So apparently I only post new blogs here after I’ve been on holiday… Not a bad thing I suppose. Let’s just hope I’m able to blog regularly! (Cause that means I’m going on lots of holidays!)
Where we stayed:
Hotel SOHO – This hotel was in a great location, walkable to lots of attractions and right next to a metro station though I chose it mostly for the TripAdvisor reviews. A 4 1/2 out of 5 rating for a 3* hotel must mean good things right? It also boasted a rooftop pool and terrace. It’s not a bad hotel at all. It’s well designed with some lovely modern interiors. We were upgraded to a bigger room so we had oodles of space!
There’s definitely a reason why this hotel is firmly in the 3* category regardless of its well appointed decorations thoughout and that’s shown in the tiny lobby area where a solo receptionist mans the front door (they don’t just slide open on their own), checks guests in and out and takes room service orders… You also get your pool towels from him. The walls are also pretty thin so if you’re a light sleeper this mightn’t be your cup of tea. Whilst there’s no raving through the night, you can definitely hear people moving around, doors slamming etc., I think one morning someone was drilling something next door…
The pool and terrace was cute and clean though the sun beds were always taken by the time we popped our heads out in the afternoon. Not a bad place for a siesta though!
All in all it’s not a bad choice of hotel at all for those looking for a midrange option.
Where we ate:
Bacoa – an awesome burger place. We went to the one just off La Rambla. The portions are massive!
Ciudad Condal – this tapas restaurant was recommended by the hotel and had a queue out the door. Unfortunately we were extremely underwhelmed by the food. I’m sure you could get much better tapas elsewhere! I think the queues were from tourists who’d all been told to come here…
Brunch + Cake – a great brunch spot! There’s a couple of these in Barcelona. They serve organic food with a big emphasis on the healthy stuff. Expect lots of fruity salads, avocado and quinoa…
Eyescream and Friends – the most entertaining ice cream I’ve had in a while! For €4.50 you get to pick 2 toppings and your choice of ice cream flavour. The ice cream comes in large frozen blocks which is shaved into thin slices (hence the ruffled appearance) and then add in two sugar eyes… I got the wild berry yoghurt and it was delicious!
How can you visit Barcelona and not hit up all the Gaudi sights? We went past the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo and joined the throngs of tourists taking photos there. We didn’t actually go in to either though – I’m not a big enough Gaudi fan to warrant the €20+ entry fee.
We visited the beach as well! We only made it as far as Barceloneta – there are more beaches further down and further out of the city – as we were short on time. The beach was packed full of sun-worshipping locals and tourists alike and hawkers offering everything from drinks and sarongs to massages and tattoos…
We flew by:
Easyjet – delayed flights both directions. What more can you say 😦
How we got around:
Walking mostly. It’s pretty easy to get around on foot! Of course in the midday sun it gets remarkably more unpleasant… When we got too
lazy hot we took the metro. The metro system is pretty well organised and the trains themselves are well air conditioned – which is a good thing considering how sweaty everyone is when they get on! We bought a T10 ticket to share which give you 10 rides for €9.95.
From the airport we took the Aerobus which stopped quite close to our hotel. It was €10.90 return and takes about 35 mins. The bus has air-con, wifi and USB charging ports – it’s pretty well equipped!