Barcelona, Spain. One of the most magical places on earth. Trust me, after Cartagena, I know magical places. As you read in my previous post, this was not my first pick for my birthday baecation, but I absolutely had to return. I visited Barcelona for a few months my junior year of high school with my little sister. My parents offered me the choice between a sweet 16 or a summer vacation in Barcelona with my Spaniard family. BYE! Is that even a choice? Barcelona right? It was so nice to return and revisit a lot of these places as an adult, and also with my love! I keep saying it, but we truly had the BEST TIME!
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza – Fira Center. To say I felt bourgeoisie is an understatement. I was in there like Joanne the Scammer. The service was fantastic, and the food was amazing! The toilet was in the same room as the shower which was a treat because apparently, that’s not a thing in Paris. It was a dream. But of course, that’s what you get when Chase books the stay and you don’t. I won’t even show you guys the places I suggested. They might as well have been hostels, haha!
After arriving way early we did some exploring until check in. The city is incredibly easy to navigate. Like seriously, Barcelona has the most efficient subway system ever. They have a countdown clock that is on the money every single time! It’s insane. Y’all know how the NYC subway is most times! “The G train is closed due to a derailment in outer space. For your convenience, we have opened a portal to hell that will get you to Brooklyn in 23 years. Please bring your metro card and the blood of 13 baby goats.” None of that in Barcelona. This was one of our favorite parts. It was cost effective and a pleasure to use.
The city is full of so much character and so many kind people. If you go, I would recommend you visit places like “La Rambla” in Catalunya. There’s a huge market there and during our stay, they had a cool set up on the walkway with lots of different restaurants, vendors and things to see. Not to mention it’s only a 5-10 minute walk from the water which is also very pretty. You can take a boat tour or just walk on the boardwalk.
Another site we really loved visiting was the “Sagrada Familia.” It is a cathedral that made its first appearance in 1882. Designed by none other than the brilliant Gaudí. When I visited ten years ago, my sister and I got to go all the way to the top and it was way cool. I should tell you that we took the stairs all the way to the top. I tried to research how many steps that was but let’s just say it was a generous amount. This time there’s an elevator that takes you up (praise baby Britney Spears), but you have to walk down which we all know is way better than walking up.
One thing I would absolutely advise is to purchase tickets IN ADVANCE. You can get in if you go the day of, however, you may not get the tickets you want, and you’ll have to wait on an eternal line. I made the mistake of not purchasing the tickets in advance and so although we were able to purchase tickets for entry, we were not able to go up the passion tower for that stunning view.
Okay, now can we talk about the food? Barcelona is known for its tapas. I honestly didn’t even know what a tapa was until I got there. Basically, it’s food that was made for me because I eat like a baby bird, or as we call them, appetizers.The food is good overall, but if you can, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to The Fish and Chips Shop. Chase and I both agree that this was some of the best Fish and Chips we’ve ever had. The place is tiny and there will most likely be a wait, but there are ramblas with benches all over Barcelona. If you don’t want to dine in, you can grab it to go and sit somewhere to eat. Ugh. Now I want some.
My second favorite meal was at the Crowne Plaza restaurant. I’m not entirely sure you have to be a guest to eat there, but if you don’t, then you need to go. The BEST steak I’ve ever had in my life. It’s cooked inside of a salt rock shell and then the shell is cracked open and the most beautiful piece of meat ever comes out. Sorry if you’re all about the animals, but honestly, I can’t even. It was that good. A quick recover and chill (although bread isn’t a recovery food) is my new fav, sliced baguette with garlic rubbed on it, tomato and olive oil. Game changer!
A very common question I got about our trip was how we dressed for the weather in June. I looked up the weather before packing and did some research. It wasn’t the hottest, but it wasn’t the coldest. In my last post I gave some packing tips, and one thing we did do was limit our accessories. Those things add up. I had a small pouch full of earrings, and we decided on ONE piece we could both share. Obviously, he isn’t wearing my hoops, lol so we brought this killer Jord Watch with us. It was insanely easy to resize, so we were both able to wear it, and it matched with everything! We also got a ton of compliments on it.
I’ll be sharing some details towards the end on how you can win $100 towards a Jord watch. In the meantime, if you’re going in the summer expect to do lots of walking so bring comfortable shoes and breathable clothing. Lots and lots of dresses, and expect to change multiple times a day. It gets a little sweaty!
If you have the chance, check out the Picasso Museum. It’s near La Rambla and a ton of cute shops and restaurants. You get lost in this place. Not literally, but there is so much beauty and so much information to take in. I learned an insane amount about Picasso, and I grew a deeper appreciation for his work. Just like the other sites, I’d recommend you purchase your tickets ahead of time. Quick tip for this site (and La Sagrada familia if you’re going up to the top): You have to check your bag to be sure to have a euro on you for the lockers.
Our next stop was another site I was dying to visit. Park Güell, another Gaudií masterpiece. You should also purchase your tickets in advance for this site. The lines aren’t long at all and we went right before closing time. You can watch the sun set over Barcelona. It’s breathtaking! There’s a lot of exploring and walking around. So many beautiful colors and so many wonderful little surprises hidden in the ceilings, steps, and many other places. LOTS OF STEPS. Chase made me walk up like 3948 flights of stairs. I lost ten pounds on vacation. But it really isn’t that bad. Just be prepared to walk. This place reminds me so much of Philly’s Magic Garden’s. If you can’t get to Barcelona, go there. Not as big, but still colorful and beautiful.
I think this next part was Chase’s favorite. La Monumental is a bullring that opened in 1914. Bullfighting is now illegal in Catalonia (which I was very happy to hear), but you can still go in and see some of the beautiful pieces history it holds. It’s really incredible, and there’s a sweet museum you can check out that has some original posters, clothing items, awards and more. I’m not sure that you can purchase your tickets in advance for this, but you don’t really need to.
Okay, so our last big visit was to El Tibidabo. It’s the name of a mountain overlooking Barcelona, and it’s also home to one of the world’s oldest amusement parks (I did not know that until 5 seconds ago). We tried to go when I went ten years ago, but we weren’t able to. If you’re getting there, I would reccomend a cab. It’s not an expensive ride, and it’s way more comfortable than having to take a metro, a bus, and special train and then another bus up the mountain. THE MOST. We did that on the way back though. Anyway, the views were spectacular. You don’t pay to get on the mountain, but you do pay to get into the cathedral or the amusement park. I recommend you take the trip to the top. Lots of steps but the view is insane. Much better than the one you get from the Sagrada Familia.
MY personal ultimate MOST FAVORITE part was seeing my family after TEN years. This was really emotional for me, and such a special moment I was glad I could share with Chase. Family is so important to me, and although my aunt, uncle, cousins and I speak regularly and easily thanks to technology, it isn’t the same as being able to hug them a bunch!
Thanks for sticking with me through this eternal post! Here are a few treats for y’all. Don’t forget to enter the Jord Watch $100 giveaway HERE: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/thugnanny. It’s only running until July 9th so enter ASAP!
Okay the best part! Here is our Barcelona Baecation VLOG!
This is my first youtube video ever guys! Make sure you subscribe so we can stay connected, and you can watch all of my other videos. I’m already editing the Paris portion of our baecation. Can’t wait to show Y’all!