When Matt and I originally started planning this trip, we were just going to visit Italy. After doing some research, we found out that Barcelona is so close and an easy stop from New York City. We adjusted our trip so we could spend the first 48 hours in Barcelona. We were able to check Barcelona off our bucket list and we were “in the area” anyways!
Getting to Spain:
We decided to do NYC for 24 hours before our flight to Spain. We did this because 1.) I LOVE NYC!, 2.) to break up the travel and 3.) the flights are so much less from NYC compared to Chicago. But really it was just an excuse to spend a little time in NYC. From New York City, the plane ride was about 7 1/2 hours so not unbearable. Once you are in Europe, it is pretty easy and cheap to get to other European countries which is another reason we decided to stop here first. Our tickets from Barcelona, Spain to Florence, Italy were $80 each, we couldn’t refuse!
Matt and I are not huge “hotel people”. We don’t like to hang out in the hotel so we aren’t too picky about which hotels we stay in. Don’t get me wrong, we do not stay in gross hotels but we also don’t feel the need to stay in 5 star hotels either. We chose the Generator Hostel because the price was amazing and I’ve read so many great things about it. I always thought a hostel meant everyone sharing a room together. That is not the case. We had a private room with a private bathroom and balcony. The common areas and overall energy is just fun! They have Generators all over Europe which look great too and seriously the price you can’t beat! Huge bonus and why we picked it: the location was great!
The first day we were in Spain, we are really jet lagged. We took a red eye flight so sleeping in an airplane seat wasn’t the best sleep ever. The first few hours in Barcelona, we spent sleeping. Probably not a great idea but we needed it! We decided to wander around starting at 4pm. We thought we were late, we definitely were not! The city doesn’t come alive until later. We tried to eat dinner at 6:00pm but every place we went to didn’t serve dinner until 7:30pm. We wandered around for the first couple hours just taking in the city.
Since dinner didn’t start until 7:30pm, we sat outside and drank cocktails for the hour before. We love to people watch so it was a win for us. The restaurant is so quaint and the staff was really friendly and helpful! But the food…OMG the food! There is not a set menu so we just let our server order for us and it was the best food Matt and I’ve had in a long, long time. The seafood was amazing! We talked about this restaurant for 2 days after, that is how good it was! But make sure you have reservations, we watched so many people get turned away for not having reservations. We booked our reservation when we arrived at 6pm so we didn’t have a problem. One of the reasons we wanted to come to Barcelona was for the food/tapas and this place was beyond what we expected.
Such a great bar! We couldn’t get over the decor- it was the most manly, chicest bar I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have reservations so we sat directly at the bar which was perfect for us. The staff was very friendly and the cocktails were delicious…maybe a little too good. There is a upscale restaurant on the first floor called Boca Grande that looked great too. Check out the bathrooms, my mirror and lighting dream!
The nightlife in this city was so much fun! We stumbled around from bar to bar after Boca Chica but neither Matt or I remember the names of the bars. We had a little bit too much fun! It could have been the jet lag but we didn’t make it to bed until 4:00am.
Going to bed at 4:00am made the day a struggle (ugggghhh!).
La Sagrada Família:
This place was AMAZING! Designed by Antonio Gaudí, the construction of the church started in 1882 and is still not complete. The full completion is estimated for 2026. This architecture and beauty of this place is insane. Make sure to make your way around the whole thing because every corner is of this place is unreal.
You can’t go to Barcelona without dipping your feet into the Balearic Sea (Mediterranean Sea), right?! We jumped in a taxi and headed for the beach. We walked around and looked at all the ships and yachts. Matt was in heaven and had more fun checking these out than anything else we did that day. We walked up and down the boardwalk, some more great people watching! There are plenty of bars and restaurants right on the beach and boardwalk. We couldn’t find the restaurant we wanted to try, I don’t think it is there anymore so we stopped at a restaurant along the boardwalk but wouldn’t recommend it, the food wasn’t good.
Overall, our trip in Barcelona was great and we had so much fun (too much!) but I wish we weren’t so jet lagged. We didn’t get enough pictures either, we were walking zombies. Another bummer, we didn’t have enough time to see Park Guell. I would definitely add this to my list of must-sees.
Thank you to Caitlin Hoffmann with Wandering Eye Co. for your amazing recommendations and help planning this great trip!
How would you spend your 48 hours in Barcelona?