Back in February me and my mum jumped on a plane and flew to Barcelona for a long weekend. My sister was living over there at the time so we thought it was a perfect excuse for a holiday! I’d never been before, but it’s now one of my favourite cities.
We stayed at the Amrey Sant Pau Hotel which is only a 15-20 minute walk from the Sagrada Familia. Our room was pretty basic but it was perfect for what we needed. We arrived on a Thursday evening and left on a Sunday morning, so had 2 full days to explore the city. I thought I’d share what we got up to and hopefully give a few tips for anyone who’s thinking about visiting!
– Day 1 –
For our first day we decided to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour. We thought this would be the easiest way to do a bit of sightseeing, seen as how my sister was at work until early evening and neither of us really knew where we were going!
Unfortunately it chucked it down with rain for most of the morning and afternoon, and it was also a lot colder than we were expecting. We refused to let it (literally) dampen our spirits, and ended up having a really fun day!
Park Güell & a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
We boarded the bus at our nearest stop, which happened to be at the Sagrada Familia. We’d already pre-booked our tickets through AttractionTix (using my staff discount). We exchanged our e-ticket as we boarded the bus, and also got a free map, discount booklet and headphones to listen to the audio guide.
Our first stop was Park Güell, which I was really looking forward to seeing. For those who don’t know, this was originally built to be a miniature housing estate (created by Gaudí) but was abandoned before it was finished. It’s now a public park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even in the rain it was breathtakingly beautiful! The views are incredible and I’d 100% recommend going, especially as you can walk around most of the gardens for free. You only have to pay to go into the Monumental Zone and the house where Gaudí once lived, which we didn’t bother doing as the weather was so poor.
We then hopped back on the bus and continued along the loop, passing the famous Nou Camp Stadium (home of F.C. Barcelona!) At this point it was still raining, so we stayed on the bus until we reached the centre of Barcelona, where we decided to check out Casa Batlló (another Guadí Building), then do a bit of shopping before meeting up with my sister.
We spent aaages trying to find this Tapas restaurant my sister had been to a few weeks earlier. Unfortunately she couldn’t remember the name of it (or where it was) so we eventually settled on Taller de Tapas, which is on La Rambla. The food was good but it was fairly expensive so I’m not sure if I’d recommend it. After a few glasses of Sangria and a couple of cocktails we said goodbye to my sister and caught the Metro home.
– Day 2 –
Sagrada Família, Montjuic & Barcelona Beach
On our second day we’d pre-booked a tour of the Sagrada Família for 10am, so we woke up early and grabbed some breakfast from a local bakery on the way. If you’re interested in seeing the Sagrada Família I’d definitely recommend booking onto a tour in advance. The queues looked really long, and we visited in February! Group tours are able to skip the lines and head straight in. We also learnt so much more than if we’d just wandered around by ourselves. It really is a fascinating building and I’d love to go back to see it when it’s finally finished (hopefully in 2026!)
Next we headed to Montjuïc, where we spent half an hour or so walking around, admiring the views. We talked about maybe taking the Cable Car up to the top, but Mum was too scared and we were starting to get a little hungry. Maybe next time! We then walked towards the city centre to find somewhere for lunch. We ended up in an Italian place where they served HUGE pizzas. My kind of restaurant!
After stuffing our faces with food we walked back past the cathedral and stopped for Gelato at one of those little stands on La Rambla. They served all kinds of flavours, and safe to say it was delicious!
Finally we took the subway to the beach for a look at the ocean. Unfortunately it was too cold for sunbathing, but we enjoyed walked around the harbour for a bit.
After saying goodbye to my sister we headed back to our hotel then went out for our final meal of the trip. We ate at a small tapas restaurant called L’olivera, which didn’t look like much from the outside, but the food was the best we had all holiday!
If you’re looking for a weekend city break in Europe I’d 100% recommend Barcelona. Flights are usually pretty cheap, depending on the time of year you go, and it’s a beautiful city to walk around!
Have you ever been to Barcelona?