Hi! I’m writing this piece with my ass planted on the couch, sipping from a not-so-diet Coke and watching The Voice UK. It’s been a while (2 weeks, me thinks) since I visited Barcelona, but I still dream about it and can’t wait to share my stories with you, so read on, will ya.
– SLEEP –
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Central on Via Laietana – which is close to the high end shopping street (Passeig de Gracia) which also houses two of Gaudi’s most well-known buildings: Casa Battlo and Casa Milla, but more about that later. The hotel was so good, seriously. Too bad we didn’t manage to try out that jaw dropping pool (still moping over that).
– SEE –
Probably the most important part of this piece: what must you see? Let me start by saying that there is A LOT to do in Bcn, like seriously, a lot! We were there for two days and a half and managed to squeeze in most of the top thingies, but at a speedy rate, so keep in mind that if you are there for only a few days, like we were, you’ll probably have to make some choices.
Day 1: We took the Barcelona Bus, which is a fantastic and non-expensive way to get to know the city. You get free headphones and coupons that you can use at all the main attractions throughout the city. We got out at the Montjuic hill. Here you’ll find a castle (which I thought was free, but turned out not to be), the botanical garden (free the first Sunday of the month; yay for greenz), the Olympic Stadium, etc. You’ll also have a nice view over the city, especially if you take the Teleferic, aka a cable car that will take you all the way up the hill. Afterwards we headed over to the harbour, tried and failed to enter the Picasso museum (they tell you it’s free the first Sunday of the month, but nobody told us that those free tickets are in fact limited in number, so arriving at 5 p.m. was not a very good idea) and ended up strolling through the Parc de la Ciutadella (which houses a zoo – which we did not see because well… we were late).
Day 2: Hopped on the BB (Barcelona Bus) and got out at Passeig de Gracia, aka the shopping walhalla. This is where you’ll want to go if you’re looking for a mix of high end shops (Prada, Chanel, etc.) and the more commercial ones (& Other Stories, Mango). We opted to visit only one of Gaudi’s houses and went with Casa Battlo, which was damn pretty. A must see if you enjoy light and architecture (but I guess that’s a given). After roaming the shops we took the BB to the Sagrada Familia (WOW) and to Parc Guell. This last one was kind of disappointing, but that’s only because once again we got here around 6 p.m. and the sun was sick and tired of waiting for us. I can imagine this place being utterly gorgeous during the Summer though.
Day 3: We only had a few hours, so we headed over to the Ramblas (HUGE disappointment because uh.. there was nothing to see? Guessing that’s because of the bad weather, but still, I did not count on that) and La Boqueria (the grand market with lots and lots of fruit, drinks, but also fish and meat). Afterwards we went shopping (again) and that was that.
– EAT –
Most of the time we hunted inside the hotel. They have yummie food, but the menu is pretty limited, so I wouldn’t advise you to have dinner there every single evening. So on day 2 we headed over to El Nacional. This restaurant/bar is divided into four pieces according to what your tummy is craving. You have a meat section, a fish section, etc. and the same goes for the bars. Great concept and what’s more, the decoration, honestly… IT WAS SO PRETTY! You.must.go.there.
Then there’s also this little place called Eyescream and Friends, which is so damn cute. I’m not going to tell you too much about this yet, because I’m going to write an entire post on it. Just remember the name and never, ever forget it.