I’m back from Barcelona with a wicked tan and a penchant for saying “Hola!” and “Gracias!”, all the time.
When I visited you two years ago, you took my heart. I vowed I would return, and whilst it took me two years to make it back – I did. You didn’t disappoint.
From your astonishing views to your chilled out vibes and amazing weather, everything about you is a hundred and ten percent perfect.
I didn’t want to leave, but alas it is back to reality for me. It won’t be long til I’ll be back. Adiós.
We almost missed our coach to the airport, and the panic almost settled in but we remained relaxed and calm. Thankfully, bag drop wasn’t too long and we managed to grab something from Pret before we got to our gate. I’ve never flown from London Luton Airport before, but it is so out of the way.
We didn’t really spend the whole day in Barcelona because we arrived in the evening, but as soon as we had settled in the hotel – showered, readjusted wig, ordered room service, etc. etc. – we headed out. Our hotel was located 5 minutes away from Bogatell beach, so we headed in that general direction.
There were a bunch of restaurants lined along the beach, and so we headed over to El Chiringuito where there was good music and even better cocktails. The waiter got really excited when he found out we were from London, and proceeded to explain that people from Spain LOVE London. ALSO, €5 for a 20 pack of cigarettes. WTF, SO CHEAP.
We also ended up finding Port Olímpic, where there were many shisha bars, tapas bars and clubs upon clubs. 2am in the morning and we were eating tapas (chicken wings and patatas bravas) and drinking cocktails. Freaking awesome way to start the holiday.
Breakfast was included in our booking with the hotel, but I’m sad to say it wasn’t all that. Nevertheless, food is food and we filled our bellies up before getting ready to head out to Park Güell.
Tip: You can purchase a Hola BCN! travel pass for either 2, 3, 4 or 5 days. You can make unlimited journeys all over Barcelona and the metropolitan area on public transport: metro, Montjuïc funicular and bus (TMB), local train (FGC), tram (TRAM) and regional train in Barcelona (Rodalies de Catalunya).
Park Güell is probably one of the best parks I’ve visited, and honestly the exhausting hike up to the top is definitely worth it because the view is out of this world. You can go even higher, but I was wearing the wrong shoes that day. Next time. Next time.
Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudí’s artistic plenitude, which belongs to his naturalist phase (first decade of the 20th century). During this period, the architect perfected his personal style through inspiration from organic shapes. He put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in the analysis of geometry. – Wikipedia
We ended up walking for ages and were lost at one point, but it was all okay because Barcelona served us with some more amazing views. We found a random lift, which led us to a random little cafe called Els Colors de L’Eva where we stopped for ice creams.
Absolutely loved the graffiti I encountered in Barcelona, as well!
We ended our day at Bogatell Beach, where I promptly fell asleep as soon as I lay down on my beach towel. ?
Our friend, Tilly, arrived the previous night and we were meant to go out but we were absolutely knackered. The real touristing started this day.
Our first stop was Catedral de Barcelona, an absolutely beautifully built cathedral located in the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). We didn’t go in because 1) the line was really long and 2) it was hella hot, but we appreciated it from the outside. I was impressed by its architecture and I will definitely have to go inside when I go back.
We also found El Món Neix en Cada Besada (The World Begins With Every Kiss), a photo mosaic designed by Joan Fontcuberta using images snapped by local residents.
We then wandered around the Barri Gòtic, exploring all the alleyways and little shops with their wares on offer. The architecture is mainly in Baroque or Romanesque style, and there is so much to take in everywhere you walk. It’s amazing.
Fun fact: we stopped off at a rent-a-bike place where I tried a motorised scooter and proceeded to embarrass myself by crashing into all the bikes lined up against the wall. Please believe I scarpered SO fast after repeatedly saying, “Lo siento! Lo siento!” [1. I’m sorry in Spanish] to the man. ?
Sangria pit stop at Tasca el Corral was much needed at this point. Had to get my bearings after all the shenanigans, and to figure out where we were to go next.
It still amazes me that they are still building the Sagrada Família. Seriously, construction has be ongoing since 1882 and they have an expected finish date of 2026. Still, it is a magnificent building and seriously awe inspiring. All of Gaudi’s designs are something else, and so much more better in person than any photo could ever show. We also visited Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, which are both located very close to each other in Passeig de Gràcia.
We headed back to our hotel, to get ready to go the beach (again!). After suntanning forever, we dined at Xiringuito Vai Moana. I tried the typical Catalan bread with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, and George’s BBQ wings – very delicious! For my main I had a pulled pork sandwich; the pork was slow cooked at a low temperature and had coleslaw as well as crisps as a side. Yum, yum, yum. I would definitely recommend their frozen margaritas, too.
Our plan was to go out on the town, but after being trapped by a random promoter on the street, we ended up paying €20 for 2 beers and 1 shot (or 1 mixer and 1 shot) and entry into different nightclubs. Never get trapped, guys. We were promised VIP travel to the nightclubs, but ended up walking for 15 minutes before we even got to the coach. The coach was hella fun, I can’t lie, because everyone was singing and SO drunk. Ha. We got into a nightclub called Shoko, which I vaguely remember being in last time I visited Barca but I was so drunk last time, and oh God. Not great. Not great, at all. Maybe if I were more drunk?
We didn’t even bother going to the other clubs and ended up going back to the hotel, instead.
This turned out to be a beach day. We woke up early, and after breakfast headed over to the beach. It was already quite packed by the time we got there, but we paid €8 for a deck chair (no umbrella, son, because I’m trying to be DARK outchea), and we even had drink service. Ladies of leisure, I’m telling ya. All you really need in life is a beach, a good book, good weather and gorgeous men in your line of sight. ? I particularly love how the women do not give two sh*ts, and walk around with no bikini top. I wish I had that confidence!
After spending half of the day at the beach, we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit before heading out to Telefèric de Montjuïc, a cable car ride. A round trip ticket is €12, and it is a great way to see the city from up high. The Telefèric also takes riders to the Castell de Montjuïc, an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640, currently serving as a Barcelona municipal facility.
For dinner, we ended up in Plaça Reial, a square in the Barri Gòtic where there a number of restaurants and nightclubs. There was also street entertainment in the form of sexy Brazilian men doing gymnast moves – fucking great ? We ate at Ocaña, a Mexican restaurant, where I ordered tortilla chips and guacamole, patatas bravas with aioli sauce, and chicken tinga tacos. Everything was washed down with sangria, of course.
We then trekked all the way Calle Aribau for Dry Martini, a cocktail bar recommended by Time Out. Although it was pricey the interior is so chic and sophisticated. The drink I had – Drive Me Crazy (Bacardi 8, Passion Fruit, Lemon, Vanilla, Cordon Negro Freixenet) – was absolutely gorgeous, and beautifully presented. Very James Bond-esque.
We then headed to Port Olímpic in search of shisha. What a woozy way to end the night.
I am ashamed to admit we didn’t leave the hotel until 3:45pm. By this time, we were absolutely hangry so we went to Timesburg, a gourmet burger place located right near our hotel. I will definitely be writing about this place for the Food Diaries because it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I ordered the Kobe burger; 200g wagyu beef, arugula, tomatoes, asiago cheese, caramelised onions and Timesburg mayonnaise. GORGEOUS. I also ordered a portion of chips, which ended up way too much.
We then headed over to La Boqueria Market, one of Europe’s largest and most famous food markets. It’s located right on Las Ramblas, and therefore tourist central but all the noisiest and messiness of it all adds to the authenticity.
I absolutely love public markets, and it was fun seeing all the sellers and different things that were on sale. It is so colourful and smelly and overwhelming, and definitely a place you need to visit if you ever go to Barcelona!
We then headed toward the beach near the Hotel W. When I am rich and/or have a sugar daddy, I am staying at the Hotel W because it is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever seen. The beach we ended up at wasn’t great, but I managed to grab some Headspace and also be amused by a man selling doughnuts. He promised us that we would chase after him for his doughnuts. Lol.
We were only there for a few hours, but actually ended up going inside the hotel and found out that we could chill by the poolside even though we weren’t guests. We rushed back to the hotel to get ready and then headed back out.
Best. Night. Ever.
Hotel W actually has a nightclub 26 floors above Barcelona and it was simply amazing. We did some pre drinking before hand, but we didn’t buy anything in the club because we were too busy dancing our asses off. It’s free to get in and the DJ was absolutely amazing.
We didn’t get home until 4am. The security guard at the hotel was very gracious about it all.
We did not even make it to breakfast.
Absolutely shattered that day. We headed back to the Barri Gòtic to find some food because we were hangry again. Thanks to Yelp, we found a spot called Allium where the food was good and waiters were hella cute.
Again, I ordered Catalan bread with tomato and olive oil and patatas bravas (the amount of patatas bravas I ate on this trip…). For my main I had roast pork with candied vegetables, which was drizzled in this amazing sauce. The waiter was very accommodating also, because Tilly wanted paella but it said minimum two people. As I’m allergic to seafood, and Mutay doesn’t eat seafood, it would only be her who would be eating it. Thankfully, the waiter spoke to the chef who agreed to make a single portion for Tilly. Love service like that! We also the best sangria ever at this place!
Loved it so much that we did this. ?
We then did a detour and ended up going on a boat trip on Las Golondrinas. A 40 minute trip and only €7.40, it is quite a basic boat trip – so no audio or anything like that. Still, it’s a lovely way to relax especially if you’ve been walking around loads – hence why I fell asleep on the trip, ahahha.
We attempted to rent bikes, again, but there was all sorts of palava including needing a credit card for deposit, ID and all sorts, so we ended up leaving it. We did find a Chicken Shop & Dirty Burger, a restaurant we have in London as well, where they were doing €4 cocktails. I ended up getting a quarter chicken and two cocktails: Tommy’s Margarita; Tequila, lime, agave, nectar and Lilly the Pink; Bacardi gold, manzanilla sherry, strawberry sugar syrup lemon, prosecco. So good!
We were meant to go to the beach, but the previous night had literally shattered us so we ended up heading back to the hotel, instead. We vowed to head back to Hotel W for round 2 at the club, but that didn’t happen either – think I’m getting too old, guys.
We ended up eating McDonald’s in the hotel room, LOL.
LAST DAY. *insert tears of anguish here*
Again, we spent the morning on the beach and then headed out to Maremagnum, a shopping centre close to Barcelona Port. We paid extra for late checkout, so we weren’t rushing around. We didn’t do much on our last day, and our flight was at 6:40 in the evening. I literally spent most of the day lamenting about how the holiday had gone by too quickly, and can I just say I lost my passport and stay forever.
For sure I know I will be back. The first time I visited, I fell completely in love and it happened all over again the second time I visited. I feel I need to make Barcelona an annual thing, because honestly a piece of my heart is firmly planted in that country.