It’s not every day that you can say you fell asleep in France and woke up in Spain! So we stepped off the Elipsos Trenhotel overnight train curious, excited and eager to explore Barcelona. First stop, Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel to drop off our luggage, where we got briefly distracted by their trendy rooftop terrace, complete with pool, day beds and a gorgeous view of Barcelona city.
From here we headed to the city center to Museu Picasso, and were in luck to find it’s free on Sundays from 3pm to 8pm and all day on the first Sunday of the month. After a one hour wait in line, we entered to find some of Picasso’s earlier work documenting his lifelong interest in self-portraits, with an intriguing series referred to as the Blue Period and a few pieces where you see cubism coming to life.
Next we set out to find Barcelona’s beach and an area referred to La Barceloneta. Energetic and youthful, this part of town is where locals and tourists alike walk along the boardwalk to find a great assortment of restaurants and bars. With views of the harbour we took our pick and enjoyed tapas and sangria as the sun set behind the sailboats and palm trees. First impressions of Spain: happiness is!
Day 2 in Barcelona
We woke up feeling rested, with great views of the city from our 22nd floor hotel room and enjoyed the best breakfast of the trip so far; think waffles, freshly squeezed juices, bacon and maybe some more waffles.
With lots to see and do in Barcelona we were able to make the most of our day by touring around on City Sightseeing’s bus. With two routes, you can hop on at any stop and enjoy the city’s best sights from this open-top bus. Beginning at Placa d’Espanya we drove along the port and past beaches calling my name, until we reached one of Barcelona’s main attractions: La Sagrada Familia.
Still under construction after more than 100 years, this church is only expected to be completed around 2040 and is famous thanks to Gaudi’s unique architectural style. The outside is like no other church I’ve ever seen and left us wondering what to expect on the interior. The moment we stepped foot inside we were both blown away by the scale, the curved ceilings and the glorious amount of light let in by all the colourful stained glass windows.
It certainly left us wanting more Gaudi so we hopped back on the bus until we reached the hill leading to Gaudi’s Park Guell. This public park is where you’ll find a few more of his iconic works, including buildings I can only refer to as gingerbread-house inspired, a mosaic lizard and lookout. Step into Gaudi’s fairy-tale!
We continued our city tour to La Rambla street, home to Mercat de la Boqueria. A party for your senses everything here is displayed beautifully, bursting with colour and fresh scents, we walked around munching on mangos and empanadas. How to spend our last night in Barcelona? Back to La Barceloneta for another sunset by the harbor before calling it a night. Next stop Valencia!
Thanks to our partners for making this visit to Barcelona possible: Air Canada Vacations, Eurail, Elipsos Trenhotel, Renfe, Barcelona Tourism, Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel and City Sightseeing.