A Travel Guide: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, travel blog

Spencer and I recently went on a trip abroad in Europe. One of our stops was Barcelona, Spain. We loved the beautiful city, full of happy people, influential art, and delicious food.


WHERE TO STAY:

Definitely, definitely, definitely stay in AirBnB! You can get rooms ranging from 20-120 Euros a night. Now, if you are planning on traveling alone, then staying in a hostel may be cheaper for you. However, if you plan on staying with a group, AirBnB can cost the exact same-- and often have more amenities, than a hostel! If you use this link to book your first AirBnB, you will receive $40 travel credit! There are two areas I would recommend staying: close to Sagrada Familia, and Plaza Cataluna! We stayed with Soraida and loved being right in the center of the popular millennial street, a 15 minute walk from the beach, and a 10 minute walk from the ports!


HOW TO GET AROUND

barcelona metro, metro pass, barcelona spain metro

To and from the airport: we used a taxi both times. A taxi will cost you about $30 (which is a pretty steep price!). Unfortunately, Uber isn't  allowed in Spain and Lyft is very expensive. There is an Aerobus you can take, but prepare for a longer ride, and know that you must be traveling during business hours, or the bus times change. We had our flight out at 5 am, and couldn't use the bus at that time! If you have the unlimited Metro pass, the ride to and from the airport is included!

Around the city: Again, Uber and Lyft are not options. Taxis are great, but can really add up over the course of a trip. You can also rent your own car (without needing an international license), but parking overnight costs a fortune! Spencer and I used the Metro or walked the entire time. You can buy metro passes for up to 5 days. The cards are actually counted by hours, so you will get 120 hours of riding the rail, buses, and trams. We had zero issues with the metro pass and loved being able to get around the entire time for only 35 Euros a piece! If you are sight-seeing while there, expect to walk around 14,000 steps a day!

WHAT TO SEE:

what to see in Barcelona, barcelona travel guide, park guell

The Architecture by Gaudi: Antoni Gaudi was a famous architect from Catalonia, Spain best known for pioneering modernism. His style is so distinct that people can tell it is his architectural work immediately by looking at it. He has many buildings (some still under construction) in Barcelona. While there, we visited several!

Sagrada Familia: A large Roman Catholic church that was designed by Gaudi. This is one of the buildings still under construction, as the process was mainly through private donations, and was held up during the Spanish Civil War. The holy church is anticipated to be completed in 2026, the century mark of Gaudi's death (who was buried there)! Gaudi made sure to leave extensive plans about the building so that it would be completed to his original idea. We decided not to go inside the temple while there because tickets are 25 Euros and up, and we planned on visiting his other works around the city.

sagrada familia, barcelona gaudi church, Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

Casa Mila or La Pedrera: Another one of Gaudi's famous works; a residential building. You can watch this YouTube video to see what it looks like to live inside La Pedrera building. Tickets to go inside and also view the beautiful garden up top are 25 Euros. If you are looking for killer photos, this is the place to take them!

la pedrera, gaudi buildings, barcelona archeticture

Parc Guell: The last place we visited of Gaudi's life was Park Guell. We were able to take a metro bus all the way to the top of the hill. Entry into the park/garden is free, but there is an entrance fee to see the Gaudi house inside the park. Go enjoy gorgeous views, greenery, and stroll around more artful architecture. We loved that there was live music in some areas, and free wifi access throughout the garden! Plan for about 2 hours here.

park guell, travel influencer, spain sight seeing

The Beaches: There are many fabulous beaches surrounding the area! It's important that you research the beach before you head there, as they are all known for their individual characteristics. It is said that Europeans will travel to Barcelona for their beach vacations, so if you're looking to lay out or play some beach volleyball, you're in the right spot! We enjoyed Platja Nova Icaria for the young crowd, boardwalk eateries, and clean sand. This was a 15 minute walk from Plaça de Catalunya.

Platja Nova Icaria, Barcelona beaches, Beaches near Barcelona

Museu Picasso: If you are looking for more of a museum feel while visiting the city, definitely check out the museum of Picasso! Pablo Picasso spent many years in Barcelona, and his influence runs deep in the city. If you are going, plan on taking 3 hours or more to walk around and appreciate the art. If you are under 25, or a student, you can receive discounted tickets. Tickets are free Thursdays, from 6pm onwards and the first Sunday of each month. Otherwise, tickets are 11 Euros and the audio guide is 5 Euros (Spencer and I shared an audioguide. this was a bit of a hassle, but not too bad).

Museu Picasso, picasso museum, pablo picasso artwork


WHAT TO DO:

Go Sailing: Barcelona has some amazing waters, great ports, and tons of sailing! We went on an excursion with Barcelona Orsom for the Jazz and Chill-Out Sail! The boat is large enough to go with a group of people, and they serve drinks while playing live jazz music by a saxophone player! It's only 18 euros a person and lasts around 90 minutes. *there is a bathroom onboard, and drinks are not included*

barcelona sea, barcelona sailing, barcelona tourist
barcelona orsom, sailing adventure, barcelona tourism

Explore the Streets: There are so many back alleys and side streets, you could get lost in the city! However, Barcelona has some amazing fashion designers who have shops open to the public, art galleries, and just plain fun stores. Walk around and enjoy all of the people around you!

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Go to the Beach: Well, we already discussed this one above, but it deserves a second spot. Seriously! If you have ever wondered about more "freeing" or topless beaches, now is your chance to go to one!

european beaches, european tan, europe beach


WHAT TO EAT:
*Tipping in Barcelona: servers make a decent hourly wage, unlike the US. Many restaurants will also add on the gratuity to the check. Be sure to see if that was added to your check before tipping. Tipping is only if the service is great, and rounding up to the nearest euro is completely fine to do. It is not expected that you tip.*

Pinxos (pronounced peen-chos): Pinxos are small snacks found at bars, typically served right above the bar top. These are pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other small cocktail on top, all with a serving stick to hold them together. At the end of the meal, you are charged by the number of sticks you have on your plate. If you head to Plaça de Catalunya, you will find dozens of bars serving them (usually a euro each).

Paella: For the more adventurous seafood lovers, paella is a dish of rice (kind of like pilaf) with seafood, including calamari, prawns, clams, and muscles served on top. This is delicious, but make sure you are buying from a clean restaurant (this is not the meal to skimp on), and also know that you will have to be comfortable to your prawn's beady little eyes staring at you as you peel it apart.

Tapas: These are usually served at the same place as pinxos, but run about 3 euros a plate. They are served in small dishes and can be anything from buttered shrimp to breaded fish. At the end of your meal, you are charged by the number of dishes you have.

Sangria: You won't find a better sangria beverage than in Spain! Almost every sit-down restaurant will serve a pitcher, perfect to share for two, or for one person wanting to stay a while!

Gelado: You're like, wait, I thought that was the best in Italy?! Well, it was pretty good in Italy, but we actually had the best gelado in Spain on Plaça de Catalunya! There were so many flavor choices that we couldn't stop going back! My favorites were Passion Fruit and Mango, while Spencer loved the Hazlenut and Pistachio.

WHAT TO WEAR:

The average temperature in around 75 degrees during the hot seasons (hottest in August), and 50 degrees in the cold seasons (January).  The wettest month is October. Remember that this is near the ocean, so there is humidity in the air! When we went, it was the beginning of the hot season, and I loved wearing flowing items that provided ventilation while we walked around town. If you are taking public transport, prepare to get sweaty! Light fabrics that breath will do well.


Since we were taking various flights while in Europe, we both only packed a carry-on bag and a small backpack. This meant that I often re-wore the same outfit! I wore my ASOS swim coverup (featured on the Lauryncakes Instagram) when going to the beach and also when going sailing. ASOS also has SO MANY swim and beachwear options!


A floral jumpsuit to sight-see. A short floral dress for the museum day. At night, I would put on my favorite high-waist jeans. During the trip there, I only wore my lace up sandals (swear by these!!!!) and my Birkenstocks.


SHOP WHAT I WORE




Have you ever been to Barcelona? What would you add to this guide? I would love to hear your thoughts below!

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29 comments:

  1. This post made me so happy! I went to Barcelona about nine years ago, and it was fun to see some of the things I experienced while I was there on your list :) My favorite part of the trip was the cooking class where I learned to make paella! I love that beach dress :)

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

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    1. WHAT!? That sounds like the coolest cooking class ever! I'll have to add that to our list for next time.

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  2. Heritage on my dads side is Spanish I would LOVE ago visit this gorgeous place!

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  3. love this guide laur! i want to go back so bad now! and that red dress is a show stopper for sureeeee.

    xx jess

    golden swank

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  4. Beautiful photos and a wonderful Travel Guide. Barcelona is such a beautiful place. There is nothing quite like being on the Mediterranean coast and sea.

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  5. I love this post! What a great travel guide. I am dying to go to Barcelona but haven't even had a chance to go to Europe, which is NOT okay!

    xx
    Lauren
    www.thefashionistasdiary.com

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  6. I love your travel guide!! Thanks for sharing love!


    Sabrina | Gypsy Tan

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  7. I have been dying to get to Spain! I looks incredible!

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  8. Ahhh I have to get to Spain! It looks like you had an amazing trip, Im so jealous!

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  9. I've never been to Barcelona, and this is making me want to go so badly! I love that red floral jumpsuit on you, too.

    Xx,

    Lauren // www.mylifeaslaurr.com

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  10. one of my favorite cities i've ever been to... segrada familia was seriously the most amazing thing i've seen!

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  11. I cannot wait to go to Spain!! You look so gorgeous in every look!! LOVED this guide!!

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  12. Barcelona is definitely on my buck list for places to visit. Such a beautiful city.

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  13. Oh my goooooosh, what a dream vacation!!!! I miss spain so much <3

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  14. It looks so dreamy!! Cam and I need to add this to our vacation list!!

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  15. This looks amazing! Love all your photos :)
    www.thefitbrunette.com
    @samanthabowers_

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  16. Spain looks absolutely amazing! It's a place I have always wanted to go visit!!

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  17. This sounds like an awesome trip. It looks beautiful. The buildings are awesome. I also love the outfits you modeled. I am so happy that you got to do this. I appreciate you sharing this with us

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  18. Spain looks amazing!!! I would love to go one day.

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  19. What an incredible trip, your pictures make me want to go ASAP! They also make me want a whole new summer wardrobe but I'm a recovering shopaholic so thats part of life.

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  20. This makes me excited for when I go to Spain one day, lol don't know when that will be but this makes me look forward to it! All these places
    Are definite must sees and are all so beautiful!

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  21. Great tips! I'll definitely reference this if I ever make it to Spain. ;)
    Love your red floral jumpsuit, btw!

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  22. Looks like an amazing trip! I went to Barcelona like ten years ago (eek! has it been that long??), and I am dying to go back!

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  23. bookmarking this!!! I'm going there in a few months and this post is so helpful!! <3

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  24. I love your tips and the pictures! Makes me want to go right now!

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  25. GORGEOUS!! Love these pictures!! Spain is on my wishlist!!

    Xoxo,
    Angelle
    www.dashingdarlin.com

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  26. I've never been to Spain but your trip looks absolutely incredible!!

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  27. Love all your outfits! Spain looks beautiful!

    xx,

    Lacey//theglittergospelblog.com

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I love reading your comments, and I always try to respond to every single one! Thank you for stopping by! xoxo