The Ultimate Guide to Barcelona
Guys, I’ve?gotten around to sharing my guide to Barcelona when I traveled from Paris this summer. So happy to share this family vacation with you, especially for those of you that love good food, great coffee and frequently travel (or would like to do so more) with kids!
Let’s mention that I was holding off with the hopes of providing the perfect photos – but it’s taking me forever to edit and I’m not a professional photographer so like they say “done is better than perfect” right? ?So here goes my curated list with a mix of Instagram / iPhone and Nikon photos.
There is just something about Barcelona that makes it my favorite city.?Something about the colors, the food (tapas) and the warmth of the people make you feel like your at home away from Home. Having been born in a mountainous warm weather country – Barcelona tastes familiar. It being the best of both worlds; with a beach and mountain scenery 30 minutes away from each other, for me is so perf! Uh, not to mention the nightlife is insane.
Paris is pretty awesome – but the apartment sizes (and prices) alone in Barcelona makes me want to learn Spanish and relocate. Are any of you guys thinking of moving to Barcelona? ?Let’s all go! We’ll set up a colony 🙂
Getting to Barcelona?from Paris
We got to Barcelona from Paris, via Veuling from Orly.
For some reason I thought that flying into Girona would be as easy as?it was?flying into Barcelona central (the tickets where cheaper for Girona), but it wasn?t really as you have to pay for a bus to take you into BCN – and that was way longer and more expensive – so basically didn’t save any money.
To the Airport in Paris:
- RER B ? Metro at Gare du Nord to CDG 10 euro, ?and it takes 30 to 40 mins.
- The Bus is 17 euros to Beauvais and takes 1 ? hours from Paris Porte Maillot (line 1)
Airline companies you can fly with :
- Air France (my favorite but more expensive)
- Veuling ( flight got delayed twice)
- Easy Jet (low-cost)
Flying into Gerona? ? Personally, I would say, just?don?t!
- Expect to pay 25 Eu, for a 1 hour ride, 16 eu for 1 way. #604 bus last at 23:45pm . So if you take a late flight in make sure the bus will still be running. We almost missed it by 5 minutes.
Flying into BCN ? is the?Best bet – most?convenient!
- 5 Eu bus 30 mins to town center.
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Where to Stay in Barcelona?
AIRBNB apartments are a great options as there is everything from cozy little flats in El Borne to more luxurious apartments in Gracia.
We booked an Aribnb with Beatriz in Gracia for the first 3 days (Lesseps Metro) – a walk from all that touristy and local. And the best convenience was it?s 2 mins from Park Guell.
Next we ended the second leg of our stay at a LUXURY HOTEL, Gallery Hotel ? with pool and spa. The pool was small as it?s on a rooftop, but never the less we had lots of fun!
It?s super trendy with the perfect central location. Not to mention the excellent service and view from 5th floor is wow!
Getting around BCN
- ?Metro pass was around 10 euros for 10 pass – I was forewarned about the pickpockets in the metro and personally I never had any issues. But of course just use common sense and you should be fine ? esp. when in crowded areas keep you belongings close and secure.
- ?Bike rentals are all over the city
- Taxis are cheap (er) than Paris and almost never over 10 Eu to get from point A to B.
- Walking ? most people pick an area and just walk around there (taking the occasional metro if necessary).
Activities to do in Barcelona.
TIBIDABO is the oldest theme park in Europe ? and it?s worth every penny if you take a small child (but if you?re kid?s been to Disneyland this is now on that scope at all!).
2 tickets to the Funicular that takes you up 2 x 7.70 euros then 2x 28.50 euros to get in (only kids under 3 years pay 10.30 euros so be careful not to buy this one online even though it says kids. It is not for kids over 120 cm
Food at the Theme Park Tibidabo:
The regular theme park fast food.
Lots of stands; plus ice cream 2.65 euros, hot dog 3.50 euros
One slow food restaurant where you can even order a salad, a Ben and Jerrys, Oscar Meyer Kiosk where also in sight.
Must buy your tickets at least the afternoon for the evening entrance, due to limited time slots to avoid overcrowding. You can buy tickets at some of the metros stops upon exit there are ticket seller (not the same as the metro ticket vendors) close to the park such as Metro Lesseps.
5.60 euros ? Kids
8.00 euros ? Adults
Montju?c is great for a long stroll with an amazing view.
You?ll find many of Antoni Gaudi?s great works scattered all throughout the city. From the famous Sagrada Famila, Park Guell, to the La Pedrera
Zoo & Aquariums?
Like many major cities, you can find a Zoo and Aquarium as well in Barcelona , we?didn’t?go because he’s at the age where he’s not into?that any more. But could be cool for really young children.?
Vermouth ? I was hearing about this drink via a couple food and drink blogs so had to try it here at SOL DE NIT (3 euros)
Cocktails ? at BOCA CHICA of GRANDE for the grown and very sexy (15 euros) We loved the rustic d?cor and photo booth down stairs the music also added a cozy vibe.
We got the Bridgette Bardot!
Do not go into a TIGER STORE unless you want to leave with a whole ton of cute stuff you never knew you needed. Like balls that float on water and tiny notebooks.
HATI HATI (OS SIN facebook)
Ethnic jewelry and clothing items great prices and authentic quality. c/arc de sant Ramon del call 3, 08002
Are everywhere obvious and cheap with lots of fresh cut fruit options plus lots of corner stores / fruit shops.
ZARA ?in Barcelona is so much cheaper than in Paris!
We went in sale time and walked away with many heels marked down to 5 Euros ? cant beat that!
Try the central one at Diagonal metro.
KIDDY SHOP is the Zara for kids that we don?t have in Paris.
The kids version of zara mush bigger than the section you find in a regular ZARA
BIMBA Y LOLA ? one of the Spanish best kept secret is the accessories at this high street brand ? who can tell it?s not Marni?!
Good Coffee Shops in Barcelona are plenty!
It?s one of my favorite things to do when I visit any city. And Barcelona had some of the coolest coffee shops with some nice roasts, chill vibes and good food! Also discovered a bit about the beer culture.
NOMAD is tucked away in a little corner of an alley, but roast some of the best beans in Barcelona.
ONNA?on the same street where there was an old Cristolbal Balenciaga house ? I was happy to enjoy lunch at this coffee shop. Yummy vegetable sandwich and fresh juice.
GORILLA was discovered by happenstance and I?m sure glad I found it, super chill bigger size caf? that is also a bar in the evenings and have sports at night. The breakfast was hearty with lots of toast, cakes and jams. You can also go work on your laptop as they have free wi-fi.
Coffee at SATANS was so chill. While I got introduced to some indie magazines. Located in the old part of BCN ? el borne.
Caf? COSMO has the best avocado toast at breakfast and killer coffee all day long in an artsy hipster area of BCN.
Morning coffee/ breakfast the local way while after watching TV and read morning paper at EL FORN DEL BARRI ? pg maragall 233 Padra 97
Croissants and simple yet tasty Brazil coffee.
FEDERAL CAF? ? Parlement 39
Maybe we kept it a bit too simple by ordering the Caesar Salad here 7.50 euros.
It was good but seeing what my neighbor was having made me jealous ? her plate we so colorful.
They also have lots of upstairs seating.
Also, Open terrace to sit out when the weather is warm
FOOD & MORE
CARAVELLE – if craft beer is your thing you have got to lunch here or simply go for the beer. Heuvos Rancheros 9.95 euros
Scrambled eggs + bacon 7.50 euros
Flat white 2.20 euros
OMA BISTRO serves seasonal and local food. They also have the best chili and at 8 euros too! Great for a drink or places to go with pals
They have a change of service at 12.30 pm to 1.30pm
2.20 euros flat white
CAF? COMETA – Was the dessert heaven
Kids paying out front
Good for a beer
LIKE A ?LOCAL
CAF? DEL SOL is the best spot to meet with the Catalans friends in the old neighborhood of GRACIA lots of finger food to share. Options like Wasabi finger 5.50 euros and the burgers especially the chicken one 7 euros Schweppes 2.30 euros
Was back every night!
It?s at one of the many local squares
SOL de NIT has the same menu.
Vol Damm beer ? 2.60 euros
Estrella 2.60 euros
If you just want to hang out at the square on the ground like many people do ? you will see Indian vendors selling beer for 1euros.
Some other food spots:
VERMELL 11 08003
Chocolate Cake 4 euros
Quiche Jamon (ham) 3.20 euros
Beer 2.50 euros
BOPAN ? Ramble de Catalyuna 119 08008 BCN
Artisan Cooking + lots of breads served by the weight , local fresh try the Pesca Bacalao or the Carne Pollo Pollo
Barcelona is known as that European city that has the best of both worlds ? in a few minutes you can go from mountains to beach to city to mountains and back again!
BARCELONETA ? one of my faves.
SITGES BEACH ? is a bit far out but worth the way and you can also discover this wealthy area.
Public Safety/ Pickpockets
– Like I mentioned before ? just be careful. It usually happens fast in a crowded tourist street or metro.