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24 Hours in Barcelona

How to do a city break well. In a time of great uncertainty I hope this provides you with a sense of excitement for the future. I’m sure we’ll be off on our travels again soon but, until then, take care and stay safe.

GIF of Barcelona

Whether you’re heading off on a city break or stopping off somewhere on your way elsewhere it’s important to make the most of wherever you are. Barcelona is the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and can be explored in a day or two. The city is best known for its art and architecture. Home to much of Antonio Gaudí’s unique architectural work and The Barcelona Pavilion which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich.

Barcelona skyline

When you’re only spending a short amount of time in a city, you really need to make the most of it and start exploring by 9am. You can enjoy a lie-in another time! This is most certainly the case for Barcelona, as many of the main sights are spread out across the city and can take some time walking around. Therefore, it would be advisable for you work out what you would like to see before you start the day. In particular, I would recommend The Barcelona Pavillion, roaming the streets of the beautiful Gothic Quarter and The Sagrada Familia. If you follow that order, or reverse, then there’s about a 35min walk between them. Although the Metro is a fairly cheap and easy way to get around too.

Food-wise, there is plenty to choose from! You can indulge in traditional tapas or try out something more contemporary. If, like myself, you are vegan, it is slightly harder to find a restaurant or cafe that caters to your needs. The concept of Veganism can also be difficult to get across so a phrase that might help is “sin carne, pescado o lácteos por favor”, which means “no meat, fish or dairy please.” The Green Spot is a very cool Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant and it is located not far from the beach. So after your meal you could head there for a relaxed evening stroll.

sagrada familia
close up of sagrada familia

Regardless of dietary requirements, it is very useful to learn a few phrases to help you get by more seamlessly- plus, the locals will appreciate the effort. You could even try downloading the app Duolinguo, if you have time to practice in advance.

Finally, just a few words of advice. Barcelona is known for its thieves, so have your wits about you! Don’t get your purse out on the street and walk away if you feel like you’re being scammed. The city can also be an expensive place, so finding an AirBnB or using the supermarket for lunch can help cut down the price.

Spending such a short amount of time in a city is sure to make time fly by. Especially a city as beautiful as Barcelona, a must-visit place for any Europe bucket list. Even though it may seem hectic trying to cram so much in at once, I promise, it will definitely be worth it.


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