So, my love affair with the wonderful Spanish city of Barcelona continues. I’m going back there in a few weeks and I can’t wait – just the thought of exploring a bit more and eating all that delicious seafood has me salivating. I love the atmosphere of the place: it’s so laid back, I always feel chilled the moment I arrive.
One of my favourite things to do is wander along the back streets off Las Ramblas, because you never know what you’ll stumble across –works of art, washing hanging from the windows, kids playing; and this is where you’ll find some of the best tapas restaurants and bars in the city, too, plus it’s a little less touristy. It’s also shady and cooler, so a great way to escape from the heat.
Barcelona is really easy to get around but you’ll want to base yourself somewhere central – hcc are known for their cool boutique hotels and it’s worth checking out the hcc st.moritz in Barcelona, because you’ll be right next to the Passeig de Gràcia, which is one of the main shopping neighbourhoods (lots of luxury boutiques), as well Antoni Gaudí’s wonderful Casa Batlló.
There are certain things I think you have to do if you’re travelling to Barcelona. No 1 for me is a visit to Gaudí’s masterpiece Park Güell; not only because of the fabulous gardens and mosaics (including my favourite, the gekko) but because of the stunning views of the city; it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Of course you’ll want to see La Sagrada Familia too, but if you’re travelling with kids then I would probably just show them the outside and head for one of the beaches; one of my absolute top tips would be to hang out on Barcelonata beach for a bit and then go for a relaxed lunch at a beachfront tapas bar (Champagne sangria optional, unless you’re me *cough*). That way they’ll have plenty of time to build sandcastles and go for a paddle and also have a taste of some authentic Spanish food before returning to your hotel for (hopefully) a siesta.