Omg. I’m FINALLY WRITING AGAIN. I took a really long hiatus from the blog because I was finishing up my thesis and had some personal issues to take care of, both in terms of health as well as relationships. I had a big breakthrough today (exciting announcement soon) and it just inspired me to get back to writing.

So F.C. and I took off recently to Spain for 19 days and I am so excited to share my experiences with you in a series of blog posts! Our first stop was his city of Barcelona.

Let’s start with saying, Barcelona is a really cool city. It has a crazy amount of things to see and do and is so Bohemian in it’s own way. I also happened to be there during the terrorist attack on the 17th of August that occurred in Las Ramblas and it was just unreal to see the spirit of the people and their solidarity against it. On a less sombre note though, here is a short guide on what to do when you have five days in this beautiful city.

1. The Gaudí Trail in Barcelona

You just can’t go to Barcelona and ignore the presence and spirit of this famous architect. Right from the MASSIVE Sagrada Familia, all the way to Park Güell, Gaudi’s architecture gives the city it’s oomph and character at every turn. Start your day at the Plaza Catalunya, and spend your day walking to Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. Casa Batlló has a great virtual tour in 3-D and this house is so quirky and weird at every turn! La Pedrera is slightly less imaginative, but is a walking history book of his work.

I would suggest carrying a really good pair of walking shoes, because Barcelona is definitively better seen on foot! While Park Guell is gorgeous and reminds you of an alternative Smurf-land, you shouldn’t miss seeing the Sagrada Familia. It is breathtaking at every turn. If you’re a student, you’re in luck as these places usually have better rates. You can also choose to skip the queue and save time by buying online tickets. While La Pedrera and Casa Batllo are relatively easy to see in one morning, it would be too tiring to then see both the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. I would spread these attractions out over three days.

2. Eat everything – from the Boqueria to a Michelin star restaurant

 

As a lover of food, I must say that Spain is FOOD HEAVEN. Living in Dubai has its perks with lots of restaurants to choose from, but unless I have a tasting scheduled, I scour through Zomato regularly before I decide where to dine. Barcelona is very different though. It’s a good place to eat at every turn. We went to the Boqueria with an already full stomach but couldn’t help helping ourselves to the pastries, a high quality jamon ( thin slices of aged pork) and turrons. A place near F.C.’s served the most divine porras (a cousin of the churro) to be dipped in the thickest hot chocolate. Jordi Cruz’s Angle restaurant had a divine and light foie gras sweet corn taco that melts in your mouth. Everything from the salty to the sweet, the crisp to the fluffy, Spanish cuisine has a life and poetry of its own. If you enjoy Michelin star-dining, I would recommend skipping your visit in the month of August as most of these restaurants are closed. Try the paella at Barcelonata, it’s fabulous though a bit heavy on the pocket. Try not to eat at the Ramblas as it’s unnecessarily expensive and it’s too touristy. If you’re looking for something truly alternative, maybe venture into Boca de las fades, a gorgeous fairy forest-themed bar.

 

3. Get lost in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain
The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is full of surprises

Possibly my favourite sight of the city after the Sagrada Familia. The Gothic Quarter is by far my favourite place in Barcelona. Besides its narrow streets and Assassin’s Creed vibes, it is nothing short of enchanting. My favourite street is Petrixol, where there are charming chocolatiers (food, of course!), a French gourmet store and vintage bookshops. Another favourite is the Carrer dels Tallers, where there are alternative shops, a really interesting Korean bao place and a few tattoo studios.

Carrer Petrixol, Barcelona, Spain
One of the charming gourmet food shops in Petrixol.
Petrixol street, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Spain
Possibly my favourite store. This is an art gallery meets vintage goods shop on Petrixol.

And there you have it, three things you just can’t miss in this great city! Have you been to Barcelona? What’s your favourite thing about the city?

12 Comments

  1. Love your description of the Gothic Quarter (Assassin’s Creed vibes). Barcelona looks absolutely magical, and it’s one the major European cities I haven’t had the chance to visit yet. I hope to chance that soon! Will be following your tips 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! I read about the boycott a few months earlier, but didn’t really face any issues when I was there as I stayed with my fiance. It’s just that I believe the city no longer wants to add hotel concepts any more so it’s going to get more difficult to seek accommodation there, even with Airbnb and the like.

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