First stop, Barcelona

Great food, beautiful architecture, and sangria that is to die for. If you’re interested in any of these things, Barcelona is the place for you.

La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona

Barcelona was the first stop on my trip to Europe and it definitely did not disappoint. Although many people would say that Barcelona is not the place to experience authentic Spanish culture, I believe there are many reasons that make Barcelona worth visiting. The first being the architecture, Antoni Gaudí has designed many of the one of a kind buildings that you will find throughout the city. The most famous ones being Park Güell, La Pedrera also known as Casa Milà, and La Sagrada Família.

Park Güell

La Pedrera – Casa Milà
La Pedrera’s roof terrace
La Sagrada Família

I would definitely recommend seeing all three attractions even if you are not interested in Spanish architecture. I guarantee that you will be captivated by the detail and precision that Gaudi instilled in his work; it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. If the architecture isn’t enough reason, Park Güell and La Pedrera also have amazing views of the city. If you do decide to visit these attractions, it is best to go early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the long lines.

Casa Batlló, also designed by Gaudí

Hands down, my favourite part about Barcelona was the food and sangria. My grandma and I were overwhelmed at how many restaurants there were, so on the first day we decided to choose an all you can eat restaurant. This was the biggest mistake! Although there were a lot of options, it turned out to be quantity over quality. I think it is better to take the chance with a regular restaurant as we had a lot better luck. Two restaurants I recommend going to are Les Quinze Nuits and Luzia. Les Quinze Nits is a Catalonian restaurant located in Plaça Reial, a popular square in the gothic quarter. The restaurant has great food and the drinks were even better. Out of all the places I have travelled to, Les Quinze Nits had the best sangria. For just €4 you can get a huge glass of sangria that not only tastes delicious, but will most definitely get you tipsy. What more could anyone ask for?

Les Quinze Nuits
Plaça Reial

Luzia is a stylish Italian and Mediterranean restaurant, just steps away from La Ramblas. They serve a wide variety of affordable dishes, from wood oven pizzas to tapas. Unlike many restaurants, Luzia’s hours start as early as 8:30am and go as late as 2:00am; whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner Luzia has it all. My grandma and I loved these two restaurants so much, that we went to both of them twice in the three days that we stayed.

The narrow streets of the gothic quarter
La Salut, a neighbourhood near Park Güell
La Salut

La Salut is a beautiful neighbourhood that we stumbled across while trying to find the Park Güell. Many houses are covered in these beautiful pink flowers called Bougainvillea, which were not as common in the heart of the city. Barcelona has so many picturesque neighbourhoods like La Salut that I wanted to spend hours getting lost in them. However, when you have limited time you tend to prioritize the main attractions. I would suggest considering a walk through the less touristy areas as I’m sure you’re bound to find some hidden gems.

La Dreta de l’Eixample, an affluent neighbourhood with upscale restaurants and shops
La Rambla by night
Port Vell
Catalonia Square

Overall, I think Barcelona is one of the few places in the world that anyone would enjoy because there is so much to see and do, even on a budget. No matter what you are looking for on your holidays, I guarantee that you will find it in Barcelona. There are beautiful beaches just a 20 minute walk from the city centre, jaw dropping architecture, world class food, and the bustling nightlife made me wish I was travelling with a friend rather than my grandma. The city has so much to offer that I left there feeling disappointed that I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to. If you’re planning on visiting Barcelona, I would definitely give yourself at least 4-5 days to experience the best the city has to offer. Three days just isn’t enough when you take into account travel time from the airport, settling into the hotel, and jet lag forcing you to nap rather than explore. Barcelona is one of the most popular European destinations and it’s clear why. I will definitely be back to this vibrant city.

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