Yesterday Matt and I jetted off early in the morning to Barcelona. The difference with this mini break was that Matt had no idea where we were going. I decided to book everything and surprise him with it to celebrate his 30th birthday. It wasn’t until we walked through security and he saw the departures board that he managed to guess.
We took the 6:20 flight out of Manchester and landed at 9:10 local time. As we took hand luggage we were at the airport train station very soon after landing. To travel from the airport into the city there are a number of options; taxi, airport bus, local bus, metro or train. I’d advise the train, it’s only a 20 minute journey and it takes you directly to the city centre. Plus you can buy a T10 card for around €10 which enable you to have 10 journeys on the city metro and you can use it for the train. So instead of paying €25 euros for a taxi you pay €0.99!
Once we arrived into the city centre we headed to our hotel to drop our bags off so we could explore.
Matt and I tend to ignore maps when we first discover a new city as we like to get a little lost wandering around pretty little quiet streets. However it wasn’t long until we stumbled upon the Cathedral. Standing proud in the middle of a square there were hoards of school children buzzing around. Many were sat on the ground in the sun drawing the cathedral and its surroundings. I was very jealous that their art trips included a visit to Barcelona, I think the furthest I ever travelled with my art class at school was the wood in the school grounds!
We continued to explore and soon found ourselves at the port.
The dock was filled with boats, many of which I imagine were docked for the winter. There were a couple of super yachts and one we even recognised from our summer spent in the South of France 2 years a go. This port is very restrictive and you can only gain access if you’re a boat owner yourself so we weren’t able to have a nosey as we could in St Tropez.
We walked past the port and headed for the beach. Even though the temperature was peaking at 20C there were only a handful of sunbathers. The beach front is dotted with a number of cafes and bars with outdoor seating so we thought it was only rude to to not sit down and enjoy our first cerveza of the trip. After enjoying a couple of beers we ambled back towards La Rambla while exploring the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter. It is very obvious once you reach La Rambla for there are suddenley more people milling around, souvenier kiosks and restaurant staff trying to get you in their restaurant. To be honest I was underwhelmed with La Rambla, I suppose the comercialisation of it doesn’t help and it was a lot quieter than I imagined – but we are visting the city in low season. That being said we did walk a good stretch of it then dived down a side street and into a little tapas bar for some lunch. There are what seems a thousand little tapas bars dotted around the city centre many offer some great deals especially at lunch time. we enjoyed three tapas, a portion of paella and a dessert for €10 each.After some food Matt and I were ready to rest our feet so headed back to the hotel to check in.The Yurbban Trafalgar Hotel is a stylish hotel which features a rooftop pool and bar with 360 degree views of the city.
One of the biggest bonuses for me is that they celebrate Wine O’Clock everyday by offering free wine for an hour – some would say an even bigger dream for me!
Have you ever visited Barcelona? Do you have any recommendations for me?