Travel Diaries: Top Things to do in Barcelona

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So a couple of weeks back my hubby and I jetted off to beautiful Barcelona to celebrate our wedding anniversary - or in more Millennial terms we set off for a baecation! We had an incredible time and I literally did not want to come back home! We spent four nights and five days soaking up the sun, enjoying some of the most breathtaking views and stuffing our faces with the most incredible food - what summer body goals?! And, of course, we did lots of touristy things!

It was our first time in Barcelona and because we enjoyed it so much I thought I'd put together a mini guide of the top things to do when in Barcelona.

* Must See *

La Sagrada Familia has to be the most incredible church I have ever laid my eyes on! Our photos do this building absolutely no justice! Not only is this Gaudi creation an Architectural masterpiece, it is also the Architect's homage to God here on earth. I felt a sense of wonder and serenity when Jide and I visited this building. The design of the basilica is quite a unique combination of Art Nouveau and Gothic styles - gosh, do I miss studying Architecture - and the detail is impeccable. From finely crafted stonework to the soaring towers (each representing the Twelve Disciples - though not all towers have been completed yet), to the Passion scenery at the top of the entrance of the basilica depicting Jesus Christ on the cross, the whole building was just incredible! If you find yourself in Barcelona, this building is definitely worth a visit! My top tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia are: 1. Get your ticket well in advance of your visit. I suggest you purchase it online so that you can beat the queues. 2. Visit the basilica nearer the closing hours or very early in the morning when it's less busy. 3. Don't forget your camera and selfie stick! This work of art is too beautiful to miss out on. 

* Must Do *

Hop on the Tour Bus. Jide and I literally spent an entire day hoping on and off tour buses and doing lots of touristy activities! We got to the Sagrada Familia via the tour bus, took a detour at the beach, and also made it to the Camp Nou (Barcelona's football stadium) for our stadium tour via the tour bus. It's a really useful and affordable way of taking in all the amazing landmarks and getting around the city. There are two tour bus service providers and we opted for the OG service provider, Barcelona BusTuristic. Also, with BusTuristic you get lots of discount vouchers for restaurants and entrance to some of the city's landmarks. The tour bus has three different services (red, blue and green line) which run all across the city and each bus runs every ten minutes.

Go to the beach. On our first day exploring Barcelona, we took a stroll down to the beach and boy was it busy and super hot! I remember almost fainting because of all the heat - as if I wasn't born in a hot climate! So, we decided to return to the beach on an evening when it might be much cooler and a lot less busy. A couple days later, with towel in hand and the cutest beach mat, we practically skipped to the beach at about 5pm, excited to have ourselves a swim and a little tan! Not only was the weather much more bearable at this time, but the water was also cooling down and everything was just perfect. I think I got myself a little tan too :) My top tip for visiting the beach: It is really massive and there are at least five separate beaches along the coast, so depending on how you get to the beach (public transport is probably your best and cheapest option) don't stop at the first beach you see. Walk along the foot way towards the beaches further down the coast (it's a pretty long walk so brace yourself) until you find a nice quite beach. 

* Must Eat *

Paella. We really wanted to try some traditional Spanish cuisine on our last night in Barcelona, and what better than paella?! We stumbled upon an adorable little restaurant called LÓlivia along the Rambla de Santa Monica, and because we decided to eat indoors, we were offered a meal deal which cost less than double what we would have paid to eat outdoors! We had some tapas for starters and finally tried paella, seafood for me and seafood and meat mix for Jide - the food was gorgeous! If you find yourself in Barcelona, please please try the paella and tell me what you think! You will not regret it! My top tips for finding a good and affordable restaurant in the city: 1. Unless you're starving, don't each at the restaurants near the beach - they charge an absolute fortune! 2. Try the street food, it's amazing and doesn't hurt the wallet! 3. You are most likely going to find yourself strolling from the Rambla de Canaletes all the way down to the Rambla de Santa Monica. This is the main stretch between central Barcelona and the beach - and no doubt a tourist magnet. There is a lot happening on this long street, including lots of outdoor restaurants, and where there's an outdoor restaurant, guaranteed there's a parent-indoor restaurant. So my advice, do not eat in the outdoor restaurant - they charge nearly double the price of enjoying your meal indoors and I cannot for the life of me understand the price difference.

FrescCo. This is an all-you-can-eat and drink restaurant located at the Maremagnum shopping centre along the beach - just across form the Barcelona Aquarium. For under €14, you can enjoy a range of healthy meal options alongside pizza, pasta and rice dishes, and you can have your selection of fresh meat or fish prepared right in front of you at the grill bar just the way you like it - As. Many. Times. As. You. Want. Such a quaint idea! 

And definitely try the Chinese food! Jide and I always make Chinese food a must-have whenever and wherever we go on holiday. Luckily for us, there was a gorgeous little Chinese restaurant right next door to our hotel and that's where we enjoyed dinner on our actual anniversary night. It was delicious - I mean you cannot go wrong with Chinese food!!

Love, K.G ❤️

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