Spain: Weekend in Barcelona
I've always wanted to explore Europe. Minoring in Classical History, I've spent years fawning over every story, historical building, and anything of the like for all things ancient Rome or Greece. So I always imagined my first trip to Europe as Rome or Greece. But after an impromptu invitation, I found myself booking a single flight to Barcelona - a place I actually knew nothing about.
HOTEL: Hotel Barcelona 1882
Address: Carrer de Còrsega, 482, 08025 Barcelona, Spain
This gorgeous little hotel was only a 7-minute walk away from the Sagrada Familia. Our room sat on the main floor down a hallway that only occupied two rooms. Upon walking in, you'd notice the sliding glass door for the bathroom, which was very spacious and featured a shower with a glass panel that peeped right into the bedroom. Talk about sexy. The window at the end of the room lead to a view that seemed like the hotel's outdoor atrium. If you took a trip up to the rooftop, you have an unobstructed view of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia. Barcelona's iconic Roman Catholic Church. This absolute beauty was even more extravagant in person as it was towering at 172m high. Designed by the now passed famous architect Antoni Gaudi, the church itself was quite literally a work of art. Personally, I've only had the pleasure of admiring its exterior, as I only had a day's time and could not purchase tickets for an indoor tour. It was, however, as packed as you'd expect such a historic landmark to be. There were tourists squeezing by one another, with tour buses and kids running around everywhere. Perhaps the experience would be better if you decide to pay it a visit at an earlier hour. Nonetheless, it was stunning and as grand as I imagined. Just look where it's situated!
Shot was taken from @Harimaolee Instagram
Cathedral of Barcelona. There are plenty of churches you will walk by in Barcelona. The second church I made a quick stop at was the Cathedral of Barcelona, a 13th-century Gothic Church. Again, absolutely gorgeous but you have to expect the tourists to flood the area. Strangely enough, there were a lot of people dressed as clowns hanging outside the church, seemingly trying to get a buck or two from the tourists.
Passeig de Lluís Companys. This beautiful area is lined with palm trees and monuments of Catalan heros. Surely a worthwhile place to check out if you're looking to get some downtime and realize from a day of walking. It's so spacious and you would often find people laying things out that they're selling or just couples going on picnics here. I thought this place was so beautiful and such a unique little spot from the bustling city.
La Rambla. This street is arguably the most active street in Barcelona. This street spans 1.2 km in length and features the city's highlights with restaurants, fast fashion, high-end designers, and anything you could possibly need. I conducted some research beforehand (since I would be wandering alone for most of the first day and didn't want to accidentally run into anywhere too sketchy), and I learnt that this street was actually notorious for pickpocketing. Being extra careful with my belongings, I ventured into the shops and browsed around for a few hours. They have a lot of interesting stores, with one store I stumbled upon that completely ripped off every brand you can think of and made it with a Barcelona logo twist - it was actually really spot on and hilarious. I also visited a McDonald's for a quick bathroom stop, only to find the mirror splattered with blood. That was a little sketchy. I returned later that same night with my boyfriend. The night vibe was very different - definitely a younger crowd out and about, with a lot of aggressive club promoters that will try to hound you down. Really gorgeous street with lots of energy - I would just recommend you to be on your toes!
The Fake Supreme Shop. Supreme Italia, the copycat of Supreme NY, has a fully operating shop. If you're in the area and want to check it out for jokes, here's your chance. Note, they're pretty strict on photography - I wonder why haha.
Plaza Real. This plaza is absolutely stunning at night. Buildings towering over this large outdoor dining space house dozens of restaurants. There are palm trees and lights everywhere and it was really just a mood. I do not recommend eating at any restaurants there because the food was truly brutal in the worse sense. But check it out for the views.
BONUS: I loved riding the electric scooters when I was in LA and I was so happy to find out they had Birds in Barcelona as well! Of course, this became our method of transportation for some nights we just wanted to take the scenic route home.
BONUS: They got a lot of street vendors that sell all sorts of goodies. I was all about those olives (and sour candies!!).
Going to keep this part pretty brief, just highlighting whether something was worth the visit or not.
CAÑETE. Carrer de la Unió, 17, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Absolutely delicious. I'm no expert but felt very authentic for somewhere so right in the city. Great variety, fresh seafood, amazing wine. We sat in a little boujee low-key area behind the kitchen that had so many celebrity-signed photos and bottles. A great little gem.
PEZ VELA. Passeig del Mare Nostrum, 19, 21, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
Located right under the W Hotel in Barcelona, this luxurious restaurant definitely felt all sorts of high-end. We ordered food for 10+ people. The paella was great (but that's kinda hard to mess up in the heart of Spain isn't it). Some things were hit and misses, but for that price, it could be worth it to try something less tourist centered. If you want to pay for the aesthetics, vibes, and views, this is definitely it though.
MY FUCKING RESTAURANT. Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 35, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
My boyfriend wanted to try this restaurant purely for the fact that they so fearlessly named it that. It was great and did the job LOL. The bartenders were friendly and socialized with us while we waited by the bar. There was a bit of a waitlist, so we went to snack by the restaurants in the area before returning an hour later.
BAR BRUTAL. Carrer de la Princesa, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Gorgeous little place, with a huge wall of wine, openly displayed. Cozy, rustic, and casual bar vibes. Didn't stay long, just had a couple of shots here, so I do not have much opinion on their drinks.
MARLOWE BAR. Carrer del Rec, 24, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
No-fuss low key bar. They had drinks that looked and tasted great. We spent a couple of hours just talking away at this joint. Great vibe, I would definitely recommend it.