Spain, Travel

Travel Diary: Day 1 in Barcelona

I am in love with Barcelona.

T and I took a long (and very necessary) vacation in September. We set off for our first trip to Barcelona – a 9 day trip to an exciting, stunning city that resulted in beautiful memories that will last us a lifetime.

We were looking forward to our trip to Barcelona since the beginning of summer!

“You are staying in Barcelona for 9 days? Why aren’t you going anywhere else?”

“Aren’t 9 days too long in Barcelona?”

“Won’t you be bored spending all that time in one place?”

These are some of the disapproving comments I received after I told people I’m going to Barcelona in September for 9 days.

Yes, I am staying in only Barcelona for 9 entire days, no, it’s not too much, and no, I won’t be bored at all. In fact, I wish I had more time to spend there and I even wish to return to Barcelona for another (even longer) stay!

Barcelona Port Vell Park

Day 1 in Barcelona

We set foot in Barcelona on a kind of rough start. Our airline lost T’s luggage, so we spent more time than necessary in the airport looking for the missing suitcase and filing a claim at the desk. Good news, though! It was delivered to our hotel 2 days later, broken and dented. Awesome.

From Barcelona Airport to Plaça de Catalunya

From the airport, we took the big blue Aerobus to Plaça de Catalunya (Barcelona’s city centre), which is roughly a 5-minute walk from the hotel we were staying at. The Aerobus was very convenient since it took us straight from Barcelona Airport to the centre in about 35 minutes for only €5.90 per person (you can get a return ticket for €10.20). You can buy your tickets online, or just pay the bus driver on the spot like we did (same price). Oh, and there’s free Wi-Fi, which was an added bonus since the airport’s free Wi-Fi wasn’t working at the time and we had to let the family know we landed safely.

We also needed Google Maps.

We walked from the bus stop to our hotel, freshened up, and then set out in search of sustenance.

Food already? You don’t think that we came all this way just to see the architecture and landmarks of the city, do you? Although to be quite honest, Barcelona’s buildings, streets and sites were pretty magnificent. To be even more honest, we were hungry.

Here, the chocolate cravings kick in. Note: Throughout the whole trip, I was kind of on a chocolate frenzy. You will be seeing a lot of chocolate, and landmarks, but mostly chocolate. T suffered a little bit. A lot.

Stop #1 – Pasteleria Escriba

Day 1 in Barcelona and I’ve already dragged T to our first hot chocolate place – Escriba, an iconic patisserie situated right on La Rambla Street next to La Boqueria Market. You can’t miss that gorgeous emerald green artsy storefront!

Barcelona Escriba Store Chocolate

The hot chocolate in Barcelona is thick – it’s like your drinking melted chocolate. If you’re a chocolate fan, do not leave this city unless you’ve tried their hot chocolate. Keep in mind though that not all hot chocolate is created equal in Barcelona; we’ve had some pretty bad ones!

Hot chocolate and ensaimada at Pasteleria Escriba
Delicious, thick hot chocolate and ensaimada at Pasteleria Escriba

After our sweet snack, we set out to find SIM cards. But…

Stop #2 – La Boqueria Market

…on the way to buy our SIM cards, I saw the bustling La Boqueria Market, so I couldn’t help myself. We just popped in a quick 10 minutes and walked out with two cups of fresh fruits from one of the stands.

Barcelona Boqueria Market Juices

Stop #3 – SIM Cards = Internet = Life Saver

Free Wi-Fi everywhere in Barcelona? Not when you’re on the streets – and that’s when you need to use your phone, not when you’re having a coffee or meal!

For just €15, you get a pre-paid SIM card from Vodafone with 3GB of mobile data (usually 1.5GB, but there was an offer at the time) and 50 minutes local calls. It took a while to get them though; we waited about an hour until it was our turn, since they take your details, passport, etc.

You can get by with less data though. When we were about to take off to Beirut, we decided to check our mobile internet consumption. After using our phones for 9 days (NINE!), we still had 2,700 MB left to spend. Let’s just consider that for a second (and then let’s compare that to Beirut’s current internet consumption rate, shall we?).

Moving on…

Stop #4 – Brunch & Cake by the Sea

At around 6 pm, we strolled back down La Rambla and went towards the port area by Barceloneta Beach. We stopped by Brunch & Cake by the Sea for a late lunch.

We actually visited Brunch & Cake twice during our stay. I’ll be posting a separate review on Brunch & Cake soon, so stay tuned 😉 Voilà: Le Review.

Brunch and Cake sandwich guacamole shot
Massive sandwich with guac shot (!!!)

Stop #5 – Port Vell and Marina

Although we were exhausted, after our late lunch (i.e. dinner), we went for a walk by the boats and take in the captivating serene landscapes and calm waters.

Day 1 in Barcelona - Port Vell

Barcelona Port Vell Boats Wallpaper

Day 1 in Barcelona and we were already falling for this charming, beautiful city.


STAY TUNED FOR MORE BARCELONA ADVENTURES!

I’m curious though…Do you have any topics you would like me to write about? Leave me a message in the comments or privately here.


Day 1 in Barcelona – Adventure Map

 


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4 thoughts on “Travel Diary: Day 1 in Barcelona

  1. Who cares how long you stayed? yiiii, why do people feel the need to comment on THAT? I usually feel rushed on vacation because there’s 3 days to see the whole city before moving on to the next one, nine days seems like a good amount of time to actually enjoy the city and discover. Now I really want to go to Barcelona (or just travel anywhere :P) Looking forward to more Travel Diary posts!

    1. Exactly! That’s what we thought when we planned it. We really wanted to enjoy the city and not just rush to all the landmarks! It’s called a vacation after all..
      Glad to hear you enjoyed reading my post 🙂

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