Explore Barcelona, Spain – Make it a Memory of a Lifetime

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When thinking of the perfect place to spend one of our birthdays, we searched high and low for a country that exhibited culture, history, and of course a place where we could have fun!  We decided to tackle Barcelona, Ibiza, and Madrid!  I cannot tell you how great of a choice we made!  Spain is simply AMAZING! 

Airline

Now first thing was first.  We had to decide what airline to use.  We are both American Airlines, United, and British Airways loyalty members.  Thus, we decided to use Iberia Airways (to get our American points).  Iberia Airways is a good experience for both Business and Coach classes.  Depending on your budget, I would purchase a Coach ticket and when you are closer to the date of travel, call for an upgrade.  Since the First and Business class tickets are normally expensive, many people don’t purchase those available tickets.  You’ll thank me later.  The food and unlimited drinks made the 8 ½ hour flight to Madrid a not so bad experience.  Just bring your iPad, some good music, and some headphones!  You will be fine!  Sometimes people feel that they cannot complete a long flight and that’s why they do not travel.  You can do it!  TRAVEL!

Accommodations

Now of course, when you travel you have to decide what kind of accommodations you want.  Do you want to be economical?  Do you want to splurge a little?  Or do you want to be in between?  Well, us?  We decided we wanted to splurge a little since we were celebrating a birthday.  In Barcelona, we decided to stay at the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona which has a 90-year-old history in excellence. The hotel is located in the middle of Paseo de Gracia and it is right in the heart of the city!  It is close to Gaudi's buildings (you will learn about Gaudi in a moment), exclusive higher end shopping and Barcelona's most important historic tourist sites.  This luxury hotel experience will definitely get you spoiled with the Bvlgari soap and lotion, the bottle of champagne in your room, or the amazing concierge service.  Don’t stay in the hotel, GET OUT and HAVE A GOOD TIME!

In Barcelona, what is there to do you may ask.  Well, let me tell you…You are in for a treat!  If you want bars, they have it.  If you want art and culture, THEY HAVE IT!  If you want a beach, It’s there!  If you want GOOOOOD food, you can find it there. 

Favorite Place for Drinks/Bars:

Oveja Negra (black sheep)

Address: C/ Sitges, 5

It has a very old rustic feel (I will remind you of Medieval Times) and you will find lots of international people here!

Pick a table and when a waiter comes, order un torre de sangria (tower of sangria) for 20 euros - NEED to split between AT LEAST 4 people. We usually do 5-7. So sweet you get drunk really fast. Don’t pregame or ANYTHING before. You will die.

If you go, go at 1030-11PM before going out to a club

Favorite Place to Club

Opium Mar

Address: Passeig Maritim, 34

First things first; don’t go to the bars until 1-2AM or you will be with other tourists and there will only be 10 people in the club!  Have Uber installed on your phone for your return ride home because the metros stop at 12 midnight.  Women - DO NOT WEAR HEELS!  Wear boots (put your stuff in your boots if you are a girl) because the Locals do like to steal.  There is another club right next door - Shoko,

Favorite Restaurant

Everywhere you eat will be amazing. MAKE SURE you eat a xuxo (pronounced chew-cho): a pastry with cream filling.

Restaurante Oasis

Address: corner of Carrer de l'Almirall Cervera and Carrer del Mar

In my opinion, this place has the BEST PAELLA IN BARCELONA.  You should order a paella (have to split for 2 people) for 20 euros plus a pitcher of sangria for 10 euros – 15 euros a piece total. 

When you explore and try other restaurants, you should order a menu of items to get the full experience: a first course, second course, dessert and a beverage.  Make sure you eat at outdoor cafes

Make sure you eat at the bakeries and order a xuxo or any type of yummy dessert.

Favorite Attractions

Everything here in Barcelona is dedicated to Gaudí, one of the most famous architects there is/was. The city is all about him. Here are the top things you should do/see while you are in Barcelona:

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is the most famous monument in Barcelona.  It’s such an amazing unfinished cathedral and will be the biggest in the world once it’s done (they’ve been working on completing it for 100 years).  The inside of this cathedral is beautiful; however, it does cost 10+ euros to enter.  If you have the money, do it, it’s beautiful. But if not, it’s not necessary – just take photos from outside and visit the gift shop. 

 

Las Ramblas / Plaza Cataluyna

You will find about a mile of the most touristy things – but so amazing – it is the hub of the city from Plaza Cataluyna to the beach (Barceloneta – Christopher Columbus statue).  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch out for your purses/belongings in this area!  There are SO many pick-pocketers that it’s ridiculous!  Please be careful.  While we were there, we heard of several foreigners losing passports and their money.

DO NOT EAT ON LAS RAMBLAS – It is entirely expensive because they know the tourists are there.  Additionally, the pick-pocketers prey off of you once they see you take out your wallet or your money. 

Montjüic Fountain Light Show

You will enjoy!  If you have ever been to the World of Color at California Adventure – this is a fountain light show that is coordinated with the music. It is very beautiful and it is a great opportunity to take photos!  You can go at any of the different times: 9, 9:30, 10, 10:30, and 11.  Don’t stand too close or you may get wet.

Favorite Excursion/Tours

I would recommend the following excursion to make your trip one you won’t forget! 

Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra and Spain from Barcelona

This tour is an all-day affair!  You will have to be at the pick-up site by 7am!  It is an early day but you will do sooooo much and will have the opportunity to take the most amazing photos!  You will discover three countries in just one day on a full-day tour to Baga, Ax Les Thermes, and Andorra from Barcelona.  Baga is a beautiful village shrouded in medieval heritage.  Ax Les Therms is a charming spa town with loads of French character.  Don’t forget to get your passport stamped again when you travel to Andorra.  In one day, you will have traveled to France, Andorra and back to Spain!  Again, you will thank me later for this tip!

All in all, Barcelona is an amazing place to visit.  We had a great time!  You will too!  Follow some of our advice, and you will have a GREAT TIME!  You will thank us later!