At the beginning of November my best friend Lucy and I decided to pop away somewhere for a few days to get some sunshine (her) and escape the heat (me). We chose Barcelona as it’s just a short plane journey away from the UK, where Lucy lives, and easily accessible for me from Dubai, although a slightly longer flight at around 7 hours!
We timed our flights nicely so that we landed at almost the same time, and Lucy was waiting in the arrivals area for me. We jumped on the Aerobus which took us straight to Placa de Catalunya, in the centre of Barcelona, and from there we walked a short distance to our gorgeous AirBnB in the Born district.
We worked out that the last time we saw each other was in February, so we were most definitely in need of a catch up!
After dropping our bags we headed straight back out to enjoy the gorgeous weather. The sun was out and it was time to explore!
We strolled through the city with no real aim, just enjoying catching up after so long!
Passing by the La Boqueria market, we decided to have a look inside. I love all of the stalls selling brightly coloured fruit and veg, and well as all sorts of sweets, chocolates, cured meats, and fresh fish and seafood.
Of course some of the local jamón had to be sampled!
As the sun was beginning to set, we made our way over to Placa Reial for a cocktail and a bite to eat.
Of course it’s a little bit touristy so slightly overpriced, though the restaurant we chose had good drinks, if slightly average tapas. Our absolute highlight however, was the retro photobooth that we found tucked away!
Our next stop was a stroll over to the Port, where there is a lovely bridge to cross over the water. We found a cute bar to sit at and toasted to our mini getaway!
The next morning, our first full day in the city, we set out to do some exploring.
Aways a popular choice when exploring a city are the free walking tours that are almost always on offer, so we made our way to Placa Catalunya to start the 2,5 hour tour. It seems we weren’t the only ones, as a large crowd was already gathering! Luckily the tour guides split everyone off, and we set out as a small group.
Starting off at the infamous Las Ramblas, we strolled through the city. Our tour guide, although not a native himself, was very well informed and kept us entertained with his knowledge and random facts about the city throughout the tour.
He took us through plenty of lovely little side streets and hidden courtyards, explaining some of the history of Barcelona and Catalunya.
Our walking tour ended in Barceloneta, the waterfront area of the city. Our guide took us to a small restaurant off through a side street for lunch, which was delicious and very fresh. If only I could remember the name to recommend it!
To walk off the delicious seafood (and patatas braves that we shared), Lucy and I strolled down to the beach. Although of course it wasn’t quite sunbathing weather, it was still lovely and sunny.
We spent the afternoon relaxing on some sun loungers at the beach (firmly wrapped up in our cardigans to protect us from the sea wind!) and drinking iced coffees at one of the many bars dotted along the beach.
Our next stop of the day was to catch the sunset from Parc Montjuïc. We hopped on the metro, then a short ride up the funicular (the ticket price is included in the metro ticket) to the top.
Stepping outside, we were greeted by this fantastic view over Barcelona, with the sun just starting to dip in the sky.
Our walk took us through some lovely gardens and along windy streets, until we ended up at the fantastic Museu National D’Art de Catalunya. Unfortunately we arrived a little bit too late to go inside, but the views were just as incredible from the outside.
The museum itself is just stunning, and when you turn around the view over the city and surrounding hillside is just as impressive.
We sat on the steps outside the museum, taking in the sunset and beautiful pink clouds it left behind.
A perfect end to our 2nd day in Barcelona. Stay tuned on The Dubai Diaries for part II!