Bring it on, Barcelona!

Well, what can I say? You twisted my arm. Last week, I posted about our plans to spend our fifth wedding anniversary in Spain this summer. I started off thinking we would visit the Andalucía region in the south, spending time in the cities of Seville in Granada. However, so many of you reached out and said that we couldn’t miss Barcelona! You said how beautiful, romantic, and inspiring it is. You spoke and I listened.

Over the course of the past week, our trip has morphed into several incarnations. We knew we definitely wanted to add Barcelona to our itinerary given your recommendations and the fabulous design scene (Hello Lázaro Rosa Violán!). After much thought and deliberation, it seems the best way to spend our week away will be to focus on Barcelona alone. Flight times in and out of Seville are sketchy and it seemed like too much to take on in one week, especially since Fabian requested minimal travel while we are there.

So, Barcelona it is!! We are both super excited and I can’t wait to share Spain with my husband since he has never been. We will probably take a day trip to Montserrat and perhaps another to Sitges or Girona. I think we’ll decide once we’re there. However, I would love your suggestions for Barcelona since so many of you were so passionate about this city. We have chosen a hotel in the Eixample neighborhood, but would love any ideas you might have for sightseeing, shopping, and dining. ¡Gracias!
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  1. Paloma,
    I am the one who is in love in Barcelona! I have been there for three times already. There is so many things to see and do…
    Before you go, you definitely need to watch Woody Allen’s movie “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona”. Barcelona plays the main role in the film… on your vacation fallow the places not the plot .
    Here is the link:
    I hope you are going to have a wonderful summer holiday there!!!

    listed a round of favorite restaurants in Spain a while back.

    To see all the Gaudi buildings in person is so very special. The local museum that has the young works of Pablo Picasso which was mind blowing to discover his dark and detailed historical documentation which is nothing of what we know of him as an adult artist who bloomed in the colorful abstract.

  3. fantastic decision! so happy for you Paloma, you will love it! Think about Cadaques too 🙂 What hotel did you chose?
    You will love the city! you can’t miss the typical, Parc Guell, Pedredra, Casa Batllo, Sagrada Familia! Barceloneta and Vila Olimpica to see the beach. I strongly recommend the barceloneta restaurant ( for great (really good) seafood and if you like tortillas the best place is Flaix Flaix( If you want tapas you should try Cal Pep ( a classic!
    Sorry for all the links! If I think of more I’ll email you 🙂 so happy for you and husband! xx

  4. Virgina, I have seen “Vicky Cristina”. It is one of my favorite movies. I love Woody Allen! It definitely made us want to experience Barcelona for ourselves. 🙂

    Terri, have you been to the Picasso Museum in Paris’ Marais District? We went there 3 years ago and it was amazing! Any idea how it compares to the Barcelona version?

    A Diary of Lovely, thanks for the links! I can’t wait to check them all out.

  5. how exciting?!?!!

    barcelona is the best of the best of the best places to visit with a loved one. you will see.
    so happy for you, hugely different from anything in texas and will make you smile the entire time.

    and yes…how amazing was vicky christina? and every scene in that movie….?
    i am soo jealous!

  6. Divine choice! You are going to love it! Let me clear the cobwebs of my mind to think of the name of a fantastic restaurant that you must try!

    And google or read in one of the travel books about the oldest cava bar in Barcelona (perhaps Spain) – must go there for a glass or two!

  7. So exciting! I think you made the right decision Paloma to avoid too much travel once you get there. One of my major gripes about our last big vacation to Ireland and London was how we really lost 1.5 days of a 10 day trip to travel — and that sucks!

  8. I’ve been there long time ago so i can’t suggest something for food. But stop everywhere for coffee cause it’s excellent. On Rambla there is the Opera cafe with the best chocolate. I also suggest Picasso Home that is a museum with a great atrium. Have fun.

  9. To echo Virginia above, I’ve been to barcelona too and must say it’s definitely one of my all time favorite places in the world – I love the quirkiness, the colour, the vibe and enrgy! You won’t regret it! Lucky you!!! Enjoy!
    Gena @ thinking aloud
    Thinking Aloud (a photoblog)

  10. Y’all are going to have so much fun! I can’t wait to hear all about it. My fiance and I wanted to go to Barca for our honeymoon but it required about 3 too many changes of plane from Aspen (where we will be hitched). One day, probably using your trip as a guide, we will make it! xoxo

  11. I love to read up on related topics to the city I’m going to visit. A great book is the Gaudi biography by Gijs Van Hensbergen. Not only does it give a great picture of the mythical figure but it complements it by recounting a bit of Catalan history and character which shaped Guadi’s life and work… I read it and fell in love with Gaudi but mostly with Catalan identity.

  12. So happy to hear that!!!!!
    As a chid we spent 6 months in Barcelona living the expat life. I have been back many times. It is my favorite place in all of Spain. The architecture is stunning. Don’t forget to read “The Shadow of the Wind” while you’re there : )
    Seriously Girona is beautiful. You do not need to go to Stiges, but please check out S’Agaro on the Costa Brava. We have stayed at the Hostal de la Gavina a few times and have not been disappointed.
    S’Agaro reminds me of very much of Carmel and Santa Barbara but with better sangria.

  13. Paloma, I have to let you know that you have single handed inspired my husband and I to travel to Spain this summer! We don’t really have any restrictions in terms of length of stay. When, and for how long would you recommend staying? Which cities besides Barcelona should we hit?

    Thanks for sharing all these great places!

  14. Melanie, it makes me so happy to hear that! You guys will absolutely love Spain! I have only spent time in the Castilla y León region in central Spain. Madrid would be great, but I would only spend a couple of days there. For a large city, I don’t think it’s very exciting. Make sure you make time for the Prado and Reina Sofia. Both museums are excellent!

    I spent about a week in Salamanca which is maybe 2 hours from Madrid. It is the most beautiful town with a very rich history. I would spend a couple of days there if you go to Madrid and are in the general area. The architecture is gorgeous and it is sort of a laid-back university town with great shopping.

    I spent a day in Segovia. It is a beautiful medieval town with a Roman Aqueduct and the fairytale Alcazar castle.

    This time around, I did a lot of research and really would love to make it to the south some day, it just won’t work out for us this time. Seville and Granada both look incredibly gorgeous. They are quintessentially Spanish. All of the romantic notions we have of Spain come from that region.

    Good luck planning everything! Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or need any tips. You can always e-mail me at

  15. I’m so excited for you!! I actually just went for my first time over the holidays. And every picture you posted were my favorite places. The Cathedral was the most inspiring. At first it kind of freaked me out… but then you really see what the artist was trying to accomplish. It’s totally raw and organic in the most magical way ever. And you definitely have to go to the park and explore!!

    Overall, great place to visit 🙂

  16. If you want to have a good drink with a delicious tapa and be setting with the Alhambra palace in front of your eyes, you must come to Granada!. I recommend you The White Nest Hostel. It is located in the best area of the Albayzin with magnificent view of the palace and paseo de los tristes. You can find a young international group of like minded people, in fresh vibrant surroundings. You will have a great time to remember your entire life… I propose you to stay in Hostels Granada and experience the life of Albayzin, Sacromonte and the heart of Granada itself.

  17. Wow stumbled upon your blog but like it so much! We have a tennis travel company USA to Barcelona and are completely infatuated with this amazing city – not to mention it is the epicenter for innovative and great tennis. The city is almost magical, the food both traditional and avant garde. The architecture sensational, and the blend of city & beach great for everyone. I hope you love your trip and go back again and again. It will always welcome you back 🙂

    p.s. best place for sunset cocktails overlooking the city is Hotel Magestic. You will love it!