Get to know Barcelona
Inspiring Barcelona: LEVEL sent blogger Anna Laura Kummer to the Catalan metropolis to share her personal travel tips for 3 days in Barcelona for flylevel.blog.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid. What makes the city so special is its proximity to the sea. You can easily combine beach and city holidays. No wonder that the city is such a popular destination for holidaymakers. Every year, more than 7 million tourists from abroad come to Barcelona, which makes it one of the three most visited cities of Europe.
What also makes the city so popular with tourists is the long history that can still be felt in the oldest quarter of the city, the Barri Gòtic (Gothic quarter). The city walls only exist in fragments, but the narrow streets and historical buildings of this quarter reflect the past.
Artists such as Antoni Gaudí, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and many more have been attracted to Barcelona. During my visit I understood why they pursued their artistic activities there: The city is a perfect inspirational place.
My mum and I were in Barcelona for the first time on her birthday from 29 May to 1 June! What we have experienced and learned, I have summarized for you in this blog post.
Barcelona Traveltipps – good to know
Inhabitants: 1.65 million people live within the urban area.
Language: The official languages in Barcelona are Catalan and Spanish, although English is mostly spoken well.
Public transport: It is best to buy a 10 block “T-10” for public transport in Barcelona at the airport for € 10,20. The single trip costs € 2,20. Barcelona has a very good public transport network, no matter if subway or bus.
Also with the bicycle one is well on the way in Barcelona!
How to get there
For over four months I haven’t flown. I kept my plan to fly less very well, but in some situations there is simply no other way. We arrived with the airline LEVEL. My personal highlight was the USB port under my seat – I was able to charge my mobile phone quickly and easily during the flight. We landed in Barcelona on time and took the Metro directly from the airport to our accommodation Cosmopolitan Boutique Rambla. A train ticket from the airport to the city cost only € 4,60. More information about the local traffic in Barcelona here.
Compensation: I compensate my flights at regreen. I first calculate the amount to be compensated at atmosfair.de and then compensate it at regreen.at – thanks to dariadaria for this tip. The compensation for the LEVEL flight from Vienna to Barcelona for example is only 6€ and supports a project in Rwanda.
Day 1, Wednesday, 29.5.19 (Arrival at the hotel at 16:30)
We checked in at our hotel in the district Eixampel and started our first exploration tour through Barcelona past the Avinguda Diagonal/Passeig de Gracia, where we visited together with many other tourists a building of Gaudi, the Casa Batlló. We continued to the Plaça de Catalunya in the district El Gòtic for an aperitif in the La Terrassa del Gòtic H10 Rooftop Bar. Here we enjoyed the last rays of sunshine and a beautiful view over the city.
For dinner we reserved a table in the restaurant Sésamo. After we had received many recommendations for this restaurant, we had to try it out. Result: The food and the service were very good, the ambience and the music were not my case. Price/performance was perfect!
Day 2, Thursday, 30.5.19
The day started with a walk to the district La Barceloneta and breakfast at the “Brunch & Cake”. The food was very photogenic, unfortunately I can’t say that about the taste of the food. Price/performance did not fit. Conclusion: not necessarily worth a visit. Too bad!
Then we walked from Barceloneta, along the harbour Port Vell and finally got a coffee in the Federal Café. Result: Worth a visit! Great ambience and there is even a decaffeinated coffee with soy milk and vegan cakes!
At 13:00 our 3,5-hour guided tour started. From the Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli through the Old Town. The stations were: Columbus Monument, Plaça Reial with Gaudi’s first work, El Gòtic, Cathedral of Barcelona and finally a tasting of Cava in El Xampanyet (highly recommended!).
I can absolutely recommend this kind of tour. Even if the amount of information is often too much, one gets a very good overview of the city and gets interesting information about the history of the city.
After this physically and mentally demanding tour we had earned a late lunch at the Flax & Kale, a restaurant of Teresa Carles. A vegetarian/vegan restaurant. We ate very well.
Afterwards we had a short rest in the hotel. That was necessary! But after we only had 2 full days in Barcelona and wanted to get the most out of our short visit, we went back to the city for dinner. However, we were only satisfied with a few tapas. This time we tried the other restaurant of Teresa Carles – which is named after her – and were thrilled! Too bad that our hunger was not bigger!
Day 3, Friday, 31.5.19
Breakfast in the Bohl – A restaurant for tourists and freelancers with cosy but simple furnishings. The breakfast was very good and we really liked the furniture.
Then we met with Gabi, a German who has been living in Barcelona for over 20 years and offers bicycle tours in several languages. We booked a 3-hour tour with her. Start was at the Olympic Port. The tour led us along Avinguda Meridiana and Avinguda Diagonal to the Sagrada Familia, to the Mercat Fira de Bellcaire, to the beach and to many other places in the city. Gabi really told us a lot about the city. It was a great experience to explore the city by bike. You see more and experience the city differently than if you were on foot. I can absolutely recommend the tour! Gabi is very likeable and has a great knowledge about Barcelona, which she sums up skilfully.
After that we finally tasted our first churros! Although not freshly baked, we were really thrilled! That was almost a first appetizer, because for lunch we were in El Born at The Green Spot. Also a recommendation from you, for which we are very grateful! The food, the interior, the ambience – we were totally thrilled!
Then we had to go to the El Raval district again. During our guided tour on Thursday we had discovered some beautiful small, partly sustainable and regional shops: Sita Murt, Coquette, Capsule…
After the lunch was so plentiful, we shared as dinner “only” a portion of Churros. Soooo tasty!!! I can highly recommend the Xurreria Manuel San Román to you. And then we took the digestif in “our” Rooftop Bar La Terrassa del Gòtic H10. Simply because on the first evening it was so pleasant to enjoy the last rays of sunshine there.
Departure, Saturday, 1.6.19
Taxi ride to the airport at 4:30 – goodbye Barcelona!
©Pictures & Text Anna Laura Kummer/ @annalaurakummer