I had visited Barcelona a few times already as a child, on short day trips away from where I stay with my family in Girona. Then, I never really noticed the full beauty of the city, or appreciated the architecture that surrounded me. It is, needless to say, stunning. I loved every minute of our quick 24 hour stopover, and fully intend on returning to delve deeper into Barcelona’s culture soon.
The first place we visited was the Picasso Museum. When we arrived, there was a huge queue for tickets and the building itself was quite busy, even though it was 10am during off peak February. I would recommend booking online, which luckily we did to avoid disappointment.
The Picasso Museum was a short underground ride from our hotel. We stayed in a simple Travelodge, Travelodge Barcelona Poblenou, which was situated on the outside of the city, with good underground train links:
It was cheap and easy, and had a restaurant which was good for when we arrived late and wanted some quick, cheap food. There was a bar and a vending machine which was a bonus for late night snacking (mostly kinder buenos for me.)
Anyway, the Picasso Museum is situated down a cute, little street, with lots of pretty shops and cafes. It’s quite an unassuming building from the outside, and is quite easy to walk past. Once we got in, you could store all your belongings in some free lockers and head to the galleries. There were a few different sections, however we were not allowed to take any photographs in any of the galleries, which was a shame but completely understandable. My favourite collection was “The Pigeons”, which showed you the progression of the painting with all of Picasso’s different sketches and variations until the final piece.
Tickets cost around 7 euros and we stayed for about 90 minutes.
As I just mentioned, near to the Picasso museum are some lovely shops. Barcelona is quite popular for pottery such as decorated plates and bowls. Everything is very ornate and beautiful, plus its pretty cheap – it’s hard not to fill up your suitcase!Even though we visited Barcelona in mid-February, it was absolutely boiling. There were literally people walking around in shorts! Because of the weather, it was so nice to wonder through some of the parks and sit out in the sun. We walked through Ciutadella Park, which is near the zoo. There were parrots and pretty birds everywhere, and at the end of our little walk we saw the Arc de Triomf, which is at one end of the park.If you cross the road diagonally left from the Arc de Triomf, you will find a really cute little cake shop. They also sold health foods and quirky drinks, as well as having a restaurant with a different menu at the back. It was really cheap to have a cake and a massive bottle of water, plus it was super tasty. There are lots of quick eats near the Arc de Triomf.Initally, we were going to do a open-top bus tour around the sites of Barcelona because it was such beautiful weather, but they were charging 30 euros! Instead, we decided to create our own route using the tube, and we bought a set of 10 tickets for the underground and split them between us, so it only cost us 5 euros each.
Our first stop on our little tour was the Sagrada de Familia. We just wanted to have a lot at how it had progressed since the last time we had both visited. Okay, we didn’t go in because the line was mad and it was really expensive, but I would say it’s still a must-see even if you don’t go inside because the architecture is really beautiful. Next, we caught the tube to the nearest stop to Park Guell. It should be noted that it is a bit of a trek from the metro station to the park, but there are lots of souvenir shops to stop off at so it’s generally a nice walk – even better if the sun is shining. Once again, we just wanted to have a quick peak so didn’t manage to look in, but you can see small segments of it all around the entrance area. Park Guell is definitely something I want to go back and see properly because I love mosaics and colourful buildings. It did look really beautiful, even though we just looked around the surrounding area.My Dad was desperate for me to get a photo of FC Barcelona’s stadium to show him when I got home. I visited the stadium a couple of years ago with my family to watch a game against AC Milan. It was mega – the atmosphere was something else! Anyway, its free to have a snoop around the outside of the stadium, and you can grab a drink at an outdoor bar and look in the official shop. I’m sure you can probably do tours etc, but football wasn’t our priority for this trip so we didn’t hang about for long.We really wanted to eat down by the harbour because it was SUCH a beautiful day. Yes, it was very crowded because it seemed like the whole of Barcelona had the same idea as us, however there are loads of restaurants, bars and cafes up and down the docking area for all kinds of budgets, and there was always a table.It was so nice sitting down to a yummy meal, sunnies on and watching the world go by. People watching is great here, and it’s fun to guess who the boats belong to and how much they would have cost.The last thing we did during our stay in Barcelona was visit the cat cafe: Espai de Gats. It is here I worked out I am allergic to short haired cats; haha! It is advised that you book online – you can understand people go crazy for it and it’s always busy – but you can just walk in and they will try to fit you in if there’s a free table. It’s super cheap, and you pay for the amount of time you stay, plus extras for drinks and snacks. We bought the “Cat Person” package, which was 5 euros and you could stay for 90 minutes and got a drink. Now, they can be quite strict, because it’s essentially an adoption centre and the cats are their priority, but its still quite relaxed. The cats just wonder about and sit with you, and you can pet and play with them. It’s a really cool concept, but I was sneezing the whole way through. I did enjoy it though, and Lauren was in her element!So that’s what I got up to in my 24 hours in Barcelona. I can’t wait to go back, especially to see Park Guell properly!
What are your favourite things to do in Barcelona? What would you recommend for my next trip?