The second stop on our European trip was Barcelona. My husband, the football fanatic and staunch FC Barca supporter, wanted to tick off a major bucket list item by attending El Clasico. Our whole trip was basically planned around this. We also had 4 days in Barca, but you can easily see a lot in 3 days.
I loved Barcelona…something about the Catalonians. The people radiate warmth, the environment is so chilled out, there are lot of little cafes, it’s not crazy expensive.
[ T I P S ]
Since the major highlight of our trip was El Clasico, we planned everything around this. Keep in mind I did not go to the game; it cost an arm and a leg and I had better ideas for the money :p Since I didn’t go to the match, my plan was to chill around the hood, do a spot of shopping and grab a nice coffee. I was mistaken. The whole town was shut down for the match, I spent all day pampering myself in the hotel room.
I was pretty excited to see all the Gaudi stuff. It really is worth it to book tickets online in advance, since lines can be long. It’s also worth it to pick and choose which museums etc you really want to see. We didn’t want to spend too many of our Euros on museum tickets, so we chose a few major ones to focus on. Also, time management is key -things in Barca are way more spread out in Madrid.
[ R E C A P ]
Where to Stay: We stayed in the Le Corts neighborhood, walking distance to Camp Nou. Le Corts is not really near any of the major landmarks, but we really enjoyed being immersed in real Catalonian life, not a tourist-y version of it. Our hotel, NH Constanza, was close to a lot of cafes and cars so we took a lot of nice little walks.
What to Do: So much. Catch a football game, sight see, bar hop, shop.
What to Eat: Tapas! We also found a really great Arabic restaurant on La Ramblas (I know, typical) which had the best hummus I have ever tasted (even in Dubai) – Habibi restaurant.
[ I T I N E R A R Y ]
Day 1: Time to hit up the famous La Ramblas and Gothic Quarter. Be prepared to do a lot of walking. La Ramblas is great for restaurants, the Erotic Museum and just random people watching. The real highlight though, is the Gothic Quarter. I cannot stress how amazing this area is, I am absolutely enamored and we ended up spending the entire day there. It is full of tiny medieval alleyways, some museums, the famous Barcelona Cathedral and markets in little squares. Make sure to have churros at Petrixol Xoxolateria.
- Stroll down La Ramblas
- Erotic Museum
- Head over to Placa Real and the Gothic Quarter
- Gothic Quarter: Pont del Bisbe, Sant Felip Neri’s Square, Sant Iu’s Square, Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona Cathedral
- Picasso Museum
- Back to Ramblas, eat at Habibi if you love Middle Eastern food.
Day 2: If you’re a football lover, do the Camp Nou tour. It’s kind of amazing to see the stadium. We spent a few hours at Camp Nou then headed over to the City Centre. Spend a relaxing evening by the beach, which we didn’t do since we live in Dubai and the beach is in our face all the time…but apparently it’s amazing.
- Camp Nou Tour
- City Center
- Beach side
Day 3: Today is Gaudi day! Get ready for some architectural amazingness and overstimulated senses. Honestly, there is no point in taking pictures at any of Gaudi’s monuments, because pictures cannot do them justice. Especially the Sagrada Familia which actually took my breath away. Please go to Brunch & Cake for breakfast – everything is pretty damn good.
- Breakfast/brunch and Brunch & Cake
- Walk over to Gaudi’s Casa Mila
- Walk to Passeig de Gràcia
- Gaudi’s Casa Battlo
- Park Guell
- Sagrada Familia