I spent 3.5 days in sunny Barcelona! What better way to share my recommendations than by creating a blog post!? Scroll down for all my faves!
Good location to stay?
My hotel was a stone’s throw away from Plaça de Catalunya, which was great. It’s bang in the city centre, a 30-minute walk to both the Sagrada Familia and the beach, and approx a 10-minute walk from the restaurants I’m about to recommend.
How to get around?
If you like to explore cities by foot, then bring comfortable shoes because this is the ideal location to get your steps in. I walked everywhere, and only took public transport – which is very easy to navigate with the help of Google Maps – to and from the airport (bus A1 or A2) and to get to Park Güell.
Where to eat?
When travelling, I like to eat local. For me, this meant small, intimate restaurants with plenty of tapas and sangria.
Recommended by a friend, Casa Lolea was my favourite restaurant in Barcelona – the tapas was divine. We were lucky to get a table as we were only two, but I would definitely reserve if you’re with a group. It was the orzo truffle risotto that did it for me!
You’ll see in my pics that I constantly order Lolea Sangria. That’s because the bottle is so pretty and I loved trying the different flavours. 😍🍷 Give it a go!
As Barcelona’s first multi-restaurant venue, El Nacional has inviting interior and leaves a long-lasting impression on its guests. Hosting 4 restaurant: Meat, fish, tapas and a deli, there’s plenty to choose from. Whilst this isn’t the typical small, intimate restaurant that I prefer, it was nice to experience something different – especially as it’s a first for Barcelona. A friend recommended the tapas restaurant because the waiting staff usually walk round with the dishes, call out their names, and you put your hand up if you’d like that dish. Due to the pandemic this service wasn’t available, but I’m sure that if it was, the slightly higher prices would have been justified. You can’t reserve at the tapas restaurant (but can at the fish and meat restaurants) but the overall atmosphere of the venue was great.
We stumbled across Casa Ràfols just after arriving in Barcelona. We were hungry and this tapas really hit the spot. Located just minutes away from Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf, Casa Ràfols is the perfect place for a lunch break (and Lolea) whilst exploring the city by foot.
I would strongly recommend making a reservation at this small restaurant, located close to the beach, that serves an a-m-a-z-i-n-g paella. We turned up spontaneously for dinner one evening and because it was so busy, had to reserve for the next day instead. We ended up eating at Salamanca, which is a huge tourist restaurant right on the beach – do yourself a favour and don’t eat there 😅 Anyway, not only did we love the El Xiringo de la Barceloneta paella, but the service was extraordinary. Diego, the owner, was very friendly and ensured that we dined comfortably.
I prefer to relax rather than have a super busy schedule when on holiday, so and could see that the Sagrada Familia had plenty of tickets available when I checked online. So we turned up spontaneously and booked tickets only just 20 minutes before we were ready to go in. However, when a friend of mine went, she said it was very busy – so make sure you at least look in advance. We did the audio guide and quite enjoyed it! The architecture is amazing.
I booked my general admission ticket in the exact same way that I did for Sagrada Familia. To avoid queues, I would recommend booking online even if you’re stood directly outside, as did I. I was in awe of Gaudi’s intricate designs and it was lovely to walk around the park
Mercado de La Boqueria
Barcelona’s oldest market, Mercado de La Boqueria, is located on La Rambla and has plenty of fresh, colourful foods for you to enjoy. Whether you can stop for tapas or grab a snack to go, this is a tourist attraction not to be missed!
Arc de Triomf & Parc de la Ciutadella
The Arc de Triomf is on the Passeig de Lluís Companys, which leads you directly to the Parc de la Ciutadella. The park is beautiful and is ideal to relax and rest your feet after plenty of city strolling.
More of Barcelona
Even if you don’t go in, these are definitely worth viewing from the outside.
I loved my long weekend in Barcelona, and hope these recommendations help you to enjoy yours too. Have the best time! Adéu!