Although I didn’t really know much about it, I had heard Las Ramblas mentioned plenty of times when Barcelona was talked about and I knew this was somewhere Matt was keen to visit. It’s essentially a boulevard which winds through the buzzing city centre of Barcelona. Getting off the metro, we pretty much ambled in a straight line, taking in all the sights and scenes.There is so much going on from restaurants to human statues, market stalls and the best ice cream. Seriously I never had such good ice cream. Flavours from nutella, baileys…it’s safe to say that one day I actually had two tubs (not in one sitting, I’m not quite that bad…).
We stopped off at Matt’s request from Sangria and boy did he get sangria! Without even asking us what size drink we would like, our waiter returned with a huge tankard of Sangria and one of lemonade for me. I quickly swept off the annoyance of how much the bill would cost us and tried to remember that we were on holiday. So we settled back in the sun and enjoyed people watching. It’s really easy to get caught up in the tourist attractions on holiday but I encourage you all to just sit and soak up a new culture.
There were lots of roads going off the main strip too, at one point we diverted from the track to search out a jazz club and found ourselves in a large square lined by restaurants which we actually ended up having dinner at later that night. It was so lovely to be able to dine outside among the buzzing atmosphere where performers would entertain in the middle of the square. You could easily sit back and just watch everything going on around you.
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
|The view from the museum|
I really wanted Matt to be the one to decide our itinerary for the trip but when he flicked through the guidebook and pointed out a museum, I was quite surprised and if I’m honest, a little skeptical. But even I couldn’t deny how absolutely beautiful the place was. It was more like a palace, a huge Italian style building full of water features and turrets. There was something really quite romantic about it. We noticed that a lot of people came primarily to see the building itself rather than the art and just getting to the entrance of the Museum where you could stand and take in a fantastic view was worth it in itself. There was an overpriced little outdoor cafe just outside the building where you could recline with a cold drink (which you’ll want after that climb!) and really enjoy your surroundings.
There is a vast amount to see inside with collections which include gothic, romanesque, renaissance art and so much more. As with any sort of museum, it’s quite eery to be in a place where everything is so quiet but in a way, that’s quite nice too as it’s a good way to concentrate on what you are looking at and really think about it. Even if you aren’t someone who would class yourself as an art fan, I’d still look into checking the museum out as it’s really interesting to find out the stories behind the art and take a step back in time.
TIPS FOR BARCELONA
- Try to stay somewhere near a supermarket and stock up on snacks and water in bulk from there, it’ll be a lot cheaper than buying out every time you go out somewhere!
- It’s sad but pickpocketing is common in the most touristy areas so take an across the body bag and keep it in front of you with one arm over it. For men, don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket.
- Don’t bother with a hop on, hop off bus. Take the metro everywhere. It is really easy to work out and you can buy what is called a ‘T-10’ ticket which allows you ten journeys between you. The metro is large and air conditioned and you can get everywhere really quickly. This is probably my top tip.
- You must go to the Sagrada Famila. Really. You must. Book tickets online before you go.
- We found that dinner was actually eaten quite late in Barcelona and restaurants opened at 8pm, especially on weekends. This was something we found out after going out at 6pm and wandering around for two hours, confused as to why we were in a ghost town!
- Save the extra charges for a large suitcase on the plane, you really can manage easily for a four day trip with just hand luggage.
I wasn’t planning on my post on Barcelona being split into two but there was just so much to talk about and show you! I would 100% recommend Barcelona for a mini break, it’s really easy to get to and I wouldn’t deem it expensive either. Everything ran so smoothly and we were really impressed with everything, especially our hotel and the ease of getting around everywhere. I feel like it’s one of those holidays which you could easily do it last minute, so if you have a free weekend coming up… I know we’re certainly thinking about going again in the future! I’m already thinking about our next mini break abroad for 2017 so I’d love some suggestions of where you’d recommend! And link me to any posts you have on it too! Have a great week!