We wanted to start off by saying that Barcelona is by far one of the most underrated cities in Europe, especially in the Instagram community. Each time we have visited, we fall more and more in love with the beautiful buildings, unique architecture, friendly locals and amazing food. Without a doubt this city is now up there as one of our favourites, and we don’t just say that about anywhere.
After spending three days in the bustling city last week, we thought a travel guide (complete with recommendations of the most Instagrammable spots) would be super useful for anyone who’s planning on going, or looking for new city destinations to visit this year.
For travelling purposes, the metro is by far the easiest mode of transport, and can take you from one monument to another in the matter of minutes. We purchased a day ticket for around 8 euros each, which allows you into any zone or station. These tickets are such a massive bargain, and give you the freedom to plan out your day without being limited to certain areas. A useful tip is to plan your day before you actually go (making the most of the hotel wifi). Each morning, we would decide which places we would like to visit, and Googled how to get to them by the Metro. We then took screenshots and planned out the order in relation to which attraction was closest to what. This took the stress off throughout the day, as we already knew where we were going and how to get to it.
How cool is it, to be in the middle of a bustling city one minute, to relaxing on a huge strip of sandy beach the next? Barcelona has the benefits of being both a built up and seaside city, meaning that there’s something to suit whatever mood you might be in. Even if you’re not a beach person, there’s so much to do in the area, it’s definitely worth visiting. The cable cars that run way up high over the sea offer the most gorgeous views, and beachfront cafes selling anything from burgers to seafood and acai bowls are a foodie heaven.
The unfinished church is one of the most stunning monuments in Barcelona, and due to its height, can be spotted from just about any hill in the city. The metro links here are some of the best, with the stops being just outside the historic building. We didn’t pay to go in, as the best bits of architecture are definitely on the outside!
Without a doubt one of our favourite places in Barcelona has to be Park Güell. The colourful buildings and benches by artist Gaudi offer something which is totally unique from other cities. This spot is definitely one of the most Instagrammable, and is situated on top of a huge hill with gorgeous views towards the sea. It took us around 10 escalators to reach the top, and a lot of incline walking, so we were pretty relieved to be doing that in March time and not the middle of Summer!
Arc de Triomf
Who knew that Barcelona also has its own Arc? As it turns out, it’s not just Paris who have an Arc de Triomphe- lots of European cities do! A tip for getting a people-free shot is to cross to the other side of the road and shoot from the bike lane. We almost got run over a couple of times, but it was so much easier to get the shot.
Parc de Montjuïc
We stumbled upon this park by accident, but after spotting some cable cars and wanting to check out the view, we decided to stay. The views from the very top are gorgeous, and there is also a castle to explore. The cable cars cost around 25 euros for a return trip for 2 and gave us views of the sea as well as parts of Barcelona. It was nice- but the cable cars by the sea offer a better view if you are choosing between the two!
Places to Eat
Barcelona has so many amazing places to eat, it was hard to choose the best spots in the three days that we were there. We first stopped at Brunch and Cake- a café which served anything from huge slices of cake to superfood smoothies, hotdogs with eggs on (see above) and avo toast. The menu was incredible but when we visited it was so busy- this is definitely the Peggy Porschen of Barcelona. We managed to get a seat inside, however with it being so early in the season, things were probably a lot less busy than they would be in the summer.
On our last day we visited Choc, which was on a street just off the famous shopping street Las Ramblas. The whole of that street serves incredible food, but for us (having a sweet tooth) Choc was a massive highlight. The shop served everything from donuts, to chocolate dipped biscuits, cookies and lollies. I would have happily spent all my money in there, so it’s lucky we visited on our last day!
We stayed at the Sercotel hotel which was situated in Montcada, a couple of minutes away from the train station. The train took 15 minutes to get into Barcelona city centre where metro links were great. The hotel was nice and modern, set in a slightly urbanised area with a gorgeous rooftop pool and amazing views. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to have a rooftop pool, and we’d definitely use this hotel if we travelled again. The only downside was the restaurant- the menu was limited and the portions for certain meals were absolutely tiny! We only ate there once and went to a local café the next day.
You can always rely on Spain to be mild and sunny, and Barcelona is no exception. Escaping from the UK snow and stepping off the plane to warm air was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. I’d say March and April are dress and skirt weather, but it’s probably best to take a jacket for the breezier days.