enjoying the beautiful private roof at Casa Bonay
Today I’m sharing my Barcelona itinerary. It was my first visit to Spain and I absolutely adored it.
We were lucky enough to be there during La Merce, a city-wide festival that has taken place since 1871, which originated to pay homage to the Our Lady Of Mercy. For us, it seemed like everywhere we turned, we ran into a part of festival, which was awesome. Including this tradition of making human towers- this group below actually did it and correfoc, the fire run.
If you visit Barcelona during the summer months, you’re likely to run into some sort of neighborhood festival as they are frequent throughout the summer. As always, I recommend looking into what’s happening in any city before you arrive so you can plan accordingly. A few tips below from our trip.
dancing [dodging sparks] through correfoc
Where To Stay
Casa Bonay – I cannot recommend this beautiful hotel enough. It’s in a great, central, non-touristy area of the city and only a 20 minute walk to anywhere you’ll want to be. Aesthetically, it’s gorgeous and have an amazing rooftop bar, two restaurants and a great coffee shop (Satan’s) all in one spot. You can rent bikes easily at the front desk and your reservations include paddle boards if you’d like to explore Barceloneta Beach.
What To Do
Sagrada Familia- this famed church is set to finish construction in 2026. Make sure to walk into the park behind it for stellar views.
Park Güell – it was recommended to me to forego tickets and just walk around the park, which is what we did and it was still just as lovely as I had pictured it.
Castle Experience Wine Tours – this is the experience we did with Castle Wine and couldn’t recommend it enough. We visited two beautiful vineyards, Oller del Mas and Vi Clots Del Oms. Our guide, Albert, was formerly a concierge for Barcelona’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel so he definitely helped us out on some hot spots around town.
AIRE – this spa is a great way to relax. We planned ahead knowing that one morning in particular would be rainy, so we booked time in the baths and massages- which were great after so much walking the previous days.
Picasso Museum- located right in the El Born neighborhood, this museum boasts approximately 4,251 works by Picasso. The venue itself is just beautiful and it was magical to see this famed artist’s works in real life.
a lovely side street in Sitges, Spain
just a bit windy
Day Trip to Sitges – this day was so special to me because my dad lived in Sitges for a while after he served in the Vietnam war. It’s been almost 50 years since he was there and walking through the same streets after hearing his stories felt almost comforting, especially after the year we’ve had. The beaches are beautiful and we spent a majority of the day relaxing in the sand. It’s only about a 40 minute train ride out of Barcelona and the beach is very close to the train station once you arrive.
Las Ramblas/ La Boqueria – this boulevard runs through the city center. While the walk itself is lovely, the street resembles Canal St. in the sense it’s filled with fake Gucci, Louis and Fendi bags all rolled out on bedsheets.
Where To Eat
Casa Lolea – a quaint, woman owned restaurant in the heart of Barcelona. Order the steak tartar and their infamous sangria.
paella at Bar Cañete
Bar Cañete – order the squid sandwich and paella (but Catalonians only ever eat paella for lunch)
Brunch & Cake
Brunch & Cake – don’t expect tapas but Brunch & Cake has some incredible healthy (and delicious), insta-worthy food.
Cal Pep – This hidden gem doesn’t have a set menu, what only is fresh in that day. It opens at 7:30 but the line starts around 7 (or before). Everything was delicious.
Milk – awesome brunch spot that requires a bit of a wait. absolutely order the huevos rancheros
La Cava Cakery – because what goes together better than cava & cupcakes?
Rocambolesc – awesome ice cream spot while walking down Las Ramblas. Check out their adorable ice pops.
Where To Drink
Satans– coffee. thankfully attached to Casa Bonay, this shop revived me after some very late nights.
Bar Thonet – located in the Gothic Quarter, this bar is speculated to be the oldest Vermouth bar in Barcelona, and possibly even Spain. Pop in for some Vermouth, stay for the ceviche.