We decided to spend part of our free weekend in Barcelona. Last time we were here, we loved it but only had about 5 hours to explore. And since the Sagrada Famalia is so amazing, we wanted Ashley to experience that. We cashed in almost the rest of our Marriott Points and stayed at the Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel. It was the most futuristic hotel we’ve ever stayed in. Apparently Gold status in Europe means more than at home because both Marriott’s here have given us free breakfast buffets. We felt like royalty from the time we stepped in, they even gave Kenley a welcome Pineapple Juice! The staff was so sweet to her. At breakfast the second day, they remembered how much she loved smoothies and told her she had to ask us for them at home! Not sure I’l be able to recreate the Papaya smoothie at home. 🙂
We spent one day exploring Barcelona. We started the day taking the metro into the center of town. The metro was right outside our hotel which was very convenient. We started with a stroll through El mercat de La Boqueria, we couldn’t believe the prices here were so much cheaper than the market in Valencia. Everything else in Barcelona is more expensive. We got some raspberries for K and Ashley got a smoothie. Then we headed to Plaça Reial where we started a walking tour with Runner Bean Tours. We took the Gaudí walking tour. This blog does a great job highlighting the top ten must sees!
Here in the plaza was one of Antonio Gaudí’s first works, lampposts. They said he only was paid about 7 EUR at the time for these. They took us by many of Gaudí s other famous works in the city starting with the Palau Güell, then the Casa Batlló, the La Pedrera, and we ended at La Sagrada Familia.
Ashley and I went inside La Sagrada Familia while Dustin and K headed to lunch. Supposedly the church will finally be finished by 2026, but just like our tour guide, I have my doubts! Afterwards we joined Dustin and K for lunch. It wasn’t a very exciting lunch just a buffet nearby that we knew would be quick.
Our next stop was Parc Güell, you have to get tickets for the monument zone and can only come in within 30 min of that time. So if planning a trip, make sure to book in advance, if you don’t you may not get in or have to wait several hours. There is a limit on the # of people per day since it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Parc Güell was a highlight of the day (well this and La Sagrada Familia!). It was quite the climb walking from La Sagrada Familia, it rained for a bit on us, but when we got to the monument zone it had cleared up! We stayed for a couple hours admiring the works and taking some fun pictures. K was loving dancing around between columns, even other tourist were taking her picture.
Since K didn’t have a nap the day before or that day, we knew we had to head back shortly, so we took the metro back towards the center of town along the La Rambla. And found the restaurant we ate at with Josh and Sarah on our trip in 2012 called Elisabets. It was about the same, a cozy authentic restaurant tucked away from the busy tourist street.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel. We had 4 rides left on our transport pass, and it would take 6 to get us back to our hotel, we found a bus that we could take that would only be 3, so we headed that way since it was a direct bus and only a few min walk. On the way we stumbled upon Chok Barcelona, let’s just say this crew couldn’t pass the window up. I got a truffle and Dustin and Ashley split a Oreo Pastry.
We got back to the hotel, got K a quick shower and got her tucked into bed. Ashley and I headed upstairs, I enjoyed the “whirlpool,” the jets felt so good on my sore feet. We had walked over 18,000 steps that day! The reason I say “whirlpool” in quotes is the whirlpools here aren’t actually warm, everyone hotel we’ve stayed at that has had a jacuzzi type pool it’s been luke warm at best.
The next day we had breakfast again, packed up, visited the Ikea across the street! Had to check it out in Spain! We got K a few things that she doesn’t have at home for her play kitchen! When we talk about going home, she gets very excited when we talk about her room and her kitchen. Luckily plush food is easy to stuff somewhere in our bags. Before we headed out we drove by the Olympic Park area, and up Montjuïc Hill. It was a really cool view of the city and fun to image what it might have looked like in 1992 when the Olympics were held here. We were in the car, so we really dont’ have many good pictures. Mental images!
We love Barcelona, just wish the tolls to get here weren’t so crazy expensive! It was around 40 EUR each way for tolls. Afterwards we headed to Salou to relax in the sun for the rest of the weekend!