Spring in Barcelona – Bran Marion Ireland
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Spring in Barcelona

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ESPANYA- One of our happy places. I do not want to compare this to other Countries we visited but this so far, our favorite destination that my husband and I want to visit at least once a year. Apart from the fantastic gastronomy, unbeatable weather, spectacular structural design and its nonchalant folks, the City itself has so much more to offer. So, this spring, we had our foot in the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia- BARCELONA.

Barcelona is beautiful in the Spring- This season in this city means outdoor dining, flower-filled parks and different street events. Not to mention, it's the impeccable time of the year to book a holiday ticket and accommodation. The temperatures in the spring diverges and sometimes it rains but fortunately, we had lovely and sunny Barcelona during our 4-day trip. I did my research on what to pack for spring but as I observed, don’t wear shorts and sleeveless just yet until it’s officially summer. If you’re going to be out sightseeing, always bring a light jacket as it cools down after sunset.
Transportation-Barcelona has a superb public transport system. Buy a T10 pass from any ticket machine to get ten one-way trips for 11euro. Otherwise, if you buy individual single tickets, they will cost 2.15euro. The passes are valid on all metros, buses, trains and trams. Taxis in Barcelona are also cheap – 2.10euro flat rate, hassle-free and easy to find.

NOTE: I do not recommend using hailo or any taxi application- we had a bad experience where it took us more than half an hour waiting for our taxi. The app says our driver is just 100m away, we kept looking for the car plate, kept ringing the mobile number provided but we couldn’t get through then suddenly, the app notified us that the driver left and charged us for his “waiting time”- so we went online, wrote a review and we got a refund after 3 weeks. Well, not that big deal to spoil our holiday– just be cautious next time and check travel advisor for reviews. It could be your hotel, restaurant or tourist attraction around.

Fares and prices of the “Hola BCN“ travel card (2017)
2 days: 14.50 euros
3 days: 21.20 euros
4 days: 27.50 euros
5 days: 33.70 euros

Below are some of the "must see" landmarks in Barcelona- these are only few and I recommend you checking trip advisor and other travel websites for the complete list of the things to do while in this City.

Sagrada Familia

The very remarkable Gaudi building began in 1883. It is still incomplete. The completion date at present is estimated by the year 2026 so that's 10 years from now :). This neighborhood has many businesses with street cafés and shops around the temple and they are just affordable. You can get there from the city center by Metro L5 or L2 or Buses 44, 43 and 34. We were passing to this astonishing building everyday as we booked our hostel just two blocks away.

If you want to visit the inside, you have to book your ticket at TicketBar ahead of time to avoid huge queues.

A prominent hill overlooking the photogenic Barcelona city and harbor, that for ages played a strategic part in the defense of the city. There's a cable car that takes you directly to the castle for 12.50€ return ticket if you book online. If you want to know the history of the castle, you can have a tour inside for an entrance fee of 5€. You can take bus 150 from the city center to Montjuic, but because we do not want to wait longer, we took a taxi and paid 15€ for one trip.

TIPS: If you do not want to use public transport, you can rent a scooter for 30€/day. This is by far the fastest way to get around the city.

Casa Batlló
This colorful modernist building is one of Barcelona's most recognizable sites.  Casa Batlló is one of the two great buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi on Passeig de Gracia, the other being La Pedrera. Pass by Casa Batlló at night when it's facade is illuminated and its colors are even more impressive than day time.  Gaudí used colors and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity in this building e.g. the colors chosen for the façade are those found in natural coral.

TIPS: Start your walking tour from La Pedrera and you will be passing the high-end shops on your way to Casa Batlló.

Las Ramblas
Your Barcelona trip is incomplete without a stroll down the Ramblas which is considered as Barcelona's most famous boulevard.  This is one of my favorite places to wander around. There's a lot of affordable outside seating restaurants, sweet shops, flower shops and living statues all part of the ever-changing street scene all year.  It is crowded every day until the wee hours. Las Ramblas is just 5 minutes by foot to Plaça de Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.

TIPS: You can rent a bicycle for as low as 10€ per day and you can visit all city in one day.

Port Vell
Port Vell commences at the end of Barcelona's La Rambla, by the Columbus monument.  It is a world class marina and home port for super yachts in the Mediterranean with five stars’ facilities and services.  There are a lot of things to do in Port Vell, from just staying and having cappuccino or tea with churros con chocolate or crepes and making your eyes full of the beautiful yachts or by visiting the aquarium which is probably the famous attraction and the largest aquarium in Europe. This aquarium has more than 11,000 water creatures, 450 different species and 6 million liters of water from penguins, to seahorses, to the Sandbar Shark.

'Las Golondrinas' Boat Trips - One of the unique experiences we had.  It was a 1.30hrs sailing around the port enjoying the fantastic sights of the Barceloneta including the coast beaches of Poble Nou.  Choose the upper seating to give you a 360-degree view of the City while having your tea or coffee.  I do not recommend booking your tickets online, you can go directly to the port and buy your tickets from the stalls around.  Boat trip fare is 15€ per person. 
...Hasta la proxima ves, Espanya 😊
Tips: Most of the locals can speak English fluently but it will be an advantage if you know basic Spanish- I thinks it's more fun learning the language.  Thankful that my husband speaks Spanish fluently and he actually served as my tour guide translating some of the menus, maps etc. with no English translation provided.


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