#TBT | Barcelona

Another Thursday, another throwback.

This time to my trip to Barcelona with my sister at the very start of our Interrail trip in June 2014. 

Things to see:

Sagrada Familia
- I really enjoy this church. It is very striking to look at, and even though incomplete, has so much going on it doesn't need to be. Its crazy to think that construction started in 1882 and still going on today. I like the idea that its aiming to be completed by 2026 to mark the centenary anniversary of Goudis death. If you want to take a look inside it will cost between 15-20€ depending on if you want a guide or not. I am kicking myself I didn't go in, but at the time we went, the queues were ridiculous so I would advise booking online instead of on the day! The basilica is open 9am-8pm (April to Sept) but if you just want to walk past and take your pictures outside you can go anytime of day! Be warned this is a very popular tourist attraction so prepare for crowds and lots of people in your pictures. 
If you're travelling by Metro then both line 2 and 5 stop at the Sagrada Familia. There are a ton of small cafes and restaurants filling the streets surrounding the church so you can enjoy your lunch with a view! 

La Rambla
- La Rambla is a tourist-filled street in central Barcelona connecting the Columbus Monument at Port Vell to Placa de Catalunya. It is lined with cafes and shops and can be very crowded during peak season. My favourite part of this area was visiting the Mercado de la Boqueria, a massive indoor market filled with fresh fruit, fish, textiles, crafts and every kind of sweet & chocolate your heart could desire. We spent a lot of time here deciding which fresh fruit tubs we wanted. Nothing like eating fresh ice cold watermelon in the middle of the day when its 30 degrees outside! At one end of La Rambla you will find Placa de Catalunya which is a beautiful little outdoor space with fountains and a small park area, whilst at the other you will find yourself standing infront of the 60m tall Christopher Columbus Monument. For €6 you can go up to the top to get views of the marina and surrounding areas. 

Park Guell
- Park Guell is so beautiful and free to enter (restrictions apply). You can see so much of the park at no cost and offers stunning views over the city. If you want to pay €8 then you can enter the 'Monumental Zone' and visit the gorgeous brightly coloured tiled seats and picture perfect shots of Barcelona. I really enjoyed our visit and would love to go back and spend longer enjoying all the routes within the park. 
Park Guell is a while out from the main hustle & bustle of the city so if travelling by Metro take the green line (L3) to Lesseps where it is a 15 minute walk away. 

Casa Mila & Casa Batllo
- By now you may realise I love 'fun architecture' .. basically I'm a sucker for a cool looking building and boy do these 2 meet that criteria. Both within 5 minutes walking distance on Passeig de Gracia, Casa Mila & Casa Batllo are both beautifully designed by Antoni Gaudi. Casa Batllo is my fave, just look how pretty it is with all the beautiful stained-glass windows. We enjoyed the building from the outside but for a fee of €21.5 you can go inside and view all the levels of the building and its glorious Gaudi architecture. Casa Mila is similarly striking from outside within its wave-like structure and is €20.5 to enter and see all sorts of exhibitions. Again we just looked on from outside but if I go back to Barcelona (which I'd liked to) I would definitely but aside time to explore inside these buildings. 

Mt Tibidabo 
- Mt Tibidabo is home to an amusement park & the Samrat Cor church which provide unbeatable views of the entire coastline of Barcelona. Now the journey up to the top of Mt Tibidabo is only half the fun; the Tramvia Blau & a funicular. The easiest way to get to the tram's starting point is via the L7 train that leaves from Plaza de Catalunya station which takes roughly 10 minutes and drops you off at Plaza de John Kennedy which is next to the bus stop; 2 Agenda Tibidabo. There may be a queue for the tram but they seemed to be quite regular - payment of €5.5 is made on the tram and it takes you half way up the mountain. From here you can choose to continue up to the top of the mountain by hopping on the Funicular de Tibidabo which takes you to the summit where you fill the amusement park and church. To enter the church is free but if you want to take the lift to the top floor you must be a couple Euros to the man who presses the buttons. Its worth the money because the views are ridiculous! 

 Camp Nou
- Im not actually arsed about this attraction but I felt I should mention it for those few who like football. Camp Nou is home to Barcelona FC. For €23 you can enter the stadium and take a tour. We didn't, obviously because we don't like football but we went inside the gates and got a Ben & Jerry's ice cream so it wasn't a total waste of time. So yeah, that's all I can say about that ha! If you like football - go. If not, don't. 

 Arc de Triomf
- eh? Yes you read it write, we're not suddenly in Paris with bad spelling, there is a mini Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. Well I say mini, its still big but not as big as the one in Paris. Its a nice area to visit and very close the Parc de la Cutadella which are lovely to walk through and if you walk all the way through the park you end up at Barcelona Zoo (which unfortunately we didn't visit, we loves zoo's but just didn't have time for this one :( ) and then you're a stone throw away from the main promenade and beach. If its glorious weather its nice to just relax on the grass in the park and soak up the sun watching the locals and tourists pass you by. 

Things to eat:
(again, very stereotypical soz)
- Paella
- Sangria
-Fresh fruit / smoothies from the market

Where to stay:
So it was up to me to sort out the accommodation for our Interrail trip and my sister is quite high maintenance (no offence but you are) and she specifically said no shared-dorms. Well that would work out quite pricey for private rooms for a month so I felt I would just throw her in the deep end on the first weekend and book us into "Equity Point Gothic" hostel in an 18-bed dorm! Hilarious
It was actually a really good place for backpackers and people who just wanted a cheap bed for the night ... oh and didn't mind sharing with 17 others! The sleeping situation was hilarious but we made it through and in general the hostel was good with free breakfast so a chance to stock up on free fruit and snacks for the day. Also in a really nice area in the Gothic Quarter. 

I'd love to hear what you love to see & do in Barcelona!

Check back to read my next #TBT ... Rome & The Vatican City 

♡ G
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