Who doesn’t love travelling and exploring new places? For some, it becomes a sort of addiction, where you can get a certain high when visiting somewhere brand new and dousing yourself in a forge in culture.
I am a huge fan of visiting the United States. I try to visit at least once a year as I just love it. However, where money and time will allow, I always try and fit in a second trip to somewhere in Europe, which is usual a 2-3 day city break.
Having just come back from Barcelona, which is now firmly ranked in my top city breaks, I thought I would sit down and chat through some of my favourite places to visit, where we stayed, where we ate and what I would consider a must do.
Stay: I trawled hotel websites endlessly looking for a hotel that was not like £150 a night but that was also not grim. I finally found the Hostal de Barcelona. It was a small, unassuming building in Diputacio, which is around a 10 minute walk from the main Plaza (Plaza de Catalyuna) and around 20 minutes away from the airport via Taxi.
Behind large Gothic doors, is a small mini-hotel, which contains small but plentiful rooms that contains high-speed wifi, hair dryer, TV and they even put a small selection of tea, coffee and pastries from 8-11am (which was super cute!).
What I absolutely loved about this hotel, except the price, was that the day after I booked, I received a WhatsApp from the hotel introducing themselves and 3 maps of where the hotel was in relation to the main attractions. The day before we were due to arrive, I used the WhatsApp to inform them what time we would be arriving! It was the perfect little communication tool and one that I used several times during our stay too.
The hotel was £95.00 a night and I booked it through the website Booking.com.
Shop: On our first day exploring Barcelona, I came across a shop called Lefties. As soon as I walked in it got Forever21 vibes straight away, but with a hint of Zara. The clothes were fun, big slogan teas and Nasa t-shirts etc but some selections were white cotton dresses, blue and white pinstripe shirts…
Put it this way, I was in heaven! The store was gorgeous and the clothing was so affordable.
When we got back to the hotel, I quickly googled Lefties and was absolutely floored to discover that they are essentially a Zara outlet store.
‘Lefties opened in 1993 and was initially launched by Zara owner, Inditex, to shift last season’s stock and sell it at an even more affordable price point. Prices average about a third cheaper than regular Zara stores, so that $50 leather jacket you’ve been eyeing could cost you less than $20! But the brand has since developed a point of view of its own, offering new seasonal collections that are exclusive to its stores.’ (https://www.allure.com/story/zara-sister-brand-lefties)
Essentially, if you are a fan of Zara but want to buy some gorgeous pieces for a cheaper price, Lefties is your friend!
Must Do: I LOVE bus tours. When we are visiting somewhere we tend to go with the CitySeeing tour bus, you’ve probably seen them before as they are big red buses with CitySeeing plastered on the side. The tour buses do not cost a lot at all and the majority of tours allow you to hop on and off the tours to visit different key sights. So, when we seen that there were several bus tours running in Barcelona we immediately jumped on! The tour cost 30 Euros but went everywhere, I’ll pop a link below so that you can have a wee perusal.
The bus had unlimited wifi (get for capturing all your adventures on InstaStories!), a set of headphones where you could tune in and listen to amazing historic facts about the sights of the city!
This particular tour had three coloured lines of tour to choose: Red, Blue and Green. If there are certain places you want to visit (Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, Port Olimpic etc) , I would recommend planning ahead and using the bus tour as a form of transport to get there as you can hop off, potter around the attraction and then jump back on!
I genuinely haven’t had a bad tour on these buses. From New York to Geneva, they are so informative and such good value for money!
So there we go, Barcelona in three points!
I will definitely be heading back to this wonderful location as the city culture, the shopping and the food are constant reminders of what a gorgeous place Barcelona is!
Let me know if you visited anywhere when you visited or where you are planning to go!