The Easter long weekend provided the perfect opportunity to explore a new city. The dates snuck up on me and in true Britt style, I booked it very last minute. It’s my goal in life to secure one of those cheap £10-20 flights you so often hear about. Times that amount by 10 and that’s usually what I pay!
I had heard great things about Barcelona and was owed a day off for working a weekend. Piggy backing off the Easter break, it meant I had 5 full days in the beachside town. It was my first time flying Easyjet and I thought they were great. My pre 4am wake up to make early morning flight was a little less enjoyable. I got to Gatwick much earlier than I needed to and decided to have some breakfast there. I got lucky and had great corn fritters with smashed avocado and a decent coffee. An impressive feat considering London struggles in delivering a decent brunch!
I stayed at the Generator Hostel (in a mixed 8 bed dorm!) for 3 nights and spent the remaining two nights in Hotel Barcelona Princess– it was heavenly!
What I loved about Barcelona was how easy it was to get around, the culture of the place and its international flavour.
The top 10 things you must do in Barcelona are…
- La Sagrada Familia– It is amazing. Easily my favourite church/cathedral/basicalla I have been in and trust me, I’ve seen a few! You MUST book online and in advance though. Seriously, this place books out really quickly and I got caught out by just rocking up and trying my luck at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon. And guess what, I was not in luck! I ended up having to book for a few days later at 6:15pm. It costs 15 euro for the basic ticket and all proceeds go to finishing it off, they’ve been trying for over 100 years!
2. Walking Tour– I have a confession. I LOVE walking tours. I think they are the best way to see a city, especially in a short space of time. A lot of the time they are free and you tip the guide at the end. For us Aussies, the tipping business is a hard one to swallow & I never know how much to leave but I usually give around 10 euro. The guides are doing pretty well as there can be up to 40 people on your tour. The Barcelona tour was particularly good and covered a lot of the history surrounding Anton Gaudi’s influence on the city.
3. Order Tapas– This goes without saying! Some places are total tourist traps though and provide expensive, underwhelming food. Do your research!
4. Party– Barcelona’s night life is insane. Everyone is really friendly, there to have a good time and the drinks are cheap. I went a little hard on my first night after meeting two girls in my Hostel (Hi Kristina & Liv!) and while I had an amazing night, It took a couple of days to recover. Make sure you go out with people though, keep an eye on your belongings and don’t walk home alone. There is a huge problem with robberies and pickpockets in Barcelona and the Police don’t care, so please be careful!
5. La Pedrera– Built by Gaudi, La Pedrera is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located just down the road from the Generator Hostel. It’s well worth a look and is very impressive from the outside.
6. Park Guell – is stunning. It’s another Gaudi’s masterpiece ( I love this guy!) located about a 30 minute trip from the city centre. The park offers up amazing views of Barcelona and out to the beach and is an awesome place to sit back and relax for a couple of hours.
7. The beach– Barcelona has 4.2km of coastline and the beaches are quite nice. While not on par with Australia it was nice to be by the seaside. It was still a little on the cold side when I was there, but I sat on the sand at Barceloneta, drank a pineapple smoothie and pretended I wasn’t freezing.. In summer it would be amazing!
8. Walk around and admire the beautiful architecture- Just walking around the streets of Barcelona is great. Every corner has something new to look at, whether it be colourful buildings, narrow alley ways or cobble stone streets. You can spend hours just wandering.
9. Eat more food- Churros, coffee, seafood. It’s all delicious! Onna coffee became my local while I was there and I was pleasantly surprised that the coffee was just as good as home.
10. Practice your Spanish– A little bit of Spanish gets you a long way! It’s such a beautiful language and the locals really appreciate you attempting to speak. I ran into trouble though because I would use the basics and then they would continue to speak to me in Spanish. One gentleman on the bus had a 15 minutes convo with me in Spanish as I tried to explain that I didn’t understand a word he was saying!
Muchas gracias, Adios!