Barcelona as my home base
I initially knew I wanted to make Barcelona my home base because I wanted to spend more time there and travel to two different countries while coming back to Barcelona to recharge and freshen up. Making Barcelona, my home base was easy, because it’s a transient city and the streets were easy to navigate. It wasn’t that hard to get around, and everything was relatively cheap.
I booked my flight from SFO to Barcelona (3 nights) and flew to Marrakech (4 nights) and flew back to Barcelona (2 night) and flew back to Lisbon (4 nights) and came back to Barcelona (2 night) and flew out to SFO from there. I spend my first night in Barcelona memorizing the streets and transient connections that way when I go back to the city it will be easy for me to navigate and get around.
Barcelona is such a fashion-forward city. It is very fashion conscious. I would describe Barcelona like a melting pot of food, museums, and beautiful people all in one setting. Its known for its coastal beach town filled with a cosmopolitan nightlife. During the summers, you can go to the beach and tan and later go out in Exiample’s trendy neighborhood and grab a cocktail. Many of the street cafes are perfect for people watching and eating tapas.
Where to Stay
First, two nights my friend and I stayed at the W Barcelona hotel. It was such a beautifully designed hotel, and from the outside, it looks like a huge spaceship dome-like structure, which look over Playa de la Barceloneta. Even from a distance from Park Güell, you can see the W from afar.
The building was designed with colorful LED lights running across the walls and ceilings, and nearby are swinging chairs, where a large group of chic looking tourists takes turns taking a picture on it.
Our view was INCREDIBLE. We had a view of Playa de la Barceloneta, and it was just an endless view of the ocean, it kept going and going, and at one point it looked like the sky blended with the sea. Sunset was so incredible you could not believe you were in reality.
I came back to Barcelona and stayed 2 nights at Casa Garcia, it’s a vibrant fun hostel with grumpy grampas and cute hipsters. The decor was so on point. Lavish vintage vases and antiques and mirrors all over the place. Covered in green vines and succulent plants growing from everywhere. Amidst a see-through glass, you could see a London-like elevator from the 1920’s strolling up and down the building. The centerpiece of the look was definitely the Charles Eames chair. It just sat there very settled and blended in with the urban/vintage look. It was well thought out and crafty, and every look from the front desk to our room was an experience.
Make sure to check out their bar/club in the basement downstairs. It was a trendy 20’s something crowd with lots of foreigners from all over the world! CUTE bartenders and great drinks too! It opens till 5 am.
Sights + Views
Do all the touristy stuff like visiting The Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Both sights were designed by Antoni Gaudi who was appointed as a lead designer to capture the city’s vibrant city look. He did so by incorporating his colorful style mixed with a Gothic, modernist, and eclectic taste. His other famous buildings are Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.
Later in the day go for a jog at the Arch de Triomf and have a picnic at the park – eat a bocadillo with a bottle of wine.
Make sure to go to the street of Placa de Catalunya and check out the trendy bars and do some shopping there. Barcelona is the queen of shopping so make sure to take advantage of that since its such a fashion-forward city. Also, make sure to buy some flowers or go wine tasting at La Boqueria.
In the summer months June-Sept you can visit Playa de Barceloneta and hit up the beach. Try their coastal beach bars and get a tan.
Eat + Drink
I highly recommend the Eixample neighborhood, and you must go to Cerveceria Catalana, it is by far the best tapas in the Eixample neighborhood or even all of Barcelona. I ordered fried green peppers, fried baby squid, assorted mushroom, fried cheese balls, octopus, mussels, and chocolate con churro and it hit the spot. Make sure to drink it with red table wine (rojo vino). Hit up El Nacional later in the night and grab a cocktail or a glass of wine and just do some people watching there.
Check out Mr. Robinson if you want to try a specialty cocktail from around the world. The menu is a passport, and you can choose which country you want to visit, and afterwards, the bartender will make a drink based off of that specific country you choose. And the bartender that works there is really cute too.
What to REALLY do
Just spend time walking around and get lost in the city. Don’t be afraid to make new friends because people here are very nice. Make sure to see as much as you can and take your time there and soak everything in because it can be a lot to handle yet so delicate and beautiful at the same time. Bon Voyage!