Barcelona Birthday Break

So, the other week I turned the big 22. Brb having a Taylor Swift moment. Leaving 21 behind, I feel like I now have to fully 'adult' and start getting it together. DON'T MAKE ME. After thinking Jack had planned a London trip for almost a month (pretty much convinced Lush Oxford Street was on the cards) on the day he surprised me with the fact we weren't actually going to London - we were going to be spending 3 nights in Barcelona! Eeeep!!! 

As I'm sure you can imagine, I was bursting with all sorts of excitement and shock to know the very next day, we'd be jetting off to one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Hats off to Jack for keeping it under his belt for so long.. I didn't think he'd be able to keep it a secret! ;)

If you knew me last year, you'll know I was absolutely terrified of flying. I'm still not a fan, but now I won't get too worked up about it. Thank god, otherwise how else would I be able to see the world?! If me being a little bit anxious for a few hours on a plane was going to stop me from seeing all these amazing places, then I was just going to have to suck it up and deal with it.

I took my trusty Kalms at 5am Tuesday morning in preparation for the flight but surprisingly, I didn't really feel like I needed them at all. Whether that's because I knew it was less than a 2 hour flight, the fact I was still in a food coma from my Wetherspoons breakfast, or just because I've grown some balls (not literally) and can handle flying a little better now. I even managed to film the take off and landing on my phone! *pumps fist*

Now, before I start with my ramble, I'm just letting you know this is a VERY photo heavy post! I got extremely camera happy with my new DSLR (it would have been very hard not to) I want to make clear that in no way am I bragging, I just want to share an amazing trip with you. Especially if you have ever wondered what Barcelona is like, or what to do if you're going there! Ps. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen some of these photos, but anything IG worthy was definitely going to make it onto the blog!

Day One..  Kinda | Tired travels, Excessive food consumption & Shit Korean TV. 

When we stepped off the plane in Barcelona, I was expecting that heat wave you get when you go abroad. You know the one I'm talking about? For once, Apple Weather was actually annoyingly accurate with it's 10 degree predictions! *kicks self for packing for warmer weather* Still slightly hotter than the UK was though and warm enough to walk around without a coat - if you were feeling brave! 
We jumped in a taxi to our hotel and embraced the spanish sights whilst coming into the city. I don't mean to stereotype but dear god, the spanish do drive like nutters! Nutters or not, we got to our hotel safely which was the main thing!

The hotel staff were more than welcoming and all so friendly. The man on reception said we were a little bit too early to check into our original room and quickly noticed that it was my Birthday the day before, so we got upgraded for free! How nice is that?! 

We quickly dropped our bags off, got changed and explored the rooftop pool & bar before venturing out onto Passeig de Gracia - the main central shopping area in the city (aka shoppers heaven!) 

Before we left, I googled where Sephora was and made it my mission to take us there. If there is one near you, it's basically mandatory. Way to go Tania, you go to a historic beautiful city and all you care about is a make up store.

We were super close to Casa Batllo, which is a building designed by Gaudi (forgive me if I'm wrong, I don't know all the details) so that was a nice photo opportunity! We didn't go in as we decided we wanted to carry on exploring our surroundings and more importantly, stop for some food! I don't know about you but doesn't travelling make you SO hungry?!

After some researching, we found out that there was a Hard Rock Cafe within walking distance from our hotel, so we wanted to check that out ASAP. I'd never eaten at a Hard Rock before and Barcelona seemed like a good place to start! Embracing the culture and all. Tehe. It only seemed right to eat & indulge in some cocktails and beer on our first night!

This definitely won't be the last time we eat there. I forgot how strong Spanish drinks were - the strawberry mojito's were enough to blow my head off! I seriously couldn't recommend the food enough, it's so delicious! I got the bacon, cheese, caramelised onion and BBQ sauce burger with parmesan and garlic fries. As you can imagine, my breath smelt absolutely divine afterwards. Jack got the Mexican burger with cajun spiced fries, which also tasted so so good! After dinner, I continued to stuff my face with this huge Oreo cheesecake - which may or may not have been influenced by the cocktails..

After a incredibly satisfying meal, we headed to El Corte Ingles (basically a spanish version of John Lewis with a supermarket on the ground floor) to get some food and supplies for the hotel. I picked up Doritos with dip, Cheetos and we grabbed some beers for the night ahead! 

I spent a good 30 minutes trying to find those amazing chewy sweets that your teachers used to bring you back from their summer holidays? Remember those? Instead, I picked up what I thought were chews, which actually turned out to be sour, hard boiled sweets. #Heartbroken. 

After another huge binge at the hotel (I eat a lot of crap incase you didn't guess) we tried to find an English channel that wasn't the news. Instead we settled with some shit Korean TV and went off to sleep, ready for full day of exploring tomorrow!

Day Two | Exploring.. Everywhere.. On foot.

We started the day bright and early(ish) to begin our adventures at the Sagrada Familia. I can sit here all day and go on about how incredible the building is, but unless you are actually there to witness it, it's hard to put into words how intricate and beautiful it is.

After a quick picture pitstop, we sat down for an obligatory brunch at a small cafe just across from the Sagrada. Jack never fails to impress me with the Spanish he bashes out, but the locals pretty much sniff you out as a British tourist straight away and start speaking English to you. Was it really that obvious?! I think the constant confused look on my face whenever someone spoke to me might have given it away slightly..

Eating action shot ;) (I actually really like this photo)
We 'ummed and arred' about going into the Sagrada itself, after being advised from fellow visitors to book in advance to avoid 2 hour long queues. Instead, we just took our chances and paid full price on the door. It was only another 3 euros extra so it's not like it was life changing. Plus we only queued for a maximum of 10 minutes. Win!

After seeing how beautiful the front of the building was, I was dying to get inside and see more of the building itself. It would have been rude not to! 

You enter from the opposite side of the building and wow! Just wow. I could spend hours just staring at every little detail. We didn't waste too much time mulling around, so we went in to see what all the fuss was about. Judging by the first impressions, I was ready to be wowed just that lil' bit more! The chapel itself.. OH EM EFFING GEE. I don't even need to tell you how incredible it was. Like I said before, it's hard to explain what it's actually like unless you see it for yourself. 

After a decent amount of time gawping at the Sagrada, we headed on down to our next activity, the Arc De Triomf. On the way, we stopped at some really cool comic book and board game shops for Jack, as he's really into all of that. I was trying my best to take interest, although I think I spent most of the time trying to translate the words on boxes - instead of paying attention to what was in the shop! He didn't leave empty handed anyway- so I definitely didn't feel bad about going to Sephora now..) 

Arc De Triomf sure is a sight, except all you can really do is pap & admire it in all of it's rusty coloured beauty. Once you've passed the arch, there is a a huge walkway lined with palm trees and historical looking buildings. You know when you see Palm Trees, you can stop feeling like you haven't left the UK! The walkway lead us down to Parc de la Ciutadella, which thankfully was our next port of call.

Ridiculously photogenic goose.

Parc de la Ciutadella is a wonderful, quaint little park with lots of trails, pretty pathways and some amazing looking buildings! It is also home to a zoo, a small lake, the Parliament of Catalonia, a huge fountain and even some museums. I wouldn't really call it much of a park, compared to the one's you would expect in the UK, it's a mixture between a gardens too. It is the perfect place to take outfit photos!

Creepy black and white filters ftw.

Next stop was the Gothic Quarter and Barcelona Cathedral. As you can tell, we were trying to cram a lot in! We stopped off at a little cafe next to the Cathedral for a milkshake and a coffee. It was damn expensive for 2 drinks and the waitresses were so rude for no reason! We passed an amazing patisserie/ bakery place afterwards, which sadly we had missed before hand. Oh well, the cakes in the window display were too pretty to miss out a quick modelling session. ;) Just look at that icing!

The Gothic Quarter was also a short walk from Parc de la Ciutdella and was right next to the Cathedral. This is one of the places I was dying to get some good photos because it's such a big area and so historical. #gofflyf. I couldn't help but think the whole time how much the streets reminded me of Diagon Alley when we were walking around! 

In amongst all the historical looking buildings, there are some great looking restaurants and all different sorts of quirky shops too. You could walk around for hours embracing all the medieval looking buildings and squares.

Tip: Don't go roaming the back streets as this is the second most popular pickpocketing hotspot.

Barcelona Cathedral is definitely a sight to see. We didn't go in because in all honesty, we were feeling quite knackered and it didn't really appeal to us. As long as we saw it, that was all that mattered really! Outside there were loads of fellow tourists, guys selling selfie sticks(?!) and gypsy beggars sitting on the steps to the Cathedral. A right old selection! I don't really have a lot to say about it, because we didn't spend a whole lot of time there! Either way, it's still an amazing building to see!

 La Rambla is the most unnerving place of all! Despite being very beautiful with loads of different kinds of market stands, neither Jack or I didn't want stop or get the camera out more than once. The reason being is that it is known as the number one pickpocket hotspot of the city. You have to see it to believe it. The road is covered in Police and we even saw a guy get arrested! We pretty much breezed this with a brisk power walk - which was a shame, I think we both would have liked to have felt more comfortable walking around the market stands and embrace the culture a bit more. Oh well! 

When we reached the end, we had basically walked a full circle around the central part of the city and suddenly ended up back by the Hard Rock, which was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel. Woo!

Obviously eating at the Hard Rock Cafe for the second night in a row was very tempting, but that night Tapas was on the cards.. and lots of it! Considering the amount of times I've actually been to Spain, I was a Tapas virgin.. (I know!) 

I wish I took a photo because I've never seen/eaten so much food in my life. Lol jk, the last time was Christmas. Our waiter was so nice and really went out of his way for us, so when the bill came we were definitely going to be generous with our tip. The bill had IVA added on at the bottom so we thought, 'oh ok, that's service charge and we'll leave a tip extra aswell' When it came to him taking the bill, Jack told him to keep the change and he shook the tray and walked of looking really miffed and disappointed.  

We were really confused by his reaction, so I was quick to Google what IVA was and it turns out it was actually tax! Oops? So yeah, we basically gave him a 2.50 euro tip for a 50 euro bill. :| It was too late to do anything by this point, considering we'd already paid our bill and clearly pissed him off - so we downed our beers and never went back.. Haha. I still feel bad thinking about it now!

He probably spent the rest of his night like.. 

Day 3 | 'OMG we are going to die' & Park Guell

I'm being over dramatic when I say I thought we were going to die, but I do say that for many reasons. Let me enlighten you!

1. We decided to walk from our hotel to Park Guell which was around 40 minutes.. Seemed like it was going to be easy as we'd walked so much the day before, right? Wrong. 

2. We didn't realise that most of it was through the back streets of Barcelona. Aka, making us look very touristy and vulnerable with a huge Nikon camera slung around my shoulder. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Spanish people are bad, that would make me VERY narrow-minded. I just think Jack's stories of being mugged when he lived in Spain have always haunted me a little bit! (Not mentioning the fact we got a big leaflet on pickpockets in the city AS SOON as we arrived at our hotel)

3. Uphill. Need I say more?!  

Park Guell is a mixture between a park and gardens overlooking the city. We arrived a bit puffed out and paid for our entry to the main part of the park. The art that surrounds it is so beautiful and all the mosaic type walls and buildings are incredible. To be honest, we didn't spend a great deal of time in that part as you are very limited on what you can do once you've seen it & taken all the pictures you want to. We had a quick browse in the gift shop and made our way out to the rest of the park.


After leaving the paying part of the park, we wandered off to see the rest of it. It is SO big!! We headed off to Gaudi's old gaff and what an amazing building it is! You could pay extra to get into the museum it had been made into, but I didn't want the inside to taint how great it looked on the outside!

I do reccomend wearing decent walking shoes if you plan on going here because there is a lot of stairs and uphill treks, you most certainly want to be comfortable! You will kick yourself if you don't do it though because the views are amazing. We went on a particularly cloudy day, but I can imagine in the summer it looks even better. Each corner you turn has a different surprise and the view right from the top is so worth it.

I couldn't recommend this place enough to anyone as it's so beautiful and full of so much. An absolute must-see if you're visiting the city any time soon!  

Our last night was spent on the rooftop bar, freezing out arses off with crazy expensive drinks! The Strawberry Daiquiri they made was the most amazing I've ever tasted though, so 11 euros seemed acceptable. We also spent the majority of the night messing around with the exposure on my camera out of the hotel window! So much fun! 

(I did make it to Sephora by the way, for those who were wondering and purchased some rather nice Too Faced bits! YAY)

Overall, we had an amazing time and it was the best surprise ever! It's a shame it was over so fast but hey, time flies when you're having fun ;) If you haven't been to Barcelona and you don't mind about the weather, I'd say January is the perfect time to visit. You avoid all the long queues without needing to book anything, the flights are cheap and you can walk around and really take in the sights without it being too busy.

I think if you were looking to go in the Summer then make sure your hotel has a good rooftop pool or you stay by the beach. I'm gutted we couldn't use the pool in our hotel because it wasn't heated, but I'm sure we definitely made the most of it if it was hot. Visiting the beach for us would of been a bit pointless considering how cold it was, but still a shame we didn't see it or have more time to explore further. If you want to know anything, don't hesitate to ask!  

If you're still here reading this, thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you been on any memorable travels lately? :) 

TB x


  1. Great pictures, Barcelona is an amazing city. I loved visiting Park Guell, it is one of those places that makes you think you're in an alternate world. :) I haven't really travelled lately but I did a west coast trip in California last November that I'll certainly never forget. :) x

    1. Thank you Mira! :) Yes, I totally agree! It's like something from a story book and it's so beautiful! I'm so jealous of your California trip! We were going to go this year but couldn't afford it, so next year is definite! What do you recommend?!



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