BARCELONA FOR THE WEEKEND…
Strapped for time but need a travel fix? No problem! I have learned to be creative at stretching my time off from work. When you have limited vacation time and a strong desire to travel at any given opportunity, you have to find a way to make it work. Extended weekends work best for quick trips.
I’ve mentioned before that I tend to get better flight deals to travel abroad than domestic. Barcelona was no different. I received a great deal for a return flight to Barcelona from Miami on Swiss Air. I figured a few days in Barcelona would do me some good. And it was just what the doctor ordered:)
My itinerary was packed with lots of typical tourist activities – most of which I ended up not doing. After meeting my amazing AirBnB hostess and getting new recommendations, pre-existing plans were simply tossed out.
This was my first time renting shared space through AirBnB. I typically rent out the whole house/apartment. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be one of my best experiences with AirBnB. My super hostess Miren was amazing and had a cozy apartment to match her awesomeness.
She gave me invaluable insight on the city that I was able to put to use. The interaction with a local added meaningful value to my overall experience in Barcelona. I had limited time but was able to get a great overview of the city from the things I did which involved a 4 hour walking tour, Montjuic cable car tour and a bar crawl.
The best thing I did while there, was take a tour to Montserrat which is about a 45 minute drive from the city. Montserrat is a monastery situated high above the city of Barcelona in greater Catalonia. We went up to the monastery on a cogwheel train while enjoying striking vistas of the mountain’s surreal rock formations and Barcelona off in the distance. I was in awe. I highly a recommend it!
I had a chance to visit the W Hotel located beachfront along the Barceloneta boardwalk. This location has panoramic city and Mediterranean sea views that are amazing. There is a rule against accessing the pool bar before 8pm for non-hotel guests but I gained access due to my Starwood Preferred Guest membership. I loved the pool vibes and endless supply of Cava – a type of sparkling wine from the region.
The night life was vibrant! I got to experience Opium, Shoko and Club Catwalk. Being part of the pub crawl was helpful as we got skip-the-line entry privileges. The lines can get pretty long! It was also great to be in the group as a female solo traveler. When I found myself to be alone I was often solicited for sex which was shocking! It happened multiple times including the daytime. My overall experience was great despite that.
I look forward to returning to Barcelona for a much longer period and to explore the rest of Spain.