Catalonia Part 4: Barcelona

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.

Vegan Paëlla 

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?

The Sagrada Familia 

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!

Park Guëll at Night

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.

Mercado de la Boqueria

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).

Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf

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!

Gondola Ride up to the Parc de Montjüic

Have you ever been to Barcelona? What was your favorite part of the trip?

Mmm sangria!

Thanks for reading!




2 thoughts on “Catalonia Part 4: Barcelona

  1. I like Barcelona, even if it’s overly touristy and pricey with museums. I guess I like that it’s super vibrant, with incredible food and awe-inspiring architecture. I’ll agree, though, that I like Paris a bit more (but it’s biased, as we’ve been in France!)…I’d definitely suggest a weekend in Lyon sometime, and for the rest of Europe, head central-east! Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Munich, and Brasov all have my heart: beautiful architecture, cheap food and drink, and plenty of things to see! Hope you get around to them this year. 🙂


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