Julie Spain 26 Comments

Hola!! Greetings from Barcelona! It’s been a very busy week for Tim and I. The two of us have been visiting sights around the city, taking day trips into other parts of Spain, and sampling as many tapas as possible. This leads us to the end of our trip, Ironman Barcelona, less than 24 hours away. Here is how we spent our time in Barcelona.

Tapas, Cava, Vermouth, and Rooftop Bars

Barcelona operates on a different schedule than many other cities we have visited. Breakfast is served until 12:30 pm, lunch does not start until 1 pm, and many restaurants do not open for dinner until 7 pm or later. And of course, you have to throw in that midday siesta!! Let me tell you, once you start drinking wine and cava at lunch, that siesta is almost a necessity.

Tim and I love tapas. These small plates allow you to sample more types of food than ordering one big dish. And these small plates fill you up fast!! Our favorites are the patatas bravas, anchovies, shrimp, and fresh fish.

Patatas Bravas

Tapas Barcelona Spain

Bodega Biarritz

Vermouth is popular here, as is cava, Spain’s sparkling white wine. Tim and I love the rooftop bars with views over Barcelona.

Cava Barcelona

Julie Rivenbark in Barcelona

Barcelona Rooftop Bar

Can’t Miss Gaudi While in Barcelona!

Gaudi and his quirky, beautiful, whimsical, and very creative architectural designs are a must-see while in Barcelona.

La Pedrera

Pedrera Barcelona

Ceiling of the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia Ceiling

Park Guell

Park Guell

Our favorite, Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo Barcelona

Casa Batllo

The View from Tibidabo

One of the highlights for us were the views from Tibidabo, a small amusement park perched on a hillside overlooking Barcelona. This is Sagrat Cor, the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tibidabo Barcelona


Wandering the Gothic Quarter

A visit to Barcelona would not be complete without a stroll through the Gothic Quarter. Or, you could spend all day here, like we did. More tapas, some shopping, and exploring some of Barcelona’s most interesting streets.

Gothic Quarter Barcelona

Barcelona Plaza

Barcelona Gothic Quarter Street

Barcelona City Street

Barcelona old and new

Passeig de Gracia

There are modern areas in Barcelona, as well. At least once a day, Tim and I would walk Passeig de Gracia, on our way to a Gaudi house or tapas restaurant. This street reminds us of the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Passeig de Gracia

Day Trip to Montserrat

A visit to Montserrat is the most popular day trip from Barcelona. Located about an hour and 20 minutes north of the city by train, this small range of mountains is home to a monastery. Yes, seeing the monastery was nice, but we loved the views over the countryside.

Montserrat Spain

Girona, Spain

We loved Girona. This is another day trip, but with a high speed train to get you there, it’s a comfortable journey. This is great for anyone who loves exploring small European towns. While we were there, we learned that it is a filming site for season 6 of Game of Thrones!! What do you think we will be posting about in the future?

By the way…for those of you who read our post on visiting the Game of Thrones sites in Northern Ireland, Girona is much, much better!

Girona Spain

Arya steps Game of Thrones Girona

Next Adventure: Ironman Barcelona

On October 2, Tim raced Ironman Barcelona. For those of you not familiar with the distances of this triathlon, Tim swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and then ran a marathon. Sound crazy? The distances seem even longer in kilometers (it’s 180 km on the bike…yikes!).

Read all about his race in this post: Racing Ironman Barcelona

More Information for Your Trip to Spain:

Planning a trip to Spain? Read all of our articles in our Spain Destination Guide.

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Comments 26

    1. Post

      No, I don’t. To go that far you might want to see if there is a bus that travels between Barcelona and Andorra. Cheers, Julie

  1. I love your blog but, sincerely, recommending only Barcelona when traveling to Spain is like recommending Mc Donald’s when traveling Tuscany or France.
    Anyway good job!

    1. Post

      Thanks Cali. So far, we have only been to Barcelona (with day trips), so that’s all I have written about. There’s a lot on our list to come back and see. Cheers, Julie

  2. First time visit to Spain. If you only had one and 1/2 days in Barcelona (1/2 day Saturday and full day and evening on Sunday) what do you recommned seeing our 1/2 day on Saturday and then Sunday. This would be the end of November. We like to see some art, but don’t want to spend hours in a museum with such short time. We are traveling with my 18 year old son. We are staying very near the square. Thank you for your advice.

    1. Post

      Hello Laurie. Take a look at our Barcelona itinerary. I recommend doing Day #1 on your full day. On your half day, you could visit the Sagrada Familia (book your tickets in advance!). Maybe you could squeeze in Park Guell afterwards, or take the trip up to Mt. Tibidabo for great views over the city. If you want to visit an art museum, you could substitute the MNAC Museum for one of Gaudi’s houses. Cheers, Julie

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