A couple of weeks ago I went on a super intense long weekend to Barcelona where I saw the city from a whole new perspective than I’ve seen it before. Instead of doing the normal full week exploring the city and beach at a nice slow holiday pace, I did an intense squeeze-as-any-activities-as-possible long weekend to Barcelona with all my work colleagues at Zeal!
In this blog posts I’m sharing some of the top things we did that I would recommend anyone to do when in Barcelona, even if you’ve only got 48 hours – trust me, you could do all of the following…
Book out an area just for you and your friends and experience a club night out in Barcelona like a real VIP. It’s a city known for its nightlife so you won’t be disappointed!
The city that never sleeps but also runs on European time when it comes to going out, so don’t expect the clubs to be busy until after 2am. The clubbing scene in Barcelona is very trendy and can come at a high price tag, so if you’re on a budget make sure you pick up flyers in the city that can give you 2-4-1 on drinks or free entrance to the clubs.
Also worth remembering is that a lot of the clubs operate under strict dress codes so it’s worth having a look online for these before heading out.
Barcelona Zoo is one of the best Zoo’s I’ve personally been to in Europe. It’s not huge, but it’s got all the main attractions you’d expect to see in a Zoo, it’s kept really well, and has a great friendly atmosphere to it. I especially enjoyed the crocodiles and alligators as they keep so still you can’t tell if they’re real or not!
I’ve got mixed feelings about Zoo’s and I have to admit. Some of the animals looks very distressed, including an elephant who wouldn’t stop rocking back and forth, and a leopard that was pacing up and down its cage. If you’re not too bothered about that sort of thing though, the Barcelona Zoo is a lovely day out.
This is a must! No excuses! Barcelona is the perfect place to rent a bike and experience the true beauty of a buzzing city on the beach front. There are lots of places offering bike hire, if it’s just for a couple of hours or a whole day, for just one person, or for a big group of people. We also had the service of bikes being dropped off where we were and picked up from where we biked to.
The beach front at sunset is the perfect time to go on a bike along the water. Stop for a drink at one of the bars and go the whole stretch and back. It’s the most beautiful evening activity.
Not heard of it? You’ve been missing out big time! This was my favourite activity during my 48 hours in Barcelona. The combination of wine and painting has been massively underrated. Basically, we were greeted by the loveliest American couple who offered us wine and other drinks as we sat down at our painting stations, ready with canvas and acrylic paint and brushed. We then got a demonstration of a painting to follow but were allowed to go freestyle and let our creative juices flow. I did just that, with a bit of inspiration from the demonstration.
In the middle of the session we got to take a break and have some delicious tapas style food such as cheeses, cold cut meats, hummus, bread, and fruit. We then got back to finish off our paintings, slurping up some more wine. I was so proud of everyone’s paintings at the end of it, and genuinely felt we’d accomplished something together as well as individually! If you’re a group of people who want to experience something exceptional and unique – look no further and book in a session at Arte Bar here.
A lot of places and features in Barcelona is inspired by Gaudi and his architecturally distinct style. If you like his style, or architecture in general, or just a really nice view over Barcelona – Park Güell is the place for you!
It’s a bit of a walk up hill to get there (felt like steep mountain in the heat) but it’s views are absolutely worth it. It’s an area spit into a free admission area and a paid for area. Make sure you buy your tickets online before going and you’ll be allocated a time slot to show up.
The area was originally going to be a residential area concept, which Gaudi had designed and created. The buildings standing there now is the central market square and surrounding buildings, and a show home. Unfortunately no buyers stepped forward to invest in what we’re going to be high-quality homes in an amazing natural setting, so the concept of an urban park village on the hill never fully came to life.
It’s a beautiful place well worth exploring, if only for the amazing views over Barcelona!
Talking about amazing views… If you want to experience something extraordinary, you need to dine under the stars at the Fabra Observatory and look out over all of Barcelona’s twinkling night lights.
It’s a set evening that starts you off with a glass of Cava, then a 4 course set menu with flowing wine, an observation through the telescope, a guided tour of the museum, and a chance to get lost in the views in the observatory.
The quality of the service and the food is amazing. The dinner is served on the outside terrace so that you’ve got a constant view of Barcelona, set under the stars. And if you do get a bit chilly, there are blankets you can grab!
This is a seasonal offering during the summer, so make sure to check availability and book online here.
I had an absolutely amazing, although slightly exhausting, time exploring Barcelona. I hope this tips can provide a bit of inspiration for when you plan on visiting Barcelona. If you have any more tips please let me know if the comments below or on Twitter!