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City Break: Barcelona Edition

I have been to Barcelona three times now and when I say I could live out my days wandering the beautiful streets, enjoying Spanish wine on the coast I really mean it! Barcelona is the perfect place to enjoy a long weekend and soak in the sun. With buses, trams and metro lines and a bus running from the airport into the city, Barcelona is very well connected and easily to get around. Even with all the transit I still found a lot of the city to be very walkable too! There’s something here for everyone; amazing food, great shopping, lots and lots of history and a well known party scene! Just like many other popular tourist cities, pickpockets are always out and about so just be aware of your valuables and do not put your phone in your pocket, put it in your bag and zip it up!

Marvel at the Sagrada Familia. Originally designed by Francisco de Paula del Villar and then Antoni Gaudí, the project started in 1882 and is set to be completed in 2026. You can pay entry to enjoy the basilica from the inside if you’d like; I personally haven’t been inside yet! Make sure to walk around the whole thing and take in both sides; they have two different designs so they look completely different!

Strut like you mean it though Park Güell. Another incredible creation from Gaudí, Park Güell has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sit down and enjoy the view from Gaudí’s famous mosaic bench; from my experience this is the most popular part of the park so it will be busy! Make sure you give yourself time to enjoy the rest of the park, there’s plenty of green spaces to wander through, a second level of architecture to marvel at and a big dragon sculpture. Don’t forget while walking through the park that you’re in the presence of greatness and obviously I’m talking about how they filmed the Cheetah Girls 2 here!

Wander down Las Ramblas. If you start at Plaça de Catalunya, you’ll have a 20 minute walk down Las Ramblas towards Monument a Colom and you’ll end up down at the water! You can shop your way down or just enjoy the walk, either way you should stop at Mercat de la Boqueria. At this market you can find all different kinds of meats, cheeses, fresh produce and fresh fruit juice.

Have dinner with a view at Arenas de Barcelona. What once was a popular bull fighting arena has now been transformed into a shopping mall. You can get your shopping fix and then take the escalators up to the top floor and enjoy the surrounding view of the city. You can just enjoy the view or pick a restaurant and grab a drink too!

Enjoy wandering through Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. Both created by Gaudí, Casa Mila and Casa Batlló are marvels of art. I have only been to Casa Mila so far but if you have time definitely check out both; they’re just a couple minutes walk from each other! Make sure to go all the way to the roof when you go to Casa Mila because you get a beautiful view from the top.

Relax with a glass of Spanish wine. One of the funnest nights I’ve had while traveling start at Bodega Maestrazgo, a small locally owned wine bar. We ordered a wine flight and a meat and cheese board and and the rest of the night is history, grab a glass and enjoy! I’ve also had some of the most incredible sangria at random spots around Barcelona so don’t judge anything by how it looks. One of my favorite sangrias was a hole in the wall bar near Park Güell and I will forever be kicking myself that I didn’t write the name of the place down.

Eat your heart out. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Barcelona but I will say I still dream of the cafes there. Every morning was an adventure deciding on a new brunch spot but from my experience no matter what you find you’ll love it! Originally starting in Barcelona, popular brunch spot Brunch & Cake is now slowly spreading world wide but it’s absolutely delicious and worth the wait in my experience. If you want something with a bit more of a local feel, try Petit Pot Bistro Cafe; I firmly believe the eggs Benedict have healing powers.

Go for a night out! Barcelona has incredible nightlife so you have to experience it while you’re there. You can pretty much find anything that you’re looking for just make sure you’re willing to stay out late, it doesn’t get interesting until 2am! Some clubs do have a dress code and will send you away at the door so just make sure you’re prepared. As always be aware of your surroundings, be careful with your valuables and don’t get scammed by your taxi driver on the way home.

Looking for more?

Hop on the train and head to Sitges. About a 35 minute train away from Barcelona is Sitges, a lovely beach town perfect for a day out of the city. You can relax on the beach or grab a paddle board and explore the neighboring beaches. There’s a lovely Main Street so grab a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy some people watching!

Head to the mountains, Monserrat and visit the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Monserrat. The community is made up of about 80 monks and you can go see mass or the boys’ choir depending on the time of day you go. When I went, I was on a tour so they picked us up in Barcelona but you can also take the train if you don’t want to do a tour. The view from the mountains is amazing so just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to take it all in!

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