24 Hours In Barcelona
For every time I've been to Spain, the opportunity to visit Barcelona never came up. So when I had a free weekend (and some spare cash), a friend and I decided to take the plunge and visit one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
We were lucky enough to find a great hotel just off La Rambla, which conveniently enough sent a driver to pick us up from the airport. The Gran Hotel Calderon was undergoing some renovations at the time of our stay, which we weren't actually made aware of when booking which was disappointing. But for a small fee we upgraded to a Premium room which was so worth it. The hotel had a rooftop pool with a fantastic view over the city, and breakfast was available at an additional fee (but who is going to bother with that when there are so many fantastic places to try!) I can't honestly say too much about the hotel since most of our time was spent exploring, but it definitely did the job!
The first place we decided to visit was La Rambla, the pedestrianized central street of the city. Lined with trees, shops and restaurants, we meandered from ice cream shops to tapas bars to the famous La Boqueria food market. With so many different sights and smells (not all of them good - there was some stinky cheese!), we had an absolutely amazing morning.
Since the walk down La Rambla made our stomachs rumble, our next stop had to be somewhere for lunch, and where better than Barcelona's beautiful beach? At the recommendation of a friend we decided to hit up Salt Beach Club at the W Hotel. I still can't come up with a better place for lunch than right on the beach watching all the good looking people walk by!
Since we'd been up since 4am to catch our flight, after lunch we were both ready to chill out and have a nap by the hotel pool for a few hours. Knowing that we had a few more days in the city meant that we could take our time to enjoy ourselves and relax, instead of being on the go and knackered the whole time.
After meeting the colourful characters by the pool, it was time to get ready for our night bike tour of the city. I'll just give a disclaimer here and say although I enjoyed it a lot, it definitely wasn't for the faint hearted. I mean for the size of the city, we definitely saw a huge chunk of it in the space of just a few hours. I was impressed that everything from the port to the fountains were included in the tour, but my bum was definitely a bit tender when we were finished!
After a late night dinner of tapas, and quite a few cocktails in the Placa Reial, it was time to head back to the hotel before getting up for some more adventures! I would love to say that Barcelona is a city you can do in 24 hours, but there's definitely enough to see to spend a good few days there, especially if you're an architecture fan!
I'll definitely be back