WE managed to cram in so many fun things during this short city break, I thought that I would split this blog post in two for easier reading!
So by day 3 we were pretty zonked. The great thing about Barcelona is that a lot of it is accessible by foot, therefore you find yourself saving a great deal on transport, i.e. more money for food or souvenirs that you will never ever use. On the night of day 2 we wandered past Casa Batlló in all of it’s wondrous glory!
It really is truly magnificent and it makes you wonder just how one man managed to come up with such a stunning design? I must say that we much preferred Casa Batlló during the evening hours, as it is lit up and looks pretty mesmerising, so if you’re short for time and like us you don’t fancy seeing the inside, then definitely go after hours; it’s less busy so you photo ops are better as well!
Anyway as we had 5 days here we were lucky enough to be able to visit again during the day, however we quickly realised just how busy it was so we got a few nice shots of the building itself (definitely had to elbow a few people… sorry!) then we went on our jolly way to the food market!
Now this food market is like none other that i have ever been to, and I have visited my fair share of food markets! IT’S MENTAL. Mental as in amazing, I am in heaven, I never ever ever want to leave this place, MENTAL.
The food market is really easy to get to and in a fantastic location pretty much right in the middle of La Ramblas, so there’s no excuse not to visit if you’re already heading down that way! And believe me, if you’re anything like us (fat pies, foodies, greedy monsters) then you will absolutely adore this market.
It’s super busy from start to end, with people crammed into every inch of the place but I guess that’s what makes it so fun! There are plenty of tasters everywhere and something for everyone, from traditional Spanish meats to sweets and chocolate as well as an area of fresh seafood.
For us, this was all a bit overwhelming and to be honest with you it took a lot for me not to shed a tear. We started at the stalls on the left before winding down every single one, sure to not miss a single thing! Unfortunately we were stupid, and went to the food market having just eaten lunch (worst decision of my life). We still ate like pigs nonetheless but vowed to come back on an empty stomach before our trip ended.
We ended up purchasing all of our gifts for family and friends at the food market, because who doesn’t love being gifted something good to eat? Inside the market you will find a lot of candy stalls where you take a bag and pick whatever you want before getting it weighed. This can be pricey so watch out you don’t go overboard! But the chocolate truffles here really are amazing. Another great gift idea is to buy vacuum packed cured Spanish ham, this stuff is so delicious and with it being vacuum packed, it will have a lonnng sell-by-date and you can just chuck it into your case! Amazeballs.
After spending many hours at the market we then made our way to the Gothic Quarter. This area of Barcelona is a must see. We could have spent all day here, so make sure you set aside a lot of time to visit! It’s filled with a million little lanes that go off in every direction and a lot of traditional tapas bars, restaurants and boutique shops (fab for souvenir lovers). You will feel like you’re in a whole other world, transported into some time machine back to the medieval times.
Be sure to take comfortable shoes with you as you will be walking A LOT. And yo definitely want to spend every second over your time in Barcelona awing and aahing at the stunning architecture and not making those noises because of your aching feet! If you have some time before your visit i would also recommend reading up on the history of the neighbourhood before visiting – it makes it all the more worthwhile and brings it all to life.
The Cathedral in the middle of the square in the Gothic Quarter is another gem. We stood outside and just gaped at it like two small children for a very long time before taking a million photographs. The detailing and architecture of this cathedral is really memorable and tranquil as you would expect and quite gothic and the square itself is a great place to sit and people watch whilst resting your legs.
Next on our day 3 itinerary was Ciutadella Park, this was one of Lews’ top attractions as he had previously heard so much about it and we weren’t disappointed. By this point it was nearing sunset, this park couldn’t have been a more perfect setting for us to sit back and enjoy the last of the sun rays with some snacks bought at the food market. If you have some time then perhaps bring a picnic and a blanket with you (so romantic!?)
Compared to Park Guell this place is a gem as there is no entrance fee so you will find a lot of locals lazing around here and it has a very calm and relaxed atmosphere about it. Great to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Not to mention the majestical fountain in the middle of the park, lovely!
Next up was dinner, our favourite part of the day! There’s nothing I love more than travelling and food, so when you bring the two together – I am in heaven!
Lewis and I are both lovers of seafood and he knows how much I love fish so being the babe that he is, he did some research and took me to an amazing seafood restaurant called El Rae De la Gamba, literally translating as “The King of the prawns”. I’m pretty sure that this is a chain restaurant as there seemed to be many around this area but the staff where friendly and accommodating and the food on the menu (visual menu) looked delicious, plus we were highly recommended this place by our Air BnB host so we figured if a local could love it then so could we!
I opted for the monkfish and Lewis the calamari and it was all so tasty. I don’t know if it was all that walking and sightseeing or the view from the restaurant, but we couldn’t have been happier!
Last stop for the evening and I had booked for us to visit a well known spa, Lewis never takes much time to relax as he’s always running about like a mad man so I figured that an evening at a spa would be another nice birthday gift for him. I read about Aire De Barcelona on a Buzzfeed article when looking at things to do in BC and I have to say this is the best spa I have ever been lucky enough to visit. Now I know that throughout the duration of this blog post, I have called everything “the best” and you would think that Barcelona tourism are paying me to write this, but no. I am just deeply in love with the city!
Anyway, this spa. THIS SPA. All I have to say is it is an absolute MUST. I mean I would fly back to Barcelona right now just to go back to Aire de Barcelona.
It’s situated smack bang in the middle of the city, easy to find and really affordable. But once inside, you will feel like you’ve been transported to some tranquil heaven.
Whatever I write probably won’t do this place justice so just check out their website, look at some photos and book it now.
Check out our Part 2 of our Barcelona video log to watch all of this and more!