I recently visited Barcelona and came to the conclusion that it’s the perfect holiday location because it truly offers everything. Located on the coast, a trip to Barcelona offers a city-break and beach holiday, proving popular for travellers who like a mixture of both. In addition to the city’s location, Barcelona’s rich culture, history and exquisite cuisine ranks it high up in many travellers’ top ten cities to visit list.
Short city breaks can often seam daunting and stressful rather than relaxing as we desperately try to squeeze in as much into our day as possible in order to see all of the city. From exploring all of the city to trying local cuisine, here is a breakdown of how I made the most of Barcelona in four days.
My flight from London Luton airport landed in Barcelona for 19.30 local time, which meant I only had the evening to explore. After jumping on the Aerobus, the quick shuttle that connects the airport to the city centre, I swiftly dropped my belongings off at my Airbnb and headed out for a bite to eat.
I had a few different restaurants on my list which were recommended by friends and family who had also recently visited the city. The first of these was Set De Gòtic for tapas. Located just a few steps from the city’s famous La Rambla street, the restaurant offered a quiet and cosy contrast to the buzzing streets of Barcelona. After sampling what the tapas bar had to offer, I headed back to my Airbnb for a relaxing evening spent on my balcony to make sure I was well rested for the following day.
My second day in the city consisted of a lot of walking. In the morning, I headed to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic) for a morning stroll. The narrow streets were packed with stylish bars and Catalan restaurants and home to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions including the City Hall, the Palau de la Generalitat, the Cathedral and the Plaça del Rei. If you don’t fancy staring at a map all morning, I recommend joining a group walking tour and letting an expert lead the way.
Lunch was spent in the Ciutadella Park where I ate some freshly bought Jamón Ibérico under the Spanish sun. Whilst walking to the park, I also stumbled across the Palau de la Música Catalana, and decided I would return to the building and enter it later on in my trip.
My afternoon was spent walking up the large avenue Passeig de Gràcia, which is home to several of Gaudí’s architectural beauties such as Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.
I headed to Park Güell in the early evening for golden hour. I recommend purchasing all tickets to famous attractions online before hand; Park Güell had run out of normal tickets which had left several tourists disappointed as they had been denied entry.
Dinner was spent at La Fonda restaurant where I tried both the Seafood Paella and the Black Fideuà. The latter of these was particularly striking as the jet black dish included prawns, clams and squid in their own ink, served with aioli. I picked this restaurant for its friendly prices; seafood can be particularly expensive in the city, but La Fonda offered an authentic experience at a reasonable price.
Having walked a total of 18 kilometres the day before and visiting most of the city’s main attractions, I decided to take the third day (and last full day) easy. The morning was spent re-visiting the Palau de la Música Catalana where I took part in a guided tour of the building. The tour included the chance to listen to a piece played from the concert hall’s organ and sample its perfect acoustics for myself.
After grabbing lunch from the Mercado de La Boqueria, I headed to the coast for an afternoon spent soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach – at this point I had come to the conclusion that the city really was the perfect location for anyone seeking a bit of both.
In the evening, I headed back to Gaudí’s Casa Milà for a stunning sunset view of the city from its roof terrace before dining at L’Arrosseria Xàtiva. I had been recommended this restaurant for its strikingly different paella dishes, and it did not disappoint.
My third day was rounded off by heading to a roof top bar that I had spotted whilst on the roof terrace of Casa Milà. Located on the 8th floor of Hotel Condes de Barcelona, Alaire Terrace Bar is a trendy and unique bar that overlooks the city and offers an al fresco aperitif during the day, relaxed dinner and cocktails.
After checking out of my Airbnb, I headed to the last must-see part of Barcelona; La Sagrada Familia. Just like Park Güell, it’s important to pre-book tickets to enter the church as it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the city. Standard entry tickets were completely sold out online for the week ahead, so it’s important to book as early as possible to avoid missing out.
La Sagrada Familia occupied the majority of my day, and around 16.00 I jumped back onto the Aerobus and headed to the airport.
There is still much of the city that I haven’t had the chance to explore and, like many who leave Barcelona, I can’t wait to return.