As I settle into my last term at Oxford, I can clearly see that my life for the next two months is just going to be revision, revision, revision. Of course, this has got me dreaming about all the places I’d love to travel to when my exams end and one sunny place I’m considering is Barcelona! Today I’m sharing a lovely guest post with you by Max Lami, who is currently an Erasmus student at the University of Barcelona. Keep reading for tips on the perfect weekend in Barcelona!
After living here for numerous months now, I have planned out what I would do with only one weekend in Barcelona.
Day 1: Friday
Morning: Arrive in the city, check-in, settle in to accommodation.
Afternoon: I like to spend my first day in a city familiarising myself with my new surroundings. If I can, I’ll try to get any major sightseeing done on the first day as well because I like to get that out of the way and be able to spend the next day living as much like a local as possible. I would recommend getting your visit to The Sagrada Familia or Parc Güell out of the way as they are a little way out from the centre but they are definitely must-see works of art! Entrance to the Sagrada Familia costs €20 so you may opt to enjoy the stunning view from the outside instead, which reveals enough architectural history to keep you interested.
Park Güell is a beautiful park which blends nature with Gaüdi architecture. Although it is free to enter the surrounding parks, the main structure costs €7-8. It provides an impeccable view of the city and reveals some of Gaüdi’s best mosaic work up close though so I’d highly recommend it! Both the Sagrada Familia and the main building in Park Güell were designed by Antoni Gaudi so it is interesting to see the architectural similarities and differences between the two.
Night: Now that you’ve worked up an appetite it is time for some of those famous Spanish tapas. I recommend a little place called Jai-Ca, located in the “Barceloneta”, the sea-side of Barcelona. As well as an amazing selection of seafood and tapas, the restaurant is next to the beach, giving you a beautiful night-time view of the port. You’ll get the chance to walk along the beach during the night too if you want a Romantic setting. Alternatively, if you are located in the centre there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Look for the ones were you can hear locals speak, they will reveal good food at non-tourist prices!
If you’re not too tired afterwards, you can go see a show. For about €10-15 (depending on the night) visit Los Tarantos to watch some traditional flamenco dancers. It is only a 10 minute car trip away from Jai-Ca, or you can walk for 20 minutes and see some of the Olympic sites on the way.
Day 2: Saturday
Morning: Well-rested and refreshed, it is time to start the first full day in Barcelona! After grabbing quick breakfast I would spend the first half of my day taking in some of the city’s art and culture. The best way to do this is to take a stroll down Paseo de Garcia, full of buildings by Gaüdi. If you continue down you will reach the Plaça Catalunya. Ditch the tourist streets and walks down instead to the Gothic quarter and the “Old Barcelona”. Here you will find Gothic architecture mixed with remnants of the city from the 15th century. Whether it is the enigmatic street art, or the classics in the Museu Picasso, Barcelona is a city rich in art and history.
Afternoon: Spend the rest of your day by the seaside. The weather in Barcelona is beautiful and perfect for a day at the beach. Enjoy the day sitting by the water sipping cocktails and relaxing. There is nothing better than sitting by the sea on a hot day watching the waves crash or enjoying a nap under an umbrella to prep for the night ahead. Make sure to pack some suntan lotion and some sunglasses so you don’t burn.
Night: Dine on freshly caught seafood by the water before heading back to change for the night. For a cosy, ‘locals’ type of restaurant head to Restaurant Can Solè or La Paradeta. After dinner head to The Box for some delicious and inexpensive cocktails. Get a mojito – you’ll thank me later.
Now, it is time to dance! My all-time favourite dance club in Barcelona is Razzmatazz. It is so lively and everyone there is looking to let loose and have fun. Be prepared to be out late; the party in Barcelona usually really starts around 24:00 or 01:00 and typically goes until 06:00.
Day 3: Sunday
Morning: After the long night you just had, sleep is probably the first thing on your mind. Once you’ve had your fill, nurse your hangover with a nice Sunday brunch. Whether you’d like to have another round to tapas or you want to sit and enjoy the day in a café style place like Milk Bar & Bistro., brunch is a great way to rejuvenate yourself for the flight ahead. If want something more ‘grab and go’ try El Petit Princep. Either way, the day is yours until it is time to head to the airport.
Thanks very much Max!
Have you ever been to Barcelona? Which of these activities would you be most excited to do?