We landed in Barcelona, excited for warm weather after our relatively cold and rainy time in Amsterdam, and headed to our hotel in the centre of the city. We dropped our bags and went for a walk. What a great location – perfect for site seeing!
I’m going to be real here. We didn’t love Barcelona. It might be one of our least favourite European cities that we have visited. We came to the conclusion that it’s a combination of Lisbon and Rome. Not a ton to see (like Lisbon) but huge and more gritty (like Rome).
Here’s what we didn’t like…
- I didn’t feel particularly safe in parts of the city, especially while on Las Ramblas. I took off my wedding rings for the first time while travelling, in fear of having them be taken off me.
- There were a ton of street and beach pedlars. They were everywhere and very persistent.
- The majority of the sites are Gaudi. Don’t get me wrong, he was a genius, but it felt like the tourism industry lives and dies on this guy’s creations. Twenty Euro to go into a building seems a bit steep. We did pay to get into the Monumental Zone at the Park Guell and neither of us felt it was worth the money.
- Like Paris, we had mixed reactions to the food. Some places were reasonably priced and fabulous. Others were reasonably priced and not good. We did splurge one night and loved that dinner.
It wasn’t all bad. Here are the parts I loved…
- The weather was perfect for strolling and lounging in parks (like Park Guell) and on the beach.
- La Boqueria Market was so much fun.
- Gin and Tonics (which is one of my favourite drinks) are everywhere! I tried a Bombay Sapphire gin with Hibiscus Schweppes tonic water drink and I will forever dream of that combination.
- While in Barcelona, we did something for the first time – a hop on, hop off tour bus. It was perfect to see parts of the city we would never have otherwise, like Camp Nou (the Barcelona FC team stadium), the Olympic stadium and the Forum. It also brought us up to the Park Guell and down to the water.
- Sagrada Familia is something you must see in your lifetime. Hopefully it’ll be completed in your lifetime!