Barcelona is one of my favourite European city. It has everything to offer, amazing weather, breathtaking architecture and great atmosphere. I adore this city and to kick off my new travel series I thought I would give you the easy guide to Barcelona offering you places to stay, eat and all the important places you don't want to miss.
Whenever I go to Barcelona I usually stay around 4-5 days and the first time I went I managed to get all the main attractions fitted in despite the crazy queues. If you make a plan before you go you will get it all done. My first top tip is to get on the Hop On Hop Off tour bus, yes it's very touristy but it gives you the best views of the city and even if you don't get to get off at every stop at least you have seen it. I highly recommend the tour buses in Barcelona, great value and you see literally everything. If tour buses just aren't your think you can easily jump on the metro, it connects to pretty much every main attraction but be warned in the summer it gets very hot down there.
Places You Have To Visit:
This place is literally breathtaking. You cannot move in this place without being wowed but the attention to detail that Antoni Gaudí has put into it. This cathedral has taken over 100 years to build and it still is in construction to this day. If you regularly visit Barcelona I think its nice to pop in now and then to see the updates they have made. All money made from entry tickets goes to the continued work so its pretty great to see it go to great use. The queue is pretty insane at peak times of the year but it is so worth it. It's a must see.
If you love beaches you will love Barcelona Beach, it stretches out for miles and its the perfect place to relax and unwind from the busy city. With the blazing heat you will only want to take a dip in the water. The kids will love this beach.
This place offers great views of the city and it continues with its amazing works of Antoni Gaudi. The place itself is really pretty and not only does it offer great views it also has some great photo opportunities and some amazing architect
Fans of heights and amazing views will love Tibidabo. If you are afraid of heights you might not like the strange vertical train that takes you up this huge mountain but once you are up there you have the choice to stroll around a gorgeous church or look out over the city with only breath taking views. Also Tibidabo has a theme park (its not Six Flags) but kids and adults alike will love it.
The main tourist street in Barcelona that runs all the way down to the Marina. It has its street entertainers and quirky shops and it's famous food market that is every foodies dream. Wherever you go in Barcelona you will always end up in La Rambla.
If water and light shows are you thing you will love this. Great way to start the night by watching the prettiest water display. Check online for times as it changes throughout the year.
Places For The Kids
Barcelona Zoo offers a great afternoon out with loads of different animals and activities for the children there is also a aquarium that they will be sure to love.
Places to Stay
Each time I have been to Barcelona I stay in Hotel Villa Emilia a lovely 4 star hotel located about a 15 min walk into Catalunya. It offers spacious room and a luxury roof top terrace which is the perfect place to unwind after a long day. The staff are friendly and welcoming and the rooms are lovely. Also for you makeup lovers there is a Sephora just under 10 min walk away in the Placa d'Espanya area.
Places to Eat & Drink
As Barcelona is a very touristy place its hard to find a decent place to eat if you want tapas avoid some of the major tourist traps as some try to lure you in, do your research before you go. My choice for food is a little restaurant called Restaurante Piccata its actually not far from the place I recommend to stay and its offers some great meals, if you eat here get the steak its amazing.
To get a drink Barcelona there is no better place than Cafe Zurich located on Placa de Catalunya, it truly is the spot to be, pass the day away people watching, enjoying the sun and just letting yourself go. Great staff and great place to leave the other half while you go and do some shopping. Just make sure you try Sangria....so good.
While in Barcelona the men might want to go to Camp Nou and even try to catch a match while there. You must check out the Marina as its nice to walk down and just chill out by the water and have a nice cold drink. If you would like a day trip away from Barcelona, I highly recommend Sitges with just and hour drive on bus for only €8 return it is a great choice. The place is very beach side and great for kids and just a great place to get away from the hussle and bussle of the busy city.
Get the aerobus from the airport, its much cheaper than a taxi and it drops you in the heart of the city. Be careful and watch for pick pockets, Barcelona is known for it but don't let that put you off as its just a busy city and it happens everywhere just have your wits about you. Watch out for restaurants that try to lure you in usually they are not that great.
The main Sephora is located in Placa de Catalunya, there is also one in Placa d'Espanya. Great place to get makeup and all round girly luxury items is El Corte Inglés it's a great shop
located in Placa de Catalunya. There is also a load of designer shops on Passeig de Gracia ( seriously pretty street) for more high street shops there are side streets off La Ramblas that offers hops like H&M, Zara and Kiko etc.
So there is my easy guide to Barcelona. As I said I adore this city and recommend it to everyone. Let me know in the comments if you have been or plan on going.