Firstly I am so sorry about how long it has taken me to publish this, I have been having some horrendous problems with blogger, much like my other visit Barcelona blog post, blogspot decided to delete this one, twice after I'd already written it, so here I am again, starting from scratch. If you want to find out how we spent our first two days in Barcelona, you can read about that here. Our final two days in Barcelona were just as exciting if not more so and I feel that now is the perfect time to post this as you're probably sat at home, in your dressing gown with the heating on, sipping a hot chocolate and maybe even nursing a cold (I know I am anyway). As much as I love Autumn in England, I'd do anything to go back to Barcelona and here's why...
Our final night was spent at the Murmuri hotel in Barcelona and I've got to say that my photos don't do it any justice. Behind this grand metal door is a truly opulent 5* boutique hotel.
The hotel even comes complete with it's own red carpet, how very swish.
We decided to change hotels part way through our trip so that we could sample the other end of Barcelona. Whilst the Hotel Pulitzer was right in the centre of everything (very close to Placa Fe Catalunya which is what you want to see if it's your first time in Barcelona) , hotel Murmuri is a few blocks up, a 20 minute walk from our last hotel and most definitely in the designer quarters of Barcelona, you've got Chanel and Hermes as your neighbours if you stay here.
The rooms were designed by Kelly Hoppen, the new Dragon on Dragon's Den which excited me a lot. It was ridiculously high class, our room was beautiful, not to mention we had our own private terrace which was the perfect place to sunbathe.
The view out of our window was breath taking, who doesn't want panoramic views of Barcelona city? Particularly on an evening when we could just soak up the city lights right from our own private balcony. In the Hotel pulitzer, we had more of a traditional Spanish balcony, looking out right onto the winding streets of Barcelona, this was very different but it was exciting to be able to stay in two diverse hotels.
The bathroom was my favourite part about our room in the Hotel Murmuri, whilst showering, you could look out of the glass and see the whole of Barcelona - when I eventually get my own home, I am going to recreate this somehow. Again, the photos really don't do this any justice.
As much as we'd have liked to have spent all day in our room when we checked in, it was time to do some more sight-seeing in Barcelona. We still had our Bus Turistic passes (read all about it on my last Barcelona blog post if you're looking for an easy way to see all of the sights in Barcelona, I've literally written a guide to your first trip to Barcelona so make sure you give that a read)
We got up early to visit La Sagrada Familia after booking our tickets online (the queue is far too big to just turn up on the day and visit this, a 4 hour waiting time to be precise so you should definitely book this in advance as it's well worth seeing). Our time slot was 12pm so we sampled some local sangria first, of course we did, true Brits.
This was back when my skin was horrific and I hadn't discovered my new skin care regime - plus it was just far too hot to wear any kind of make up.
It's tourist central when you get to La Sagrada. This basílica was designed by Gaudi and was left unfinished when he tragically passed away which I guess is another reason why everyone wants to visit it (not to mention how breath taking it is inside). If you go to Barcelona, you'll soon realise that Gaudi is pretty much the face of the city, his beautiful architecture is everywhere and whether you like architecture or not, you can't go to Barcelona and avoid his beautiful work.
Whether you're religious or not, it's worth seeing simply for Gaudi's incredible work when it comes to the architecture of the building, it's not like any other church that I've ever seen. I was blown away when I visited Paris and saw the architecture there, but this is just another level, as you can see for yourself.
It took us about an hour to look around the church and we did it quite quickly as we had a busy day ahead of us.
We hopped into a cute little 'tup tup' right outside the cathedral, it was the same price as a taxi to get to the beach and we really wanted to do something different. Basically an adorable man cycled us all the way to the beach in his little car (don't worry, it was electric, I wouldn't have got in it if he actually had the cycle us the whole way). He took us on cute little side roads, on public foot paths and gave us a general tour of Barcelona on the way to the beach, much better than a taxi and only 20 euros.
Here are just a few of the sights that we saw once we'd hitched our ride...
He even played us the cutest music whilst we drove through local Barcelona.
We suddenly saw the beach in the distance and realised that this was our next stop...
Thank you for the best taxi journey of my life.
The beach was perfect. This is what's so exciting about Barcelona, you have an incredible city including beaches, all within about 20 minutes of each other. We asked the driver which he recommended as the best beach and he explained that he visits beaches which are much further out as no-one else knows about them, with it being August, all of the beaches were busy but we didn't really mind, you could still easily sunbathe.
Another one of me au natural, I genuinely look like a 5 year old. Oh well. This photo hasn't been edited, as you can see, the water is absolutely incredible. You literally take two steps out and it's deep enough to swim in. If this counts as a date, swimming with Jack in the sea in Barcelona is hands down the best date that I have ever been on.
Whilst walking along Port Olimpic, you will see so many gorgeous restaurants, they are all quite expensive and they all do the same kind of fishy food.
I'm not a fish lover, but we wanted to be authentic so we went for a fish food paella. It was delicious, although the animal lover inside me was quite upset.
I loved wearing this cute little lace dress from Chicy as a cover up over my bikini.
Jack dunked me hence the ratty looking hair, so to get back at him I went swimming in his favourite Blaklabel tee, it's safe to say I got dunked a few more times for being so mischievous.
It was time to say goodbye to the sea (when I'm older, I do think I'll live by the sea in Barcelona, so it's goodbye but only for now).
Drenched and exhausted, it was time for a well deserved ice cream break and a few minutes to admire the yachts (playing in the sea in 30 degree sunshine is hard work).
We hopped back onto the Bus Turistic and arrived back at our hotel. We were greeted with a few little nibbles which were almost as delicious as the hotel room itself.
Ambient lighting on, check.
A few relaxing soundtracks, check.
The day wasn't over yet, days in Barcelona are long so it was time to get dressed and head up to our private pool at the hotel.
It wasn't your average roof top terrace pool, swimming with panoramic views of Barcelona was pretty special.
I was able to see La Sagrada from the pool which again, was pretty exciting.
The interior was incredibly beautiful just like the rest of the Murmuri hotel.
This really proved why the hotel was a 5*
As the Barcelona sun faded, it was time to get ready for dinner. We asked the hotel concierge where she would recommend to eat in Barcelona and she told us about a special little tapas bar which apparently serves 'the best tapas in Barcelona'. We thought we'd give it a go...
It was our last night, we had quite a few euros left between us so we decided to pretty much order the whole menu.
I don't know if this is just a girlie thing, or if it's just me, but tapas really is my kind of food, I much prefer to pick at loads of different and exciting things, than be outfaced with a huge meal.
The mini burgers were just too cute to eat.
Baked camembert was up there with one of the most delicious things of the trip.
Even though we were nearly bursting out of our jeans, there was still room for desert.
We were shocked that the bill was only around 50 euros, for a bottle of wine and about 30 dishes, no wonder this place is so busy, top quality food, service, atmosphere AND well priced.
Catalana in Barcelona is well worth the wait and the money. She explained that there will be long waiting lists, we went at 8 to put our names down and were seated by 10.30pm. It was a long time to wait, but we knew it would be more than worth it. We simply went back to the hotel for a glass of wine or three before we ate. The food was simply incredible, we definitely saved the best until last. We were thoroughly unimpressed with the food in Barcelona until we found this hidden gem (it really is a hidden gem, do check it out on tripadvisor as so many other people agree that it's the best tapas in Barcelona).
We ordered room service as we spent our last few hours in Barcelona sipping wine on our private terrace, looking out onto the quaint streets of Barcelona. Bliss, is the word that springs to mind.
The Barcelona sun woke us up promptly the following morning. We unfortunately, had a flight to catch.
We waved goodbye to paradise and told Barcelona not to worry because we will be back soon.
Barcelona was much better than I ever expected, this is the city that never sleeps. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona, I really would recommend spending at least 4 nights in the city. The most problematic thing that you will come across whilst in Barcelona is deciding whether to spend most of your time at the beach or admiring the beautiful monuments that the city has to offer, diving your time between the two, like we did, worked really well (even if it was a hard job for Jack having to literally drag me away from the beach). Do make sure you read my part one of Barcelona which hopefully will come in handy as an easy guide to visiting Barcelona if you are planning a trip there.
I hope you enjoyed my travel posts, if you want to see more, I now have a dedicated lifestyle section including restaurants, spas, hotels, travel and more. You can read that here.
Have you ever been to Barcelona? What's your favourite city? Would you like to visit Barcelona? Where do you suggest that I visit next?
Lots of love, Em x