Barcelona Big Time! – An Amazing Weekend

barcelona post feature image hc lifestyle helene choo

Hi everybody!

I spent a weekend in Barcelona before heading to Sweden. My main purpose of traveling there was to attend the Reggaeton Beach Festival (woot woot!). However, I also managed to squeeze in some sightseeing and visited Parc Güell for the first time!

Now, this wasn't my first time in Barcelona, but it was the first time since I started blogging.

An Amazing Weekend in Barcelona

So let me talk you through accommodation, some awesome places to grab food (you know me, I try to find amazing food places anywhere I go), the festival, and the park.

But first, some history (as always)!

 

 

A tiny bit of history

Did you know that Barcelona was founded by the Romans under the name of Barcino in the 1st century BC? I personally prefer its name now, but hey. At one point, the Count of Barcelona, Wilfred the Hairy (I LOVE his name), founded the nation of Catalonia.

After a long period of thriving, Catalonia and its language suffered under the political oppression of Franco’s dictatorship, only recovering after his government.

Hosting the Olympic Games in 1992 gave Barcelona a huge boost and helped anchor the city as one of the most important sites for tourism in Spain.

Fun fact: bullfighting has been prohibited in Catalonia since 2012!

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

Accommodation

I stayed at the Sweet BCN Youth Hostel for 3 nights. The location of the hostel is great because it’s really central and in a nice part of the city. I was staying in a mixed room of 8 people. The facilities were really clean and in good shape. The bed was a tad cramped, but I wasn’t expecting it to be spacious anyway. They have 3 individual shower rooms with toilets and a separate toilet. The reception was super helpful and friendly. All in all, I would recommend the hostel because of value for money, service, and convenience (they did not pay me to say this, and if they did, I would tell you:))!

Don't take my word for it though, look at what other people have said:

Booking.com

sweet bcn accomodation hc lifestyle helene choo

Traveling to Barcelona? Book your accommodation right here:)

Booking.com

Food

I discovered some great places for food in Barcelona! And also some average ones. To start off with, I went to Cervecería Catalana, and it was ok. Just your average tapas for average prices. The atmosphere and the decor are quite nice though, and it’s located really centrally. So, I would recommend coming here if you’re stuck in the centre and don’t want to eat really pricey, not-so-great food.

Now for the awesome places! Somewhere (no, not just any place, this is literally the name of the place!) Café is a trendy café/restaurant, perfect for brunch. It has a very hipster vibe, with neon lights, street-art style decor, and quirky menu options. I chose the avocado toast (why would you ever not have avocado toast??), and my friend had a pulled-pork pancake. My avocado toast was perfect, while my friend found hers “interesting” (literal quote). Make of that what you will. I also want to give a special shout out to the excellent matcha latte that was so yummy, I had to order two.

somewhere barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

somewhere barcelona avocado toast hc lifestyle helene choo

An even more awesome food spot: I visited Las Sorrentinas, an Italian (?) pasta place. And I absolutely loved it!! It's a magical little restaurant where you can customise your pasta! I don't know if you've heard of Vapiano, but it's a similar concept, just in a chain restaurant, and more authentic.

las sorrentinas barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

So. Many. Choices. The pasta is all made fresh, and they have so many varieties! And for those of you who like filled pasta (like me!), they have different types of those too, such as tomato or spinach ravioli (and by that I mean the dough is made with those things, how AWESOME) with various fillings. And then, you get to choose your pasta sauce (all homemade too, including fan favourites like classic tomato sauce or green/red pesto). To top it all off (pun intended), you can choose toppings for a little extra.

las sorrentinas barcelona pasta hc lifestyle helene choo

It was one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had in my life. I'm not exaggerating. The pasta (I went for tomato dough filled with pumpkin) tasted fresh, the sauce was amazing (I went for green pesto, and I consider myself a bit of a pesto connoisseur, if I may say so). If that didn't make your mouth water, wait until you have your food at Las Sorrentinas...

Last, but not least, ice cream is an absolute essential (especially if you're visiting Barcelona in summer, but no judgment if you get it in winter)! I got mine from a charming little place called Biscuiter.

biscuiter barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

biscuiter barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

I highly recommend their ice cream (or nice cream, as they call it)! It was very very tasty. I had the oreo flavour!

Reggaeton Beach Festival

I've always loved listening to Latin music, especially since I started dancing salsa and other Latin dances at uni (in 2011). There's just such a summery, beachy vibe to it. And of course, I love dancing, and this type of music is amazing to dance to.

reggaeton beach festival barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

This was the first year the festival was held, and they're doing a whole tour all over Spain now! Check out their Facebook page here.

If you're wondering what essentials to pack to go to the beach this summer, here's a great list for you!

reggaeton beach festival barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

My highlights were:

  • Juan Magan
  • Danny Romero
  • Sebastian Yatra
  • Piso 21

The weather was great that day! I also loved that they had a wardrobe to check in your stuff, and the coupon system for payment worked quite well too. 

The only negative thing I would mention would be the organisation of the event. They didn't have many food options, so I didn't have dinner there. We weren't told when artists would be coming on, so we just had to wait, and sometimes, they were running 2 hours late. Finally, the last band (Piso 21) had sound problems and then were told to finish up after 3 songs, which was really sad.

I will definitely go again next year because it was great value for the 15 euros I paid for promotional early bird entry! I just hope they're fixed the organisational issues to make it an even better experience the second time around.

reggaeton beach festival barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

Parc Güell

This park, named after artist Gaudí’s patron Eusebi Güell, is one of the most famous attractions in Barcelona. In 1890, Güell assigned Gaudí to a project where nature and housing would coexist perfectly. Even though the project fell through due to lack of demand, the resulting park is stunning and still attracts many visitors every year.

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

The first thing that struck me was that the park was huge! I hadn't expected it to be such a vast stretch of green. And then, I entered the paid section and saw these gorgeous and weird columns.

It didn't take long until I came across the houses with their quirky roofs and stunning mosaic ornaments.

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And what a lovely day to visit, as well (actually, maybe a bit too hot, since the sweat was dripping into my eyes...you win some, you lose some). Look at the attention to detail on the roof and the windows! The inside of the Gaudí­ museum (one of the houses) was a stunning blue (my favourite colour!). The visit is included in the paid ticket.

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From one of the windows in the museum, you can see the main square. I love the harmony of the pillars and the mosaic patterns. It all merges so well with the green around the buildings.

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As you follow the steps up towards the main pillared construction, you can see the famous mosaic salamander. I just had to pose with it!

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

The highlight of the park is definitely the main pillared construction with the astonishing mosaic ceiling. The colours pop so nicely against the beige tiles, don't you think?

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

The last part of the park is the one with the most spectacular views over all of Barcelona. It's also the place with the most famous mosaics by Gaudí­.

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

barcelona hc lifestyle helene choo

So there we go! Those were the things I did and saw in Barcelona. I had an amazing time and will definitely be returning:)

Remember when I said at the beginning of this post that I went to Sweden after this trip? Here's my post about Stockholm! I would love it if you checked it out <3

 

 

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42 Comments

  1. Wynne Katherine
    August 23, 2017

    I have always wanted to go to Barcelona! I love the mosaic ceiling it looks so unique!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 23, 2017

      You should definitely go:) Gaudí’s art and architecture are very unique and amazing:)

      Reply
  2. lcdorkin
    August 24, 2017

    Barcelona looks beautiful! And the food looks divine! I cannot wait to visit! Friends of ours went in July and we were supposed to go — looking at this, I have major travel regret! Glad you had an incredible time!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 24, 2017

      Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have the opportunity to visit sometime!:) Food is such an important part of traveling for me! I love discovering new places to have great food:) Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
  3. Travel Imagez
    August 25, 2017

    Great to see a weekend itinerary for Barcelona. I always think that it’s one of the best cities in europe and to enjoy it fully, i thought you’d need a whole week. But for me who has limited to travel at the moment, this itinerary is awesome!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re finding it useful:) I’m also restricted by working hours, so I get you! You’d be surprised how much you can fit in in a weekend if you sacrifice some sleep:P

      Reply
  4. 5q
    August 25, 2017

    First of all – I love Reggaeton! Barcelona is on my list and can’t wait to go there. You have a very nice weekend 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      Yayyy, fellow Reggaeton lover!!:) I’m sure you’ll have a great time when you go! Have a nice weekend too!

      Reply
      1. 5q
        August 25, 2017

        Thank you dear!

  5. Skippy
    August 25, 2017

    Gorgeous pictures. Despite being born in Portugal next door, I’ve never actually visited Spain but I think when I do, Barcelona will be my first stop <3 Thanks for sharing x

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      No way!! You definitely have to come then!!:) thanks for your kind comment!

      Reply
      1. Skippy
        August 25, 2017

        I shall 😉

  6. jordansinclairblog
    August 25, 2017

    Barcelona looks beautiful! The architecture and the food look to die for! I love reggaeton as well haha!! Love the organization of your blog by the way and the pictures.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      Awesome!! I never expected to find other reggaeton fans here haha! Thank you so much for your lovely words??

      Reply
  7. cheska2784
    August 25, 2017

    I really love Barcelona it s such a great place to visit and alot of fun! Next time i visit i got to visit some of those food places you mentioned! Great post, thank you <3

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      Great!! You should definitely try the food, it was amazing? thanks for your comment!????

      Reply
  8. Grace | Impulsive Adventures
    August 25, 2017

    Oh, I’m so jealous of your trip! What better than Reggaeton (my favorite music) and Barcelona? The architecture in Barcelona is ridiculous fabulous. I can’t wait until I’m finally able to get there…

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      No wayyyy, so many Reggaeton lovers suddenly!!???? I should have taken you all to the festival with me?? I hope you can go soon!

      Reply
  9. TravellingDany
    August 25, 2017

    I have been for a short layover last April and I’m planning to go back for more, thank you, this post is very useful!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      You definitely need to go back then! This was also my second time and it was cooler because I’d already seen many of the touristy things?? thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  10. Farah Al Zadjaly
    August 25, 2017

    BARCELONNNNNNA, always so beautiful. Loving all the food choices you have made. The pictures you have taken are lovely and looks like you had alot of fun there.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 25, 2017

      Thank you!! Haha food choices seem to be my forte nowadays? I did have a lot of fun, and I hope others will too??

      Reply
  11. forever roaming the world
    August 26, 2017

    Barcelona is such an amazing City, I was actually thinking about moving there this year but that had to be put on hold. However I am still hoping on getting out there at some point. Would be great to go to the Reggaeton beach festival 😀

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      I’m sure you’ll get to it sometime!:) I think they’re going to hold the Beach Festival every year in summer now! We should go together:)

      Reply
      1. forever roaming the world
        August 28, 2017

        I’d be more than happy to go together 😀 – Love beach festivals and a reggeaton festival would be the icing on the cake haha

  12. Anushka Aggarwal
    August 26, 2017

    Love some amazing pictures in the post, I wasn’t aware much about Barcelona history, so sharing a small insight about it is really helpful. I would love to visit it someday 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Thank you! I try to include some history in all of my destination posts:) I hope you do too!! It’ll be amazing:)

      Reply
  13. Lyf&Spice
    August 26, 2017

    Are you serious? You got to attend the Reggaeton Beach Festival!! Wish you could take me along.. hehe.. The Gaudi museu looks really amazing, and so does the food, especially if it’s home-made pasta. Cheers!!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Hehe, come with me next time! Yes, the pasta was lovely!! Thanks for your comment:)

      Reply
  14. Lyf&Spice
    August 26, 2017

    Are you serious? You got to attend the Reggaeton Beach Festival!! Wish you could take me along.. hehe.. The Gaudi museum looks really amazing, and so does the food, especially if it’s home-made pasta. Cheers!!

    Reply
  15. Cath
    August 26, 2017

    We are hoping to get to Barcelona later in the year, thanks for the great tips. Looking forward to the Gaudi

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Awesome! You’ll have to let me know how it goes:) The architecture is definitely one of my favourite things about Barcelona! It’s just so unique and quirky:)

      Reply
  16. Shaily
    August 26, 2017

    Barcelona has always been on my travel list. Your post has highlighted the beauty of the city and its rich history I never knew about. The pictures are so alive that kicked in a strong desire in me to visit the place! Thanks for the helpful tips. Saved this page to my favourites. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Wow, thank you so much! I’m still working on my travel photography because I just got my camera last month:) I hope you get to visit Barcelona soon!

      Reply
  17. Life with Larissa
    August 26, 2017

    Wow! It seems like you were able to do a lot! I’ve never been to Spain, but I do hope to go one day, and of course make a stop at Barcelona. The Beach Festival sounds like a blast, but I do know how irritating organizational issues can be. It sounds like you made the most of it though! I genuinely enjoyed your post, and pictures! I felt like I was able to visit the city through your words and photographs ?

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Thank you so much for your nice words:) I sacrificed a lot of sleep to be able to explore haha! I’m so happy you enjoyed it:)

      Reply
  18. Rahat Arora
    August 27, 2017

    Barcelona looks beautiful! The architecture and the tasty food looks great. Nice blog post by the way and the pictures are amazing. Great information shared

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 28, 2017

      Thank you, I appreciate it:)

      Reply
  19. Talin
    August 29, 2017

    Interesting, had no idea Barcelona was originally founded by the Romans. And I’ve seen pictures of Parc Güell before but had no idea what it was. Great post. I’m definitely bookmarking for my hopefully soon visit. I had a trip planned there a few years ago from Ireland but it had to be canceled and I had to come home. Been dying to go back since.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      August 29, 2017

      Thank you! Aww that’s a shame! I hope you get to go soon:) especially if it’s sunny!!

      Reply
  20. I was so excited when I saw this post because I LOVED Barcelona! The mosaic benches are super cool and well-designed, Gaudi even built in lumbar support to them, the guy is a genius!

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      September 6, 2017

      Agreed! They’re really beautiful and unique:) That’s why I have like 10000 more photos of them on my laptop that I didn’t use in the post:P

      Reply

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