My roundtrip flight to Barcelona from Miami was $275. Yes you read that right, $275 USD—I opened a Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex credit card and received 50,000 miles once I spent $3000 in the first three months of having the account opened. When I received the 50,000 sky miles, I applied it towards my trip to Barcelona. I found the cheapest flight on Delta’s site to Barcelona, and just bought the ticket. As for accommodation, hostels are affordable at $35 a night or just airbnb it.
Spots To Avoid in Barcelona
Las Ramblas: It is a beautiful street lined with trees, but it’s highly touristy and congested at all times. Pick pocketers are all over Barcelona but be vigilant and look like you know where you’re going. That is the best way to avoid being pick pocketed as well as wearing a backpack with multiple pockets and zippers or keeping a purse in front of you. What I do recommend is walking the side streets aimlessly; it’s how you find the quaintest quiet streets.
The Ocean: Simply put, the sand is not powdery fine or clear. The beach has to be one of the least relaxing places in Barcelona. There are so many vendors trying to sell all of their knick knacks. Every five minutes, someone new is trying to sell you either seafood, beer, water, towels, or trinkets. Mind you, those are all different people and they make constant laps and scream the entire time so they draw attention to what they are selling. Also, pick pocketing is high on the beach. There is no falling asleep on the beach unless you have someone there with you to make sure that no one touches your stuff. What I do recommend is walking along the boardwalk on the beach. Guys on fruit bikes sell freshly cut fruit cups, and there’s quite a few restaurants and food stands as well.
Where To Go
Parc Guell is beautiful. The architecture by Antoni Gaudi is stunning and extraordinary. You get amazing views of the city as well. They only allow 400 tickets to be sold a day so make sure to book your ticket a few days in advance. You simply cannot just show up and expect to walk in at that exact moment. Expect to spend about 30-60mins just wandering around the park. They allow people into the park during certain time slots so keep that in mind for photo ops sessions and heat. Barcelona is very hot during the summer months so try to avoid going midday.
Go to the top of Montjuic! There is a bar/restaurant specifically located en Parc del Mirador del Poble-Sec right in front of the Miramar Hotel. The area is not as well known to tourists so it’s mostly locals walking their dogs. It is the best location to have a drink and a tapas while enjoying the views. Now, the food is not something to write home about but the views are enough to make up for it.
We can’t forget about La Sagrada Familia! If you’re into beautiful architecture but don’t really want to check out the inside of the church, just walk around the outside of the gothic style church. The inside is pretty but realistically, you can get the same thrill by just gazing at it from a block away. Now, if you’ve traveled across Western Europe and have been in tons of churches, they all blur into one. La Sagrada Familia is beautiful and not a very typical looking church. It has been in construction since 1882 and construction still has another 8 years before it is completed.
If you’re a kid at heart go to Tibidado, it’s a century old amusement park at the top of the mountain. It has such a whimsical appeal to it but keep in mind that its only open for the warmer months and closes in September/October and opens back again in February/March.
I took a 3.5 hour train ride from Barcelona to Valencia for a quick weekend trip. Think of Valencia like the smaller version of Barcelona. It is the home of Paella and the 3rd largest city in Spain. I spent $50 roundtrip. Now, prices do fluctuate up till $80 roundtrip. I stayed at the cutest airbnb with a spiral suitcase and a big bathtub for a couple nights. That airbnb goes for $75 a night but it does fit 4 people comfortably. Valencia has the Museu de les Ciències (Museum of Science). It is extremely modern and beautiful and a must see while there. The beaches are beautiful and expansive, not to mention warmer than Barcelona!