As you will know if you follow me on Instagram, I recently went to the city of Barcelona in Spain, for a hendo / bachelorette weekend celebration.
It wasn’t my first time in Barcelona, I actually love that city and have been there quite a few times already. Although I know it quite well, it never ceases to amaze me and I love discovering new places, restaurants, bars, streets…
I especially fell in love with its most famous inhabitant, late Antoni Gaudi, in my opinion the most incredible architect of modern times. Over the years and my visits of Barcelona, I have bought a few books about Gaudi and his work, and I love to dive back into them from time to time to rediscover his magnificent work.
If you ever go to Barcelona, you will feel Gaudi’s presence everywhere. The most beautiful places to visit to get a good idea of his work are La Pedrera, the Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia. You can’t possibly go to Barcelona without visiting these three places. Of course, there are many more places to visit to enjoy his work, but the visits have become quite pricey so I you don’t want to ruin yourself, these are my suggestions.
The most famous landmark is of course the Sagrada Familia, a 170-meter-high Basilica in the heart of Barcelona. The Basilica was designed in 1882 and is still in the building phase today due to lack of funds from the state, which is delaying the construction. Today, the building company counts pretty much solely on tourist revenue to finish the work. Gaudi was very inspired by nature and this is reflected in each and every detail of his constructions. Walking through the Sagrada Familia is like walking through a forest at dawn/dusk and feels very mystical. Every detail has been very carefully thought out so I invite you to use the free audio guides when visiting the Basilica in order to have a thorough understanding of the work behind it.
But Barcelona isn’t just about Gaudi and visiting monuments. You can take a stroll along the Barcelonetta, the beach of Barcelona and even take a dip if the weather is nice! I wouldn’t advise on the bars along the beach as they are often quite expensive for what they are and pretty loud. They are very touristy so not the best places to hang out if you want a real feel of the Spanish way of life.
During the weekend, we ate in several amazing restaurants, which I would really recommend. Please bear in mind that the Spanish people eat very late so if you go to a restaurant before 2pm and 9.30pm, it is likely the restaurant will be empty: don’t worry, it’s normal! It doesn’t mean the food won’t be good.
First of all, you should check out the Lateral restaurant. It is a tapas restaurant with a lovely lounge-like atmosphere and very affordable prices. Order their ham and croquetas, which are just to die for. Their wine list is very good too. We had the Cava, which was very refreshing and bubbly.
If you want something a bit inventive, you can eat at this great Spanish-Lebanese fusion restaurant, called Ziryab. The restaurant offers a wide selection of tapas, most of which are based on Lebanese dishes. You can try the €25 menu, which is a selection of entry, main and dessert tapas and which is more than enough for the price you pay. Of course, it doesn’t include wine, but nothing ever does ;p However, it does include a liqueur after dessert :p
If you are looking for a typical Spanish place for lunch, then stop by the Sol Soler. It is a typical Spanish brasserie, which serves a great selection of homemade tapas at a very affordable price. They have a very nice terrace where you can sit in the sun, but it does pack up provided the weather is nice.
The weekend of the 22nd of April is a regional holiday in Cataluña, called the Saint Jordi. Unfortunately, we hadn’t realised just how packed the city would be on the Sunday, which made the search for a brunch place fairly difficult. Luckily, we ended up in a restaurant just adjacent to the Lateral, called Vinitus. From the outside it looks like a wine bar, but go in and you will find the food is actually to die for. You can choose between tapas, montaditos (typical Spanish mini sandwiches) or actual dishes. We tried a wide selection of tapas and montaditos and every single one of the dishes we ordered was amazing. Very good value for money!
Bars / Hang Outs
Of course, I can’t write an article about Barcelona and a hendo without mentioning alcohol :p. Here are three bars that we visited, all of which were very fun.
The Espit Chupitos is famous for its shooters, called Chupitos. I honestly can’t tell you what I drank, but I can tell you most of it was very sweet, like drinking a liquid Haribo. It was very nice, but deadly! Some cocktails come with dares, such as sharing a Haribo banana with your friend through the mouth before drinking a shot, or the infamous signature cocktail called the Monica Lewinsky. SPOILER, PLEASE DON’T READ THIS IF YOU ARE UNDER 18!! That cocktail is actually just a bottle of beer with a plastic penis stuck to the top. Needless to detail what you are dared to do with the penis before you are allowed to just drink the beer. You can click on this link if you want to find out more – send the kids to sleep before you click :p.
A more chilled out option is the rooftop at the Axel Hotel. We actually found the hotel completely by coincidence on the first evening when we were walking around looking for the next place to go after the Chupitos. The hotel is a LGBT themed hotel so don’t be surprised with the population that you will encounter. The staff is amazing and extremely friendly, the atmosphere is very chilled and if you don’t mind half naked men waitering your table at night, then this is also the place to hang out for a nice party in the evening. During the day it is much more quiet and you can go up and enjoy the rooftop bar and pool, provided the rooftop isn’t too packed as the clients of the hotel have the priority of course. Order their Kir Royal which is huge and really tasty!
Thinking of taking something Spanish back home with you? If you wish to buy some real and qualitative Spanish ham, you can stop by the Reserva Iberica where an amazing selection of hams and cheeses will be offered to you. If you really want to indulge in the most amazing ham, then you can go for the Jamon de Bellota, the best quality ham out there in my opinion. Only downside is the price which is very high. You can also buy some Lomo, which is a different type and preparation but equally amazing. Finally, this might sound weird but the Spanish tuna – aka Bonito – is to die for. I have honestly never tasted better cooked tuna in my life.
Finally, if you are thinking of organising a hendo in Barcelona, you could consider the website https://www.evjf-barcelone.com/devis for your activity bookings. It is a French website but you can easily contact them to ask for your quote in English, they will gladly respond to you and help you organise everything. They were super helpful with us and very quick to reply. We booked a pole dance activity and had loads and loads of fun doing it. Our teacher was the sweetest lady, very patient, friendly, constantly smiling, took pictures and videos of us AND gave us a bottle of free bubbly. What more could you ask for?
That’s all for me now, I hope that you will find this article inspiring and useful if you are thinking of visiting Barcelona. If you have any questions, do let me know and I’ll gladly answer them 🙂