Whenever I travel, I can’t just go to one place and be satisfied. If I’m going to fly halfway across the globe, I’m going to try as hard as I can to see as much as possible! That’s why whenever I’m heading to one specific place, I don’t necessarily mind spending a long layover somewhere random. It’s fun for me! Last month I decided to take a Mediterranean cruise for Adam’s birthday. It was my first time on a cruise and it was absolutely amazing, but that experience is for a different blog post. The cruise embarked in Barcelona, so I spent a day in Barcelona, Spain, before heading out to sea. Barcelona is actually the first place I ever flew to internationally and I went all by myself back in college! It was really cool to come back and see how the city, and myself, had changed over the years. I know a lot of people only get a good week out of the year to travel and they want to see as much as possible on their trip, so I put together this list of the top things I organized for myself, when I only had one good day in the city. Here’s what to do with only 8 hours in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
Explore The Streets Of Gothic Quarter: 7am – 10am
I stayed in Gothic Quarter for this quick trip to Barcelona. I generally like to be in uncrowded environments, and I knew I wanted historical and tiny streets to meander through. Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is not uncrowded (particularly during the later hours in the day), however if you venture out any time before 10 am, you’ll find yourself cruising through some of the most beautiful and authentic alleyways with only a few morning bird travelers. If you’re like me, you want to wake up as early as possible to get your day started when in Europe. Gothic Quarter is the best place to wake up in Barcelona if you’re looking for a true historical European morning, sans large streets and big crowds. Even in the middle of July- a peak season for European travel, you can get lucky and find completely empty streets in GQ!
La Rambla: 10am – 11:30am
La Rambla; an absolutely beautiful street in Barcelona where tons of travelers walk up and down to shop, take in sights and eat all types of food. There’s tons of flower shops, restaurants and souvenirs. It’s definitely something to see on your list in Barcelona! However, don’t get caught up here all day. There’s tons of sights to see that are a quick walking distance from Las Ramblas. Stop by the street for gelato and take a walk through the alleys of Gothic Quarter for good shopping.
Amorino’s: 11:30am – 12pm
You can find an Amorino’s in tons of European and Mediterranean countries, but Amorino’s on La Rambla is a must if you are in the area. It’s always buzzing with customers! Even if Amorino’s is a chain, the thing that makes it so unique is the flower shape of the gelato, which you just can’t find in most places. If you want to take your quintessential gelato picture to the next level, Amorino’s is the place to stop. Go into the alley to the right of Amorino’s and take that gelato-with-european-alley-in-background photo, because you deserve it.
Gothic Cathedral: 12pm – 1pm
With just a quick (and gorgeous) walk from Amorino’s, you’ll find yourself at the Gothic Cathedral. If you don’t have time to make it up to the Sagrada Familia, this is just as satisfying! Spend an hour in this cosy nook of GQ enjoying street dancers, a community of high-on-life tourists, performers blowing bubbles up into the sky and the sweet smells of Nutella churros floating through the air.
Rosé Break: 12pm – 1pm
Of course, when in any spot in Europe, you must indulge in an afternoon drink, whether it’s a latte, wine, rosé or even water! My favorite part of traveling is honestly just taking a moment to sit down in the patio of a nice restaurant and take in the sights around me with the people I care about the most. Adam and I went crazy on the amount of Rosé we drank in Europe, but who could blame us with a seat of the Gothic Cathedral right in front of us! I always make sure to spend tons of time scoping out my restaurant locations before I visit the country, so I know exactly what drinks I want, and what photos I want to take there, honestly!
You could choose many routes to end your day in Barcelona. The last time I was in Barcelona, I went to the plaza and did some hardcore shopping at all four of the H&M’s by La Sagrada Familia. This time, I decided to take it easier and visit a quiet Pinterest destination I’d had my eye on; The Horta Labyrinth. This is a quiet beauty of Barcelona. It’s a massive landscaped park to stroll in, where you can enjoy the still and calming sounds of Barcelona away from the city. There’s everything here from labyrinths, to creeks filled with koi fish, to even giant wild boar/pig things wandering around!
So this is my personal day trip outline for a quick layover in Barcelona, Spain! This is just ONE of the many things you could choose to do in Barcelona, but it’s what I most recently did and I had so much fun exploring a new side of the city, other than just the plaza area! If you’ve been to Barcelona, comment below what your favorite thing to do there is. My next trip to Barcelona will include finally seeing the beach and visiting Park Güell. There truly is so much to see in Barcelona, the adventure is never over!
Check out my photos from Barcelona on Instagram here and subscribe to mylifeaseva.com for future travel posts from this trip.