I visited Barcelona beginning of this year, little did I know a few weeks after we returned home the city would go into lockdown. I believe Spain is slowly opening restaurants and tourist attractions now with social distancing in place. If you are planning to travel to Barcelona in the near future or even planning a weekend city break for 2021 then keep on reading! I was lucky enough to go to Barcelona for my 30th birthday present gift by my husband who certainly knows how to keep surprises. 

Getting around

With only 48 hours in the city and so much to see and do, we had to decide the best way to get around and make the most of the time we had there. After doing some research I discovered that the easiest way to see all the main tourist attractions and tour the city was via the hop on hop off bus tour. I had read up all about it before we went and there are a few different companies that run them, you can choose based on the stops and routes that each of them cover. Once you are on the bus tour you can choose to either get off and explore any stop, or stay on and just take in the views and listen to the guided tour on the headphones that are given to you when you get on the bus.

Where to eat

First up as a real foodie I’m going to tell you all about RAO*, the most amazing gourmet tapas bar and restaurant located right in the centre of Barcelona and such a treat. I would definitely recommend booking as they get super busy most evenings. The restaurant is divided into three sections, each cosy and modern with graffiti walls and marble tables. This place is absolutely incredible, the food is so tasty and presentation is excellent, the dishes are all very inventive with lots of unique flavours. My favourite dish was the crispy sea bream served with grilled avocado, romesco sauce with a garlic aioli foam. Jason, the manager looked after us on the night, making sure we had everything we needed and we were happy with all the dishes. Next time I visit Barcelona I will be going back to Rao! 

Whilst in Barcelona we also visited the food markets which were just a five minute walk from the hotel, they were buzzing with traders and customers eating and shopping. We did try some of the food as it all looked really fresh and authentic. It is better for juices, chocolate and snacks as opposed to sit down meals, but definitely worth visiting for the experience.I also discovered the most amazing brunch spot called Eat My Trip*, a quirky restaurant that using fresh, organic and high quality ingredients in all their dishes. They also have speciality coffees on their menu including a Barbie latte! We tried out a selection of their savoury dishes including the guacascamble and the Norway bagel which both tasted amazing, not forgetting how beautifully presented they were.

For dessert we tried out the choco loco waffles, recommended by our waiter. They look much sweeter than they actually tasted; belgium waffle craziness with oreo artisan ice cream, caramelised banana, strawberries, cream cheese, coconut shavings and chocolate sauce, it doesn’t get much better than this!Another meal that I just have to tell you about is Caelis, a Michelin Starred restaurant located in Hotel Ohla where we were staying. This was my first time visiting a restaurant of this kind and it was such an incredible, unique experience. We chose the tasting menus which consisted of 10 small dishes, each unique in flavour and technique. These are just some of the tasting dishes…Green olive with anchovymushroom fritterbread and butter selection
Sea bass, emulsion of piparras and tarragon marinated veilBeef in ashes from wineyard
chocolate dessert – this was chocolate heaven on a plate!

Where to stay

There are so many hotels in the centre of Barcelona, which means you have plenty of choice especially if you choose to visit during the Summer. We decided to stay in a boutique hotel called hotel Ohla, located in the historical centre of the city. The location was just perfect as we were able to walk everywhere within 10 minutes which was amazing. The hotel has lovely spacious rooms with simple, modern decor, a rooftop pool and bar which we did not get a chance to use with it being winter but I can imagine it is amazing during the Summer as the view is just incredible. The service in the hotel was outstanding, every member of staff couldn’t do enough for you. 

Where to visit

La Sagrada Familia: A must see if you’re in Barcelona. This place is the mosT beautiful church built by Gaudi, we got to see the spectacular building whilst on the hop on hop off tour where you get very close to it. The church is half finished so it is constantly being renovated. We didn’t actually go inside the church but I read up everywhere that in order to avoid queues you should book in advance!Walking around the city there are many narrow streets with boutiques and quirky stores and it’s amazing how many there are. I’d recommend just spending a day exploring the city and seeing where you get to. All of the building are amazing and there are many squares with historical monuments and interesting architecture so worth exploring for this.

Park Guell: If you want some pretty amazing views of Barcelona then I’d definitely visit this park, it’s very beautiful. It’s expensive to go into the Gaudi buildings and usually you have to queue for a while but worth booking in advance. This park is full of tourists and gets very busy during the Summer so I’d plan to come early on in the day!

Where was your favourite place in Barcelona?

*We were kindly gifted a meal at both Rao’s and Eat my Trip in exchange for reviews during my visit to Barcelona. As always opinions are always my own.