Barcelona: My favourite destination

September 27, 2023 - Liam Crabtree

Day 1 –

We arrived at our accommodation at around 16:00. We chose to stay at Urbany Hostal, I was pleasantly surprised on arrival as the rooms were well equipped with private bathrooms and lockers. After dropping off our bags in the sleek and clean bedrooms we ventured out to explore the city. We wandered through the gothic quarter admiring the architecture on display, from there we made our way to the Montjuic cable car and took this up to the castle. From here there were amazing views across the whole of Barcelona and the surrounding countryside. That evening we used the common area at the hostel which adjoined the rooftop bar, this had a close-up view of La Torre Glories which was reminiscent of The Gherkin building in London.

Day 2 –

This morning we had booked to visit the museum at the Nou Camp the home of Barcelona Football Club. We were very lucky as we were there on game day, and saw the players driving in for their game that evening. The museum itself was an engaging interactive experience displaying the history of the club, as well as the trophies the team has won and players who have donned the famous jersey. After the tour we were shown around the stadium which was as awe inspiring and grand as it appears on the television. We were beginning to get hungry after the morning excursion, so we headed to La Boqueria a famous food market selling local produce on Las Ramblas. The scale of the market was impressive and the frenetic energy was intoxicating. I enjoyed a few Catalan dishes such as mongetes amb botifarra, calcots amb romesco as well as various local cured meats and cheeses. We walked off our lunches by visiting a few shops and then spent the remainder of the afternoon at the beach.

Day 3 –

After a relaxing afternoon the previous day, we were keen to discover more of the city and made the short walk from the hostel to the world renowned Sagrada Familia, a large unfinished catholic church designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. Luckily, we had pre-booked tickets for entry into the church as there was a very large queue for those without a slot, due to limited admissions being permitted. We chose to do an audio tour which gave a great insight into Gaudi’s vision and described the various intricacies of the church. This was by far the most extraordinary piece of architecture I had seen; it is easy to see why it has taken hundreds of years to complete. We were all excited to comeback once the building is fully complete which is predicted to be 2026. We had decided when planning the trip that this would be the day, we would dedicate to the works of Gaudi, so we had booked tickets in advance to visit Parc Guell that afternoon. This hilltop park had fantastic views over the city and featured impressive, tiled mosaics and quirky buildings. We spent our last evening in the city visiting various tapas bars and soaking up the local culture.

Day 4 –

Unfortunately this morning we woke to the realization that we would be going home that afternoon. We were keen to see a little more of the city before we were taken to the airport at 15:00 that day, so decided to take the hop on hop off bus tour. This was a great way to experience to city and was very informative. We also got to see even more Gaudi architecture such as Casa Batllo which was even more impressive from the double decker bus than at ground level, as the roof which was designed to represent a dragon’s back was more visible.

Any hidden gems, local delicacies you came across? –

I would highly recommend pa amb tomaquet (Pan Catalan), this is a very simple but tasty dish served throughout the city. It is essentially bread with tomato rubbed over and seasoned with salt and olive oil. This can be served readymade and in smaller portions, with various toppings. However, I preferred it when it was toasted and you were given the ingredients, such as tomato, garlic and oil to use as liberally as you wanted.

What makes it a great destination for groups? –

There is a wide range of activities to suit everyone, it is perfect for a cross curricular trip as well as a specialized trip such as architecture or arts. Even without set activities it is a great city to explore as it is a manageable size, there is also a world class beach in the city for relaxing.

Easy travel –

It is very easy to travel to Barcelona from the UK, various regional airports and low-cost airlines service Barcelona. The flight around 2-2.5 hours from the UK depending on where you fly from.

DST hotel recommendation –

We offer various accommodation options in the city ranging from value hostels to high end hotels.

- Liam Crabtree


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