travel

{Maven Travels} 3 Days in Barcelona, Spain

March 31, 2015

Last week I recapped my trip to Dublin, Ireland to visit my besties and celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Today I’m giving you a rundown (aka a photo montage) of our quick jaunt to Spain for a whirlwind 3 days in Barcelona.

Barcelona, Spain 2015 - where to go eat and sleep in Barcelona.We booked a week in Dublin but had planned to go somewhere for 3 days in there. One day I’d love to do the Irish countryside, but since C has done it before (kid has seen the entire world gahhhh!) we decided we’d check out a destination we had never been to before. Cheap flights help.

C and I have both been to Spain but neither of us to Barcelona. So when an affordable flight appeared on RyanAir, we grabbed it. Only downside? a 6:00 AM flight the day after St. Paddy’s. Let’s just say we were not in good form at the airport…

Nevertheless, we made the most of our trip and truly embraced those siestas to the fullest.

Immediately upon landing we made our way into the city to the apartment we rented for the next 3 days. It was in the gothic quarter just off La Rambla, which as it turns out was a pretty prime location. I had gathered a bunch of recommendations from friends and family (thank you everyone!) so after a brief nap we hit the ground running. As it turns out my list was primarily made up of food…not surprising.

We started by walking around our hood, which was an activity in itself since there was something new and cool around every corner.

walking-around-BarcaFollowed by a siesta and then a few hours at the Picasso Museum, which was fantastic.
picasso-museumAnd then the eating began. We basically bar and restaurant hopped for 6 hours. All deets on restaurants below.

PaellaThe next morning we slept in, ate breakfast at our apartment and then headed to La Boqueria Market. I was in heaven. Also hilarious conversations in some version of English-French-Catalan-Spanish.

la boqueriaI told C we weren’t leaving Barca until we went to Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia. Turns out you now have to pay to get into Parc Guell and the line was horrendous so we saved our line patience for the Sagrada Familia and walked around the free areas instead.

park-guell

Park-Guell-2Then we walked across the city to the Sagrada Familia, which was as everyone told me it would be nothing less than spectacular. I plan to go back when it’s done but even under construction it is still so so beautiful.

Sagrada-Familia Sagrada-Familia-2And then somehow it was 5:00 PM and we hadn’t eaten anything all day and so began another siesta-eating fest. Arepas, followed by sangria followed by tapas.

arepasOur flight wasn’t until 9:00 PM so we had all day to explore the city. We decided to just play it by ear and wander. Our explorations took us to El Raval neighborhood where we did some shopping, checked out the MACBA and continued to eat our faces off.

MACBA-shopping Bar-LoboWe had beautiful weather the previous two days but unfortunately saved the beach for the last. Despite the crappy weather we still wanted to check it out so we walked over there and sat on the boardwalk. One day I’ll see it full of people in the hot summer heat 🙂

C-on-beach d-on-beachAnd then we bunked up at a highly recommended coffee shop for a few hours to sip our cappucinos and read our books. I love that C insists we do this in every place we visit and once you try it, you’ll see why.

Coffee-ShopSo to recap!

Where we visited:

Picasso Museum

La Boqueria Market

Park Guell

Sagrada Familia

MACBA (El Raval neighborhood)

Playa de la Barceloneta

Where we ate:

Numero Nueveadorable bar near the Picasso Museum with great cocktails.

El Xampanyetwe were obsessed with this place. It’s super busy but that’s part of the fun. Just order the entire menu and let the drinks keep flowing!

Los Caracolesmy parents went here years ago and just by chance it was right below our apartment! Incredible paella and just a fab atmosphere.

La Boqueriathis market has everything you could possibly imagine. Grab some meat, cheese, bread, nuts etc..and have a picnic. 

Arepamundiso good although admittedly we hadn’t eaten in 6 hours so we were starving. Get the mexicano and the one with chorizo (can’t remember the name).

Bosc de les fadesit felt like walking into hobbit land in this bar. The sangria was bomb and the “rainforest” decor was super cool.

Sensi BistroRecommended my Alexis and we could quickly see why. Amazing food, awesome vibes and the patatas bravas almost made me cry they were so good.

Bar Lobothe architecture in this place was on point and the food was really good too. A bit overpriced for lunch but go big or go home.

Satan’s Coffee Corner this place is known for their coffee and I could totally see why. I’m so accustomed to my almond milk lattes but it was super nice to change it up!

Where we stayed:

We stayed in a Habitat Apartment in El Gothic off Las Ramblas. It wasn’t the nicest place, but the location and the 3 balconies sold it for us. The bed was horrible but we were too tipsy to even notice when falling asleep and otherwise it had everything we needed. Plus it was super cheap. Win!

apartmentMy overall thoughts? I am obsessed with Barcelona. What a cool, unique and culturally fascinating city. I loved the mix of old and new and the Catalan culture. I have a very strong feeling I’ll be back sooner rather than later.

And that’s it folks! The last year has been filled with some pretty epic adventures that I am so so grateful for. No plans yet for the next destination and for the first time EVER I’m actually trying to stay more grounded rather than jetting off to another foreign place. It feels weird to have such a barren travel agenda but I’m definitely making the most of it.

Have you ever been to Barcelona? Where should I travel to next?

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  • Reply
    Jayme
    March 31, 2015 at 7:35 am

    The trip looks AMAZING. I’ve never been to Europe but it’s quickly becoming a must over the next year or so.
    Jayme recently posted…Smoothie Streak

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      Yes! And definitely make Barcelona a stop on your trip!

  • Reply
    Gillian
    March 31, 2015 at 7:53 am

    so i have been reading your blog for a while, and i actually live in barcelona (californian expat) and my friend owns Satans coffee.. i go there ALL THE TIME. glad you enjoyed it!
    Gillian recently posted…Fitness is a hell of a drug.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      March 31, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Ah that’s so crazy! It so so so good! Barcelona is incredible. I am so envious you live there. Grab a coffee for me 🙂 Lots of love!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      I swear the world is getting smaller!! What an awesome coffee shop. Tell your friend we had a fabulous time and thank you for hosting us for a couple of hours 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food
    March 31, 2015 at 8:17 am

    That whole trip sounds awesome! I also love the coffee shop idea. I totally want to try that out on my next trip!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs For Food recently posted…5 Minute Challenge Treadmill Workout

  • Reply
    Lauren
    March 31, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Perfect timing! I’m heading to Barcelona next week & really excited for that market.
    Lauren recently posted…Kaila Prins: Creating a Unique Discovery Journey

  • Reply
    Jen@ Pretty Little Grub
    March 31, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for the recommendations! I’m going to Barcelona in May so this will come in handy. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.
    Jen@ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…The Chase of a Lifetime

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Lucky you! I wish I could go back and never leave. It’s an amazing city!

  • Reply
    She Rocks Fitness
    March 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I went to Barcelona in college for Spring Break with my roommate and absolutely fell in love with that city. The food was amazing…the people were beautiful…and the architecture beautiful. I had so much fun there and saw all the site you did too. I think you should go to Tuscany, because that is where I would want to go…LOL
    She Rocks Fitness recently posted…I LOVE Oats…

  • Reply
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.
    March 31, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Ah, I’m dying to go to Barcelona! Looks like you had a great time. Will have to use this as a guide when I do – especially for the paella 🙂 My fav!
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. recently posted…The Best of Expo West 2015 – GIVEAWAY!

  • Reply
    Georgie
    March 31, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Looks incredible! I’ve loved my trips to barcelona so much. Guadi’s architecture is stunning. La Boqueria is like a giant candy store so many sites and smells <3 Love your travel recaps- where do you think you'll go next?
    Georgie recently posted…Grain Free Granola

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Good question! I’m planning to stay pretty settled for the next little while but maybe a few weekend getaways to NYC and Boston –>BETTER CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE!!!

  • Reply
    Kim
    March 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    What a fun trip within a trip!! I’ve never been to Barcelona – Chris spent a summer in Spain a couple years ago (deployment) and loved it!!
    Kim recently posted…Ditching Labels and Stereotypes

  • Reply
    Lucie@FitSwissChick
    March 31, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I am literally obsessed with Barcelona. I love love LOVE this city! I don’t even know how many times I’ve been there and I will go back again and again.
    Loved seeing your pics and you two enjoying it just as much!!
    Lucie@FitSwissChick recently posted…Isolation – the other side

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      It’s amaaaazing. I can totally see why you are obsessed!

  • Reply
    Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together
    April 1, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Gah I just want to be you. Seriously. Like you have it all – dream job, dreamy BF, a passport full of stamps. I feel so bad that I like have been so wrapped up in my own misery I barely asked you about your trip. Next Skype sesh I need a full recap!! xoxo
    Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together recently posted…Race Recap: Rock n Roll San Francisco Half-Marathon 2015

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Oh staaaaap. Please don’t make me lecture you on how wonderful your life is and how desperately I wish I could be living where you are! The grass is always greener my dear. Skype soonsies. Miss your face and I just saw it. Can’t wait till we finally live in the same city!

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    April 1, 2015 at 5:08 am

    ohh these pictures make me miss Barcelona- We weren’t going to go there and went on a whim and it ended up being the highlight of the trip!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Easy Sweet Chilli Salmon

  • Reply
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    April 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    You are a traveling mad woman and I love it, even if you’re trying to be more grounded now. Heck with that, I say keep traveling.

    I need to go to Spain. In a few more years when the Hubby is done with school, we intend to get back on the traveling bandwagon. There are a zillion places I want to go.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Add it to the bucket list 100% Barcelona especially. One of the best cities I have ever visited. And yes, I need to seriously chill out on the travel. At this point I’m like a citizen of the world…at least that’s what I’m telling myself in order to not do my taxes…GAH!

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    April 1, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I lived in Spain for awhile and only traveled to Barcelona once. Now I speak fluent Spanish and I could not for the life of me pick up Catalan. It was a difficult dialect, but it is a gorgeous city! La Familia Sagrada is awesome. I’m going to Munich in two weeks. I wish I would have known sooner so I could have planned a trip to Spain after Germany.
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…WIAW…Easy Eats, A Turning Point & Dry Needling

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    April 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I can’t keep track of what country you’re in these days, you crazy travel lady! But I love it because I’m a travel fanatic, and I’m digging all of your photos. Spain in high on my bucket list – I hope to get there sometime soon!
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…Wherever You Are, Be All There | 7 Powerful Mindfulness Quotes

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      You MUST visit! And honestly, I rarely know where I am…I wake up and I’m like “where am I? What city am I in? Is this my bed?”….probably a sign I need to chill out on the travel!

  • Reply
    Luv What You Do
    April 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I hope to get to Spain one day!
    Luv What You Do recently posted…This Week’s Highlights

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      April 6, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you!!! I hope you get there too! Such a magical place 🙂

  • Reply
    Lapuerto
    April 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Wow, nice trip. My last time in Barcelona was not rly good) With my girlfriend we went to the train and it was a mistake. To much people there. I felt uncomfortable. Second time we took a taxi (i found it in Internet) http://kiwitaxi.com/Spain/Barcelona+Airport and it was much better.

  • Reply
    Bruno @ Geeky Explorer
    August 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    I am lucky enough to live in Barcelona and I’m glad you visited La Boquería, one of the most fascinating spots of the city. It can get REALLY touristy here, but it’s such a sensory overload!

    Next time, make sure you try “chocolate con churros”! 🙂
    Bruno @ Geeky Explorer recently posted…The 15 Best Day Trips Outside Barcelona (Plus 15 Top Beaches!)

  • Reply
    Paula @ Must Visit Destinations
    December 4, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Love the photos! Makes me feel like I was there.

  • Reply
    Anna
    January 8, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    I always wanted to visit Barcelona…only been to Madrid. I enjoy reading the travel articles on your site.
    Anna recently posted…Best Blenders with Glass Jar – 2017 Guide

  • Reply
    Astrid
    February 28, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Davida,

    I can’t make out if those are artichoke hearts or fennel on that plate, but either way, it looks delicious!

    I’ve never been to Barcelona before but it’s on the list. We’re planning to hike the Camino de Santiago the year after next and will most likely fly into Barcelona. From your post, I guess we’ll have to spend a few days taking it in before heading out!

    🙂
    Astrid recently posted…Best Canned Food for Survival

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      You MUST go! It’s an amazing foodie scene and just all around awesome city. Hope you enjoy!!

  • Reply
    Enrique B. Pauley
    June 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hey, i am Notlogic to see the all picture and Lifestyle in Barcelona.Because of that in the year of 2015 i have stayed Barcelona in 5 days in my Official tour.After finish my daily work i am went to visited such kinds of historical place ,Food,Dress and many more.

    All the picture remembered my old memories.Thanks for you.

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