…)
- If you want a more relaxed trip to the beach, avoid going to La Barceloneta at the weekends as this is when everyone goes!
- Book your tickets in advance for all of Barcelona’s top attractions in order to avoid long queues and get reduced ticket prices.
- Be safe and enjoy yourself!!!