The first post on this blog has to be about Barcelona!
Barcelona is one of the most popular European city break destinations and with so much on offer there really is no wonder why.
Barcelona holds a
small HUGE place in my heart – with my boyfriend living here for a year teaching English i was able to visit almost every other weekend. Timing it right with Skyscanner was crucial (I’ll do a post on this later) and i would often get return flights for around £35 – cheaper than two drinks in Mayfair! Bargain!
Being able to experience Barcelona as more of a resident than a tourist really set in stone my love for this city. Having so much time in a city gives you the chance to really explore areas, and eat and drink in places off the tourist pathway. These bars and restaurants easily and quickly became my favourites in the city and definitely deserve to be shared!
Top Eats & Drinks
1) 100 Montaditos
If you know, you know – and if you don’t know, GET TO KNOW!
So what is a montadito? an absolute staple to Spanish cuisine, small tapas sized rolls filled with almost every flavour meat, fish, veggie option imaginable! You can’t go to 100 Montaditos and not get a Tinto Verano! an ice cold, sangria like drink for only €1.50. 100 Montaditos offers the perfect size afternoon snack, or filling lunch – you choose however many you want and keep ordering until you’re full. Heaven!
There are over 8 100 Montaditos throughout Barcelona so be sure to check at least one of them out!
! TOP TIP !
If you want more bang for your buck, or are even just a budget traveller – every Wednesday & Sunday, 100 Montaditos offer a promotion called ‘Euromania’ where most of the sandwiches are €1.
Next up is Chivuos! Street food and craft beer at low prices? Et Voila! All the sandwiches, burgers and sauces are homemade and are packed full with with flavour. Everything comes with a generous portion of patatas bravas and the most you will pay is €7. SO worth it as the portions are huge.
Be sure to pair your sandwich with a Tinto Verano (see, told ya!) or a craft beer for around €3. Make sure you make plenty of visits as both the beer menu and food menu change every so often.
3) La Surena Cerveceria
I honestly could not rave about this place ENOUGH!
While it is in a more slightly touristy area (right on the docks behind the maremagnum shopping centre) it is cheap, has great food and even better views. We sat here for hours a time watching the multi-million pound Yachts enter and leave the docks, the planes coming into land and even the hourly ferry leave and return!
the beers are super super cheap and you can get a bucket of 5 half pint bottles of cruzcampo for €3! It wouldn’t be a post without tinto verano right? At La Surena it is on tap at €1.50 per glass – Many a tipsy walk back to the apartment from this place! La Surena also offers the perfect snack options, bravas, bruschetta, meats – the works! No more to be said – just make sure to pay a visit here!
Save the best for last? YES!
If you like Mojitos then this is the place to be. When you search for ‘best mojito Barcelona’ or ‘Barcelona Bars’ you will find this very rarely, if ever comes up! This is what makes it such a gem. Filled with ex-pats and locals alike they have around 10 different flavoured mojitos for €2 each!
While i’ve not eaten here, on Monday-Wednesday burgers have 50% off!
! TOP TIP !
Because its not a tourist trap bar, most of the staff don’t speak much english speaking staff so definitely get clued up on some Spanish phrases for this one! Trust me – its worth it!
But what about..?
There are sooo many bars and eateries in the city it would be impossible to list them all, the four above are some of my all time favourites, and all perfectly suited for the budget to mid price range! Other places definitely worth checking out include;
- Rosa Negra
- Quinto Quinta
- Poble Sec area for Pintxos
- Flax and Kale
- TGB – The good burger
- Mercardo de La Boqueria
After all the eating, its time for some exploring…!
While you can pretty much google every attraction worth seeing in Barcelona, there a few little extra ways of catching the best views in the city tucked away and not as well advertised! While i HIGHLY recommend trying to see as much as Barcelona has to offer (there is a lot!) some don’t need as much time as others.
- Park Güell – Most of the Park itself its free and i never felt the need to pay for the access controlled areas. Most of the mosaic areas and ‘insta worthy’ spaces are completely free to enter! To travel it is fairly well connected by bus and metro, but do expect an uphill walk when you get off public transport. Maximum 2 hours spent here.
- Arenas De Barcelona – While on the outside it looks nothing more than a shopping centre, the real treat is hiding on the roof! Take the escalator up as many floors as you can, before taking the elevator up to the top deck. Here you will find loads of restaurants and bars to divulge in, but the true creme de la creme is the view of The Museu Nacional d’Art De Catalunya and the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. A 360 degree platform offering phenomenal uninterrupted views of two of Barcelona’s most famous monuments. The best part? its completely free!
- Magic Fountain of Montjuic – If you are able to catch the fountain show, it shouldn’t be missed. Again a completely free experience. The fountain lights up every Thursday-Sunday at 8pm. (Unfortunately due to COVID-19 the fountain hasn’t been running since march). Be sure to get there early and reserve a good spot, but as said above, if you miss out on a spot – head up to the roof deck of Arenas De Barcelona.
- Museu d’Historia de Catalunya – A bit of a random choice you might think? I would agree – until you have seen the rooftop bar with spectacular views of Barcelona Port and docks! The museum costs around €4.50 to get in and the bar is on the top floor. You don’t need to look around the museum, and not many people know the rooftop bar is here so often you’ll have the place to yourselves!
- Bunkers El Carmel – Arguably the best view of the ENTIRE city. This is an absolute MUST while in the city – no buts! While the Bunkers have become way more popular with tourists in recent years (be prepared to see some angry messages from locals on the paths and walls regarding this!) There is plenty of space to walk around and sit. Sunset is the busiest time here, so if you’re going for that make sure you arrive early! Alcohol is not meant to be consumed up here, but no-one is there to check and often there are people selling cans and bottles of water. There are 3 bus routes which get you to the bottom of the hill: V17, number 92 and number 24. From the last bus stop its around a 10 minute uphill walk – the views will more than make up for this.
Any other must-sees?
- The Gothic Quarter
- Parc De La Ciutadella
- Casa Batlló
- La Sagrada Familia (Of course!)
- Mount Tibidabo
There really is no explaining the magic feel of Barcelona, and it is easy to see why it remains such a popular city break destination, the smells, the sights, the sounds! – definitely one to add to your lists!