After a long, tough year at university my friend Raya and I decided to book a quick getaway to sunny Barcelona at the beginning of our summer holiday. It was my first taste of Spain and it’s a place I’ve been dying to visit ever since I watched the Cheetah Girls Movie (calling all 90s kid Disney fans) many many years ago! At the beginning of July we set off on our three day adventure to get a taste of Barcelona’s vibrant food scene, incredible architecture and hot weather!
In this travel guide you will find:
- TIPS FOR BOOKING
- WHERE WE STAYED
- WHAT WE DID
- WHAT WE ATE
TIPS FOR BOOKING
The most popular time to visit Barcelona is in the summer, although you should prep yourself for super hot weather (32 deg +) and lots of tourists! You can often find really great deals (like we did) on lastminute.com.
We stayed in Barcelona for 3 days and I’d say that gave us plenty of time to do everything we wanted to. We had a packed schedule but it was fun and not too tiring.
Barcelona is just a 2 hour flight away from London. Once we arrived at Barcelona airport – El Prat we took the airport aerobus to Plaça de Catalunya (City Centre). The aerobus arrives every 10-15mins and the journey is roughly 35 minutes long. It’s a lot cheaper than taking a taxi and costs just over €5.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at Negresco Princess, a 4* hotel in the centre of Barcelona. It wasn’t the best hotel ever, but the staff were very friendly and it was in a great location.
Our favourite part of the hotel was the rooftop where we’d spend our evenings chatting away for ages in the cool weather!
WHAT WE DID
On our first day we visited La Rambla, Barcelona’s most famous boulevard that stretches 1.3km from Plaça de Catalunya (City Centre) to Port Vell (Barcelona’s iconic harbour).
La Rambla is very busy and packed with tourists as well as locals. It’s a great spot for shopping, eating and people watching. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire the beautiful architecture too!
Just off La Rambla, you will find the very famous Boqueria market which prides itself in selling fresh produce of high quality.
You can find all sorts of food here from fruits and veg to Spanish tapas to fattening desserts!
Visit the Gothic Quarter to see some of the oldest parts of the city of Barcelona. You’ll be sure to discover pretty little streets and enchanting squares.
A short walk away from the Gothic Quarter lies the beautiful Barcelona cathedral.
Parc Guell is one of the most famous sights in Barcelona and was designed by the well known Spanish architect – Gaudi. It’s huge and is a must visit for amazing views of the city!
My favourite building in Barcelona was the beautiful Casa Batlló, which was also designed by Gaudi.
Other famous works of Gaudi include Casa Mila and La Sagrada Familia (pictured below).
If you have time it would be worth visiting Montjuic. It’s about 20 mins away by car from the city centre and it’s home to the incredible Montjuic castle, botanical garden, cable car and magic fountain to name a few!
On our last day we decided to have some down time at Barceloneta beach!
WHERE WE ATE
For breakfast we popped into random little cafes/ bakeries near our hotel. The bakeries in Barcelona are on every street corner and they sell delicious pastries! Be sure not to miss out on them!
BRUNCH & CAKE BY THE SEA
Located near Barceloneta beach.
This place is not halal but they have lots of veggie options. It was highly recommended to me and very popular on Instagram, but my friend and I left disappointed with our food. Perhaps we ordered the wrong dish but sadly we had a bad experience.
Located just off La Rambla.
The falafel at Maoz is delicious and it’s a great quick pit stop for lunch when you’re out and about exploring.
Located near Placa de Catalunya.
Come here for HUGE burgers! The burgers are not as good as those we have in London, but it is a pretty decent option and good value for money.
Located in Maremagnum shopping centre.
A trip to Spain would not be complete without paella and patatas bravas! This Spanish restaurant was recommended to me by one of my followers on Instagram. We didn’t quite put together that “bar”itimo was a bar/restaurant until we arrived (lol). I was a bit hesitant about the food being halal but I asked a zillion times to be sure and was also shown a halal certificate by Muslim chefs at the restaurant confirming that all meats are halal.
The bar area is completely separate which is great and the tables overlook Barcelona’s port which is really pretty.
Located on La Rambla.
On our last day in Barcelona, we headed back to La Rambla and stumbled upon Habibi – a Middle Eastern restaurant. You can’t go wrong with lamb kebabs and chicken shish… it ended up being our favourite meal of the trip!
ICE CREAM AT GELATERIA PALAU
Located next to Palau de la Musica Catalana.
I had A LOT of ice creams while I was in Barcelona but I particularly enjoyed the Oreo ice cream from Palau.
Granja is located near the Barcelona Cathedral.
Churros are dotted all over Barcelona! I tried some from a stall on La Rambla, however they were pretty disappointing! I’ve heard that the churros at Granja La Pallaresa are amazing so be sure to try them out. They also sell “cream catalana” (the Catalan version of creme brûlée) which is meant to be delicious!
Overall I had a great time in sunny Barcelona! I love that the the city and beach are so close to each other, making it a great destination for both exploring and relaxing. The variety of halal food in Barcelona is not the best, but the seafood options and delicious desserts will definitely make up for it!