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Barcelona, Spain City Guide

TravelCason Rainwater

We took you to London and we took you to Paris but as promised, the tour-de-Europe continues. Honestly, Spain wasn’t really high on my list because I didn’t know much about it. To catch you up, Kat and I spent a week with Joanna in London and Paris but we still had tons of Europe left to see! We were meeting up with my mom and her good friend (our Fairy Godmother) in Barcelona so that we could board a Mediterranean-bound cruise. If the cruise hadn’t been leaving from Barcelona, I don’t know if I would have stopped in Spain but I’m so glad we did! The food might have been my favorite over any other stop in Europe. If you’re headed to the city of tapas, bullfighting, and siestas, then this post is just what you need!

Kat and I took an overnight train from Paris to Barcelona. We took the Elipsos “hotel train” and even though the room was small, it was actually quite convenient to go to bed in France and wake up in Spain!

[ TO-DO ]

Las Ramblas | Yes, SO touristy but how often are you in Barcelona? This beautiful outdoor promenade is lined with cafes, local artists, trendy boutiques, souvenir shops, and fruit stands. I’ll be honest with you, avoid eating at the restaurants on this street. They are tourist traps and nothing special at all but strolling down this tree-lined street is a must-see.

TIP: Pickpocketing in this area is out of control. I literally didn’t take my hands off my crossbody and I’d recommend you do the same.

La Sagrada Familia | This is a large Roman Catholic church which is designed by famous architect Anton Gaudi. I’ll never be able to fully describe the magnitude of this structure and my pictures won’t do it justice. To help give you an idea of the complexity and size, building commenced in 1882 and the anticipated completion date is 2026. Y’all that’s almost 150 years. Do check out the gift shop at the end. We bought the most unique mugs and vases that were designed to look like Gaudi’s work.

TIP: The line to get tickets was approximately 4 HOURS long and wrapped around the block twice. I did some quick thinking and pulled up their website on my phone and bought tickets. We were able to get out of line and walk straight to the front. If this is a stop on your trip, buy your tickets in advance!

Barcelona City Tour | This was a double-decker tour bus so again, I know it is so touristy, but we basically used this as our method of transportation for 2 days. We could hop off at the stops we were interested in, stay as long as we like, then hop on board the next bus that came around. We were able to pop in our headphones and hear about the landmarks we drove past.

Gaudi Architecture | You HAVE to check out the unique and fascinating work of Anton Gaudi. You know those drip castles you make at the beach using really wet sand? Some of his work reminds me of that. I’ve never seen anything like it. You can find almost everything on the Barcelona City Tour mentioned above including La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and La Pedrera.

Picasso Museum | Pablo Picasso spent many of his key years in Barcelona so you can’t miss the Museu Picasso that houses much of his work.

[ TO EAT ]

Bar Lobo | Hands-down the best meal we ate not only in Spain, but maybe all of Europe! We liked it so much we went back after we got off the boat at the end of our trip. Located a block off of Las Ramblas, this tapas restaurant will not disappoint. ORDER: Patatas Bravas, Guacamole, Chicken Fajitas, and Lemon Pie. After eating, be sure to roam around the small boutiques in this area. I’ll never be able to remember the names but we found the motherload of souvenirs in this area!

7 Portes | THE BEST paella and sangria. Need I say more? Just make sure you have a reservation. ORDER: Rich Man’s Paella (chicken, pork, sausage, lobster, and prawns) and red wine sangria.

[ TO STAY ]

Hotel 1898 | I still daydream about this hotel. It’s my most favorite hotel stay of all time! It’s centrally located right on Las Ramblas AND right around the corner from Bar Lobo. There are a million reasons why this hotel is rated #12 out of 500 hotels in Barcelona on TripAdvisor. The rooms were incredible, the decor was exquisite, and the lobby smelled like heaven. We splurged on a deluxe room with a private terrace and loved every second of it. Nothing makes you feel more luxurious than having breakfast or napping on your private terrace in Spain! The rooftop is one of the highlights of this hotel. With panoramic views, a rooftop pool, and bar, you really can’t go wrong with 1898.

Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget to check out my favorite travel apps before jumping the pond. If we all lived in Barcelona we could take an afternoon siesta on this rainy Monday. Hasta la vista…