If you are doing a euro-trip, have a longer weekend or are simply thinking about visiting the second largest city in Spain, then this post is for you!
We’ve been to Barcelona for three days in May and unfortunately the weather wasn’t as hot as we were expecting, but it was still a good time to be there.
The metro of Barcelona is simple to use, very similar to others in big cities like Sao Paulo, Washington DC and London. There are several lines that take you to the centre of the city; our hostel for example was in Badalona, a neighbourhood of Barcelona or a tiny town of its own – and it is only half an hour away from downtown on purple line L2. We got a 96 hours ticket for metro and buses, with discount for few attractions for € 27.50
The accommodation was the only affordable one we found, as we booked it only 1 month in advance; we paid € 241 for a double room with private bathroom. Be Dream hostel is amazing and in a strategic location right next to the metro that takes you straight to one of the main attraction in Barcelona – Sagrada Familia. Staff is friendly, helpful and the room is tidy and spacious. We highly recommend them and you can check how much the fares are on their website.
Barcelona is a lively city, from day activities to exciting night outs, there are options for everyone. Full of culture the capital of Catalonia region deserves much more than only 3 days, but if you, like us, do not have enough time, here is what you can do in a weekend:
Visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuic
With music and lights accompanying jets of water, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic is one of the main attractions of the city and is absolutely a must do when in Barcelona. In May the performances take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9pm. We got there around 8 in the evening to ensure we have a good spot. If you are not going in May, you can check the times via this link https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/albums-en/fontes-magicas-montjuic/index.html
Go to the Gothic quarter after sunset
I dare to say that’s one of the most energetic neighbourhoods in Barcelona; the Gothic quarter is full of bars and restaurants, so it’s a good idea to go and enjoy it during the night. La Rambla, one of the most known avenues in the world, divides the Gothic quarter with the old town. If you have time you can cross the neighbourhood and end up there, also watch out for Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. We normally like to plan everything ahead, but in this case we just walked around and picked one restaurant, it wasn’t the cheapest meal – € 90 for 2 courses for 2 people and alcoholic beverage, but no regrets on it as the food was awesome, you can check their menu at https://moka.barcelona/
Experience Camp Nou
Even if you not a fan of football, it is still great to visit the largest stadium in Europe. We bought the tickets online for €25 each and collected it on the spot. Our visit was around 11 in the morning and incredible as it may seem, it was not really crowded. You first enter the museum of the stadium, where there are many important pieces of football memorabilia, like championship cups, football boots of players who made history through Barcelona, T-shirts etc. After going through this part, you go to the team’s dressing room; you can also access the news booths and the bench bank on the field – it’s indeed a great experience.
Check out Park Guell
An urban park in the middle of the city, how can you not check that out!? We paid € 7 each for general tickets without a private guide tour. The architecture of the park is really impressive and you can see a really nice view from the Nature Square part of the park. The official website has a lot of useful information to help you out when preparing your visit; things like maps, recommended routes and even a virtual tour to give you a taste of it, but surely, you want to experience that in person! https://www.parkguell.cat/en/
Don’t miss Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia is a catholic temple, designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. Again, another impressive building that you definitely can’t miss. The ticket prices depend on what you want to see, we choose to go inside the temple and up to the Passion tower only, but I would recommend going inside both towers as we got a little disappointed with the view from the one we went up to. Make sure you cover that: http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/
Watch the sunset from mount Tibidabo
If you are a fan of TV show Friends, for sure, you know about Tibidabo and would never be in Barcelona without visiting this mountain. If you never heard of it, well then, I’m glad you are reading this post now and will not miss the opportunity to watch a beautiful sunset from this spot. To get there, you will need to take a bus from Catalunia square, it costs only € 3 and the ride itself is already worth it. There is an amusement park on the top as well and I honestly cannot stress enough how breath-taking the view is. If you get hungry, don’t worry you can have a nice meal in the restaurant available there. Get more in-depth information about Tibidabo here.
As I’ve said before, our accommodation was actually outside of Barcelona, in a county called Badalona. With a very beautiful beach, recently regenerated with nice promenade and hotels; I have to say that I got much more impressed by Badalona than Barceloneta beach, but in the end any beach will, most of the time, be a great place to spend some time on. Make sure you get to visit both of them and come back to let me know what you think!
Enjoy the food
Well, Spanish food is for sure something you can’t get tired of as there are so many variations of paellas, fishes and meats. We’ve been to a very famous, sort of fast food restaurant, called La Paradeta, well known for their sea food. It’s an interesting experience as you choose your food fresh like in fishmonger and they will grill it for you. You can also pick a side (not many options though), salad or soup. The queue is the longest one I’ve ever seen for a restaurant, but I did have a nice full plate of shrimps and got a bite from Greg’s amazing tuna steak. We’ve also tried 100 Montaditos, a fantastic pub/fast food with a 100 different types of sandwiches. All for not more than € 2, I don’t even need to say you have to go there right?!
So, that’s it! You have to remember if you only have 3 days, it will be a squeeze, but that’s what we did during our stay in this amazing city. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and can make most of your trip to Barcelona!
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