By the end of Febuary the Beard and I flew to Barcelona to enjoy four days in the city.
It was the first time for me there, so my boyfriend was my personal Cicerone during our short holiday. Even though it was a very short stay, we were able to see everything we planned to, and I really appreciated the city and its spanish, relaxed vibes.
As we always do, we tried to get the most out of our (few) money and choose to book a stay at Alejandro’s through Airbnb. I am very proud of our smart choice, as our room was just 100 meters away from Santa Maria del Mar (!), very close to the Born district and just a couple of minutes walking from the Barri Gòtic. Our host was great, I’d recommend you to check his low cost accomodations if you’re planning to visit the city.
What to Visit
I was glad we managed to visit everything we planned from home. The fee attractions we visited were Casa Batllò, Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia. We also visited La Catedral, Santa Maria del Mar and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, but we were able to get a free entrance for these.
Parc Guell was our first step on Friday morning: i recommend you to get your tickets and take a unique experience through this incredible parc. At a glance, it reminds me of the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel!
On Friday afternoon we stepped into Casa Batllò, one of my favourite visits in Barcelona. Buying tickets online allows you to skip the queue and get the best of your time.
The most amazing thing without any doubt the Sagrada Familia. Its decadent, modern, almost delirious architecture made me feel very grateful to the genius of Gaudì. To me, the whole church looks like an ancient gothic cathedral falling apart, lost and forgotten in the Indian Jungle. It was an awesome experience to see it from the inside.
The light is colorful and beautiful thanks to the amazing glasses. I couldn’t stop looking for some monkeys up under the roof as this really looks like an exotic forest.
This was an incredible experience, I really recommend you to save your money for this church. Which is still incomplete: the building process should end by 2026.
How to Save Money: metro, museums and churches
I’ll start to say that I very much prefer spending money on visiting rather than wasteing it for fancy accomotations or silly shopping. BUT, if I have to say one bad thing about Barcelona is that almost everything you may want to visit has a ticket to pay. So here’s a few expedients to make the most of your money when visiting the city.
Travel light! We booked our flight with Ryanair and decided to just bring a rucksack as a hand luggage with us: you’ll end having your hands free to take pictures and you’ll save time once landed, getting out from the airport in five minutes!
Metro: just buy what you need! One of the things that made us choose Alejandro’s accomodation was its position: walking distance from everything near the heart of the city. So we were able to buy just a 10 tickets multi-person travel card to get rid of the long distances and, again, gain time.
Smart timetables! Knowing the free entrance hours allows you to visit much more in this city. For instance, you can visit the Cathedral for free following these timetables (the so called donation is 13 euros!).
Santa Maria del Mar is always a free entrance, while the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is free every saturday from 3.00 pm and the first sunday of each month, but click here for further infos.
Where to eat
In the daylight we are a fast eating couple, we love to visit as much as possible, so we usually ended up having a quick sandwich or sharing a paella between things. A light lunch allows you not to feel tired and that’s the point for us. Instead we loved wandering through the Barri Gòtic and the Born after the sunset, looking for charming and typical tapas bar and delicious arroz to try.
We suggest you to try these incredible arengada and formatge de cabra tapas at Zona d’Ombra with a glass of good red wine.
On friday night we also enjoyed some excellent pesca del dia and albòndigas de bacalao at Bormuth, but you’re better book a table here as it’s always very crowded.
About Barcelona time schedules
Barcelona is a very “relaxed” city, you can’t expect to live the city at your averadge big-city-speed. And we loved it! The only thing that was a bit of a pain in the ass was that there was no chance to get any kind of breakfast until 9.30 am, which for us is very late. If you want to start visiting the city early in the morning (well, say 9.00 am), I suggest you to try Dunkin’Coffee: it’s quite cheap and just the perfect kind of breakfast you need to speed up until the sunset!
Overall I adored my first time in this beautiful city, I’ll definetlely come back to see the Sagrada Familia once it’s finished but I hope to get the chahce to visit Barcelona again sooner than that!