**Reading time: five minutes**

I’m about 3 months late in posting this because I’ve been so distracted with other things (blog post coming soon) but better late, than never right?

Back in March I went to Barcelona to celebrate my 20th birthday. I have never been before but my best friend has been about 4 times and says it’s great. I hate going on holiday to the same place more than once (other than New York… and Venice… and Paris… oh and Vegas!) so thought Barcelona was a good shout.

Our hotel was based in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, a 15 min walk from La Rambla, surrounded by narrow streets filled with bars, restaurants and independent shops. The beige buildings and family-run coffee shops on every corner reminded me of a mix between Paris and Rome.

When I go away I like to walk everywhere but with Barcelona’s attractions being so spread out, it isn’t a city you can do that in. A lot of people suggest hiring a bike and cycling around the city. But if you’re like me, who can’t ride a bike (true story), I’d recommend pinpointing the sights you want to see and then taking the bus or metro.

The harbour is an easy 10/15 minute walk from La Rambla. It has a huge shopping centre filled with restaurants overlooking the water, so is a great place to stop for lunch in the sun.

Luckily the weather was beaut at the time we went, warm enough to be in a dress but, not too hot that walking around the city made it unbearable. Meaning we were able to experience a city break and a beach break all in one holiday.

We spent our first day in the city visiting the Sagrada Família, shopping down La Rambla as well as stopping for a Starbucks (or two!).

My favourite thing about Barcelona was the food. From little bakeries to tapas bars, the choice was endless. One evening we went to this amazing restaurant for paella but unfortunately, I was too drunk to remember the name of the place…sorry mum.

On the second or third day of exploring La Rambla, we took a wrong turn and ended up in a tiny square with a few shops and an art gallery. I saw that above the gallery was an open top bar and I had to find my way to it.

It was the weirdest thing ever and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d struggle to find the entrance to it. Once again, didn’t write down the name of the bar (I wasn’t drunk this time…just stupid).

We were there for 4 days and saw a lot of the city but you can easily cover the sights in 2/3 days. It’s a great place to shop, eat and drink and I’d definitely recommend visiting in the warmer months to enjoy the rooftop bars and outdoor restaurants.

A few things to consider if you go to Barcelona…

  1. Barcelona is known for pickpocketing – keep all personal items with you at all times.
  2. Some tapas bars and restaurants may not be open until late evening – aim to eat dinner and lunch later than usual.
  3. Everyone is so laid back – don’t expect speedy service in restaurants or bars.

Next stop: Rome ✈️

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