Barcelona…well…Barcelona is the city you will fall in love with at first sight…The little you get to see of Barcelona in 5 or so days, changes your entire perspective on the most captivating way you could be living your life. This ravishing city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea has it all: the scenery, the architecture, the cuisine, the restlessness of a youthful vibe that inspires you to breathe it all in and beg for more. We had our city break in Barcelona two years ago in May, on my Birthday. They say May is the best time of the year to visit Barcelona…the weather is mild and the city is not as packed up with tourists as it is during the summertime. And so it was…. We stayed at the Vincci Bit Hotel, located in the Diagonal Mar, 5 minutes’ walk from the sea, and perfectly positioned to suit all our needs. Two minutes’ walk from the hotel; you would find these unpretentious cafés that served the most delicious breakfast on the terrace. A little bit further, past the busy intersections, there was this churros stand, that screamed Spanish delight…and what more could anyone want?
The reason I loved and totally recommend the Vinci Bit Hotel is that it is perfectly well positioned to offer you access to just about anything: the beach, a marvelous shopping center, metro stations that take you anywhere you want to go and residential wonders to marvel at all day. The hotel’s interiors have a unique design that is both modern and tasteful. The room we booked was incredibly spacious…and the bathroom…well…AMAZING! The pool on the rooftop is breathtaking, even though rather small for swimming…I would say. All in all, Vincci Bit is an affordable boutique hotel, which you must consider before booking your stay anywhere else.
This might seem funny, but the first thing I do when I arrive somewhere that is even remotely connected to the sea …is check out the beach. It doesn’t matter how tired I am, or how long I have to walk to get there, but the sight of the sea…. oh…. the sight of the sea…takes away all my sadness and my frailty. Five minutes’ walk from Vinci Bit, and here we were…Diagonal Mar… an endlessly joyous esplanade taking you all the way to La Barceloneta and back. I have never, in my life, walked as much as I did in Barcelona, but I say to you….do that…walk a lot in Barcelona… because it will be…one of the most wonderful strolls of your life.
Start at Diagonal Mar. Dip your feet into the sand…take your time…stroll all the way down to El Front Maritim del Poblenou. Have lunch. When you reach the port be sure to eat something at one of the restaurants here. Food is varied and accessible…the views are incredible. After you have quenched your hunger…be on your way. Go further. Park de la Ciutadella takes you away from the sea, right into the high spirited buzz of the city. People jogging, meditating, reading, laughing…people spending time marveling…that’s what you get to see in Park de la Ciutadella …life…being lived in its simplest, most rewarding sense.
Go further. Across Eixample and past the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell is one of the many things you have to see in Barcelona. Build on and around a hill, Park Guell gives you access to the artistic and architectural genius of Gaudi, but also does so much more than that. It provides you with this most comprehensive view of the city of Barcelona, that is almost too beautiful to describe.
Go further. Parc del Laberint d’Horta or the Labyrinth Parc in Barcelona, is this lavishly romantic garden which leads you to a former palace building on ancient mythology and neoclassical elements. You will get to experience walking into a maze, as well as, smell the aristocratic air of such ample premises having belonged to royalty.
Go a little bit further…and do this: Spend the evening at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. If you get to Barcelona and you do not do this…if you do not get to see the spectacle of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic…you will have missed your heart really skipping a beat…and believe me…it is an entirely different sentiment than the one, we get when we fall in love. It is your heart, body and mind…all marveling at this absolutely free sight of a dream come alive. I got to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuic on the day of my Birthday, and I will not, for one second, forget what that meant to me. I will not ever find a match for the person who made it happen for me, and I will most certainly not question any reason for welcoming such a person into my life.
Go all the way…be happy. Walk the busy streets of Barcelona, lift your chin up and gasp at the Sagrada Familia, follow the crowds into La Rambla, have an oyster in the Mercado de La Boqueria, enjoy a Paella. If that makes you happy, and it should – because I cannot think of anything better than spend your time seeing places you’ve never seen before, doing things you’ve never done before – then….do it!
Don’t do it tomorrow, the day after, next month or next year. Do it today! Before you get too tied up in everything and forget that you can…