After an early flight we landed at around 10am and jumped on the A2 airport bus that took us straight into the heart of the city at Placa de Catalunya. Barcelona is a BUSY place… Tuesday morning bustle, throngs of tourists and locals alike. We got our bearings and walked to the Gothic Quarter near to the Cathedral where we found our hotel. The area was a great place to stay near to metro stations, walking distance to the waterfront and the famous Ramblas. After checking in we went for a wander through the streets of Barri Gotic, lots of interesting architecture, narrow streets and Roman walls. Our wandering led us to the waterfront where we found a cute beach burger bar called Makamaka to sit and grab a beer and a bite. Also a nice spot to sit people watch!
Back to the hotel after some shopping and time to get ready for dinner and drinks. I always check out restaurants on tripadvisor before trips and try book ahead to eat in some recommended places. I’m sooo glad I read reviews before travelling and discovered the normal dinner time in Barcelona is around 10pm! Settling for a 9pm reservation the first night we ate some great tapas at Sensi Bistro. Before dinner we headed to a must try for ale lovers La Cerveteca, crowd around beer barrel tables and sample the large range of beers on offer.
Day two and we headed to Montjuic taking the funicular from the metro station and walking to the Olympic park. Not much to see here but a great space and worth a look. We enjoyed the architecture and great views from the Castell de Montjuic ( 5 euro entrance fee) and stopped here for a quick lunch from the self-service cafe inside. We wandered around the Museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya before taking the cable car back down the waterfront. The smaller cable cars are quite quiet and you can even get a car to yourself, however the cars going over the sea are very busy and you have to position yourself correctly if you want to take advantage of the view and take photos!
Later on we visited the Picasso museum,(11 euro each) even if you are not a big fan of Picasso’s famous works, there are lots of interesting pieces showing his development from an early painter.
A very late dinner today 10pm at Ballakano, not much to say about the food here, not the best and wouldn’t recommend . Our pre-dinner drinks however were amazing, Boadas cocktail bar was like stepping back in time. Order a classic and sit at the bar to watch the bartenders at work…
Day 3 and an early start to beat the crowds at Sagrada Familia. We pre-booked our tickets online and we joined the cue after taking the short metro ride grabbing a croissant and a coffee on the way. An audio-guide gave us all the information we needed although we went straight inside without starting it which meant we were a little ahead of ourselves. Our visit lasted about an hour including the towers although you could spend more time wondering at the architecture inside and out.
We went on the see more Gaudi today, unfortunately La Pedrera was undergoing some restoration and was covered so we did not get a glimpse. However Casa Batllo was a beautiful colourful sight to see. Back to the Cathedral and our hotel before going to the best restaurant of our trip. Bamboral was an amazing tapas restaurant! From the amazing food to the friendly staff this is by far the best place I have eaten in Barcelona and ranks highly overall.
Day 4 and time to squeeze a few things in before we fly home. A long walk around Parc de la Ciutadella near Barcelona Zoo where we discovered one of the best things I saw in Barcelona. The park and the fountains were so beautiful, lazing locals and darting schoolchildren filled the area and I could have stayed there all day! Lastly we had a walk down the famous Ramblas. Lots of tourists, great place to buy last-minute gifts and the most important thing? To sit with a large sangria and watch the world go by.
There is so much more to see and do in Barcelona but I enjoyed the mix of sightseeing and relaxation and soaking up the catalan atmosphere