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Saturday, 19 January 2019

7 DAYS IN BARCELONA

WHAT A WAY TO CELEBRATE TURNING 21




Much to my excitement, my boyfriend chose to take me to Barcelona for my 21st birthday! A trip that was supposed to be a surprise for me to receive on the morning of August the 4th, was actually accidentally found out by me a good 4 months prior to this.. oops! I stick by the fact that it was accidental! I'd always wanted to go to this city, so I was absolutely over the moon when I discovered the destination.  

People usually plan something like a long weekend trip or a 3 to 4 day trip here, as a chance to explore the sights and experience the Spanish culture. However we went for a long 7 day break, and we saw and did so much In this beautiful place. 


Getting there and getting around 

We flew from London Gatwick with Norwegian Airlines, who are a fantastic budget airline offering all sorts of flights from the usual short European flights to long-haul (I've flown with these a few times to America). It took us around 2 hours to get to BCN airport.

Once you're in Barcelona, you're inundated with transport options. You've got taxi, metro, bus, tram and train. As we had only just got there we didn't have the energy to be spending time figuring out a new county's public transport system, so we opted for the quickest option: taxi. Looking back I wish we had done some research prior to this as it costed almost 50 euros for a 15/20 minute journey, whereas a 5 day metro card cost 30 euros each and is valid for unlimited uses In that 5 day period. So throughout the rest of the holiday, we opted for the metro. Exactly the same as the London Underground, however slightly less busy and 1000 degrees hotter.

My top 4 places to eat

BRUNCH AND CAKE

I'm pretty sure every major place on earth now has a restaurant thats highly Instrammed due to its high aesthetic factor. This is Barcelona's.. and its probably visited by hundreds of bloggers everyday across their 3 cafe's scattered across the city. I'd seen this all over my Instagram feed by various bloggers and had even been recommended to eat here by every friend that I asked! I'm a sucker for pretty things, so of course this was top of my to-do list for day 5..

I had the Nutella Paleo Pancake and let me tell you it was a thing of absolute dreams. Although it was more of a super fluffy cake, it was a  purely delicious experience of annoyingly moreish hazelnutty goodness (annoying because it didn't last long). The perfect brunch choice for a die-hard chocoholic like myself. Plus it contains no refined sugar (hence the paleo), so healthy its really healthy too!

My boyfriend Mike had a strange dish of thick crisps with sweet potato strips and Spanish sausage bits. It was advertised at more of a meal containing crispy potatoes, so we were thinking fried potatoes or some sort of hash brown? I wouldn't recommend this if you're hungry or even for breakfast at all. It's a good and tasty light lunch. 

Nutella paleo pancake 
Crispy potato and spanish sausage thingy..

ROSSINI

Who would have thought that I'd come across the most amazing Italian restaurant I've ever been to in Spain? Well I did. Rossini is in the Pla├ža Reial, which is just off La Rambla. This is quite a touristy area with dozens of restaurants bordering a square which boasts a big wishing fountain and towering palm trees, as well as the odd street performer doing flips and tricks to a cheering crowd of tapas eaters and sangria drinkers.

The food is a really good price for the type of fine dining that they serve. I had the Foie Gras Mushroom ravioli which without a doubt is the best pasta I've ever eaten! My boyfriend opted for the heavily meat based dish of course, in the form of lamb shoulder with sweet potato. He ate it in a minute so I think the pure speed of that speaks for itself..

TALLER DE TAPAS

Our first restaurant choice of the trip wasn't a planned one, it was a quick pick from 2 very hungry tourists a few hours after touching down in Barcelona. We were ready to expect a boring okay-ish take on Spanish cuisine from an apparent chain restaurant - wow were we surprised! We got the classic seafood paella accompanied by their set tapas sharing board.Good authentic food and good for saving your euros. I believe theres a few of these across the city, so be sure to try it. 

MIRABE

Mirabe boasts the best panoramic view of Barcelona. It really is breathtaking. You can sit at the table whilst landmark spotting, its like a real life map set out right in front of you. As expected this restaurant is a little more pricey, the food and impeccable service lives up to this. A must visit!


MUST DO/SEE





Bike-riding

The best way to see the city in your own time, is to hire a bike for the day. It's also the best way to stay cool because the Metro is like being in hell it's that hot! This way you get to see all the winding back streets and find secluded places you never would have by simply walking or on public transport. It gives you chance to stop as many or as little times as you like. Plus the freedom to see whatever you want. Prices for bike here can be anywhere between €10 and €25 for 24 hours. 

Sagrada Familia





No photo or written word could ever do this place justice. I didn't know just how spectacular this basilica would be. This has to be on top of your to-do list when you're not just in Barcelona, but EUROPE as a whole. 




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