My love affair with Barcelona, Spain, started with a weekend break. If you know anything about Barcelona you will understand why I fell in love with it. The warm summers, mild winters, and no severe weather patterns, makes the city a dream getaway! What’s more, I am familiar with a bit of history about the region.
Barcelona is a very popular destination. In fact, it’s one of the most popular destinations in Europe for small vacations like weekend breaks. The dimensions of the city and intense amount of tourist attractions make it a place too tempting and exciting to exclude as an idea vacation and weekend getaway. The vivaciousness, the Mediterranean weather, and sumptuous food, and overall beauty guarantees a feeling of euphoria. At least that’s what I felt during my short stay and it worked perfectly within my budget too. Keep in mind, Barcelona has some of Europe’s most cherished Gothic architecture with baroque linear concepts and artesian curved lines inspired by natural patterns and structures. These fabulous edifices have become icons on the Barcelona landscape.
What I did realize during my weekend jaunt is that it is essential to create a balance between getting to all the places and doing the things I wanted to do while trying to retain the feeling that I am on a real holiday. In other words, even though I knew I was on a weekend break, I stayed cool and calm and prioritized. I knew that I would eventually be back and catch up on all the wonderful sites and festivities that I missed before.
I know that during this time, I wanted to become a part of the many honoured traditions of Barcelona. I wanted to become one with the city. Of course, it will take longer than a weekend to do this, but what I did experience left me craving for more.
My accommodations was not an issue and there are a ton of choices. I just made sure I didn’t arrive when there is some type of conference or major event happening. Like most places, during special events, hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and just about everywhere else are booked up. I stayed in a hostel for my weekend break. It was cheap and provided me with everything I needed for a couple of days in this magnificent city.
Here are a few of the things I did during my Barcelona weekend break:
-The first day I took a great open-top bus tour. I found this is the quickest way to get familiar with the city. There are a couple of options. They have a three-hour bus ride or the jump-on-and-off option. Of course, the jump-on-and-off option can be invigorating. You can get an up close view of your favorite places and check them out again later on. Plus, it’s a good way to stop and grab tasty tapas along the way. I mean, the three-hour bus ride is a cool option too. A lot depends on what landmarks are most important to you and whether you want to just pass them by or stop and get a closer look.
-I like taking leisure strolls, so I went on a walking tour as well. This is where I made many of my discoveries around the city. Walking through the old town and checking the small byways is inspiring, and I never got lost! Getting back on the Ramblas is inevitable as all the small streets connect. It’s fun going off the usual tourist routes and casually checking-out the beauty of the wonderful city of Barcelona!
-Though my weekend getaway was short, there’s no way I was going to miss out on the great food in this grand city. What’s more, it’s pretty cheap too! The tapas are to die for. I went on what they call the “tapas crawl.” It’s amazing how the Spaniards can munch through the day and eat a big meal (lunch is a full three-course meal), and still maintain a healthy diet, but they do. The food is delicious and fresh. The handcrafted cava is light on the wallet. I love sun dried tomatoes and the delectable picante, a tuna swathed in a super spicy piquillo pepper. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I learned the best way to catch the lunch time fare is to look for “Menu del Dia” or “dish of the day” advertised in front of one of the many restaurants. Oh, and I learned quickly about eating times in Spain. If you are eating lunch ist usually between 1:00pm and 3:30pm.
-I didn’t have as much time as I wanted on the Barcelona beaches. But I will get to that on my return trip, and this time it’s going to be a real holiday!