When my good friend, Deborah, called me 6 months ago to ask if I was interested in meeting up with her somewhere in Europe to travel — I immediately said YES! That was the easy part.
The hard part was then deciding WHERE to go.
After much research and consideration for our summer girl’s trip — we landed on España!
We started by spending two full days in Barcelona (before heading to Majorca).
After finally finding each other in the Barcelona airport, we took the A2 Aerobus to our hotel (€5.90/one way).
I would highly recommend staying at Hotel: Praktik Vinoteca. Each Praktik Hotel has a “theme”, if you will — and we were more than pleased that we were staying at one dedicated to vino! The lobby is essentially a classy wine bar — where you will be welcomed with a delicious glass of wine upon arrival.
But it wasn’t just the wine concept that we loved — the location, amenities, and price were all worth bragging about too.
After purchasing a (well worth it) 2-Day City Travel Card (€14.50) to have unlimited access to the bus & metro system — we made our way to Park Güell.
Park Güell is a (partly) free public park that was brought to life in the early 1900s by Antoni Gaudi. Although, the construction was originally proved to be an unsuccessful housing site — it is now one of the most visited spots in Barcelona.
The park is oozing with beautiful design and architecture — and if you climb up high enough, it also offers beautiful views of the city and the Mediterranean.
After enjoying the park, we continued over to Gaudi’s most famous work of art — La Sagrada de Familia.
La Sagrada de Familia is a ginormous, unfinished Roman Catholic church that now doubles as Barcelona’s top tourist attraction. Gaudi started working on its design in 1883 — and it was still less than 1/4 completed when he died, 43 years later. It is said it will finally be completed in 2026 — but there are many skeptics 🙂
We did not take the time to go inside — but the size and detail of the outside alone is enough to keep you speechless. A must see.
For lunch, we hopped over to the La Boqueria Market in La Rambla. This popular market dates back to 1217 and offers a huge variety of local groceries, fresh squeezed juice, homemade popsicles… and even restaurants!
We ate some delicious tapas from Pinotxo Bar — you don’t want to miss the “Garbanzos“.
With full bellies we continued strolling down Las Ramblas and exploring around the general area the rest of the afternoon.
After some resting and freshening up — time for dinner!
I wish there were enough words to describe how wonderful and delicious our dinner (and entire experience) was at Flax & Kale. Let’s just say, 3 months later and I’m still dreaming about this “healthy-flexitarian” restaurant — with their beautiful rooftop garden, inspiring concept and design, and a menu that makes choosing just one almost impossible.
Real Talk: If it had been up to me, I would have eaten all my meals here.
After having to be drug away from a dinner I never wanted to end — we caught the sunset at Terraza 360. This rooftop bar is located on top of Barcelo Raval Hotel.
If I’m being honest — the views are excellent but the drinks are overpriced and the overall vibe is disappointing. If you are solely looking for a great view — you won’t find a better spot — but for the total package, I would explore one of Barcelona’s many other rooftop hangouts.
We started our 2nd day in Barcelona venturing up to the top of Montjuic hill — and then taking the Port Cable Car down to the beach. This was a highlight of the trip for me!
For 11€ one way (or 16.50€ round trip), you can soak in beautiful sights of Barcelona by gliding 1.3m over it.
I was originally not wanting to spend a lot of time at the Barcelona Beach (we didn’t even bring our bathing suits).
1) I had been to it 7 years prior and remembered it as being overly crowded, dirty, and less than enjoyable 2) We were leaving for some of the best beaches in the world the following day!
BUT — I have to admit — it was different this time around! This beach is beautiful! It felt much more “family friendly”, offered a whole new selection of restaurants and shops, and was overall a more fun and respectable beach, in my opinion.
Time has treated you well, Barcelona Beach.
After bumming around (and dipping our toes in the water) we grabbed lunch near by at Surf House. This restaurant was everything I hoped it would be — laid back yet attentive to detail. (This trip was clearly not lacking in good food).
Their menu is l o v e l y and the view isn’t too bad either 😉
We spent the rest of the sunny day exploring the Gothic Quarter — and trying to spot out more of Gaudi’s work.
Hint: on Passeig de Gracia (the main shopping and business avenue), you will find Casa Batlló and La Pedrera.
I’ve now been to Barcelona twice — and wouldn’t hesitate to go again. It’s such a large and lively city; both of my trips were spent differently — but were equally as memorable.
The architecture is stunning, the food is delicious, and the people are as lively as they come! Barcelona may be thought of as crowded and “touristy” — but hey, maybe there’s a reason why? 😉
—> Click Here <— to read more about our continued trip to Mallorca!