Thursday, March 27, 2014

guide to barcelona

we loved barcelona!!! it's such a fun city full of personality.
i'd say it's a must-visit! here are some favorites...

the well-traveled wife's 

{eats}
if you wanted, you could probably survive
only eating at la boqueria off la rambla. it
is a huge market that is so incredible, with
every kind of food imaginable. get the fresh
fruit juices every day. they are 1€ and the
BEST. also get empanadas, and walk through
the fresh fish market after you eat...crazy!

you HAVE to go to los caracoles!
ultimate barcelona dining experience.
get paella for sure, and make sure to
try other fresh fish. this restaurant
has been in the same family for 
generations, and lots of famous 
people visit this place..so it's 
touristy, but in a good way.
you feel like it's a classic
spanish meal! they even have
guys come in and play music
while you eat, and you have
to walk through the kitchen
on the way into the restaurant..
it's so unique and fun! right in
an alley off la rambla, and so fun.

eat churros con chocolate for
breakfast and paella at a sidewalk cafe..
also try tortilla de patatas somewhere,
one of my favorite simple & classic tapas.

splurge on fancy spanish cuisine at loidi.

{transportation}
the barcelona metro is really easy..
don't be afraid to use it! but even better is...
vesping! this is the best way to see barcelona 
by far. this company is so innovative, and makes
seeing barcelona on a vespa really easy. they
provide their vespas with built in GPS, and there
are different tours built in that you can just
select and go on! we did the beach tour and 
the mount tibidabo/ park güell tour. amazing!
we recommend them 100%. it made us feel
like locals zipping around the city, without
being lost / having to pull out the map.
when it comes to getting to and from the airport, 
take the aerobusthe aerobus stop is on plaça cataluyna 
right outside el corte inglés department store, and it leaves 
every 5 minutes..so it's a good plan for transportation to/from 
the airport! *make sure to ask the attendant which terminal 
you need for your airline, and get in that line.

if you're looking to go a little fancier than our style
on the aerobus, you can try barcelona's higher
end airport transfer with blacklane in a black car.

{sights}
mount tibidabo
this was my favorite place in all of barcelona.
you have to, have to, have to visit mount tibidabo
(especially if you're a fan of joey on friends :) 
you can ride bikes, take a vespa, or take the 
gondola across the water to the top. it's so
stunning and worth it. the cathedral is so
pretty and you need to pay the couple of
euro to go up to the very top. you have
the greatest view of the entire city!
i adored it. it is like the sacré coeur 
in paris but even higher up and more
amazing! miro museum is also there.

park güell 
pretty, HUGE park on the hill designed by
gaudi. you can take the underground here,
or vespa there like we did :) it's so well
designed and fun to stroll around and 
take in the different plants and structures.

sagrada familia 
our visit here was unbelievable.
either do this with a guide, or watch the 60 minutes special 
beforehand to learn all about it. GET TICKETS ONLINE
i usually ignore advice like this, but for real-- avoid the
wraparound line and just buy them before... same price,
shorter wait time! pay to go all the way to the top in
the towers. trust me, this place is so incredible and
worth the money to spend time, go up the towers,
and soak it all in. it's truly a work of art. i cannot
get over the fact that it has been in construction
for 130 years and still has 50+ to go. it may look
like a random huge cathedral with cranes and
construction until you know the history...

and, although la sagrada familia may be the most
amazing, you can't miss the rest of 
casa batlló is the one i'd pay to go into if 
you're just choosing one along with sagrada,
but walk along and see the exterior of them all!
plaça catalunya is one of the main plazas 
at the top of la rambla. it is a main metro/bus stop and 
it's where the aerobus will take you from the airport. 
it has pretty buildings, but watch for pickpockets!

wander down la rambla,
the best tree-lined, pedestrian street
with shops, restaurants, & la boqueria.

plaça reial-- it's off la rambla, and here you
can see the steps where columbus told ferdinand
and isabella that he discovered america..pretty cool!

beach boardwalk
you can bike/roller blade/walk along here..
barceloneta beach is the most popular
beach with some restaurants and a fun
crowd in the summer...not the very best
beach, but easiest to get to by metro, etc.

port olimpic
the olympics were in barcelona,
so there are still lots of sights and
arenas from that. right down on the
water is the olympic port with all
of the boats..reminded us of SF!

picasso museum
one of the most extensive collections
of picasso in the world...worth seeing if
you're a picasso fan! (free on sundays
after 3 PM, closed every monday)

arc de triomf
barcelona has its own arc de triomf...
it really is the paris of spain! we went 
by this on the vespa and it was fun to see.

els encants vells is barcelona's biggest
"old charms" flea market. if you have some extra
time and want to feel local, go here. it feels like 
it's mostly all locals and it's fun to look around
at all the spanish antiques, fabrics, and so much
more. the only sad thing is you probably don't have
room in your suitcase for any of it! but still fun to see.

{hotels}

i think you have to stay in at least one hostel
in europe, and bon moustache hostel
 is the cutest one. everything is themed around 
moustaches, and it's darling. we loved staying here.
it's family owned and really clean and fun!
it's between la rambla and sagrada familia,
feels like more of a local neighborhood.
tell isabella we sent you! :)

if you don't want to do a hostel, there
are some fun hotels off la rambla.

and, that's it!
any of your barcelona favorites to add?
xo

14 comments:

  1. Barcelona was one of my favorite trips to date!! Some of the best food and nicest people!! I really loved port olimpic and the beach area - really great nightlife!!

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    1. isn't it so fun! let's go back :)

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  2. i love barca! it is my favorite city in spain as gaudi is a favorite. we spent so much time at the boqueria on la rambla - they need to have these in every city! great guide.

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    1. right? the boqueria is a dream. glad you liked it! comment any other favorites or tips you had! xo

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  3. This makes me sooooo excited for our trip next month! Thank you so much for your great tips :)

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    1. yay so happy it can help! seriously can't wait to hear about it!! Xo

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  4. Your travel guides are great!! Spain - swoon :-) As soon as the littles are old enough, we will have to plan a European adventure.

    www.animpulsetosoar.blogspot.com

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  5. I have always wanted to go to Barcelona, more so after reading your post! Great photos ... I especially love the one of the reflection in the mirror while you're on the scooter.

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  6. I can't wait to go in a few weeks! xx

    http://teamstarnestakeslondon.blogspot.co.uk/

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    Replies
    1. so exciting!!!! it will be great!

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  7. Love this! Can't wait to visit some of these places. And I am all over that market! I want one of those fruit juices asap.

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  8. yay! you will have a fresh fruit juice at la boqueria very soon! so excited for all of your travels coming up!!! Xo

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