My husband was in Barcelona for work. My son and I joined him for the weekend. Leah stayed home – alone! Just kidding, my wonderful in-laws watched her with great success. Yes, she hardly missed us!
We left Thursday night and arrived Friday morning at 8am (Barcelona time). My husband met us at the airport and we took a taxi to the hotel – Le Meridien. Our room wasn’t ready so we got right to seeing Barcelona. Here is a review of how we spent our first day.
Side note: Apologies if this is long, it’s tough to consolidate such a great city into one post, which is why I’m splitting out each day. I might also do a “top five” things to see/do while you’re there.
Stroll down La Rambla (a little early for Barcelona time but still tons of people out).
Bought tickets for the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. There are two of them. We choose the red bus and were happy. I’m sure the blue one was good too though. Be sure to buy a two-day ticket it (if you’re going to be there two days) – it’s totally worth it.
Rode the bus by the waterfront, up to Jardins De Miramar (great views of the city), past the Fundacio, by the Olympic village and down to Poble Espanyol where we got off. Let me say I LOVE the bus. It was great weather, sunny and breezy. You can listen to the earphones and hear all kinds of information about where you are. I didn’t want to get off. But, both the boys did, so I did it.
My husband had heard about Poble Espanyol as a great place for crafts and local food. So we wanted to visit, except they charge you 10 euros just to get into the place. It just didn’t seem worth it to me, so we started walking.
We visited the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, which only goes on a limited time during the evening. So we planned on coming back.
We walked to Arenas de Barcelona. It’s an old bull fighting ring converted into a modern-day mall. The cool part is the viewing area on the roof. It’s 360 degrees so you get to see all kinds of great views.
We stopped for gelato. This was my son’s first trip to Europe and his first gelato. He was surprised at how much he liked it. I mean, it does look like pudding, not ice cream.
Then we tried to find the Hop-on Hop-off bus so we could Hop-on. We found it but couldn’t find the stop. You see, you can only get on/off at the designated areas.
This is when tempers started to flare. It was getting hot, we were walking, we were all tired (my son and me from the overnight flight and my husband from staying out a little late), and we couldn’t find the bust stop.
Finally, we found it and the bus came. We took the bus to the Camp Nou, the football stadium. My son loves sports so we took the tour. It was really cool with a LOT of steps. The best part was walking through the tunnel to the field. They have crowd noise playing so it seems almost real. Very cool!
We were done with the bus and took a taxi back to the hotel. And, had a siesta!
Back down to the lobby at 3pm to meet my niece who happened to be studying abroad – talk about coincidence.
She took us to la Boqueria Market. It was so cool – tons of fresh seafood, fruits and meats. A treat for the eyes.
Then we stopped for a quick bite of tapas.
We kept going to La Pedrera, our second Gaudi house. We toured this one. It was fantastic. The top floor was filled with displays explaining all of Gaudi’s buildings. His design seems a little crazy, even by today’s standards. I can’t imagine what regular people thought back in the late 1800’s.
We stopped back at the Market and grabbed a quick snack.
Back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
We took a taxi to dinner, at Tragaluz, which was close to La Pedrera. It was a-mazing. I’ll review it in a different post but I highly recommend it.
We walked back to our hotel and fell asleep quickly!