As I said in my previous post, this time last week I was in stunning Barcelona drinking sangria, eating paella and listening to some amazing bands. While I do love and appreciate Glasgow, I always have that tinge of sadness when a holiday is over and it’s back to reality, so I thought I would write a few of my favourite aspects of Barcelona to reminisce about the fabulous time I had!
This was actually the first time I had been abroad with my friends without adult supervision since I am a granny and didn’t go on a party holiday last year. Anyway, this did add a bit of stress to the planning for me knowing that I would have to actually act and think like a grown up and remind myself to put sun cream on every day. In the end everything was completely fine and we had the best time. I loved going here on a gals trip since there are so many cool restaurants and bars to go to and we could really pretend we were a reliving “The Cheetah Girls 2”.
For anyone who is thinking of going to Barcelona soon or has already booked, hopefully I can help you out by telling you about some of the things we did on our trip if you are looking for some inspiration!
Where we stayed
We stayed in an apartment which was right next to the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar called Borne Downtown Studios; it was a great location for most of the main sights, only a 15 minute walk from Las Ramblas and about 5 minutes from Barcelona Cathedral. There was a busy square right next to our apartment with quite a few bars and restaurants, and it was only few minutes away from the metro station. We didn’t know that it was in such a good location until we got there but it made it so much easier for us to go out for dinner and drinks knowing we didn’t have a major trek back!
Places to eat and drink
So if you are a big meat/ fish eater then you may want to skip this part, but if you are vegan/ vegetarian then read on since my friend Ava is vegan so all the restaurants we went to were vegetarian ones. It was good to know there were places that would cater for us and that Ava wouldn’t have to eat nothing but chips at every restaurant we went to (vegan problems no doubt). Most nights we just wandered around the area until we found somewhere we liked which is what I would recommend most of the time, especially if you are a fan of tapas and paella, you can’t really go wrong with the majority of places! The Gothic Quarter is really good for lots of cute places to eat and drink at reasonable prices.
Although, on our last night we booked Teresa Carles because it is usually packed and Ava desperately wanted to go there; it’s a vegetarian restaurant but I would honestly recommend it to anyone because the food was delicious! They served lots of tapas options as well as tacos, burgers, rice dishes and amazing desserts. I really wish they had this restaurant in Glasgow because I would love to go back! It was really close to Las Ramblas so there lots of bars in the area to go to before and after.
We walked to the 360degree terrace bar at the Hotel Barcelo Raval which is definitely a must, especially on a gals trip because the views are so surreal and everything looked so picturesque- I felt like I was Carrie Bradshaw for a moment. The drinks are quite pricey but completely worth it for the experience, and if you go during the day I’m sure you can also use the rooftop pool at the bar if you desire.
I got a day ticket for Primavera on the Saturday and it was one of the best days ever! Everything about the festival is so well organised, from the food, to the range of music, to the setting- I would tell anyone who is the least bit interested in music and festivals to go. It is right by the ocean but is still near the heart of the city, and is so easy to get to by metro; on a Saturday this runs through the night which meant we could make our way back to the apartment easily. There were hundreds of food and drink stalls around the festival serving every cuisine imaginable which we definitely took advantage of while we were there! This meant that if there was no one you were bothered about seeing for an hour, it was easy to grab a snack or a drink and sit on the grass before the next act. We saw quite a few performers, some of whom I had never heard of, as well as the icon that is Jane Birkin, Arctic Monkeys and Lorde.
I am a bit of a geek when it comes to sightseeing because I love going to as much as I can when I am on holiday (blame the parents), so even though I had been to Barcelona before I really wanted to revisit some of the places I saw previously and also see some new ones. Some of the best places we visited were Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Montjuic Castle, as well as the cable car up to the castle which is quite cheap and gives you great views of the city beneath you! We actually meant to go to the Magic Fountain and Castle at Montjuic but the taxi driver misunderstood my Spanish accent (how is that possible?!) and took us to the wrong castle, but it actually turned out to be great, and I had already been to the fountain and would definitely recommend that as well!
However, as much as I love seeing all of the amazing castles, churches and architecture, my favourite thing to do in European cities is to simply wander around the pretty side streets and listen to the languages I can barely understand coming from the balconies, or sit in the middle of a square near someone playing music and soak up the atmosphere.
If you couldn’t tell already by the amount of times I have used ‘amazing’, I had an absolutely fabulous holiday! I hope this helps anyone looking to go anytime soon with some inspiration!