I went to: Eixample, Ciutat Vella, El Barri Gotic, La Barceloneta, El Fort Pienc, Port Olympic
I stayed at: a 3bed apartment on Carrer de Lepant (found on HouseTrip and Air BnB)
I went here because…
We were taking my 15 year old niece away on holiday for the first time and wanted somewhere cultural, vibrant, fun and with some heat.
The best thing was…
Lunch by the beach. Perfect in every way.
I'd like to change…
The temperature. The need for heat was soon replaced by sweat and complaining! However soon distracted by the amazing city.
I wish I'd had time to…
Spend more time at the beach and visit a few other places on my list. Oh well- I'll have to go back!
A city famous for so many things, but architecture and football are the first things to spring to mind. A number of stunning buildings designed by Gaudi, and bought to life with stories of their history. Excellent nightlife and a wide range of high quality restaurants.
Well this blog post was a long time in waiting. Main reasons being that I've had a number of amazing trips and don't even know where to begin with them. A hard thing to really complain about I suppose!
So, in wondering whee to take our 15 year old niece, Barcelona most definitely popped into mind first. How can one not love it? It has everything you could possibly want for a short break but so much to keep you occupied for longer. For romantics, for friends, for families- it is suited to all. This was my second visit to Barcelona, and there were so many things I did this time, I hadn't done before. We also wanted to ensure my niece had a real snapshot of the city: culture, food and fun.
We stayed in a 3 bed apartment in Eixample. A little further out than we had really wanted, but a spacious clean place within our reasonable budget. This is a city where it pays to book early. I had pre-booked a number of restaurants,a nod we had a general plan of the itinerary. Thankfully we have a niece who doesn't complain about anything, so the best type of travel companion.
We spent the first evening settling into our pad, and then acclimatising to the late Spanish dinners (compared to the Brits!) We braved a walk to 366 a restaurant of about 60 covers. There were quite a few people inside when we arrived. Wonderful,warm and friendly staff and great food at amazing prices. A delicious bottle of good wine at a minimal price. We left content and tired ready for a proper tourist day the next day.
The first shop was Sagrada Familia. Stunning coloured windows and amazing construction still in progress. The stories told in stone capturing our attention, but being torn between burning in the sun and filling our minds. From there we took a leisurely and shaded walk to the Ramblas to eat and wander to spend a few hours, stopping in at La Boqueria for some fresh juice and snacks. We decided against a siesta that day but stayed indoors watching a film together and catching up on family gossip.
That night we had a drink at Hotel Duchesa de Cardona at the rooftop bar overlooking the marina. Peaceful and beautiful. We had dinner at Cachitos which was much quieter than imagined. Service was very slow and the atmosphere was in my opinion quite muted (polite for boring). We decided to head to the beach to see if there was any more life down there. If you're wondering- there was plenty!
The next day we made a move to Park Guell wishing parasols were still a normal item of accessory. Such a beautiful place with stunning views, but insanely warm and incredibly busy. We made quite a swift exit and headed to Casa Batlo to enjoy some history and air conditioning and take a few great snaps. For lunch we went to Pez Vela in Barceloneta. It was a perfect lazy Sunday afternoon consisting of beer, paella, people watching, sounds of the sea and laid back vibes. We went into the massive Desigual store, only because we'd been past every other one (of which there are copious) and wanted to compare if there were really any differences. We did notice price differences for same items of clothing. Odd!
Our last evening was time to have something different to tapas and Catalan cuisine, and we went back to the beach to CLDC for Asian grub. A stunning restaurant with good food but with high prices. We pre booked that day but were givens dodgy table outside which rocked every time a waiter went by. A tense 20 minutes later we were re-seated at an excellent spot looking out at the beach. A great end to a great short break. I will be back!
Bar at the Duchesa de Cardona
Sites & places of interest:
Sagrada de Familia