Wednesday, September 7, 2016

EXPLORING BARCELONA, SPAIN!



Barcelona feels like a second home. It might be because I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at a dear friend’s apartment that is making this all way too familiar. Or maybe it's because while walking I can hear so many different accents on the packed sidewalks just like when I lived in London? Or maybe because in the grocery stores I find many items I used to purchase while living in London too? Whatever it is this city is special and gives me all kinda feels. 

BARCELONA IN THREE WORDS:

If I had to describe Barcelona in three words they would be: 
Architectural. Artisanal. Emotive.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

All of the buildings are so beautiful. I love how walkable the city is and how each neighborhood changes. And how each alley leads to a new discovery. I could seriously see myself living here one day!

WHAT SURPRISED ME ABOUT BARCELONA?    

Here are a few things that surprised me about Barcelona.

It’s super easy being here, walking, eating, relaxing, everything. The beauty and distinct works of Gaudi especially the Sagrada Familia! So far this church has been the most beautiful on all of my travel adventures. There is an abundance of vegetarian/vegan options and that churros are more commonly found here during winter here versus summer unlike Madrid when you can find them year around.  

WHAT DO VEGETARIANS EAT IN BARCELONA? 

As mentioned there are so many options. When out for tapas I loved ordering papas bravas, pan con tomate, and manchego cheese. Whatever you’re in the mood for this city will most likely have it! 

TIPS- In this section I've laid out tips if you're interested in traveling here...

DO:
Purchase all of your tickets for attractions in advance, doing so will save you time. Visit all of the Gaudi works; even if you don’t go inside they’re really great. Go watch Flamenco! I found a great show for 25 Euros that included a free drink ticket, which I used to get a glass of Cava. Wander through the alleys around La Rambla for all types of finds. Visit the Mercado de La Boqueria and get fresh eats and drinks. Catch a boat tour at the harbor to view the coastline. Admire the buildings in the Gothic quarter. Pack your walking shoes and discover! 

EAT:
If you stay in or near the center you’ll have so many options. I feel like 1 in 5 places are vegetarian/vegan/local/sustainable. Again, whatever you crave you can find here. We mostly ate tapas!

STAY:
We stayed by the train station the first night and that was a good option if you’re coming in or leaving via the train. Next, we stayed in the center near the University metro stop. This is a great neighborhood! Cute cafes, outdoor seating options, and really close to get to everywhere you’d like to go.

Without a doubt I’ll be back! I purposely did not do all there is to do here so until then besos Barcelona!