Beautiful Barca – a long weekend in Barcelona

Since we got engaged (yeah, I’ll shut up about that at some point), we’ve been squirrelling our salaries away to save for our upcoming wedding. But we couldn’t handle planning such an event without a little break to recharge and forget about decorations and guest lists for a bit. I’d never been to Spain despite it only being a 90 minute plane ride away, so it was an easy decision on where to go. Barcelona had been recommended to us so many times, I think we knew where to book before we even decided on a break! So in July, we packed away the table plans and the lettering stamps and jetted off for a long weekend in Barcelona.

A new airport, a new suitcase

The flights were oddly cheaper if we flew from City airport in East London. So, excited to experience a new airport we booked a taxi for 6am and hoped the roads from West to East London were clear enough for an easy ride to the check-in desks. Luckily they were! I was also lucky enough to get a brand new suitcase from a lovely PR in time to take with me to Barcelona. Isn’t my luggage* pretty?

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

City Airport wasn’t particularly impressive (I don’t know why I thought it was going to be something special), but compared to Heathrow and Gatwick everything went without a hitch and I quite liked walking the tarmac for a change.

A design hotel with an impressive view

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

We picked Barcelo Raval from the list of gorgeous places to stay in Barcelona. I originally had my heart set on the W but it didn’t work with our budget – next time it will happen! Barcelo Raval was a great alternative. It’s a design hotel, so it did mean that it took a while to figure out how to work everything out (seriously, I stood in the shower for 10 minutes trying to find where the water came out). But it also meant that it felt luxurious. Everything was thought out, like the little touches of pink striplighting on the bed and a nightlight for the bathroom. Also it turns out Barcelo gives good view.

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

Lovely. It’s got a 360° view which is lit up at night and includes almost all of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona. The coin-operated binoculars weren’t great, even though you didn’t actually have to pay for them, but they made for great photos.

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

La Rambla, the bustle and the beach

The first thing we did after settling into the hotel was to walk down the famous La Rambla. A two minute walk from Barcelo Raval, the avenue was buzzing with tourists and felt a bit like The South Bank in London, only louder (and better weather). There was plenty going on so we checked the nearest information centre and got maps to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We didn’t stop off at the nearest Starbucks, nope. Definitely didn’t^.

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

I always like to take it easy on the first day of a holiday. Trying to pack in too much too soon can be tiring and I wanted to make sure it was a long weekend in Barcelona to savour, so we spent a couple of hours walking up and down La Barceloneta beach. And we saw some balls. Ping pong balls, volleyballs, man balls. Yes, there are man balls on Barceloneta beach, and some of them aren’t pretty. We soon stopped giggling and headed back to the hotel for our first taste of tapas.

“I miss patatas bravas”

I think Tapas is my food. It was meant for me. I’m a picker, a nibbler, a snacker. It’s why my Dad calls me Mouse and why I don’t eat 3 solid meals a day. So finding Spain’s love of Tapas for once made my appetite a non-issue. No-one asked me if my food was ok, because I ate it all! And boy was all that calamari good. Our favourite dish was patatas bravas, potato wedges or chunks covered in a delicious spicy sauce. If anyone has perfected a recipe for it, send to me!

Sightseeing in Barcelona

I’d been told how amazing all of the main sights are, which is part of the reason why we booked a long weekend in Barcelona. From the beaches and Antoni Gaudí houses to museums and government buildings, Barcelona is packed with beautiful places to see.

long weekend in Barcelona | Blonde in the City

Casa Batlló – the Gaudí house with the lizard style roof and masquerade balconies. I recommend getting the audio guide for this house as there’s a lot of detail on what Gaudí used the house for and how he made it look so stunning.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera) – another Gaudí house with a roof you don’t realise is there. Walk around the Escher-like columns and take photos of the view.

Park Güell – Surprise! Gaudí again! The park is lovely to stroll around on a lazy afternoon, when it’s hot and a little bit sleepy. Families take picnics and sit under the trees for shade.

La Boqueria – a traditional food market just off the Ramblas. There are so many colourful sights and smells – fresh fruit, aged meats, sweets, smoothies…

Sagrada Família – the icing on top of a very beautiful cake. Save this church until the end (and pre-book tickets online) so the holiday finishes spectacularly.

Have you been to Barcelona before? Want to go? Tell me what you did or what your plans are in the comments!

^Definitely did.

* denotes a sponsored link. I was given the suitcase to take on my long weekend in Barcelona.

Follow:
please note: some header images are from unsplash.com
Share:

8 Comments

  1. 24th September 2013 / 12:33 pm

    I’d never really considered Barcelona as a destination until BA told me I have enough Avios for free return flights… Your guide has just sold me on the idea! Would you say it’s best to wait until the summer months? Xx

    • 25th September 2013 / 4:33 pm

      I’d never really considered it until then and I have no idea why! It’s such a beautiful city. I think summer months are better because you can make the most of the beaches and it’s generally a happy, vibrant city in the sunshine. But, I assume it’s happy all the time!

  2. Katie
    16th November 2013 / 6:27 pm

    Tesco have a patatas bravas sauce that is actually not bad! Of course you’ll never beat the real thing but it’s a good substitute :)

    • 24th November 2013 / 7:49 pm

      I’m going to have to find this! Have been craving patatas bravas for too long..