In October I made my way to the other side of Spain to Barcelona! I met up with my favorite gals, Julia and Liza again and got to show off my Spanish skills and teach them a thing or two about how to live the Spanish lifestyle.
After an early flight, we arrived on the same day that the autonomous region of Catalonia declared independence. Once getting settled into our hostel, we went to find lunch and for a stroll through the city and ended up running into one of the “manifestaciones.” All of the girls coming from Málaga had gotten a handful of warnings from our host parents and real parents to stay away from these, but we were curious to see what was going on. Very carefully, we headed into the crowd of what are known as “Independistas”. They were reading the votes out loud on a speaker and the crowd roared when the independence was declared. It was definitely a historic moment!
We then headed back for a nap at our hostel (which we absolutely loved) before heading out to see the Magic Fountain show and get some tapas before checking out the insane Barcelona club scene which we had heard so much about. I thought the clubs in Malaga were fun, but Barcelona took the cake. We danced our hearts out at Razzmatazz Club until we finally headed home at 5 in the morning!
After a late start the next day, we walked to Las Ramblas and walked through the extensive Mercado de la Boqueria.
After looking at all of the food in the market, we were starving. We decided to stop for lunch close by and found a restaurant called. Most of us got burgers with a Spanish twist (think jamon Iberico & a fried egg) and we had the kindest waiter ever.
From there, we headed to CHÖK Bakery and picked out the prettiest donuts we could find. Mine was full of raspberry jelly and topped with a raspberry and a flower!
I had seen CHÖK on a food blogger’s list of top spots to eat in Barcelona and for good reason. The gourmet donuts, cronuts, and truffles all looked incredibly tasty.
Full to the brim, we strolled through the Ciutat Vella neighborhood. We went to a few vintage shops which were super cool, but full of American clothes! Apparently, most of the vintage shops mostly sell American memorabilia from the 70s. There was tons of stuff that you’d find at places like The Fairfax Flea Market in Downtown LA.
From here we walked by the coast, passing street performers and vendors until we found the beach. Julia and Liza are studying in Denmark and needed to soak in some sun and stick their toes in the Mediterranean Sea. We enjoyed some Cava sangria on the boardwalk before heading home.
That night, we headed to some really cool bars. We started at The Dow Jones Bar, which works like the stock exchange. Their drinks change prices based on the demand of each one until the market crashes. It was stressful but pretty cool!
We made one more stop on the way and then arrived at Passeig Marítim where all the huge nightclubs on the beach are. Did you even go to Barcelona if you didn’t go to Opium nightclub? We were there during Halloween weekend so it was decorated with huge glowing skulls and cobwebs. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
On our last day, we ate brunch at Almalibre Açai Bar and had beautiful acai bowls, salads and hummus. Then we headed to the Sagrada Familia. Barcelona is completely engulfed in Gaudí architecture, and for good reason. It’s so dreamy, and I love it.
From there we headed up to Park Güell and accidentally ended up at a viewpoint above it at first. This definitely made it onto my list of magical abroad moments. We were running a little low on energy, so we took a few minutes to bask in the sunshine, take in the view, and listen to the really cool reggae band who was playing.
Park Güell was full of beautiful mosaics and more good views, but we had one thing on our minds. Churros con chocolate. I wish I had a photo of them, but the reality is that we ate them so quickly there was no time to snap a pic.
So let me paint you a word picture. In one hand, a paper bag full of 8 churros fresh out of the fryer, hot and coated in sugar. In the other hand, a massive cup full of warm, gooey chocolate. It’s safe to say there were none to spare!
After this, we headed back to our hostel for a free pasta dinner where we got to meet some amazing people. After having such a bad experience with hostels in Madrid, this place totally changed my opinion. We met the most interesting people from Brazil, England, Canada, Australia, Belgium and so much more!
Our night with our new friends concluded our trip, as we all had very early flights the next morning. Barcelona will always have a little piece of my heart!