We visited Barcelona on our (now annual) Eurotrip in 2016. Here is the quick take!
Visited: May, 2016
Days in Barcelona: 4
Travelled to Barcelona by: Plane from Amsterdam
Stayed at: NH Barcelona Centro
Favourite site: La Boqueria Market and the Sagrada Familia
Favourite restaurants: La Rita and Sagardi
Favourite Squares: Placa de Catalunya
Tours: Hop on, hop off bus
Must Do: Visit the Park Guell, Sagrada Familia and La Boqueria Market. We loved the hop on, hop off bus because we got to see so much of the city we wouldn’t have otherwise known about or made time for.
If you have time: Spend a day on the beach but beware of a ton of people selling things.
Day trips: None.
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!
I know I mentioned going on vacation a while back and it’s finally here!
I have a few posts scheduled while we’re gone, but I’ll be posting on Instagram if you’re interested.
Be back in a few weeks with more stories, tips and photos!
Every May for the last few years we take a two week trip to Europe. This year we are going to explore Amsterdam, Barcelona and Portugal.
Neither of us has been to Amsterdam or Barcelona. Do you have any tips, tricks or recommendations?
We visited Lisbon last year and absolutely loved it! We know for sure we’re landing in Lisbon and we have to make our way back to fly home, but we’d love to see more of Portugal. The biggest problem we’re having is that we only have three days. Any suggestions?