In March 2020, I planned to spend the weekend in Barcelona but the world went on lockdown. Two years later, I was able to make that same weekend trip. I needed to be in London to lecture at London Business School and also for work, so I managed to fly out early and spend the weekend in Barcelona. Why Barcelona? It remains as one of my favourite cities in Europe. Since I’ve been several times, this trip was mostly a social visit with a little sight seeing mixed in. I made this trip with my friend Popy from London.
Barcelona sits right on the sea and is filled with fabled architecture, amazing food and an abundance of culture. The city sits against the deep blue Mediterranean sea with sun drenched beaches and a marina made perfect for a leisurely stroll. The architecture is quite special, filled with whimsical creations by Gaudi and his contemporaries. It’s also a city that has inspired many artists like Pablo Picasso, who has a museum dedicated to his work in the city. The food is simply delightful – Catalan cooking brings together simple, flavourful ingredients. There are tons of casual tapas bars, seafood taverns and even molecular gastronomy and avant-garde restaurants. The city may siesta, but the nightlife makes up for the quiet early evening. Towards midnight the bars get filled. You can choose between old school taverns, boisterous cava bars or even hidden cocktail bars. And if you stay up late enough, there are plenty of beachfront clubs to checkout.
My Weekend Itinerary
Upon landing, I made my way to the hotel for a quick nap and shower. I then meandered down Las Ramblas to soak in the sun and meet my friend Dexter for lunch at Ciutat Contal. We enjoyed tapas followed by a coffee in a café outdoors, before I needed to get back to work. Later that evening, we met friends for a typical Spanish dinner at Adobo.
It turned out to be a sunny day, so following breakfast, we decided to spend the day shopping and strolling. Spain is my favourite country to shop in, so it’s always fun to wander through the shops on Las Ramblas. We also visited the marina, where we stopped for a drink and La Boqueria, where we stopped for lunch. Later that day, we had a drink with a friend at the hotel bar which was a cool spot. Then, we met up with friends for dinner near Sagrada Familia, and drinks later that evening. It’s such a stunning site to see Sagrada Familia lit up at night.
We were so inspired by the views of Sagrada Familia at night, we decided to visit this massive cathedral. Sagrada Familia was initially intended to be a simple Roman Catholic church, but it was declared a basilica in 2010. It was dreamt up by Antoni Gaudi, and despite being unfinished for nearly 140 years, it’s become one of the most visited monuments in Spain. This was my second visit and the first time to see it not covered in scaffolding! After spending time in the basilica, it was time to grab lunch and eventually make our way to the airport. A short, but sweet trip to Barcelona!