An Eventful Trip to Barcelona

I travelled to Barcelona on August 16th to August 20th. On August 17th, there was a terrorist attack on Las Ramblas, a landmark, and probably the busiest part of the city. I wasn’t going to write about my trip for that reason, but I don’t want to get into the habit of only writing about all things perfect. So I’ve given a brief overview of the cost, my experiences, and also made some suggestions as to what you can see and do in Barcelona if you’re visiting.

Getting There

I had a lot of drama at the airport! The Ryanair flight that I was due to get was delayed for 8 hours! Luckily, I was travelling for work purposes, so I was able to rearrange a different flight quite easily. Although, I had already checked in my bag with Ryanair, so it was fun trying to get that back at the same time as trying to book another flight over the phone (for a flight that was due to take off 20 minutes later!).

The flight from Barcelona was approximately 2 and a half hours long.  My hotel (just outside of the city) was about a half hour drive from the airport. I got a taxi and it cost €40 but I’m pretty sure I got ripped off. When the taxi driver stopped the meter he added an extra €15 to the fare and all of a sudden, he couldn’t speak English!

I was so stressed over this “drama” at the time but it seemed so insignificant afterwards.

Price: Flights were approximately €200.

Travel Tip: Ask the taxi driver for a rough fare estimate before you get into the car.

Accommodation

I chose to stay at the NH Collection Constanza because it was the nicest hotel within walking distance of our offices. It was about €10 in a taxi to the City Centre. It has a spa with a thermal pool, sauna, ice bath, steam room and jet pool, which cost €15 for an hour. I stayed here for the first 2 nights.

Price: €250 for 2 nights and you can book here.


When Darren arrived on Friday, we moved hotels to be closer to the city. The Catalonia Athenas, wasn’t in the City Centre, but it was within walking distance (or just 3 stops on the Metro). It was nice, the rooms were basic, the food was good and there was a roof top pool with a fab view of the city (there is in most hotels in Barcelona).

Price: €280 for 2 nights and you can book here.

Travel Tip: Ask for a room at the back of this hotel. We stayed at the front and the road is really busy and noisy.


Things to See and Do in Barcelona

We had visited Barcelona before and absolutely loved it. That’s why we decided to make a weekend out of it once I had finished work on the Friday. However, after the attacks, I was extremely bad with anxiety and I very nearly got a flight home on the Friday morning. Since Darren was coming over a few hours later, I decided to stay, but we agreed not to go into the city or visit the attractions we had planned to. When Darren arrived, I was instantly better and slept like a baby that night!


A huge heartfelt thank you to my Snapchat followers for checking in on me. It honestly warmed my heart how many people thought of me when they heard the news. I think most of them were just as relieved when Darren arrived as I was. Honestly, thank you!

The Beaches

There are beaches all over Barcelona. It’s like a beach holiday and a city holiday mixed together, it offers the best of both worlds.


We walked along the beach on our last day and had some food at Pantea. The food was really good, I’d recommend it, and you all know by now how picky I am with food!

The beaches are really busy, which I don’t like. Some people enjoy the buzz of a busy beach but I prefer it to be quiet. Actually, I’d prefer it to be empty! If you think it’s impossible for a beautiful beach to be empty, read my blog post on Donegal here.

Price: Free entry to the beaches. You can read the Pantea menu here for prices.


La Sagrada Familia

This Roman Catholic Church is one of the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen. We didn’t go inside but it is possible to do so. It’s under construction since 1882 and won’t be finished until at least 2026. It looks like a completely different building on either side (see pictures below), probably due to the fact that so many architects have worked on the design throughout the years.

Price: Entry fee is €29. It offers a panoramic view of the city and an audioguide. Buy tickets here to avoid the queues.

The Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Famous for it’s stunning architecture, it has real Harry Potter vibes! We had planned to visit for a walk around and some food and drinks. We will next time, definitely!

Price: I’m not sure how much the restaurants cost but in general, everything in Barcelona is around the same price as it is in Ireland. It’s not as cheap as other Spanish holiday destinations.

Shopping

The shopping in Barcelona is fantastic! There are so many shopping centres and makeup lovers will be happy to know that there are many Sephora and KIKO stores, none of which are in Ireland yet (hurry up!). On the first night I got there, I got a taxi to Las Ramblas where there is a HUGE Sephora close by.

I have a blog post coming on what I purchased in Barcelona, swatches and my first impressions! Make sure you’re following my social media, or subscribe to my mailing list, to be notified,

The Cable Cars

There are 2 Cable Car journeys you can take in Barcelona. The Transborador Cable Cars are located at the port. They cut right across Barcelona’s city skyline and stop at Montjuic Mountain; offering some of the most beautiful views of Barcelona on the way. We did this during our last visit and loved it! When you get to the other side, there is as lovely restaurant for food and drinks so you can spend some more time admiring the views.

The second Cable Car journey is Teleferico de Montjuic and it’s located on the mountain itself. It brings you half way up the Mountain for even better views and an opportunity to explore the castle!

Price: Transborador (Port Cable Car) costs €16.50 for a round trip and you can buy your tickets here. Teleferico (Mountain Cable Car) costs €12.50 for a round trip and you can but your tickets here.

I hope you found the above helpful, I tried to think of as much as possible from our last trip to Barcelona, as well as those things we hoped to do this time.

Where to Next?

I can’t believe I’m entering the 9th month of my 2017 Travel Challenge! For any new readers. at the start of this year, I set myself a challenge to visit somewhere every month! We have visited so many beautiful places including Iceland, Berlin and Donegal to name a few. I’ve blogged about them all of course and you can read about them here.

In September, we’re travelling to CHINA and I’m so excited! Although, I reckon it’s going to be a bit of a culture shock! You can read our travel itinerary here. We’re going to 8 different places! Follow our adventures on Snapchat (livelavishlycom), Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks for reading as always.

Carly.

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A Lifestyle Blog by Carly Colgan Bates