We planned the trip only a couple of months in advance and wanted to have as much time to just absorb the city as possible. We were there for four days, giving us lots of aimless wandering time, which was one of my favourite things about the trip.
Our hotel was the Eurostars Monumental, which was just a couple of blocks away from La Sagrada Familia, giving us the most incredible view from our window.
It's definitely a hotel I'd recommend. The room was perfect, the staff were friendly and really helpful, and the breakfast was phenomenal. Five stars.
We arrived at around midday on Monday, allowing us all afternoon to walk around and explore. We found a cafe for a pick me up and looked online to find out where some of the buildings we wanted to see were located. And then we were off on a long walk across the city. Some of my favourites finds from that day were Gaudi's Casa Batllo and Casa Mila.
We only had one day with scheduled entry times for attractions, which was our second day, on which we went to both La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. The cathedral was insane. I couldn't believe how much attention to detail there was and how everything had a meaning. It was very special and wonderful to see how committed they still are to making Gaudi's vision come to life. You 100% have to do the audio tour, as it explains all the amazing intricacies of the building. We also went up one of the towers on the Nativity side, which not only gave us great views of the city, but also allowed us to see how detailed the building is even near the very top.
I loved Park Guell. I'm definitely a park person - when I went to New York, Central Park was a major highlight - and so wandering around and see how architecture and nature had been incorporated was one of my favourite parts of the trip. We also went to the Gaudi House Museum in Park Guell, which gave us more of an insight into both the man himself, the way he worked, and how the furnishings of a building were often as important to him as the outer structure itself. A really great place and somewhere I can certainly see myself going back to.
Our third day was more of a central city day. We headed out and down to the Arc de Triomf to start with. It was such a beautiful structure and we spend a good while in the little park there in awe (and also dog watching, of course). From there we headed to Parc de la Ciutadella, which we meandered through and ended up in a rowing boat. We then strolled through the Gothic Quarter and down to La Rambla. I loved the atmosphere in the area and how carefree the whole place felt. We hung out on Rmabla de Mar for a while, soaking up the sun and watching the boats float by.
From there we headed up to see the Magic Fountain, which was enormous?? It was very relaxing to just watch the water and overlook the city below. We also saw the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya whilst we were up there, which is such a grand building, truly overlooking the whole city.
On our final full day we headed down to the beach - as Brits who live quite far inland, we couldn't help but enjoy the novelty. It was the warmest day of our visit too, so it was very well selected for some time to lie down in the sun and read. On that last evening after we'd had dinner, we grabbed some ice cream and went and sat outside La Sagrada Familia, gazing up at the building that had truly captured our hearts.
We had such a wonderful trip to Barcelona. It's the most incredible city, with beautiful architecture and scenery. We've low key already planned to go back once the cathedral is finished.
Already excited for our next adventure together.
Outfit post to follow.
Until next time.