I recently took a 4ish day trip to Barcelona as a late birthday trip, and discovered I’d forgotten all my previously-known Spanish… still, I kept myself busy visiting plenty of touristy places and wandering around the streets! Here’s the first 2 days.

Note: This is a pair of posts, with Barcelona Part 2 coming soon.

Day 1 (20th October): Arrival

After a few delays in our flight, we got into Barcelona in the early evening. Our only objectives were groceries, dinner, and finding the Airbnb. A relatively light 10,421 steps (4.44 miles).

barcelona day 1

Lidl ★★★★★

Cheap food and drinks, great for travellers just arriving in the city. If you’re a tourist, don’t be fooled by the packs of beer, you need to scan an individual one and enter the quantity!

Original review

Vegan Tulsi Restaurant ★★★★★

Super friendly staff, amazing food, check out their daily menu! Will definitely be coming here again during our trip.

Original review (1 review)

Micu Maku ★★★★✰

Friendly bartender helped us order a quick drink. I recommend sitting outside to watch the drama at the 1 euro drink bar opposite!

We came back here the next night for a full meal, and were greeted by good portion sizes, friendly waiters, and a free shot at the end of the meal. Highly recommend.

Original review (3 photos)

Day 2 (21st October): La Rambla / beach

This was a very touristy day, making our way through various Gaudi-designed landmarks on our way down to the beach area, along with a little bit of shopping. We racked up an impressive 25,110 steps (10.79 miles)!

barcelona day 2

Casa Batlló ★★★★✰

Impressive from the outside, but a bit too expensive to go inside. In a city of Gaudi works of art, I’m not sure this deserves to be the most expensive!

Original review (1 photo)

Plaça de Catalunya ★★★★★

The square is a convenient central place for most of Barcelona’s landmarks, especially the gothic quarter. There’s a surprising amount of seats available, and the pigeons are entertaining! A good place to coordinate meeting up, since areas are pretty easy to describe.

The fountains are also lit up at night, and worth a look if you’re in the area.

Original review (1 photo)

Betlem Church ★★★★★

An imposing church, with a very quiet, dim, and peaceful environment, despite being just off the tourist-packed La Rambla.

Mass is held here, and tourists are allowed to observe but requested to avoid exploring the main area during. It’s definitely worth stepping into for a breather during a day out.

Original review

La Rambla ★★★★★

An extremely busy, extremely noisy main street. Despite this, it’s still worth walking down at least once due to all the market stalls and distractions along either side.

Original review (1 photo)

Mercado de La Boqueria ★★★★★

A great market to get lost in. There is a fair amount of repetition (meat stall, smoothie stall, empanada stall, and repeat), but the food available is pretty good and cheap. There’s also a decent selection of restaurants around the outer edge, and the slightly secluded nature keeps La Rambla tourists out.

Original review (1 photo)

Güell Palace ★★★★★

This palace was truly amazing. It’s hard to appreciate the complexity of the design until you actually walk around it!

I highly recommend downloading the app and listening to the (free) audioguide, there’s limited signage so the extra information really helps. There’s also a choice of various length tours. When we went (a Friday) it was pretty quiet, with plenty of space to explore at our own pace, whilst listening to the guide.

The views from the rooftop are amazing, and can see plenty of Barcelona landmarks. Finally, it’s super affordable (10-12 euro/ea), and should be a part of any visit.

Original review (9 photos)

El Gat de Botero ★★★★★

Possibly my favourite statue of all time. It’s a giant cat, what more do you need?

It’s pretty close to La Rambla in a fairly laid-back terraced area with plenty of cheap middle-eastern takeaway places around the edge. Worth a visit, but don’t expect anything more than a giant cat statue!

Original review (1 photo)

Rambla De Mar ★★★★★

A surprisingly modern yet picturesque bridge, a good way to get from La Rambla over to the small mall on the other side. There’s plenty of benches to sit on, although the lack of a fence / barrier before the water might be a problem for young children!

Original review

Platja de Sant Miquel ★★★★✰

A well placed beach, pretty easy to access from central Barcelona. However, any time there is somewhat marred by constant approaches to buy drinks, food, massages, towels, etc etc etc.

Still, the beach itself is OK!

Original review

La Casa de l’Ardiaca ★★★★★

This oasis of calm in the middle of the city is so unexpected.

Pass through the small downstairs garden to the upstairs terrace, and you’ll find a great place to people watch, take photos, or just enjoy the quiet atmosphere. A perfect place to escape the busy streets.

Original review (8 photos)

Raima ★★★★★

This stationary store is great to explore! There’s multiple floors, each with a specific focus, and lots of interesting products hidden away in corners. Despite being a little busy it’s always easy to get around and find something to buy.

The products can be a little expensive, but ultimately they’re all high quality so hard to complain. Definitely worth having a look into whilst in the area.

Original review

Stock Llibres ★★★★✰

I visited recently as a tourist, and am torn on whether the chaotic organisation (or lack thereof) in the lower half of the shop is good or bad!

There were quite a few interesting books, but unfortunately most of the english books were tourist guides to local landmarks, or children’s books.

There are also diecast cars and military vehicles sold, as well as calendars and postcards.

Original review (1 photo)

tot 1€ bar ★★★★★

How is a beer 1 euro? How is a shot? How is a burger? How is a croissant!?

Who knows, but the consistency is absolutely astonishing. It’s busy, a little noisy, and not many seats, but will be the cheapest night out you’ll ever have! I’d recommend coming here for your first few drinks before making your way to a restaurant.

Original review