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Relaxing in Beautiful Barcelona

Hi friends! I hope that all is sunny and bright in your world today!

When I want to combine some beach time with the convenience of a city-break, I head off to beautiful Barcelona, the Catalonian jewel of the Mediterranean. It has everything I want for a break; exciting nightlife, great shopping, fabulous sights all within a relaxing beach setting!

Barcelona is an ancient city but it’s still the ‘Capital of Cool’. Legend suggests that the name is derived from Hamilcar Barca, the Carthaginian leader and father of Hannibal, who supposedly founded the settlement. Since then, Barcelona’s fortunes have waxed and waned, but it has always maintained its vigour and style.

Stunning intricate architecture

You can alternate between relaxing on the beach and enjoying the world-class sights in exciting Barcelona. A good first stop in the city is La Sagrada Familia, the beautiful church designed by Antoni Gaudi. The church is still not finished but the artist’s grand design is clearly seen in this vision of paradise. Note: you must buy a ticket online in order to access the church. See https://sagradafamilia.org/en/, the official ticket site, as there are many options available to speed your access.

The artful Picasso Museum

A favourite of mine is the Picasso Museum, very close to the Cathedral  of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, in Barrio Gotico. This beautiful museum has an incredible collection of the artist’s works spread over five medieval villas. Since you are close, I also recommend that you visit the awe-inspiring cathedral which dates back to 1298 AD but has remains that are as old as the Fourth Century.

Here’s a pro-tip… In the square in front of the cathedral and along the side streets, on warm evenings, opera singers and classical music delight the crowd . You can enjoy the elegant music and contribute a few coins for the artists. Be careful in a crowd, though, because the city is known as the ‘Pickpocket Capital’ of Europe.

Gaudi’s Masterpiece – Casa Batlló

Retail therapy can be obtained by strolling down Las Ramblas, the tree-lined central street of the town. Branching off from this thoroughfare are shops that cater to all of your wants and desires. Barcelona has always been a place of trade and it has upheld that tradition until the current period. Make sure to visit the Mercado de la Boqueria for an explosion of bright colours, sounds and exotic smells.

My favourite beach is the Barceloneta Beach close to the Villa Olympica and the iconic Ars Barcelona Hotel. This beach is easy to reach, has beautiful sand and plenty of beach bars and restaurants. On weekends during the summer, it seems that the entire population is there to party, relax and soak up the life-giving rays of the Sun. This area is also full of nightlife with bars, restaurants and nightclubs that are open until sunrise. If you want your beach time to be quieter, however, you can take a train from city centre and be at quieter beaches within ten minutes or so.

Visiting Barcelona is easy. The Barcelona El Prat Airport is just 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) southwest of downtown and there are convenient train and car services into the city. The city has become a major air hub and there are plenty of daily services from larger airports and convenient connections from everywhere in the world. Buses are easy, inexpensive and readily available around the centre of town. The Hop-on/Hop-off bus is especially good because it is widely available and very convenient.

There are hotels and hostels to fit any budget and location requirements of even the most discerning critics. Barcelona has more than thirty-five five-star hotels; one of the highest densities of high-end hotels in the world. You don’t have to spend a lot to stay, however, as it is almost always a good value.

Barcelona is a foodie’s paradise with exciting tastes, spices and treats to fit everyone’s dietary requirements. Of course, the seafood is fresh and tastes fantastic. Fideua is a Catalonian specialty that is like Paella but with noodles instead of rice – its fabulous!

Tapas everyday please! Delicious

Iberica ham is another specialty, but there are so many others. Pan con tomate, calcots, escudella y carn d’olla, escalivada and many more specialties await your palate. Wash down your meals with copious amounts of the local Cava or Sangria. Remember that tapas were invented in Barcelona, so a fun approach to enjoying the culinary delights is a bar-crawl with tapas at each stop!

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without paying homage to the gods of football at Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona. You don’t have to be a supporter to be thrilled by the spectacle of a Barca game. If there is no game, just visit the stadium fan shop and buy the perfect souvenir for your football fanatic.

Here’s a final pro-tip… don’t pay a scalper for game tickets. If, for some reason, you haven’t reserved tickets and want to see a home game, ask the concierge at your hotel to help with the arrangements. Many of the best hotels keep season tickets for their guests.

Camp Nou – The Home of FC Barcelona

Barcelona has so much to offer. It is the perfect merger of city-life with a relaxing Mediterranean vibe. Barcelona takes the ‘pain’ out of ‘Spain’!

 

Love,

Isabella

Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Gaudi Sites La Sagrada Familia,  Picasso Museum , Cathedral of the Holy Cross, (https://sagradafamilia.tickets-barcelona.org/gaudi-barcelona , http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en, https://www.catedralbcn.org/index.php?lang=en)

Where to stay: (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bcnwh-w-barcelona/, https://www.hduquesadecardona.com/)  W Hotel Barcelona, Hotel Duquesa de Cardona Barcelona

Where to party: Barceloneta Beach area where literally everyone in Barcalona will be partying! Or alternatively Gracia and Poble Sec.

Where to eat: Try Fidelia, Iberica Ham, Pon Con Tomate and of course Tapas                ( https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/restaurants/tapas-barcelona.html, https://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_city_guide/where_to_eat_barcelona )

What to buy: Retail therapy is found down Las Rambles and also at Mercado De La Boqueria

Pass the Sangria!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Gaudi Sites La Sagrada Familia,  Picasso Museum , Cathedral of the Holy Cross, (https://sagradafamilia.tickets-barcelona.org/gaudi-barcelona , http://www.museupicasso.bcn.cat/en, https://www.catedralbcn.org/index.php?lang=en)

Where to stay: (https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bcnwh-w-barcelona/, https://www.hduquesadecardona.com/)  W Hotel Barcelona, Hotel Duquesa de Cardona Barcelona

Where to party: Barceloneta Beach area where literally everyone in Barcalona will be partying! Or alternatively Gracia and Poble Sec.

Where to eat: Try Fidelia, Iberica Ham, Pon Con Tomate and of course Tapas                ( https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/restaurants/tapas-barcelona.html, https://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_city_guide/where_to_eat_barcelona )

What to buy: Retail therapy is found down Las Rambles and also at Mercado De La Boqueria

Pass the Sangria!

2 Comments to “Relaxing in Beautiful Barcelona”

  1. What a great place – the Sagrada Familia truly took my breath away. Thank you for some really useful tips. Can’t wait to take my daughter one day.

    Ruth at 2:47 pm
    1. Thank you for your kind comment! It truly is magnificent. I am excited for you to take your daughter! What a wonderful city to explore with family 🙂

      Love,
      Isabella and Katie

      Katie L at 5:38 am

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