Two Lovely Days In Barcelona
Two Lovely Days In Barcelona
Ever since I’ve spent three weeks in Palma de Mallorca and talked with someone from Barcelona that told me about the city, I wanted to go there. When my girlfriend asked where we should go for two days I told her: Barcelona.
Our previous trips were quite eventful with delays, diversion, sick pilots and missing taxi drivers so you can imagine how happy we were when we landed in Barcelona not only on time but without any problem.
While in Barcelona, we had a great start of our trip. As we were queuing to buy our T10 ticket, a girl approached us and asked in Spanish if we speak Spanish. I said yes and she told me that she had a few trips left on her ticket, that she wouldn’t need and we could have it.
To get from the airport train station to the centre of Barcelona it takes approximately 40 minutes (we left at el Clot – Arago). As soon as we left the train station and walked a few blocks it was obvious that we would have to use public transport more often than we wanted. I simply forgot about the fact that Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and therefore it is huge.
First Time Using AirBnB
We decided to use Airbnb not only because it was the cheapest option, but also because we needed a room just to spend a few hours sleeping and then have a place to shower. The fact that Airbnb allowed us to live like a local – even if for just a few hours – was a good reason too.
The apartment that we stayed in was very close from Sagrada Familia – a 7 minutes walk. The host was amazing and before the trip, he sent us a manual about Barcelona that was full of tips, places that we shouldn’t miss, how to reach the city from the airport, stores around the apartment and other interesting information.
Sagrada Familia was close to the apartment and we were meant to get the keys by 3pm, so we decided to see it, making a quick stop in Placa de Gaudi to take a few pictures and walk around the park before heading to the church. We had to walk around the massive church to find the ticket stand and we were told that there were no more tickets available and that we could buy one in the next 5 hours. Ouch!
I’m happy to see that they control the amount of people inside the church, even though it’s a huge place. They also don’t hide the fact that if you buy the ticket online it will be cheaper. We walked around the park close to the church once more, looked for a place to eat and headed to our apartment to get the keys and use the excellent Internet to book our ticket for both Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
A Very Long Walk
We decided to see the Sagrada Familia on the first day and Park Guell on the second day because they are far away from each other. The ticket to see the Sagrada Familia was for 7pm so we headed towards the Arc of Triomf and walk down to the Parc de la Ciutadella.
The Parc de la Ciutadella was amazing, full of people sunbathing, doing sports and practising instruments. The park was bursting with sound and life on a very sunny and warm day. If we had more time I would definitely just lay on the grass for a few hours.
A WOW Moment
It was getting close to 7pm so we took the subway towards Sagrada Familia. The wait was short, we just had to show the ticket on our phone. Before you enter the church area your bags need to be searched As well.
The moment you enter the church, you stop, look up and go “wow”. It’s hard to explain that first time when you enter Sagrada Familia. Space, the colours and the beautiful ceiling makes you feel like you entered a different world.
Our biggest regret was not getting the more expensive ticket to go up to the towers, the view has to be amazing from up there. We decided to go back in a near future to just visit the towers of the church, it will definitely be worth it.
The next day we were awake at 6am and left the apartment without breakfast. Taking the subway towards the station – Alfons X, then it’s all the way up, climbing the streets of Barcelona until you see the gates of the park.
It was really early so we decided to visit the free part of the park and were rewarded with an amazing view of the sun still rising. Most people in the park were locals jogging and we had the opportunity to have the terrace for ourselves with no tourists in sight other than us.
Walking around the park makes you feel that you are transported to another world. Gaudi’s architecture is one of a kind and it’s impossible not to love it.
After spending 3 hours in the park and climbing a lot of steps and that hill to reach the park we were starving. On our way down we found a bakery with two tables so we decided to sit down and try some local pastries. In the end, we tried 4 different kinds of sweets and had a cup of coffee each, all of that for just under 6 euros.
One thing I really enjoy visiting is churches. Each one with different architectural styles and history. Lisbon is full of churches and I’ve seen every single one of them at least once. Our first stop was the Cathedral of Barcelona located in the Gothic Quarter. There was no queue to visit the Cathedral and there were barely any people inside.
Then we left the church and headed towards the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar that was built between 1329 and 1383 and is an example of Catalan Gothic. We made a quick stop to buy some macaroons and fulfil our new tradition of eating macaroons in every travel that we do.
Feel The Magic
We were way too tired to visit the Magic Fountain in Montjuic in the evening of the first day so we missed the show of lights, but we couldn’t leave Barcelona without seeing the fountain. Even without an amazing show of lights the fountain is a must see, also because you are close to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. You just have to go up to the top to see another great view of the city – don’t worry there are escalators!
Montjuic is a beautiful place and has a lot of things to see. When we went to see the Palau Sant Jordi and the telecommunication tower designed by Santiago Calatrava. A Spanish woman approached us and in Spanish warned us about four women with roses in their hands, they try to give you the rose and then snatch your wallet. Once again knowing some Spanish helped us and we avoided them easily.
From the hill, you have a great view of another part of the city and you can even spend some time watching the planes landing at El Prat airport. By now we were hungry so we took the subway to Passeig de Gracia to find a place to eat tapas – after spending 20 minutes looking for a restaurant we ended up going to the restaurant Tapa Tapa.
Before going to the airport we made a quick stop in Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, bought some souvenirs and enjoyed the sun sitting on a bench before taking the train heading to the airport.
That’s All Folks
That’s all we managed to do in two days. There is still a lot that we want to do in Barcelona, visiting Tibidabo and the Sacred Heart of Jesus church. To visit the towers in Sagrada Familia and visit the town of Sitges.
Two days is a short time to visit Barcelona, but is enough to see the top must-see sights, you might have to do a lot of walking, rushing a bit and end up pretty tired after those two days, but it will be worth it and you will definitely want to come back one day.