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:)

La Barceloneta


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!

Montserrat Monastery

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.


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