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Barcelona Review

Let me say this right off the bat . . . Barcelona was a lot of fun, but not my most favorite place in the world. (That would be Paris.) Barcelona, however, will definitely be one of my most favorite places for eating. Ham? Cheese? Eggs? Potatoes? Wine? My Italian butt loves this diet. 

Where we stayed: Hotel Balmes (loved it! Clean, nice staff, internet access, etc.)

Our friends stayed at Hotel Universal. While this hotel was nice and modern, I didn't love the part of town it was in.  

On our first day (Saturday), we arrived around 10 am and our hotel let us check in early, which was fabulous since we hadn't showered in a while (we left straight from work the day before.) We relaxed for a bit then wandered around Las Ramblas. We walked all the way down to the water, which was really lovely. We pretty much spent the rest of our first day exploring Las Ramblas, then met up with our friends for dinner. We then tried to go to these fountains that light up to music . . . we walked miles (literally) and when we got there we found out they were being renovated! Luckily, we got over this quickly by drinking lots of wine at a nearby bar. 

On our second day (Sunday), we had tickets to the Barcelona/Valencia game. Because we knew it'd be a late night, we had sort of a relaxing day. We went to Taller de Tapas (SO yummy!) for brunch (we slept pretty late) then walked back down Las Ramblas to meet up with our friends for . . . you guessed it, more wine! We ate at a Spanish diner for dinner that night (and it was really yummy, but I don't remember the name) then headed to the game (I had a lot more fun than I was expecting, since I know nothing about soccer.)

On Monday, we were planning to go to the Picasso museum, until we realized it was closed. Instead, we headed to La Sagrada Familia, which was absolutely amazing. I don't think I'll ever see anything like that in my life. From there, we subwayed it to Parc Guell. We stopped for lunch at a small bakery and then spent the rest of the day at Parc Guell, just wandering around, etc.

On Tuesday, we headed to the Picasso Museum. After the museum, we went to Bubo to eat the world's best chocolate cake (seriously, it won the award in 2005) and then to this wine bar across the street that had over 300 wines (we stayed there for a while . . . the wine was very yummy.) That night, we found a bar that was showing all the big soccer games that night (my husband and our friends are big fans) and we hunkered down there for the night.

On our last day, we spent the day in the Barri Gotic. (Not before I did some damage shopping on La Placa de Catalunya, though.) We spent some time wandering around, ate some tapas, drank some wine, took some pictures, etc. (We were supposed to go to the Dali museum, but none of us felt like being on the train for an hour each way, especially since our friends don't love art and I don't like modern art.) We then headed over to La Boquiera and did a little shopping before heading out for more pre-dinner drinks. (Did I mention we drank a lot?) 

For breakfast on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we ate at Cerveceria Catalana. Uhm . . . most delicious breakfast ever. Scratch that. Most delicious food ever. We ate dinner there on Wednesday, as well . . . their bravas? TO DIE FOR. 

While we were there, the weather was fabulous - in the 50s everyday. Some days, I didn't even bring a coat out.

If you're renting an apartment, definitely go to El Corte Ingles and stock up on some groceries (and if you're not, go there just to wander around a ginormous grocery store unlike anything ever . . . beware! They are closed on Sundays.)  

So, that's Barcelona in a nutshell! My travel journal has a lot more details that only my DH and I (and our friends) could appreciate (like this stag party of Brits trying to kiss me at the bar while my husband just stood and laughed . . .) All in all, it was a really fabulous, really needed vacation. 

I have to thank cheeky and the rest of you ladies for recommendations of things to do, see, etc.  

?"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."
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Re: Barcelona Review

  • so glad you had a great time! we loved hotel universal but we were mostly in our room to sleep or freshen up so the neighborhood was fine for that. how awesome was bubo? i still have a few of the chocolates we got there and am rationing them!
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  • I love all the drinking. No, seriously. I'm so excited to go drink in Spain. Sangria is one of my favourites! 

    Thanks for posting this! 


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  • image cheekywife:
    so glad you had a great time! we loved hotel universal but we were mostly in our room to sleep or freshen up so the neighborhood was fine for that. how awesome was bubo? i still have a few of the chocolates we got there and am rationing them!

    Bubo was awesome. We all got different desserts and shared . . . each one was phenomenal. I also got a box of macaroons and rationed them out while I was there for snacks, ha.  

    ?"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."
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  • image AKuzReve:

    I love all the drinking. No, seriously. I'm so excited to go drink in Spain. Sangria is one of my favourites! 

    Thanks for posting this! 

    Yes. The drinking was fabulous. I didn't take advantage of the wine when we were in France 2 years ago, but I more than made up for it in Spain . . . sangria, cava . . . just the house wine at local restaurants. Everything was delicious! 

    ?"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."
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  • image AGsWife:

    Let me say this right off the bat . . . Barcelona was a lot of fun, but not my most favorite place in the world. (That would be Paris.) Barcelona, however, will definitely be one of my most favorite places for eating. Ham? Cheese? Eggs? Potatoes? Wine? My Italian butt loves this diet. 

    Where we stayed: Hotel Balmes (loved it! Clean, nice staff, internet access, etc.)

    Our friends stayed at Hotel Universal. While this hotel was nice and modern, I didn't love the part of town it was in.  

    This was one of the hotels I really liked when I was researching.  We actually ended up in that area, and I agree, I wouldn't have liked staying in that area. It wasn't dangerous or anything, just a little more "grimmy" compared to other hotels I've stayed in during my visits in Barca.

    image
  • I also want to agree with el Corte Ingles! We did a lot of shopping for snacks while we were there. We had a "picnic" on our balcony one night with wine, manchego, jamon serrano, chorizo, bread, and the "tomato pulp".

    We also bought a lot of gifts for our friends & family: wine, cava, turron, saffron, olive oil, various paprikas, chocolates, etc.

    Oh and my H couldn't get enough of the patatas bravas.  We've eaten them many times before while there, but this time he ate it 1-2x every day! For our last meal there I begged for no patatas bravas Stick out tongue

    image
  • Thank you for posting!! This has me SO excited for our trip, especially the food recs.

    Did you do the on-off bus passes or just take metro when you needed?

    (ps- I shared your review with H and he is super jealous about the soccer game.  There isn't a home game during our trip or we would have tried to go)

    What kind of shopping did you do at Plaza Catalunya?  Is it smaller trinkety type stuff for souveniors or bigger items like clothing/home etc?

    Did you enjoy Picasso museum?

  • image hz80408:

    Thank you for posting!! This has me SO excited for our trip, especially the food recs.

    Did you do the on-off bus passes or just take metro when you needed?

    (ps- I shared your review with H and he is super jealous about the soccer game.  There isn't a home game during our trip or we would have tried to go)

    What kind of shopping did you do at Plaza Catalunya?  Is it smaller trinkety type stuff for souveniors or bigger items like clothing/home etc?

    Did you enjoy Picasso museum?

    Not OP, but I've done both numerous times. There are some cities where I would never do a tour bus because it's a waste of money.  However, I think it can be worth it for Barcelona. Also, I recommend getting the 10 ride (I believe) pass at the metro (assuming you won't be taking cabs).

    Pla?a de Catalunya has the giant El Corte Ingles department store mentioned above(it has everything from appliances to groceries to higher end brands of clothing). There's also stores like Zara, Sephora, Mango, etc. There's also Havanna(makes the famous Argentine alfajor cookies) located in the area. I love their cookies and if you have time, it might be worth a stop in :)

    For trinket items, there were tons of places in the barri gotic. Some of it is the cheaply made items, but I've found cool art posters, unique jewelery, and kitchen ceramics.

    image
  • image hz80408:

    Thank you for posting!! This has me SO excited for our trip, especially the food recs.

    Did you do the on-off bus passes or just take metro when you needed? We didn't do the bus. We mostly walked. We took the Metro to Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and then back to our hotel. The on-off buses looked packed, but we just weren't into paying almost 30 Euro/pp when we could easily walk (maybe it if weren't as nice out when we went, we would have.)

    (ps- I shared your review with H and he is super jealous about the soccer game.  There isn't a home game during our trip or we would have tried to go) Yeah, the game was awesome. This is one of the main reasons we chose to go to Barcelona for this trip (my husband LOVES soccer.) We didn't book our trip until we checked the Barca schedule to make sure they were playing at home.

    What kind of shopping did you do at Plaza Catalunya?  Is it smaller trinkety type stuff for souveniors or bigger items like clothing/home etc? I bought clothes. I love Zara and Mango (stores that, while we have them in America, none are located near me), so I got some stuff there. I bought my trinkety type stuff (pot holders, an "I heart Barcelona" sweatshirt, etc.) on Las Ramblas.

    Did you enjoy Picasso museum? It was ok- smaller than I imagined and with less artwork than I thought would be there. The floor plan of the Museum was cool - it outlined his work from beginning to end. I didn't love that the translations had tons of typos (then again, I'm an English teacher . . .), but the artwork was gorgeous. (Disclaimer: I prefer impressionist paintings, which is one of the reasons I love Paris, but I can appreciate Picasso's work.)

    ?"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."
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  • Thanks again.  I agree; it sounds like metro and walking is a fine choice for us too.

     Ah, I have Mango on my shopping list!  I have never been to one.

    I'm on edge about Picasso, especially since we're trying to do so many museums in Paris; but I realized it's free Sundays after 3pm; so we may give it a try and if it's busy we'll just pass on it.

     

     

  • image hz80408:

    Thanks again.  I agree; it sounds like metro and walking is a fine choice for us too.

     Ah, I have Mango on my shopping list!  I have never been to one.

    I'm on edge about Picasso, especially since we're trying to do so many museums in Paris; but I realized it's free Sundays after 3pm; so we may give it a try and if it's busy we'll just pass on it.

    You could definitely go after 3pm and have plenty of time to see the entire museum - I think it took us an hour?

    ?"All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share."
    Visit The Nest! image
    Anniversary
    GP buddy to blenderdance
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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