I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty biased with my wish list of places to travel recently having been living in France for the past two and a half years and wanting to discover more about the country that is now my home (I still haven’t been to Lyon!). However, one city that was near the top of my list that wasn’t in France was Barcelona. At the end of my Toussaint holidays ( I’m an English teacher, so I get school vacations off!), I finally got to visit the land of tapas, whimsical architecture, and strong cultural pride.
Spoiler alert: Barcelona did not impress me as much as I thought it would! I still enjoyed my time there and would definitely revisit since I live so close now, and because it is a big city with lots to do and see. Barcelona has an over tourism problem, which I could feel from all the crowds everywhere. I also thought I loved big cities, but now I’m realizing, maybe Paris is just the exception. I’ve been to New York City, London, Brussels, and now Barcelona, but Paris is still my number one. Do you have a favorite big city? What big city should I visit next?
My number one tip if you are visiting Barcelona is to BOOK TICKETS IN ADVANCE. My boyfriend and I had this problem multiple times during our trip. The first was when we took the train to Barcelona from Girona. We waited until the evening of to buy our train tickets because we wanted to be flexible with time, but the high speed train sold out and we ended up taking a regional train, which was cheaper, but longer and overbooked so we had to stand up the whole time. We also were not able to get tickets to go into the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous unfinished cathedral, but it was still cool from the outside. Also, we were not able to visit the famous benches in Park Güell until after sunset, when the park became free to the public. However, experiencing the park in the dark was still fun!
We enjoyed lots of yummy tapas on our trip, so much in fact that on our second night there, my tummy was upset from all the fried food that I stayed in bed and didn’t want to go out for dinner. Some of the notable places we ate were Blue Margarita, a Mexican restaurant with a jazz performance, the Mercado de la Boqueria, a food market with fresh local foods, a traditional catalan restaurant where we had local wine and traditional foods, and for our last meal we had paëlla and sangria by the beach.
We also visited many other local landmarks and saw more of Gaudi’s architecture from the outside (I wasn’t keen on paying 25 euros for a ticket, I’ve been spoiled in France with all the under 26 years old discounts).
My favorite part of the trip probably had to be the Parc de Monjuïc and taking a gondola lift to get there. It was fun riding in the gondola and seeing a panoramic view of the city!
Have you ever been to Barcelona? What was your favorite part of the trip?
Thanks for reading!