So just before the new year, I decided to jet off to the exquisite Catalonian capital of Barcelona! My choice of going to Barcelona was mainly the fact that it wasn’t a freezing location during December – it was surprisingly quite warm – and many of my friends had nothing but nice things to say about the place. I’m not against going somewhere cold, in fact I’d love to visit one of those snowy picturesque postcard-pretty cities, just with a bit more preparation of course! Despite not being able to do and see everything I wanted to (I realise I say this leaving a lot of cities) I had a great four days full of learning and relaxing.
From what I saw, Barcelona should basically be called Antoni Gaudí’s city! Most of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks can be in some way related back to the genius that IS Antoni Gaudí. From the nature-inspired intricate designs of the La Sagrada Família (which is still under construction and will be until 2026!) to the colourful landscape views of Park Güell. Going to a lot of these places does add up on the euros so definitely make sure you have enough before-hand. Coming early to these attractions is key to getting those great pictures and quick entry. My favourite out of all has to be Casa Batlló also called House of Bones (it’s not as scary as it sounds!). The free audioguide provided with the ticket informs you of just how much thought Gaudí put into this house. Everything that was built in the house had some relation to nature and animals with Gaudí making a lot of the furnitire and surroundings ergonomical for the average human! For those who want to venture off the beaten path, you can see the amazing day and night views over Barcelona by taking a bus to Bunker del Carmel (it took roughly 50 minutes from where I was staying). Below are a few pictures of the places I managed to see during my stay:
Place to stay
Going to Barcelona, this was in fact my first time staying in a hostel anywhere! I definitely had a lot of mixed feelings about staying in a hostel: Would I not get on with the people in the room? Are my belongings safe? And many more that I could list but won’t at risk of sounding like a paranoid wreck! However, journeying to Spain, I decided to put all my feelings to one side and just go with the flow, it’s a lot less stressful, trust me… When I did get there I was really impressed with the place. I stayed in TOC Hostel Barcelona (check it out!). The staff were amazingly helpful with directions and whatnot and spoke very good English.The facilities were cleaned to a good standard every day (though you had to make your own bed but that was no biggy for me). They have a massive TV in the communal area that was normally on a music station (with good taste) and a pool table. They also have a good-sized swimming pool which I didn’t use as the weather was a bit dreary – not that I planned to use it, I mean it was December… The location of the hostel was great, a 3 minute walk from the metro, a 5 minute walk from the bus stop, a number of eateries and supermarkets nearby, I mean what more could you ask for! During my stay at the hostel I met a lovely South Korean girl who was one of the people sharing the room with me. The day before heading back to London we had a nice evening meal (paella and a glass of cava because, well, it’s Spain…) and took the long journey to Bunker del Carmel – we both slept like babies that night! Though the thing that impressed me the most though was the fact that they had fingerprint sensors for room entry! I definitely haven’t encountered that before. So if you’re thinking of a place to stay in Barcelona, I highly recommend this one. For what it offers, it’s a bargain!
The transport in Barcelona is very modern, reminding me a lot of the transport I use in London – hybrid buses, clean metro stations, varying options of lines on the metro to choose from. As I knew I was going to be using transport often I purchased a 4-day ticket which set me back €26.50. Other options were available such as a 3-day ticket, 5-day ticket and a T10 ticket (10 journeys on the bus/metro).
Overall, I hope I’ve been convincing enough to spread the charm of the beautiful city of Barcelona. I certainly loved it and would be more than up for visiting again. It’s a city with so much to do and see with a beach to head back to once you’ve used up most of that energy exploring! Check out my Instagram for regularly posted pictures of my time in Barcelona (and a few other cities I’ve been to)!