After less than 48 hours in La Rioja, my friends and I headed to Barcelona. We arrived in about four hours on the Renfe train, which is apparently the mode of transportation to use when exploring Spain.
WHERE TO LAY YOUR HEAD ON A PILLOW
We stayed at an Airbnb in Catalonia. The Airbnb was nice, but definitely pricey compared to my pre-Spain accommodations. It was located in a safe neighborhood, spacious, modern technology, so I guess a splurge is nice every now and then…I say that now, but wait until I get to the budget section.
GETTING AROUND BARCELONA
Up to this point, I’ve relied heavily on my own two feet to get around — good for my wallet and my waistline. When traveling with others, majority rules. So in Barcelona, I found myself in quite a few taxis. At times, we found it difficult to find open cabs in Catalonia. So if this is your transportation of choice, be prepared to wait. One day I insisted we walk and we stumbled upon Park Güell. Great views, architecture by Gaudí, a quick workout…what’s not to like?
WHERE TO EAT
Do yourself a favor and make your way to La Boqueria. You won’t be disappointed! Located in Las Ramblas, you can eat until your heart’s content then explore the area. You can snack on fresh fruits, nuts, enjoy a smoothie, or sit down for a larger meal. I was super hungry when I visited La Boqueria, so I did the latter. I ate at El Quim de La Boqueria. I waited for a seat at the bar for at least 30 minutes, but it was well worth the wait. I had the salmon, second only to the salmon I had in Porto (I swear I still think about that salmon from time to time). As I ate my food, I eyed all of the other options, which looked equally delicious. If I return, I’ll definitely eat there again.
THINGS TO DO
Barcelona has so much to offer, so deciding what to do depends on your interests. Explore Catalonia, Las Ramblas, Gothic Quarter…like I said, options.
My friend and I decided to get tickets to La Sagrada Familia. We were able to get same-day tickets online, but options were limited, so if you’re interested in going inside try to secure tickets at least a day in advance to be on the safe side. In my opinion, going inside wasn’t worth the 15 € entry fee. Don’t get me wrong, when you step inside, it’s breathtaking. But after that first breath, that’s about it.
I didn’t make it to a fútbol match (blasphemy). I just couldn’t bring myself to spend 200 € on a ticket for a sport that I don’t particularly enjoy…or was it $200? Either way, I didn’t partake. My friends went and they had a great time. So if this is your goal (see what I did there), sounds like it’s worth the price tag.
Here’s a breakdown of my budget for six days in Barcelona. I lost track of some expenses (especially transportation) so I just rounded up here and there. Better to overestimate than under. Don’t be too alarmed by the cost of food and drinks; a lot of our meals paired well with wine…bottles of wine. Remember earlier when I said I was fine with an occasional splurge? After looking at this breakdown, I’m not.
|La Rioja → Barcelona||25 € = 30 USD|
|Accommodations||330 € = 396 USD|
|Getting Around||30 € = 36 USD|
|Food and Drinks||200 € = 240 USD|
|Activities||15 € = 18 USD|
|Total||600 € = 720 USD|
*I used an exchange rate of 1 € = 1.2 USD
Ciao for now,