So, as you guys know from my excessive Instagram posts and stories, I just recently went to Barcelona! It was an amazing experience and not only did I eat amazing food, but I learned so much and saw so many new things. I figured I’d share my go-to’s with all of you to help when planning your trip here!
Sites to See:
An absolute must see! If you see anything in Barcelona, let it be this!!! My jaw dropped when we arrived. It is absolutely breathtaking. Tickets were almost sold out, so I would purchase these further in advance to make sure you can go. You need tickets and they’re normally sold out if you go the day of, so make sure to order online prior to your visit! We ordered them prior and all of them were sold out aside from the audio tour ones, but I’m so glad we got the audio tour! It’s great to hear about the building because there’s so much detail and meaning that goes into it. It’s not a tour guide, but you basically have a little phone that talks to you about each part of the building. Highly recommend doing this because you learn so much!
Across from the Sagrada Familia is a pond where you can get an amazing view of the entire building (and get some great pics!). We went here around 1PM on a Saturday. It wasn’t too crowded, but if you want to beat the crowds, I’d suggest going earlier in the morning.
This is probably what you’ve seen all over Instagram! It’s a park designed by Gaudi and it’s gorgeous to walk around and get amazing views of the city. The most insta-worth spot is of course on the mosaic bench overlooking the city. I would suggest walking all the way to the top (there’s a path with 3 crosses at the highest peak). The view is gorgeous and there’s a lot of history!
We went to the park at 9AM, which was definitely the best decision. You walk SO much, so I would recommend doing this before brunch. Also, wear comfy shoes!
If you’re going when it’s warm outside, definitely go to the beach if you can! It’s gorgeous and there’s a ton of restaurants surrounding the area. There’s also tiki bars right on the water so you can get drinks and hang out.
I, unfortunately, did not get a chance to see this, but wanted to share so you guys can. When I was at Parc Guell, I could see on top of a mountain this gorgeous church and a ferris wheel right next to it. Turns out, that’s Tibidabo, a mountain overlooking Spain. There houses the church and an amusement park (that’s open during the summer months!). If you have the time to head out there, definitely go (and send me pics, I wish I could’ve gone!).
A really cool neighborhood to walk around. There’s shops and the buildings are absolutely gorgeous! It’s fairly close to the beach, so you can hit both spots in one day!
La Boqueria Market/Las Ramblas Market
We went to the market on Saturday and it was so fun to walk around! They have food, drinks, and things that you can take home with you (I bought a bottle of olive oil to bring home!). I’d recommend getting lunch there so you can walk around Las Ramblas.
Passeig de Gracia
This street is a long strip with a ton of boutiques and high end stores. Even if you’re not buying anything, it’s so fun to peak into the Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton stores. There were long lines to get into the stores, but definitely worth it to look around (plus, some of the bags are cheaper here!).
For shopping, check out Mango (one on every corner), Zara (also one on every corner), and Pull and Bear. I found so many cute things from all of these stores. Mango and Zara are obviously huge companies, but the Barcelona locations were 20x better that US stores! Pull and Bear is an adorable affordable shop with cute basics and everything is so reasonably priced (think Forever 21 but better quality!).
For little boutiques, my two favorites were EseOEse (https://www.eseoese.com/en)and Nekane NSN (https://www.nkn.es/en/).
Places to Eat:
Brunch and Cake
This brunch spot was recommended to me by absolutely everyone who I talked to. They have amazing food (they don’t serve alcohol if you want a boozy brunch). But, they have some of the most Insta-worthy food I’ve ever seen! One of their most popular items it the super sandwich, which is a big pretzel stuffed with guacamole, and also have a syringe filled with guacamole at the top! So good to share!
I ordered the acai bowl, which was amazing. They have avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, etc. It’s always really busy, but they have multiple locations!
Cafe & Tapas
This was the first restaurant we ate dinner at, and we were just walking around and found this spot, which ended up being our favorite meal of the week. It’s pretty much all tapas, but they have sandwiches and other things. I’d recommend ordering the paella and, of course, patata bravas from here! So good and not too expensive. All of the restaurants on this strip have outside seating right in the middle of the sidewalk, so you get to sit and people watch all night!
Dinner in Barcelona is normally very late (between 9-10pm), so you eat later and they also sit and have longer dinners. Definitely order a bottle of wine, because you’ll be sitting for awhile. Also, the restaurants don’t serve water for free like in the US. This was a big difference, so you have to order water and pay for the bottles.
Amazing dessert place! They have gelato, cannoli’s, and other desserts. So good to get after dinner! (right across from Cafe & Tapas).
Green and Berry
This little spot is unreal! They have matcha lattes, coffee, smoothies, juices, avocado toast, acai bowls, zucchini noodles, and more! The zucchini noodles and avocado toast were my faves from here. If you want breakfast or a healthy lunch, definitely check this place out. We went here almost every day for breakfast or late lunch.
Not necessarily a place to eat, but just a cute touristy pit stop! You fill up a little bottle with candy. The candy is so good and so cute!
Milk Bar & Bistro
My second favorite place we ate at! Supposedly they have great brunch, but we got dinner here. We had the prawns for an appetizer (must get!!) and I ordered the ramen burger. It’s similar to the famous one at Smorgasburg and it was soo so good! They have really good mojitos too! Highly recommend this place for dinner.
So, this spot is actually an Italian pizzeria. It started in Naples and made it’s way to Barcelona. This was the absolute best pizza I have ever had in my entire life. It’s pretty big, but you can easily eat the whole thing yourself. I ordered the Margerita with buffalo mozzarella. Absolutely amazing. If you’re craving pizza and are sick of tapas, you have to eat here! You will not regret it!! They also have some amazing desserts!
Bo de B
MUST EAT HERE! I also got recommended this place by majority of people! It’s a sandwich shop it’s so good!! It’s right by the beach (10 minute walk or so), so you can grab sandwiches and walk to the beach and eat them if you want! I just ordered a chicken sandwich, picked my toppings, and got all of the sauces (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you go!). It was so good and really cheap! Definitely swing by and eat here if you get the chance.
This place is attached to the hotel, so if you Google it, you’ll probs be confused why a hotel is coming up, but we sat outside and the food was great. So many different tapas to order and paella was amazing. This restaurant is run by a Michelin starred chef, so you know it’s amazing before even eating the food. Tapas, croquettes, paella, serrano ham, are all must haves at any restaurant you eat at!
This is NOT a restaurant, this is actually a shot bar haha. We didn’t go to too many clubs/bars while we were there because 1)jet lag and 2) it’s really just fun to sit and drink wine all night while people watching lol, so we got a little carried away. Anyways, this bar is so fun. They have a ton of different shots and all of them are only 2-3 euros. My favorite was the Finding Nemo. They also light some on fire, so definitely check this bar out!
Everyone dresses very chic and cool in Barcelona, so think maxi skirts with basic tees, jeans and cute tops, and dresses with sneakers.
I wore sneakers with almost all of my outfits because it’s way more comfortable but also most people wear sneakers with everything during the day. You’re walking a lot so keep that in mind! Bring your most comfortable shoes. If something was a 40 minute walk away, we walked. So, you want to look cute but be comfy!
I wouldn’t spend majority of your time at the beach, but definitely go for a day or two! Pack a bathing suit so you can lay out, or you can even just walk around the area in your normal day clothes.
I wore a lot of dresses, because they’re really easy to pack and fit in your suitcase, but you can also wear a jacket with them, sandals, or sneakers, so they’re really versatile. Definitely one of the easier things to pack!
Also, make sure you bring a crossbody! Pick pocketing is really popular in Barcelona, so you want to make sure your bag and belongings are not easily accessible. I wouldn’t walk around with a tote that’s easy to get into. I wore my crossbody with every single outfit and kept my wallet and phone in my bag at all times unless I needed to take it out. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings! Having your crossbody in front of you is probably best!
Things I would do differently:
- Brought more sneakers! I brought a lot of sandals which were cute, but not as comfy as I would’ve liked, so I ended up wearing the same sneakers with every outfit. Not a huge issue, but def bring two pairs because you’ll be wearing them a lot!
- Wish we made it out more. I would’ve loved to check out more of the bars/clubs. The jet lag is tough to fight through to make it out at night, but if you can, I definitely would recommend going to some of the cooler bars over there.
- See Tibidabo!
- There’s so many places to eat and drink. I wish we went to more rooftop bars to get a pre dinner drink. The views on the rooftop bars are amazing.
- Packed less because I bought so many clothes while I was there!
Overall, there’s so much to do and see in Barcelona. It’s impossible to get everything done in just one week. Pick the top places you want to go see and knock those out in the morning so that way you have your whole day free afterwards and can shop, walk around, and go to all of the restaurants you want to go to!
If you guys have any other questions, let me know! And enjoy spending your time in my new favorite city! It’s such a gorgeous place so really take your time to soak in all of the architecture and history is the city.
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