In October 2018, we decided to do a short weekend break in one the most visited cities of Spain and the Catalonia region: Barcelona. Barcelona is the second biggest city in the country, only behind the capital Madrid, and is home to over 6 Million people. The city is located next to the Mediterranean Sea and has a rich history. This blog I will tell you more about how we spend two nights in Barcelona, visiting several hotspots with the hop-on hop-off bus and shows you how to survive a rainy day! And some tips of activities we could not do, because of not timely purchasing tickets ;-).

Arriving: day 1

After a short drive to Brussels airport from our hometown Aachen, we flew to Barcelona El Prat airport. This international airport is located outside the city, but has quite a good access thanks to public transport. Do not bother do cop an aerobus ticket which costs € 5,90, but simply spend € 4,40 on the M2 train which takes you right to the city. After that, it is € 2,20 per single trip per person. Or, if you stay longer, you purchase a ticket for 24- or 48 hours of unlimited travel (See actual prices HERE). We arrived quite late, around 16:30 PM, and had to walk quite a walk (around 10 minutes) from Terminal 2 to the Metro station. Be prepared that it is quite a walk!

Around 18:00 PM we finally reached our hotel, which I choose for two options: the wife wanted to visit the Manolo Blahnik shop for her wedding shoes and it was on walking distance to Sagrada Familia! After a quick freshen up we went to La Rambla, which is a 1200 meters long street with cozy bars in the boulevard. It is a former river bedding transformed into one of the tourist hot spots, as you can see below. More tourists then anything else ;-).

After that, my better half had the idea of attending something that was on her bucket list: visit a Flamenco dance show!

We decided to visit the Flamenco City Hall show near the La Ramba. We purchased Zone A tickets for € 30,- per person, which was good because it gave us seatings on the second row! Tickets can be easily purchased online or at the City Hall itself. Know that there are different tickets you can purchase:

  • Zone C: € 15,- for the back rows of the venue with a free drink (free drink is always a not so tasty sangria ;-), I purchased a simple beer after that which costed me around € 6,-, so do not go for the booze but for the show);
  • Zone B: € 20,- for the middle rows of the venue with a free drink;
  • Zone A: € 30,- for the front rows (not the first row, starting from the second) with a free drink;
  • VIP: € 40,- for the first row and a bottle of wine.

VIP or Zone A are definitely worth it, because you will be having a front view to an one hour live show with 2 singers, 1 acoustic guitar and 3 flamenco dancers which looks like this:

Totally worth it! After that we walked a bit over the square (Plaça de Catalunya) for some amazing nightlife and went back to our hotel.

Day 2: Hop on Hop off bus

Waking up in the morning, we visited one of the many bakeries Barcelona has to offer for some great (and cheap!) breakfast before we headed of to our first destination: Basillica de la Sagrada Familia. This humongous and still not completed church is an eye catcher all right. First tip straight away: be sure to purchase your tickets online in advance, tickets get sold out quick! We (or well, me: Robert) forgot to purchase tickets prior to our Barcelona trip (which was a surprise trip for Samia’s birthday, who normally does all the planning and makes sure everything goes smooth 🙂 ) so we could only see the outside. Which, is pretty impressive too!

Personally we liked another building more in Barcelona (coming up later on this story) because of the old architecture mixture with new architecture La Sagrada is a good second place for me. But hey, that is everyone’s personal taste!

After we were done browsing around the La Sagrada and ate in one of the many foodplaces surrounding it, we decided to purchase a hop on hop off bus ticket from City Tour Barcelona (€ 30,- per person). They provide 2 routes that both take 2 hours (without getting off) to cover the entire city of Barcelona. You can purchase tickets online, but there are always kiosks near all the hotspots of Barcelona where you can buy tickets from. Both routes start from the Plaça de Catalyna. An overview of all the stops can be found here.

Out of all the spots we visited, there are a few definitely worth stepping out of the bus. The first one is the Arc de Triomf. This Arc is 30 meters high and dates back to 1888. Unlike the arcs in Rome and Paris, this Arc is not focused on military accomplishments but on Christianity.

Be sure to stop by the most beautiful architectural building in Barcelona, the Cathedral of Barcelona. This building, as I hinted before, I preferred over the Sagrada Familia architecture wise. Unfortunately we could not visit the inside of the cathedral, but the outside shot is worth a few good shots.

The port of Barcelona is amazing to visit during sunset. The shot at the pier with all the boats and the sun in the back is perfect.

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#harbor of #barcelona #spain #espana

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The bus also goes past the ocean coast, where you can enjoy the beach for a relaxing view at night or a swim during the day.

The bus  takes  you to a lot of hotspots like Camp Nou, Park Guell and many others. If the weather is not so good as it was during our trip, this is the ideal way to see something!