After starting our trip off in Madrid, Derek and I then hopped on the train and headed to Barcelona. While we didn’t really know what to expect, we were both so anxious to explore it. Especially since we had heard such amazing things from so many different people. My sister had lived here a few months teaching English, so I was really looking forward to see what her old stomping grounds were all about.
This city did not disappoint. From all the eclectic neighborhoods to the fun local markets, and of course the food, we had such a memorable time during these five days. Not to mention how friendly everyone was. And the city was so, so clean! Definitely not something we’re used to coming from New York City.
While we were only there for less than a week, we managed to cover A LOT of ground. We walked. And walked. And walked. We made the hike to Tibidabo Mountain to ride the colorful ferris wheel. We explored so many unique neighborhoods — Gracia, the Gothic Quarter, El Borne, El Raval, just to name a few. We tasted exotic fruits at Mercado de La Boqueria. Which were amazing. We made the touristy stroll through Las Ramblas. Derek got a fish pedicure. We ate the BEST party pancakes at Brunch and Cake. We toured the famous Park Guell, as well as hunted down the rest of the exquisite Gaudi sights. Oh, and somehow we managed to squeeze in a day-trip to Girona.
I’m basically out of breath just typing everything out. Looking back, I have no idea how we were able to squeeze so much exploring in given our short period of time. I’m pretty sure our feet hate us right about now.
But, enough of my yapping. Below are some of my favorite photos we snapped while in Barcelona.
I won’t lie. The only reason we made the trek to the top of Tibidabo Mountain was to ride the ferris wheel. While we were basically the only adults in line, I didn’t mind. It was during that ride that I was able to feel like a kid again. And the fact the entire city was below us made the ride even more special. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights though.
There was also a gorgeous cathedral on the top of the mountain, as you can see below.
Once we climbed the steps to the top of the cathedral, I was in complete awe. And I thought the view from the Ferris wheel was spectacular. This was even better.
My sister told me I had to wander through the Gracia neighborhood. She knows me so well, as it only took about two minutes before falling in love with this area.
We fell real hard for the colors in this city. Whether is was the colorful buildings, street murals, or sidewalk art, everything had such a warm and inviting tone to it.
Not to mention all the vibrant flowers you’d find on the streets. How can you not celebrate life when you see such beauties!?
Our heads kept turning left, right, left, right, as there were so many sweet alleyways all around. One even lead us to another love of ours — Ramen.
Cakes. Pies. Cookies. Bars.
So many delicious temptations…
Why can’t we have itty-bitty-baby trucks like the one below in the U.S.?
I mean, just looking at that little booger makes me smile.
For some reason, I thought it’d be a genius idea to buy tickets for the first entry to Park Guell. So, we bought tickets for 8am.
Ah, that wake-up-call sure did come bright and early. It was brutal. But, in the end, we were so happy to arrive before all the crowds.
Derek even had time to practice his crow pose a couple of times.
Park Guell was absolutely stunning. What a gorgeous masterpiece.
We spent the rest of the afternoon tracking down the rest of Gaudi’s sights.
Apparently, everyone else had the exact same agenda, as you can tell from the clusters of people below.
Ah — the Mercado de la Boqueria.
This place was just unreal.
Stalls and stalls of fresh fruits, veggies, cheeses, candies, chocolates, you name it.
And more of those beautiful warm colors…
With a few pops of bright, cool tones…
We had to keep reminding each other to look up, as there was so much awesomeness above, too.
All of a sudden, on the way to brunch, I spotted this tiny spa that did fish pedicures. You know the kind where Garra Rufa fish nibble off all your dead skin on your feet? Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty gross.
Yet, it didn’t take long before Derek looked at me and said, “I’ll do it!”
So, so funny/weird to watch.
Just as in Madrid, we fell in love with Barcelona’s captivating architecture.
All the buildings, cathedrals and palaces just looked so grand.
And talk about the details.
I think that’s what mesmerizes me the most when it comes to the architecture. The intricate details are what makes these places such masterpieces.
This city just takes fun to the next level.
We walked past so many eclectic little shops, it blew my mind.
Like, the one below; a store dedicated solely to rubber duckies. Say what!?
It wouldn’t be a visit to Barcelona without a trip to the beach. And even though the water was way too cold to take a dip in, it sure felt good to dig our toes in the sand.
Barcelona, you truly are one of a kind.
Thank you so much for welcoming us with open arms. Thank you for the beautiful weather — even for the morning of rain since that forced us to sleep in. Most importantly, thank you for the over-pour of inspiration. You are beautiful.
If you’re seeking even more Barcelona travel tips, check out this post I wrote for POPSUGAR. It lists 10 cool and unusual things you simply can’t miss.