here are some photos of my recent trip to barcelona. it was our first time there and i completely fell in love. it was coming to the end of a 3 month trip through europe, so i was pretty tired by the time we made it here, but i still loved it and really really look forward to spending more time here and exploring the rest of spain in the near future. here is some of what we got up to as first timers.
1 / europark hotel
we stayed at europark hotel which was a fresh, safe and modern hotel right in the middle of the city. it has a really nice rooftop pool and is walking distance to a lot of cool spots.
2 / bus tour
i have no shame in taking a bus tour. especially if it's my first time somewhere. i'll take a day and cruise around to get my bearings, see how far away everything is and get an overall feeling of the city. i would highly recommend this if it's your first time in barcelona! there is so much to see and it's all very spread out. it's kind of a good way to do all the touristy stuff in 1 day. then i'll spend the rest of my trip wandering, eating and drinking aimlessly.
3 / park güell
one of our stops on the bus day was park guell. we walked around for a good couple of hours and admired all of the beautiful architecture and sculptures. there was a wonderful view of the city at the top and it was really interesting to see where gaudi worked and lived.
4 / basilica of the sagrada familia
a stunning old italian inspired catholic church in the city designed by gaudi. it was under some reconstruction while we visited, but still incredible to see in person. definitely go and see it if you are in barcelona.
5 / pan con tomate (bread with tomato)
barcelona is the first time i experienced pan con tomate and i became a little obsessed. it comes with most meals in bars and restaurants. it's exactly what it sounds like, toasted bread rubbed with tomato and olive oil. so simple. so delicious.
6 / el born neighbourhood
el born is an off beat and fashionable neighborhood that features historic attractions, art galleries, little shops, bars and tapas.
7 / mercat de sant josep de la boqueria
this is a big market filled with lots of fruits, veggies, the famous juices, tapas bars and lots of cured meat. it was heaven.
8 / TAPAS
tapas. everywhere. find the little bars where there are no signs out the front and are full of local people. that's where you'll find the best. i'll never forget one night going into an actual hole in the wall bar and watching an old man carving dozens of plates of the most mouth watering cured meats i've ever seen. it melted in my mouth. and as i mentioned before, most of these things come with pan con tomate.
9 / paella on the beach
we spent an afternoon exploring the beach and ended up having the most delicious seafood paella. i forget the name of where we went. but there were tables full of spanish families, wine and music. it was a perfect afternoon.
10 / las ramblas
las ramblas is a super popular spot to visit if you're in barcelona. this is a pedestrian only area lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. it kind of reminded me of the champs elysees of barcelona. be careful as it is known for its pickpockets.