Our stay in Barcelona was absolutely magical. It was the perfect mix of rich history and modern amenities. We stayed in the historical village (they get upset if you call it a neighborhood) of Catalan, just outside the city center of Barcelona, for four days. We could have been here much longer but four days was a good amount of time to see the city and hit all the items on our checklist without feeling overwhelmed!
Where To Stay:
As I mentioned above, we stayed in a great AirBnB in the Catalan village. I highly recommend staying here. This part of town will make you feel like you are one of the locals. The area is free of tourist attractions and chalk full of so much culture. If I ever move to Barcelona this is the area I would live in. Hands down. And it’s a quick subway ride to the city center and only a 30 minute walk!
What to Pack:
Find the swimsuit cover here.
For the time that we were there the weather was pretty mild. Warm enough to justify a day trip to the beach but cool enough to put on jeans and not overheat. I would suggest layering everything. It will get really warm for about two or three hours in the afternoon and the rest of the time you’ll be thankful for your long sleeves.
Unlike Athens, tennis shoes aren’t as much of a must have in Barcelona. This is the perfect place to break out your cutest sandals and your feet won’t feel like falling off by the end of the day.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hats, etc. The sun is bright and because the weather is cooler during this time of the year you don’t feel like it’s burning you as much as it is. Come prepared!
What to Do:
1. Take a food tour in the Catalan Village.
My favorite part about the food tour is that they take you to places you will never find in a travel guide or tourist attraction booklet. All local food, all small businesses, all hard working people with amazing stories.
We started our trip off with a food tour of the area that we were staying in and it was fantastic. You spend the day learning about the history of the area, eating food, drinking wine, and walking the city. This was our first day and our favorite day. We all had happy stomachs and big smiles on our face by the end of the tour. I suggest throwing your dietary restrictions (if they’re not related to health issues) out the door if you decide to do this. Allow yourself to indulge and to taste the history of Catalan. You won’t regret it.
Check out their website to get a more detailed list of all the delicacies that you will sample on the tour. My favorites were the cava (Catalan’s sparkling white wine) and the Bombas. I’m still drooling just thinking about them. Everything is made fresh. The restaurants are locally owned. And the food is mouth watering.
2. Spend a day exploring the architectural phenomenon of the Sagrada Familia.
There is a reason this is the first thing people who have been to Barcelona tell those who are planning to visit Barcelona to see first. This is the most breathtaking architectural phenomenon I have ever seen in my entire life. I highly suggest doing the audio tour along with this. It will take you about 30 minutes to complete the tour and learn about the history of the Basilica and then you can take as long as you want by yourself inside. I am not exaggerating at all when I say that the second I walked through the doors and into the Basilica I burst into tears and cried the entire time. Pictures will never do this building justice. My husband and I have already planned to return in 2026 when the building is said to be completed.
Go to Barcelona and spend a few hours at the Sagrada Familia. Please.
3. Shop the local designers without breaking the bank.
This top cost me less than 15 Euros. I love deals.
We spent more time than my husband would like me to admit shopping each day we were in Barcelona. The streets are FILLED with shops with unique designs and in the area we stayed in everything was so inexpensive! One of my favorite parts about Barcelona was the way their days are laid out. Every day from roughly 2-5pm everyone takes a siesta. They either go on a long lunch with friends, run home and take a nap, or spend some time walking around the city. This gives them the chance to recoup and get ready to finish their work day. Everyone should model their work days after this city. They’ve got it figured out.
Anyway, I digress, because of this siesta in the middle of the day, you can walk down the same street three different times throughout the day and completely different shops and restaurants will be open. It will feel like a new street every time. We never felt like we had enough time to explore all the shops in our area. It was amazing. There is so much exploring to be had in this city. You will never be bored.
4. Take a day trip to the beach city, Sitges.
Before I went to Barcelona I knew I wanted to spend a day exploring one of their beaches. Almost everyone I had talked to who had been before mentioned wishing that they had made time to get out of the city and get to the beach so we made sure we did just that. The city of Sitges was about an hour train ride outside of the city and was the most adorable city with an absolutely beautiful beach right on the edge of it. We spent an entire day here; laying out on the beach, walking through the shops, wondering around on the rocks. If you are planning a trip to Barcelona but haven’t planned for a day at the beach, please please please make time to escape the city and explore this area.
Don’t be afraid to climb all over the rocks. You may even stumble upon some caves!
5. Watch the sunset in Park Guell.
This is the park that contains the three houses designed by Gaudi. I suggest doing the park at sunset like we did. Before 8:30pm you will have to pay for a ticket to get in and explore but if you arrive right at 8:30 that will give you about 30-45 minutes to run around the park, check out the houses and all of the mosaics by Gaudi and make your way to the top of the park to watch the sunset. This park has wonderful views of the city and will leave you standing in awe.
Barcelona is definitely a magical place to visit. We could have spent an entire month in this city and never have gotten bored. If it’s not a must on your travel list I highly recommend adding it. You will not be disappointed by all that Barcelona has to offer you.