Despite having been to Iceland in February, by March I felt like I needed a hot holiday booked as our weather in the UK can be incredibly hit and miss and it’s always nicer to go abroad as well when it comes to holidays. Don’t get me wrong I love holidaying around the UK but knowing you’re going away is such a great feeling.
One of my best friends is from South Africa and she’s lived in the UK for a few years now but hasn’t had the chance to see any more of Europe, she was also in need of a holiday so we decided to book a little holiday in Barcelona. I went to Barcelona a couple of years ago for my 19th birthday and really loved the city and the vibes it gave so was really happy to re-visit it now!
We flew out early on the 9th of June and after a very comfortable and enjoyable flight with British Airways (I’m used to Ryanair/EasyJet, this was luxury in comparison!) we made it to Barcelona and were soon on the metro to our hotel.
After taking a quick siesta and getting ourselves sorted we left the B&B to meet Lee’s cousin Kim who had flown all the way from South Africa to join us in Spain! We met her at Placa Espanya after getting ourselves quite lost in the metro stations (you’d think as we use the London Underground regularly we wouldn’t be so bad in other undergrounds but no…). Once we were all together we headed back to the B&B to dump all bags before heading out to explore the area we were staying in! Blue Barcelona is in the Garcia district which was full of apartments and little squares of restaurants tucked away. We found ourselves in a restaurant called Amelie in Placa de la Vila Gracia where we discovered our new favourite thing – Bomba la Barceloneta. Who knew a potato with meat inside covered by a delicious sauce could taste so amazing?!
After dinner we walked back to Blue Barcelona to get changed for our evening plans which we had booked earlier in the day. What would be more appropriate for our first night than flamenco! We took the metro to Liceu station and walked from there to Placa Reial to find Los Tarantos. There we saw some beautiful Spanish flamenco while drinking a huge jug of 15€ sangria (yes a jug, classy) with a smooth jazzy band accompanying.
We had some silly moments in the square afterwards (blame the sangria for that) and found an ice cream place that was still open at midnight! I was thrilled by this.
The next morning we were up relatively early and had tickets for the Sagrada Familia, something I was really excited to finally see. The last time I visited Barcelona the queue to get tickets was three hours long and in the midday heat we didn’t want to stand around for that long at all. This time round I knew better and I booked us tickets to get in at a specific time rather than having to queue for hours. We had to queue a little bit just to get through security and to pick up our audio guides but that was only around 15 minutes, much more favourable in comparison with queueing for hours! Soon enough we were in the Sagrada Familia.
I’ve been in many churches but never have I been as amazed and astounded at any form of architecture than I have with the Sagrada Familia. Despite there being building works going on still and the sound of drilling going on while we were inside, that didn’t detract the beauty whatsoever. All of the walls have stained glass windows which cast gorgeous rays of colour into the church. Usually when I think of stained glass windows, especially in a church, I think of them as religious depictions but what I liked about the Sagrada Familia was that the windows were more abstract and almost had surrealist impressions which made them all the more beautiful as the pure colour shone through. It literally took my breath away.
I’m not one for religion or spiritualism as such, but being in this church had this odd affect on me, it was really calming in a sense.
After being amazed by the Sagrada Familia we made our way up to Park Güell to see more of Antoni Gaudi’s work. I’d been to the park last time I was in Barcelona but remember it being a really lovely place to visit with lots to see.
For this we hadn’t booked tickets in advance and so we did have to wait for the next time slot to be allowed into the paid part of the park however there is a lot that you can walk around without having to pay. I think we had to wait for an hour and a half and we filled that time in one of the play parks near an entrance to have lunch and play on the swings like children!
When it was finally our turn to enter the paid part of the park we first admired the beautiful view of Barcelona and the ocean, before wandering around the various architectural elements that the park is made up of.
Stopping only once for some silly photos and to listen to an acoustic duo busking under the slanting pillars. It really is amazing how this park is made up, and is certainly a brilliant place to visit while in Barcelona. Like with the Sagrada Familia, I’d recommend booking tickets online in advance to avoid queues and waiting – especially in peak heat!
After exploring the park we felt pretty exhausted so headed back to the B&B to rest up before going out to dinner at Bo in Plaça la Vila where I again had the Bomba La Barceloneta, as it was that yummy!
On our last full day in Barcelona we spent some time at the beach which was wonderful (despite getting a face full of sea water multiple times…) and even though it was slightly more overcast than it had been the previous days the slightly cooler day was welcome. With a few relaxing hours at the beach done we made our way back to the B&B to get ready to go out that night! We returned to Plaça Reial as we’d seen some bars and clubs in the area that we liked the look of when we came to watch the flamenco.
First we went into a bar called My Way after being convinced that for 5€ we could get a free shot, a cocktail and then entry into more clubs later in the night – what a winner. We ended up really liking this bar, it had a relaxed vibe with an art deco style, My Way is also a restaurant but having already eaten we didn’t get a chance to try the food here. I tried two extra shooters while here, the Pink Panther and After Eight – the latter is self explanatory and definitely tasted just like After Eight, and the Pink Panther was a mix of vodka, coconut liqueur and grenadine and became my new favourite thing. So. Nice. Following My Way we headed up Las Ramblas to a club called BLVD to get some dancing done on our last night in Barcelona!
The next morning we somehow made it out of bed at a reasonable time for breakfast before doing a few more touristy things. I was flying home in the afternoon so didn’t want to stray too far from the B&B but thankfully the last things we wanted to see were relatively close by. First we headed over to Diagonal station to see Casa Mila, and a short walk down the road allowed us to see Casa Batllo as well – two more pieces of Gaudi’s beautiful work!
Last but not least we visited the Magical Fountain of Montjuïc which was an amazing sight. It’s a shame we weren’t there while they do the light show at night, we didn’t realise it only happens at weekends! Next time I visit Barcelona I’ll make sure I’m there in time to see it. It was an incredibly beautiful area to walk around.
After seeing the fountains we went back to the B&B to get our bags and leave the city! I had a wonderful time and I’m so pleased with how much we managed to fit in in such a short time.
I must also say how much I loved the B&B we stayed in! Blue Barcelona will be my port of call for whenever I’m back in Barcelona as it was so clean and the staff were incredibly friendly and willing to offer help/advice with whatever we asked them. The rooms were well airconditioned too, plus we had a beautiful view from our rooms, so if you’re looking for a central place in the city to stay that will fit a budget nicely too certainly check this place out!
ps. vlog! :)