GETTING TO BARCELONA
We flew from Stansted airport, bright and early. We wanted to arrive in Barcelona early enough so that we were able to enjoy a full day there. This meant that the flights were slightly more expensive but it’s worth it for a longer day. We purchased our flights from Skyscanner and we flew with RyanAir.
Although walking is good, if you’ve got minimal time and want to see as much as possible, I recommend using the metro. The metro is undeniably one of the quickest, easiest and most convenient ways of getting around the city. You’ll probably find that one of he diamond-shaped signs marked with an ‘M’, signalling the location of a metro station, is only a stones throw away from wherever you may be. The metro system consist of 11 colour-coded lines, making stops near many of the city’s most popular attractions. There are a variety of ticket options available, however it would be advisable to purchase the T-10 ticket. This offers access to all five of the city’s main transport systems and is valid for a total of 10 trips. It can also be shared by two or more people. At just €9.95, it’s extremely reasonable compared to the price of a single journey ticket for €2.15.
It would be foolish not to take advantage of Barcelona’s easy-to-use and affordable buses. Wherever you are in the city, buses tend to be frequent and relatively quick way of getting you from A to B without the train hopping that can sometimes be involved with using the metro. However, the main problem with using the bus system is that it’s more prone to delays due to the intense city traffic. You can also use your T-10 journey cad on Barcelona’s buses.
Useful routes are:
7 runs up Passeig de Gracia and along Avda Diagonal
22 runs from the centre up to the convent at Pedralbes
24 runs up Passeig de Gracia to Park Guell
39 runs along the beach, through the centre and up to Gracia
45 runs from the beach to Place Urquinaona
50 runs from Montjuic to the Sagrada Familia, via Gran Via.
Taxis are also great if you’re in a rush or as a method of transport after a night out. Unfortunately, being in the middle of a city, they can get pricey, however they do accept card payments so don’t worry about having to carry large amounts of cash around with you. Download the app MyTaxi which is exactly like Uber. With the app you’re able to book taxis to and from any location while tracking how close the driver is at the same time.
THINGS TO SEE
There is an endless list of things to do in Barcelona. People (including us) tend to book Barcelona as a short city break but after visiting, I can safely say that it’s so much more than that. The reason I love Barcelona is because it can be a city break if you so wish, you can fly out for a couple of days and try and visit as much as possible, but I think Barcelona deserves more than that. I think that even in 7 days, you wouldn’t see the whole of Barcelona.
Passeig de Gràcia
Passeig de Gràcia is Barcelona’s most famous shopping street. It is Barcelona’s flagship shopping avenue where you can find many global fashion designer brands like Dior, Chanel, Gucci and more. The best shopping in Barcelona!
At one end of Passeig de Gràcia you’ve got the main square and La Rambla, and at the other end you’ve got two of Gaudi’s most important creations – La Pedrera and Casa Battló.
Las Ramblas is one of the world’s most famous streets. This is normally the first port-of-call for Barcelona tourists and when you see the sheer amount of activity crammed in, you can see why. On this street you will find almost you could wish for, if not on Las Ramblas itself, you certainly will on one of the many back streets which lead from it. Placa Reial located about half way down the street, offers some of the most famous restaurants and nightclubs in Barcelona. La Boqueria is a world renowned indoor market situated right next to the Licue metro stop. At the top of Las Ramblas is the grand Placa de Catalunya, which is widely considered to mark the city’s central point. At the lower end of Las Ramblas, towards the water front, you’ll find the Columbus monument. This 60 metre tall, iron column is a local meeting point with Christopher Columbus standing proudly at the top, pointing out to sea. Not many people know that there is a lift inside the column, taking you to a panoramic view of the city, ideal for photography.
Besides the well-known Rambla of Barcelona, there are a few smaller Ramblas. One of them is the Rambla del Raval, which is located beside the big one, but much more relaxed to walk. Bordered by palm trees and cafes, it is comfortable sitting here for a couple of hours watching the business of Raval.
Dotted around the market there are bars selling both food and drink, whether you’re looking for a full lunch or a lighter snack. The fruit stalls throughout the market sell freshly squeezed juices of many different varieties, which is a healthy and refreshing treat in the middle of all the mayhem.
10’s of people recommended this place to us and I’m so glad they did. El Nacional is full of amazing restaurants all under one roof. We headed to the most beautiful restaurant called La Paradeta where we got complimentary olives on arrival, followed by the loveliest meal.
Whether you plan on eating or not, it’s worth heading here to just have a wonder around as the building is so stunning. There’s also so much choice here.
The Palmer Restaurant is an elegant and chic Mediterranean restaurant within our hotel. I am the biggest lover of breakfast so I was thrilled when I saw that our hotel served poached eggs, cereals, meats, fruit and everything else you could possibly wish for. Our hotel was a breakfast lovers paradise, particularly because of its gorgeous setting within a vertical garden. Being at a hotel with such good breakfast made me excited to get up in the morning. We always made sure that we filled ourselves up because most days we were sightseeing until 6pm and not eating until at least 9pm (we found that Barcelona isn’t lively until at least this time).
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