So what would you do if you only had 48 hours in Barcelona? A stopover or short city break? Well during my spur of the moment trip this is exactly what I had and this is how I made the most of it.
The great thing about Barcelona is that it is easily accessible by so much of Europe but that can create a problem of accommodation and especially during peak season. What is so great about the city is that even going in October it was pretty warm, around the mid to high 20s (Celcius not Fahrenheit). Going in October which is what I would call a shoulder season means there are fewer people and more of a chance of you getting to stay in better parts of the city for a little more bang for your buck.
Accommodation – Zoo Rooms
I’m always excited to try new and interesting types of accommodation, I mean I’m much more interested in boutiques than your bob standard hotel. I don’t think, however, I’ve ever stayed anywhere as unique as Zoo Rooms.
Zoo Rooms really felt like you had your own little home in the heart of Barcelona. Located on the corner of Carrer d’Enric Granados and Carrer de Mallorca we were in perfect walking distance to many of the hot spots in Barcelona but far enough away that we felt more in tune with the locals.
Be a Tourist
This was actually my second time in Barcelona but I had yet to fully experience a lot of the main things to see, which is why pretty much the first thing I do is get out and see what you can of the city, even if that’s just the main sights. One thing I really appreciate in Barcelona is that all the touristic sights are spread out across the city, which means when you walk between them you really get to feel and experience the beat of the city.
A perfect place to start is the gothic quarter, not only because that’s where most of the things you want to really see are but also because this part of Barcelona has some of the most unique architecture in the world. You don’t want to miss it walking up and down Las Ramblas and shopping (Which is perfectly fine but not really up my street especially on a time crunch).
Although just to diverge on a point there, please be very cautious of your belongings when walking around Las Ramblas and the gothic quarter. These are both heavily touristic parts of Barcelona and the chances of you having items stolen from your pockets and bags are high. Pickpockets even work in groups, so avoid mass public shows where the entertainers try to bring in big crowds. Most likely they’re working as a distraction and have people working with them to pickpocket unsuspecting public viewers distracted by the ‘show’. Watching simple videos like this to prepare you can save you a lot of money and stress.
A place I was surprised to come across, that I had not heard much about, was Parc de la Ciutadella. It’s a rather large park that borders Barcelona Zoo, I didn’t experience the zoo but the park itself was actually really enjoyable to walk around. It’s filled with botanical gardens, ponds, monuments and even the parliament of Catalonia which itself is a beautiful building.
One thing I didn’t know was in Barcelona was the old military bunkers that overview the city. This is one thing I recommend everyone do, well those that are capable of … as guys this was a trek! Not only do you have to get the edge of the city by train, you also have to climb at least 3 hills and 4 sets of stairs but the views are really worth it. We got off at the station called, El Carmel (On the Blue line) L5 and walked up the hill known as Turó de la Rovira to the Bunkers.
After the climb, I thought that many people wouldn’t be up here due to the effort required just to get up there. I was wrong, it was filled with more locals than anyone else, having picnics and romantic sunset drinks. I could see why as the views were spectacular.
Great places to eat
– Where to find the good food amongst the traps
We were a bit sceptical at first over the slightly pricey side of the tapas menu, you’d be surprised at how big the portions are. Not only are the portions plentiful they taste so good! Make sure to get there early because when you leave you’ll see the queue stretch out from the door down the street. We got there around 18:30 and left around 19:30.
A great place to go for Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch in this locally owned small cafe. I don’t really know how else to describe it other than great healthy food at reasonable prices with great service. I had the granola pancakes and they were delicious and so filling! Perfect to get you fueled for a day of exploring.
Eating the one of the best Paella in Barcelona can be dangerous. I don’t mean in the sense of your life or health, I mean for your wallet.
Being completely honest here, this was probably the best paella I’ve ever eaten, however, it wasn’t worth the (for the lack of a better word) the devious price it was sold for.
So I would definitely issue a warning when going to Salamanca I, especially relating to the Paella menu each price stated is for 1 person eating (Even if the dish has to be shared) meaning their Paella is around €30pp. The service here was a bit lacklustre although we did sit outside and it was rather busy.
Well, I hope you guys found this short guide article interesting and insightful!
Let me know below if you have any questions!
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