Sagrada Familia

36 hours in Barcelona

Barcelona is one of those wonderous cities that never seems to lose its charm. It never ages and each time I visit I see it with new eyes. I’ve been visiting regularly,  around once a year, over the last 15 years now and  I’m rarely ever disappointed.

At 16 months old Pumpkinella spent her first full day and night without mummy and daddy (two nights in fact). My husband’s parents agreed to look after her for the weekend to give us a little bit of quality time together. And what did I do? I planned a trip abroad as far away as I dared to go from our little beauty. It’s ideal having a local airport, Cardiff Airport, only 5 minutes away by car.

We went direct with Vueling airlines, a Spanish operator, no frills but only £70 per person return. Unfortunately there were only two flights run by the airline to-and-from Cardiff, and they were only run twice a week.  Our flight left at 3pm on Friday and the first return flight after Friday was on the Sunday leaving Barcelona at 9am. This effectively meant that we had just one whole day and one evening before we were back in Cardiff.

Was it worth it? Most definitely! It’s been very difficult for my husband and I to take the focus away from Pumpkinella long enough to be comfortable with each others company without her. Since she was born in November 2012 we haven’t spent more that one day and night away from her and we’ve never been more than 10 miles away, until now. I know what you’re thinking at this point and you’d be right; it’s not a good thing to neglect the relationship you have with your spouse but we’ve been in survival mode for the last year. This short the break was thankfully just what we needed.

Having  taken an interest in Twitter over the last month, I’ve found myself excited by everything I see around me. Constantly thinking about the beauty of the ordinary things, I was easily carried away with Barcelona. As my husband is a keen photographer, for the first time in years, I didn’t have to just sit back and watch while he composed and shot his pictures, I was running around taking my own and was amazed at the beauty of even the little things we take for granted like the carved, decorative pavements on the streets of Avinguda Diagonal (really hope i spelt that correctly). I had never noticed these before. Every building in the city centre had a theme and character of its own.

We stayed in Hilton Barcelona which was close to the Les Corts district. It was a vibrant area with plenty of shops and entertainment. We booked it last minute using Secretescapes and paid £90 per night including breakfast and a Tapa in the bar. It is a stunning hotel and staff were very friendly. Although, a short bus or train or tram ride away from La Rambla, it was still technically on the same street and I preferred staying away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona’s nightlife. I liked the fact that it was very quiet in the room even though the restaurants were open right outside. If I could get that kind of sound-proofing in my house it would be amazing.

Bathroom Hilton Barcelona

Picture of a double room at Hilton Barcelona hotel

Bathroom Hilton Barcelona

Places we visited:-

  1. Placa Catalunya – the famous fountain was undergoing renovations so I didn’t take any pictures of it.
  2. Gaudi Museum – Even if you don’t pay for entrance the gradeur and beauty of it is apparent from every angle.
  3. La Rambla – A lovely stroll along this strip is an adventure in itself and there is everything from art to chinse (similar to Covent Garden in London during the summer but several time larger). La Boqueria is also just off this road.
  4. Barceloneta beach – One of the many sections of the beaches in Barcelona, great to sit and watch the world go by.
  5. La Rita Restaurant – A reasonably priced restaurant with stunning food. (mind that as a tourist they won’t give you tap water and insist you buy their bottled brand. However at about 1euro a bottle I wish I’d bought more for our adventures after leaving.)
  6. La Sagrada Familia – arguably the best example of Christianity over the last century
  7. Our bed – Siestas were the thing to do so we fully took advantage and relaxed in our hotels during the mid afternoon ready to take on Barcelona again in the evening,

Picture of outside of La Boqueria in BarcelonaLa Boqueria

Sagrada Familia at nightLa Sagrada Familia at night

Sagrada Familia at nightLa Sagrada Familia

IMG_2240  La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia 2

IMG_2255 parents in BarcelonaLovebirds in Barcelona


  • Reply Erin @Yorkshiretots 7th May 2015 at 1:58 PM

    ohhh.. what great photos! I feel the same about taking photos – it makes you look at the world a bit differently. I’ve never been to Spain but I’d love to go! #brilliantblogposts
    Erin @Yorkshiretots recently posted…10 for the Weekend – West Yorkshire Family Events April 24 & 25My Profile

  • Reply Sally @ 9th May 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Great article! Thanks for the hitlist. I’ve just booked a short break to Barcelona for September and was looking for some inspiration, so this was perfect. I can’t believe you squeezed so much in, in so little time.

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 25th May 2015 at 8:05 PM

      No problem, hope you ensure it as much as I did!

  • Reply Emma T 9th May 2015 at 8:04 PM

    I love Barcelona too, although I’ve only been once thanks to a competition win! It was the first time I’d experienced a beach in a city, and it was great to be able to relax there away from the traffic. #brilliantblogposts
    Emma T recently posted…Project 365 2015 – week 19My Profile

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 17th May 2015 at 11:59 PM

      Thank you! It’s definitely got a charm about itself and I’ll be coming back for some more.

    • Pumpkinella
      Reply Pumpkinella 25th May 2015 at 8:05 PM

      Thanks for the comment, I know what you mean, we didn’t go to the beach but we should have, next time!

  • Reply Mica 11th May 2015 at 11:56 AM

    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, even if it was only a short one! Sometimes a little time away is all you need to feel refreshed! 🙂
    Mica recently posted…Thrifted Finds: Bright Tops and Maxi Skirts and Rebecca Minkoff BagsMy Profile

  • Reply Katie @mummydaddyme 19th May 2015 at 9:31 PM

    It looks like a wonderful trip. I love Barcelona but have only been once years ago- before my kids were born. I was so poorly with a kidney infection as well so I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I could have done. I would love to go back again one day. x
    Katie @mummydaddyme recently posted…My Four Year Old Still Naps… And Other Exciting Sleep News…My Profile

  • Reply The Liebster Award - Pumpkinella baby 28th June 2015 at 12:53 AM

    […] I think I’d have to say Barcelona has given me some of the most enjoyable holiday moments. It’s such a vibrant and colourful city and every time I go I see something I haven’t seen before. I’ve been at least 10 times over the last 15 years so I’m no stranger to the city. You would think it must get boring but I love to explore and there’s so much culture and beauty, it keeps me coming back for more. I have a post about my latest trip, 36 hours in Barcelona, but totally fun packed. Have a read if you have a spare minute. […]

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