But now I’ve visited, I can totally see why this stunning, diverse, and utterly phenomenal city with its blend of characters, food, and nightlife has inspired so many songs.
We flew out from Birmingham on a super early flight to make the most out of our long weekend in Barcelona. Arriving at ‘El Prat Airport’ (lol), I used my fast-fading Spanish to try and make sure we caught the right train and Metro into the city centre.
Despite it being late October, the sun was sure shining and the temperature was in the mid-2os. Leaving our suitcases in the lobby of our hotel (more on that later), we set off in search of the famous Parc Guell and those iconic mosaic tiles. And just check out this escalator – I challenge you to find one with better views?
Soaking up the beautiful sights across the city, we’d made our first rookie error – always book Parc Guell tickets in advance. Although you get sites from afar, you can’t get up and close and personal with the famous mosaic seats or indeed get a better view. So we booked tickets and managed to get a slot for later that evening.
One of the major works of Gaudi, the park represents the express of a desire for the modernisation and cultural resurgence of Catalonia. We headed into the house of the man himself…
How beautiful is this?
If Gaudi did Cribs…
The most beautiful house and gardens in an even more incredible park.
As it was only midday, we took a look at a map we’d found and looked at the areas we had to explore over the next few days. We discovered there was a tram you could catch up to the mountain of Tibidabo, so we headed up to the stop. Little did we know, the tram stops out of season, so we hopped on a bus instead, not really sure where we were heading to.
But we were so glad we did. On the way up to the top, the bus stopped at a restaurant we’d happened to read about called Mirablau, so we jumped off, having worked up an appetite.
We were overwhelmed when we walked inside and discovered the restaurant’s huge glass windows boasting this view…
It was absolutely beautiful – so we found the perfect stop for wine and our first round of tapas.
Having left feeling slightly tipsy and not able to eat any more croquetas or calamari, we trekked down the hill (beating the bus!) to find Parc Guell once again before our time slot.
We were treated to a view of Barcelona at sunset, and it was something very special.
How beautiful are these tiles? I wanted to pick one off and take it home!
Having soaked up the incredible sights of the park until the sun was well and truly set, it was time to head back to our hotel to properly check it out. We stayed at an independent boutique hotel called Pol and Grace (random I know).
With it’s quirks, quotes dotted around, and super friendly staff, we soon felt very at home.
What a welcome! To celebrate the end of Jo’s exams, they treated us to the following…
Despite having been awake since 3am, we were sure enough in the mood to party. We got ready and checked out a list of bars we’d read about. First up – Dry Martini.
Located in Barcelona’s Eixample district, it’s a really cool classy-yet-old-school bar, where you can expect a comprehensive cocktail menu and bartenders dressed in white coats, treating their cocktails just as seriously as their attire.
Awesome cocktails served with a smile – give the chocolate orange one a try, you won’t regret it!
Having chatted away to our taxi driver on the way in my best Spanglish (don’t forget to distinguish between jueves and huevos – one means Thursdays and the other balls, I learnt the hard way…), he recommended a tavern up the street. So we nipped in there next for sangria and authetic Spanish singing and dancing. Think plenty of guitar, instruments made from coke cans filled with rice, and songs like this…
Quite the experience, but super fun!
We left in search of the best of Barcelona’s clubs – little did we know how seriously they take their nightlife here, looks like we picked the right place! We’d heard to head to Port Olimpic, where you can find clubs with the likes of Pacha. And having had the best time in Ibiza earlier this year, we didn’t think we could go wrong.
We ended up in Shoko, and had a great night! There is a slightly odd obsession in Barcelona’s clubs with staff dressing up like the mafia and walking around, we weren’t too sure why…!?
We nipped next door to Opium, which was our favourite of the trip. It’s awesome because even in October, half the club is outside and you can sit out on the deck and (almost) see the sea.
By around 4am, we were very much ready for bed! Looking forward to filling you all in on tomorrow’s adventures…