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First impressions of Barcelona from our recent 48 hour trip

First impressions of Barcelona from our recent 48 hour trip

As one of our friends said, 48 hours is not enough time to fully experience Barcelona. But it is enough time to feel the spirit and soak the atmosphere of the city. We planned our trip on September knowing that the weather in Barcelona at this time of a year is still nice and sunny, but not too hot.

First afternoon

We took Ryanair flight from Brussels to Barcelona and back, which meant we had 48 hours from landing to the next take off. We arrived in Barcelona in early afternoon, made a quick stop at the apartment we rented through Airbnb and took a metro to the stop closest to the Park Güell. It was one of the things on our Barcelona bucket list.

park guell

Casa Trias

There was meant to be a posh residential area build around the park, but at the end only the park and two houses were build. The world famous architect Antoni Gaudí bought one of the houses and lived there between 1906 and 1926. Currently it’s the Gaudi House Museum.

Gaudi House Museum

Small part of the park, with monuments designed by Gaudí (e.g. beautiful mosaic terrace), is separated and you need to pay entrance fee to get in. Larger part of the park is public and we walked around this part and marveled at the beautiful view over the city.

view from the Park Guell mosaic terrace at the Park Guell

Next we took a metro to the port, but because the sun already sat we didn’t see much of it. Since it was already time for dinner, we decided to go for some pintxos to Orio BCN Gòtic.

Port in Barcelona

pintxos in Orio BCN Gotic

Day 2

Over the course of the next day we walked 15 km, going from one architectural gem to the other. We saw Sagrada Família, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, all designed by Gaudí.

The Sagrada Familia Casa Mila Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo - detail

We walked down the La Rambla, very popular street in Barcelona and enjoyed fresh fruits at Mercado de La Boqueria. I absolutely loved to walk between the stands at the market, to see all the vendors proudly displaying their products – fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, seashells, meat and meat products, fresh fruit juices and salads, pastry, sandwiches, paella, pintxos etc. Everything was luring but because it was almost 30 degrees I was craving only nicely lined up fruit salads.

fruit salads at the Mercado de La Boqueria

In the afternoon we decided to spend a few hours at the Barcelona city beach in Barceloneta neighborhood. It was a wise choice. In such a nice and sunny day the beach was much more enjoyable than the city center would have been. Also for us, coming from a northern country (with much less sun), laying at the beach in September was a real treat.

Friend of ours recommended us some restaurants in Barcelona and one of them was a small, family owned restaurant not far from the beach. It was a real adventure to eat there. The place was tiny, situated at the ground floor of an ordinary old apartment building. There was no sign and a bystander who saw us going around and peeking inside, asked if we were looking for La Cova Fumada. He then confirmed that this, indeed, was the place we were looking for.

 La Cova Fumada restaurant

We were lucky to arrive at that time, as we got one of the last two empty tables. While we ate there were people queuing outside, waiting for a table! The restaurant serves few traditional meals and menu is written on a small black board. We tried cod fish with chickpeas, combination that sounded foreign and was surprisingly very good. I will definitely try it at home. I’m glad the restaurant was open and we had a chance to experience local food here. This small family restaurant was filled mostly with locals which means we had truly authentic experience.

cod fish with chickpeas

Last few hours

On the last day we had the morning to explore Barcelona a bit more and we decided to return to the place we liked. We went to Mercado de La Boqueria, ate few more fruit salads and bought some chorizo sausages. We walked the streets of the Gothic quarter for the last time and did some last minute shopping. And then it was the time to took a train to the airport.

Place Catalunya

It was a very nice trip, a little escape from everyday reality. There are many places we didn’t see and we haven’t been to any museum. During this trip we just got the first impression of Barcelona. If we will ever get a chance to visit again we will definitely go.

I’ll remember Barcelona as a city of architecture and not just Gaudí’s. And I will dream about the beautiful Mercado de La Boqueria and abundance of fresh products it offered. I would be curious to see the city in winter, to see how it changes, what they sell at the market etc.

If you’ll have a chance to visit Barcelona, don’t hesitate, it’s worth it! But if I may advice you, two days for this city is just not enough.

Have you ever been to Barcelona? What were the things you fell in love with in the city? Is it a place you return to regularly? Share in the comments!