Excited for my first full day in Barcelona, I headed out early to start exploring.
I anticipated that an early start would mean some sweet relief from the sweltering temperatures of the day before but it hit me like a wall of heat as I stepped out of the hostel – even before 9am!
Undeterred, I started wandering towards the Gothic Quarter. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that a lot of the quirky, vegetarian breakfast places I wanted to visit didn’t open until 11am – and my stomach definitely couldn’t handle two more hours without food!
Luckily, I stumbled upon a cute little cafe, Forn De La Vila, selling fresh sandwiches, pastries, homemade juices and coffee.
Here I enjoyed a Brie and salad roll with a soy latte, and met a sweet Canadian family who were intrigued by the sandwich and excited to add some of the places I planned to visit onto their own ‘to do’ list!
Sufficiently full of bread and coffee, I made my way through the streets of the Gothic Quater, or Barri Gòtic. Barcelona is full of some of the most stunning architecture I’ve ever seen. If you’re into beautiful buildings, this place should be on your list to visit.
Alongside all the incredible structures, Barcelona was filled with an array of street art!
I love graffiti-spotting in different cities and at every turn there was something new to see. Here’s just a few of my favourites from the trip.
I stumbled upon a Sunday market with tents selling all kinds of vintage and second-hand wares from decanters and vases to old newspapers and carved wood items. I picked up a pin badge to add to my collection!
Although a fabulous new rainbow sequin fan was helping to keep me cool, I decided to take advantage of one of the perks of solo travel and stopped for an early lunch.
I pulled up a seat outside Vegetalia, a great vegetarian and vegan friendly spot. Next on my list of ‘must eats’ was paella so I chose their veggie version with peppers and artichokes, accompanied by a tall glass of sangria – all served in the sun.
As it turned out, a big rice dish packed with veggies was a perfect choice for the adventure that afternoon. I started the long walk towards Montjuïc to explore the park and castle.
Aside from the beautiful greenery and the parakeets chattering away, this walk had some stunning views across Barcelona and the harbour!
I spent a couple of hours working my way up the mountain, pausing to take in the sights and enjoy a glass of white wine in the sun (and to let my poor feet rest, they were already well on their way to being torn apart by this point!).
I’m not sure the above counts as a ‘glass’ of wine, but it was just 2.50€ and delicious so no complaints here!
After a quick wander around the castle, I started the long journey back to the hostel.
But instead of heading back to the hostel as planned, I ended up taking a little detour! (I say little but it was still a 50 minute walk…)
I headed towards the craft beer area of Barcelona, as it turns out. Initially I planned to head straight to Garage Beer but passed so many different breweries and bars that I decided to pop into BierCaB along the way.
There was an incredible selection of 30 different beers on tap and I went for a sour by Omnipollo.
After the pit stop, I finally reached Garage’s bar and it was time for some more food and sour beers!
The staff were super helpful, giving me tasters of all the sours on that day and I settled on an amazing sour that tasted like tangy, raspberry purée.
A great beer calls for a great meal, right?
I ordered the spicy vegan pulled mushrooms bocadillo. The bocadillo is the iconic Spanish sandwich that’s often eaten in bars and cafes.
This sandwich was stuffed with Enoki mushrooms, spicy soy sauce, sesame and vegan mayo. It makes my mouth water just thinking how good it was!
Obviously I had to get the gordal olives to accompany it – they were so good I ended up ordering another bowl.
Full and happy, I started the long trek back to the hostel, ready to rest my feet for the evening as I’d racked up a huge 27,5000 steps during the day.
It was definitely time for sleep!