Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona

When I lived in France, I found that travelling
was so much easier and 100% more accessible. I was fortunate enough to be
working on a 12 hour, 4 day a week teaching contract with a remarkably high
wage for the work I was putting in, leaving ample time and money to visit new and
exciting cities. I was also lucky enough to have friends living in dozens of
cities across Europe, all there for me to explore inexpensively. Now that I’m
working and don’t have the freedom that I did back then, travelling has taken a
little bit of a backseat, sadly. Every school holiday that presents itself,
nowadays, is an opportunity for a trip to somewhere magical. This summer has
been no exception. I’ve visited a few amazing cities, and I have another trip to
a beautiful city planned for this month.

Barcelona has always been top of my list of favourite
cities. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times: one of my closest friends
Gary lived there whilst I was in Strasbourg and of course, I took the
opportunity to go and stay with him. Whilst I was there, I fell completely and
utterly in love with the city. Returning was inevitable and it was lovely to go
and visit there with my oldest friend, Laura.

We decided to go the travellers route and book
into a hostel and to be honest, I am SO glad that we did as value for money and
experience wise the place we chose to stay at, The Barcelona Central Garden,
was top notch. Just a stone throw away from the most central street in
Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia (and the BEST place to shop!), the area was
incredibly safe and had everything we needed within walking distance. The
hostel itself was impeccably clean and all in all, we had an incredibly
comfortable stay. Best of all: it was INSANELY cheap, at around 30 euros a
night each! I’ll definitely be returning here on my next trip to the city. Having
already been to the city myself, and knowing that Laura never had, I knew that
there were a few places that we just HAD to go and see. We had two full days in
the city, which wasn’t anywhere NEAR enough time to visit everything we wanted
to see, but we did manage a massive chunk of my list so I’m really impressed by
that.


Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Sagrada Familia

Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Sagrada Familia

Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Sagrada Familia

Day 1: Tourist Attractions

We got up early on our first full day in
Barcelona and picked up some delicious pastries from a local boulangerie to
munch on as we walked to our first stop of the day: the first, and arguably the
most impressive.The Sagrada Familia (I have an interesting anecdote tale to
tell about this remarkable landmark that I’ll save for another time). The
Sagrada Familia is one of those monuments that is utterly distinguishable and
for good reason. The building is beautiful. We thought well ahead and got there
for 9am, before the larger groups of tourists had arrived on the scene. Exploring
the surrounding parks and taking selfies in front of the cathedral made for a
really lovely morning.


Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Park Guell

Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Park Guell

We decided that we’d keep with the Gaudi theme,
Park Guell being our next stop on the list! We grabbed a picnic lunch and,
after topping up suncream, munched away in the park itself. We then started
queuing for the tickets to see the Gaudi section over the park, only to be told
that it had completely sold out and there were no tickets left for the day, or
even for the day after. A slightly wasted journey that we didn’t really account
for, but we cheered ourselves up with ice-cream and lollies on the walk back
down to the metro. At this point, we’d been in the sun for quite a while so,
spying a particularly impressive looking Zara, decided that the only thing to
do to cool down was to treat outselves to a little shopping trip. Naughty
purchase of the year in the form of Tiffany’s necklaces were made by both of
us, but otherwise the spontaneous trip didn’t put too much of a strain on the
bank balance. We ended the day with cocktails and dinner in a beautiful
restaurant in the old town. I had surf and turf paella which was beyond
delicious, coupled with a mojito. Next stop was the pier for a little walk and
a late night wander across the beach. Bed finally called and sleep overcame us
quickly. A very tiring but very fun day.


Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Park Guell

Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Port Vell


Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger | Port Vell

Day 2: Beach day!

We couldn’t go to Barcelona and not spend the
day sunbathing, right? Again, we got up early to head out to the famous
Barceloneta beach, knowing full well that it was bound to be quickly crowded in
the middle of July. We grabbed a quick breakfast of pastries (sensing a theme
here, I love some good old fashioned French pastry!) and set ourselves up with
an umbrella and some snacks on the sand. I chose to spend the afternoon
catching up on my reading (one of my previous book reviews How To Stop Time by Matt
Haig
was my beach book of choice!) whilst Laura snoozed and listened to an incomparable
amount of Taylor Swift. A good morning and early afternoon was had by all.


Travel: Two (Jam Packed) Days in Barcelona | Hollie in Wanderlust | Travel Blogger |  Barceloneta

A quick Burger King (We had to!!!) late lunch followed
and we went back to the hostel to get ready for the evening ahead. We’d planned
to have a tapas night with a couple of the other people staying there (although
this quickly turned into EVERYONE in the hostel). We all chipped in with a few
euros and helping hands to help set up an amazing evening and Emmanuel, one of
the guys working there, showed us how to make Spanish omelette and sangria. The
rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and talking to people from all
over the world. I was speaking to a pair of girls from New Zealand, and two
guys from Belgium, for example. It was the perfect opportunity to chat to
people from different cultures and learn new things. Our plane home the next
day meant that we had an early night whilst everyone else went out for drinks,
but the evening was very well spent and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.


I’ll definitely be booking to go back to Barcelona
as soon as I possibly can. My favourite city in the world.