A Guide To Barcelona
Our latest vacation took us to Spain! We spent a few days in Torrevieja where my in-laws have a home then drove up to Barcelona for the remaining of our trip. Torrevieja is a quieter city in the southeast of Spain, and it was about a 5 hour drive up the coast to Barcelona. Spain has become a quick favorite of mine, and here are some ways you can enjoy vacationing there!
Where To Stay
We stayed at Hotel Praktik Essens, which is located in the heart of Barcelona. This boutique hotel not only has a perfect location, but it was very affordable for a summer vacation. We did choose to have a room with a private terrace and pool along with breakfast included, but they have different types of rooms/add ons. We didn’t need to use our rental car or taxis much in Barcelona because were about a 20-30 minute walk to everything thanks to our hotel! We enjoyed our stay here, and I would recommend it!
Some other hotels you can check out:
AirBnbs - I actually found our hotel through AirBnb then booked directly through the hotel!
Where To Eat
The food was incredible in Spain, and it’s something you will not be disappointed in. I did have a few places on my list that I wanted to visit, but don’t plan every meal. You will find the best places just by strolling around and wandering in. I will highlight a few places we checked out, and some other suggestions!
Disfrutar - We were originally put on the wait list for this restaurant, and luckily received a call two days before stating they had an opening! This is a two star Michelin restaurant, and recently named top third in the world! This meal is not only about food, but art and your senses connecting with the food and culture. It was the most extravagant, beautifully curated meal I have ever been a part of. They served us 28 dishes – yes you read that right 28! They were small portions of each, but we were full by the end of this several hour meal.
This was our final dish with several desserts included!
Colon Terrace – This rooftop on top of the Hotel Colon has beautiful views of the Barcelona Cathedral. There are no reservations allowed, but we were able to walk and sit down immediately. We arrived around 6:00 PM, but noticed a line when we left. This rooftop serves tapas and drinks, and our favorite was the sangria and nachos!
Brunch & Cake – We went here for a breakfast before our sailing tour! They had multiple locations in Barcelona, and they do not take reservations. The food was phenomenal and the décor was to die for, so I definitely recommend checking one of them out while you’re in town! The location we ate at was Granados 19.
Manso’s Café – Breakfast, Coffee, Light lunch
C’Amelio Café – Breakfast, Coffee, Lunch
La Papa – Breakfast, Coffee
All Day Café – Breakfast, Coffee, Lunch
Surf House - Breakfast, Coffee, Lunch
Mercat de la Boqueria – Food Market
Mood Rooftop Bar & Restaurant – Drinks, Lunch, Dinner
Azimuth Rooftop Bar – Drinks, Lunch, Dinner
El Nacional – Lunch and Dinner (Located directly connected to our hotel)
Aürt - Dinner (Another fine dining experience - reservations needed)
What To Do
Sailing Tour – We booked a sailing tour with Barcelona Sailing Day! The tour we chose was 65 euros and could hold up to 6 people. Luckily, when we arrived we were on the tour ALONE! The tour included two hours, a swim, drinks and snacks. This was definitely the highlight of our trip, and I recommend this tour for any ages. https://barcelonasailingday.com/
La Sagrada Familia – This beautiful cathedral begun construction in 1882, and they’re continuing to add on! You’re able to take a tour inside, but we chose to walk around outside of the grounds. This is where we saw the most people, but it was worth seeing. Pictures cannot do this stunning architecture justice.
Mercat de la Boqueria – This food market is located off the La Ramblas, and it is HUGE! You can find any and all food at this market, and it is a must see. We really enjoyed checking out the different food, and trying new things!
Seeing the Sights – We aren't much of tour people, so we did everything on our own! Some places do require tickets such as Parc Guell, so just double check if any parks/sights require tickets and buy them ahead of time. We checked out the L’Arc de Triomf, La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Cathedral and the Gothic Quarter by walking. We drove our rental car to Tibidabo (did not go into the park, but drove up the mountain to it then back down) and Parc Guell.
Some other sights that are suggested to see are:
Jardins del Laberint d’Horta
Parc De La Ciutadella
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Beach Day – So we did not step directly on the beach in Barcelona, but saw it from our sailing tour. The beach in Barcelona is known to be very busy and possibly dirty. There are some nearby beaches that people recommend instead: Sitges, Aiguablava and Sant Po de Mar!
Picnic – I found an adorable picnic company, but didn’t have enough time to use them. They even will make grazing plates if you want it delivered to your hotel! I still wanted to include this because their reviews and IG account looks amazing - @strawsnberriespicnics
Here is a quick recap of our itinerary of our trip :
Day One – Checked into hotel at 5 PM, Colon Terrace at 6 PM, watched sunset and relaxed at hotel.
Day Two – Camelia Art Café for breakfast, walked to La Sagarda Familia, walked back to hotel to rest, lunch at Disfrutar at 1PM, walked back to hotel to rest, walked to Mercat de la Boqueria, La Rambla, Gothic Quarter and L’Arc de Triomf, grabbed a quick tapas dinner by hotel.
Day Three – Brunch & Cake for breakfast, walked to Barcelona Sailing Day, Sailing Tour 11AM – 1PM, taxi back to the hotel to rest, shopped, walked to Casa Batllo, grabbed Kebab pizza and watched the sunset from hotel.
Day Four – headed to the airport
Fun Facts & Tips
Spain is a more affordable European country for travel! For example, we took a taxi after our sailing tour because we were too tired/salty to walk back to our hotel, and it was only $10.
Barcelona is known for being one of the biggest pick pocketing cities – we didn’t see/experience any of this, but we did not wear/have valuables on us and I used my cross body fanny pack for the entire trip.
We spent three days/four nights in Barcelona, and were able to check so much off our list so don’t worry if you don’t have a whole week!
Tipping is not expected or usual in Spain so don’t worry about it!
Just like most European countries people tend to eat a late dinner so this can affect the crowd numbers if you're wanting to eat dinner before 8 PM!
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