Category Archives: Barcelona

2 Weeks Spain Itinerary

11th June 2017

 

Spain In 2 weeksI recently spent two wonderful weeks traveling around Spain, and although two weeks is a limited time to explore a Country as big as Spain with each city being uniquely different, I was able to prioritize my itinerary and made the best out of my two weeks.

FIRST STOP: 3 DAYS IN BARCELONA

Park Güell in Barcelona

Park Güell in Barcelona

Barcelona is an ideal first stop when roaming around Spain because, 1) If you’re flying from the US into Spain, Barcelona – El Prat Airport is usually one of the cheapest to fly into, 2) It’s easy to move around the country via bus and train from the city, and 3) There’s so much more to do and you will need all that beginning energy and excitement to explore the city. Here’s 3 days in Barcelona itinerary to help you plan your trip.

SECOND STOP: 3 DAYS GRANADA, ANDALUCIA 

Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

Let me start by saying, Granada is a must visit/see. The culture, the backdrop of mountain perfect for hikes(and a place to catch the sunrise/set), and of course Alhambra Palace; Spain’s most visited attraction are few reasons to make a stop.  It’s also very easy to reach via bus and train.

Spend the first day self-exploring the Cobblestone city and pre-purchasing your tickets to Alhambra(highly recommend) if you haven’t already.

TIP: wear very comfy shoes. 

On day 2, book a free walking tour here for a quick crash course on the historical buildings in the city and how it came about. Then, head down to the Albaicin – Granada’s old Arabic district to take a break from the sightseeing by checking out the Morrocan restaurants for some delicious tea, kebab, and falafel.

Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain

Day 3, Alhambra! If you did not already purchase your ticket, and very much interested in visiting this famous attraction, I suggest heading out as early as 5:30 am to camp out (think Black Friday sale in the USA) until the ticket booth opens at 8 am to secure a spot. After the Alhambra, without a doubt, you will be very much exhausted and ready for some food; head over to Calle Elvira – a street located in the heart of the city for some delicious and cheap(read: free) tapas with a purchase of a drink (beer or wine).

THIRD STOP: 3 DAYS IN MALAGA

Sardine Espeto in Malaga

Sardine Espeto in Malaga

Malaga is the capital of Costa del Sol and birthplace to the famous Picasso. It is less than 2-hour drive from Granada and if I also must add, it’s home to the most delicious Espetos (Sardines) I ever had. Day 1 of your trip can be spent exploring some of the Picasso museums, Cathedrals, and delving into Andalusian delicacies like fried espetos, hams, and local olives. On day 2, head off to Marbella (or any city close to Malaga)  for a day trip. Only about an hour from Malaga. Day 3 could be spent laying on the beach (Malagueta beach) relaxing and decompressing all the stress from traveling.

FOURTH(LAST) STOP: 3 DAYS IN MADRID

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Day 1: My first day in a new city is usually spent wandering and getting to know my way around. Take a metro to Gran Vïa; Madrid’s busiest street. You will find many international boutiques and stores, pubs, restaurants, bars etc. on this street. Stroll around and enjoy its classic surrounding. You could spend your entire day wandering or visit some museums in Madrid. Most attractions are easily reached from this street because it is located centrally.

Gran Vîa Street in Madrid

Gran Via Street in Madrid

Day 2: Explore Lavapiés. This is the most multi-cultural street in Madrid made up of people of African, Middle-eastern, Asian etc descent and a great location to try cuisines from almost any culture. Then head over to the Royal Palace of Madrid about 20 mins (1.5 km) walk from Lavapiés to tour the building where the Spanish Royals stay when in Madrid. You will also enjoy scenic views of the city. For a more relaxing stroll, Parque de El Retiro is a unique and gorgeous park in Madrid. There’s a pond where you could rent a boat and row away the time.

Day 3: Make your way to Mercado de San Miguel. One of the most beautiful markets in Madrid. Here you can sample various foods from tapas, wine, beer etc. Next to it is Plaza Mayor, and Puerta de Sol; two major touristy spots also worth visiting. 

NOTE: On the 14th day, if you’re flying out from Barcelona, you can either take a train (2h 30m) or fly directly toBCN (1h) on this day.

I hope these helps and inspires you to plan your trip to Spain! Have you been to Spain? What are some helpful tips and must dos not listed above you would like to share? Please let me know down below:)

3 days in Barcelona

4th June 2017

Barcelona! One of Spain’s most iconic, most visited, and second largest city. A great city to experience Catalan culture, stunning architecture, and devour traditional delicacies.  Barcelona is one of those cities with endless “things to do” and will require a lifetime to do it all. As a tourist/traveler, you just might not have a lifetime to spend in one city. With this 3-day itinerary, however, you should be able to experience the best of Barcelona in a few days. Without further ado, pack your bags, grab your passport, and let’s roam Barcelona😉

DAY ONE:  GAUDI’s DAY

TIPBUY YOUR TICKET(S) ONLINE BEFORE YOU GO(WEEKS IN ADVANCE IF POSSIBLE)!!!!(yes I’m screaming lol). There are only a few tickets available for sale at the ticket booth and are sold for a specific time slot. You could end up in extremely long lines waiting to purchase a ticket or worse not able to get in.

Morning: Stroll around Passeig de GráciaKick off your first day by taking a stroll around the beautiful street Passeig de Grácia; home to two of Gaudi’s most popular creations Casa Batlló, and Casa Milå. This street is well-known for its high-end shopping boutiques(“shop till ya drop”), business area, and considered one of Barcelona’s most expensive street. If you love architecture or a huge fan of Gaudi’s creations, you should book a ticket to tour the inside of Casa Batlló (€23.50) and/or Casa Mila (€22).

Early Afternoon: Sagrada Família

If you’re on a budget and can only choose one of Gaudi’s masterpiece to tour, Sagrada Familia should be your pick. The basilica is one of the most celestial buildings I ever graced my eyes on. It’s Barcelona’s most iconic attraction that draws millions of visitor across the globe each year, and for this reason, tickets sell out fast and aren’t cheap (starting price is around €15). Plan on staying for about 1.5 – 2.5 hours exploring.

Mid-Afternoon: Refuel your energyAfter spending half the day exploring and sightseeing, your energy level is bound to be low and yearning for water(I mean beer😋). The good news is, tapas (a variety of small dishes served as a snack with a drink) bars and kitchens are either starting to open or already opened between 1-4pm. Again, if you’re on a budget, tapas are the way to go. Prices typically start at €2-3 but expect to pay as high as €4-6 in more “touristy” areas. My favorite tapas bars are the ones that offer free tapas with a purchase of beer(€2-3) or vino(€3-4).

Late Afternoon: Park Güell 

I cannot recommend visiting Park Güell enough. A famous public park composed of gardens, beautiful architectures and a scenic view of Barcelona city. The park itself is free(score!) during the hours it’s open but to visit the monumental zone(highly recommend) you need to purchase a ticket (€7 online). 

Evening: Watch the Sunset and Night-Life

Watching the sunset is one of my favorite things to do. Aside from the pretty vibrant colors, its pretty damn relaxing to watch. There are a lot of places to experience the sunset in Barcelona. Some of my favorite(free entrance) spots are Bunkers del Carmel, Park Güell, and W Barcelona Hotel  Terrace (Open to the public from 8 pm). You can bring a snack and drink to enjoy whilst watching. After that, go back to your hotel, hostel, Airbnb etc to relax/freshen up for the nightlife experience. If bar/club hopping isn’t your thing, you could go see a flamenco performance or simply call it a night.

DAY TWO: LANDMARK TOURS

TIP: WEAR VERY COMFORTABLE SHOES AND BRING A WATER BOTTLE AND SUNSCREEN.

Morning: Las Ramblas/La Boqueria
Kick off your day by heading down to the city most famous market La Boqueria. Treat yourself to some freshly squeezed juice, smoothie, snack, fish, meat, etc whatever it is you are craving, you will most likely find at the market. Then, head past Placa de Catalunya into the city most famous street Las Ramblas where La Boqueria market is located(it’s really close). Las Ramblas is one of Barcelona’s most visited/touristy spot. Stroll along the street for some sightseeing and get the feel of why it’s so famous.

Afternoon: Lunch/Camp Nou/Gothic Quarter After all that sight-seeing, you’re probably hungry. Food is such a big part of the Catalan culture and if there’s one thing you want to make sure you indulge in, it’s feasting in Barcelona. This can be done on any budget.  Paella(pictured) is a very popular dish in Catalonia and can be found in most restaurants. If rice is not your thing, Catalonia has an array of traditional cuisine that is just(if not more) as mouth-watering.

TIP: If you’re on a budget, dine at less “touristy areas”. You could ask a local for a recommendation and they are always more than happy to suggest a place to dine(for the low-low). 

After lunch, depending on how much more you want to explore and if you’re a Fütbol (Soccer) fan, stop by Camp Nou; the FC Barcelona fütbol team home stadium. Tickets are around €25.

Fun Facts: Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in the whole of Europe.

If you’re not a fütbol fan and up for more sight-seeing, the gothic quarter is an old beautiful town in Barcelona to wander about and probably get lost lol, which can be a good thing because you might just stumble upon some of the hidden gems in this oldest part of the city.

TIP: Bring a map or seek for almighty Google(map) for help!

Evening: Grab Dinner and a Drink (Café maybe!)

I wasn’t a coffee drinker until I arrived in Spain. This is probably because Spain has an outstanding quality coffee that even the least coffee enthusiast will love. Most bars and restaurant serve coffee any time of the day and they come in a variety. Café con leche (coffee with steamed milk) being one of the most popular(also my personal favorite).

DAY THREE: BEACH, CHOCOLATE MUSEUM, AND SOUVENIR SHOPPING

TIP: Bring your swimsuit, towel and do not forget your sunscreen. 

Morning: Beach (Barceloneta)

You want to spend the last day of your trip relaxing. Barceloneta beach is a great spot for that. Bring a drink, some snacks, perhaps a book, and lay up on the beach to soak in all that adventures. You should also check out the surf shop for some water activities.

Afternoon: Museu de la Xocolata

What better way to end your trip than with chocolate? Museu de la Xocolata is a treat (pun intended) and tickets to the museum are as low as €6. You could skip the museum and head straight to the pastry shop and sample as many chocolates as your heart pleases and don’t forget to order a cup of hot chocolate; it is hands-down the richest I’ve had.

Evening: Souvenir Shopping

It’s time to start packing up your suitcase and getting ready for your flight home, before that, you need something that will remind you of your adventurous trip to Barcelona. There are many souvenir stores scattered around the city and many souvenir items you could pick up. Some of my favorite souvenirs are postcards, refrigerator magnets, mugs, and shot glasses.

I hope this itinerary was helpful in planning your trip to Barcelona! Comment down below on some of the things you like to collect during your travels:-)