Roaming Barcelona

Although it was a struggle, we always like to try and get up early even after a huge night out to try and make the most of our time away. Pretty painful to start with, but thanks to the strong coffee being served up in our hotel, we soon felt human once again and hopped on the Metro off to the famous Sagrada Familia.

Another of Gaudi’s beautiful creations, incredibly the huge Roman Catholic church is still being built – and construction is only predicted to finish in 2026, meaning it will have taken a whopping 144 years to complete. Take a look though, and you’ll soon see why.

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But please learn from our mistakes (once again). We didn’t think to book tickets beforehand, naively thinking we’d be able to buy them once we got there. The answer was no, we couldn’t, as it was devastatingly booked out!

Onwards and upwards – time for a bite to eat and then to head off to the city’s famous shopping district, Passeig de Gracia, for more Gaudi spotting.

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Even the street paving is pretty in this city!

We discovered more Gaudi creations on our journey…

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And stumbled upon the most beautiful chocolate shop we’d ever been in. Make sure you discover this little treasure – they serve incredibly rich hot chocolate and the most adorable tins of chocolates, perfect for gifts for loved ones back home.

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Even just wondering round, you discover beautiful architecture. We were nosy and popped into this place…

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Check out that stained glass ceiling!

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We stopped off for a truly European coffee – served extra strong, al fresco (of course) with a shimmering of sunshine.

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We’re both foodies in case you hadn’t worked out by now, so there was one place on our list we simply HAD to visit. Introducing La Boqueria, the city’s most famous food market serving up platters of delicious Spanish food. I headed straight to the meat stalls, naturally.

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Conveniently (perhaps a little too conveniently), the market is surrounded by bars serving up icy jugs of sangria to enjoy in the sun along with ultra friendly bar staff. The perfect stops for tasting treats from the market, sipping a glass of your favourite poison, then heading back to the market to sample the fruits of another stall. And repeat. You get the drift.

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Make sure you stop by the fish restaurant just near the exit onto La Rambla – you can pick your own fish to be cooked in front of you, or go for the fish platter which was divine!

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With the sun setting on La Rambla, we caught the Metro back to our hotel to get ready for the evening ahead.

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We’d heard about a little tavern where the locals take part in authentic flamenco and thought it might be a laugh to go along. Yet – it was one of those taverns where tourists stick out like a sore thumb and it was a little awkward so we headed back out and across the road to a restaurant and bar.

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Jo’s a sucker for paella, so went for that.

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And I went for steak – and regretted it! Covered in olive oil and mega chewy, oops. Thank goodness I’d eaten my body weight in market goodies earlier on…

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We went back to La Rambla to see what the nightlife was like, but discovered it was much like our student days on Broad Street in Birmingham – packed full of promo staff promising free shots. Feeling pretty tired, we caught one of the craziest taxi rides back to the hotel we’d ever experienced (the driver seemed undeterred by pedestrians or pavements).

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Time for an early night before our final full day in Barca, sob!

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