Stayed: Andante Hotel – while the hotel was really nice and close to the Gothic Quarter it wasn’t on the nicest street. Would recommend to try to stay more on the east side of the Gothic Quarter
We had a relatively late flight from London and with the time change we didn’t land until almost midnight! We took an uber from the airport which only took about 20mins- very nice! The hotel was pretty nice and we got upgraded to have a terrace! We ended up watching Love Island before bed (whoops stayed up until 2am).
I SLEPT IN UNTIL 10! That never happens so that was a nice start to my birthday! I also noticed a card slipped under our door from the hotel wishing me a happy birthday! It also said to come to reception for a gift and wowweee it was a HUGE box of chocolates! Very nice of them.
We headed out around 10:30 to get to our walking tour. We stopped on the way for some croissants and Alyssa got a coffee that she ended up spilling everywhere because the top wouldn’t stay on and we were running late so had to walk very fast 😂😂 Thankfully we made it just as the English guide was starting the tour!
The walking tour lasted about 2.5hrs and our guide was really good! He was actually from England but had been living in Barcelona for 20years.
Here’s some random facts I learned along the way (and can remember a day later).
These steps apparently Christopher Columbus walked up to talk to the Queen and King about going to explore the world! Yay for America being found!
We walked by quite a few churches. Apparently there is a slight problem with the gargoyles falling off… like 5 years ago part of one fell off and cut off a man’s arm!
We also stopped in this square with some Picaso artwork! LOL Apparently Picaso had a rivalry with another artist and drew on a napkin how he thought the other artist would draw, but then people were like OMG Picaso art and put it on this building 😂😂
If you look through the trees to Picaso’s drawing you can see what looks like people standing on top of each other… this is because of the Catalan tradition of Castell- aka building a human tower. Basically people connect elbows into a circle then build another circle standing on top of those people and on and on until they are very high. They apparently do this in elementary schools and have a festival every year to see who can make the biggest one. Idk sounds dangerous but I guess people enjoy it lol
After the walking tour ended, we walked back to a cute shop we had passed- Alyssa ended up getting a super cute dress! Then we walked to La Boqueria Marceta- a food market about a 10min walk away. We messed up by not going into the market immediately. Instead we decided to get a sangria at one of the restaurants right next to the market… to only find out once you got into the market that most of the places you actually sat down to eat. Whoops. We thankfully found a place that had more to go food. Unforunately it didn’t look as good as some of the other food, but it did the job.
We decided to walk to the Sagrada Familia (the giant cathedral Guadi constructed). The walk was about 2miles and wasn’t our best plan as it was pretty hot, but we did make it there lol. The Cathedral is actually still under construction- they are finishing some of the towers on the outside. The inside however seemed to be fully complete. The church was very intricate and definitely had some Gaudi characteristics. The inside of the church was very impressive, however, compared to other cathedrals I’ve been to, it didn’t have a ton to look at in terms of side alters, etc. So we didn’t end up spending THAT much time within the church, but it was cool to do once at least.
By the time we finished with the church it was already 5:30pm! We ended up making the subway back to our hotel to relax on our terrace for a bit before getting ready for dinner! We ended up going up to the pool before leaving to see the view and the bartender took a cute pic of us.
We decided to walk towards the restaurant we had a dinner reservation for and stop somewhere for a quick drink on the way. We ended up seeing this place with really nice vibes so we walked over and turns out it was a Mexican restaurant lol. But we got a drink anyways- some nice margaritas!
We then headed to Casa Jaime- the restaurant Tom recommended. We got some sangria and some tapas! Forgot to take a photo of the food until we had already eaten lol
After dinner we tried to walk to this shots bar Jack told us to go to… we got there and it was closed. Classic covid! Lol so we just walked back to our hotel… it was almost midnight by the time we got back!
We slept in again till around 9:30 and started packing to check out of our hotel before leaving. We were able to leave our bags at the reception so at least we didn’t have to carry those around with us!
We tried to go to a restaurant for breakfast that Alyssa found online but it was PACKED and we already booked tickets to Parque Guell so we didn’t have time to wait around. We walked around the same area until we found someplace else for a quick bite. Parque Guell isn’t super close to where we were staying so we took the subway, which was an easy direct shot…. except then we had to walk up quite a few stairs to get up to where the park was, which got us sweating quite a bit!
Parque Guell was much larger than I realized! You always just see the mosaics in pictures, but it is an actual park as well with walking trails. We didn’t spend too much time exploring before heading to the mosaics area but got at least one pretty view of the city!
The mosaics (more Gaudi work) were very pretty! Naturally everyone visiting is trying to have a mini photo shoot so we had to wait a few minutes to get a spot (and have our own photo shoot of course). We even got someone to take our picture together!
Some really pretty flowers in the area as well!
When we had our fill of the park, we caught a bus to Casa Mila- one of the places Gaudi designed. The building was pretty cool from the outside. We didn’t go in since we heard the other building was more interesting.
We then walked another couple minutes to Casa Batllo. Our walking guide recommended to go into this one if you wanted to see one. We had some extra time to spare so we decided to do it! The house was pretty wildly designed. We got an audioguide that switched automatically depending on what room in the house you were in.
The stairwell area inside was meant to look like the sea!
At the end of the tour we went into this black room, which suddenly started playing these videos- see the picture below as it’s hard to describe but it was pretty cool. Not sure how it related to Gaudi, but added little something extra to the experience.
Took us about an hour to walk through the house then we decided to walk to Ciutadella Park and find a place to eat along the way! We ended up stopping in the Gothic Quarter at Sabor de Barrio for sangria and tapas! Food was pretty good and the people working were very nice!
From the restaurant it was only about 5 more mins to the park. The park was actually really nice. There was a giant fountain in the middle which was really pretty as well.
Right next to the park is the “mini” Arc de Triomf. It was not actually that small in my opinion though.
Afterwards we started our walk back to the hotel- getting some ice cream on the way 😁. We left around 5pm in an uber for the airport. Short, but fun weekend away!