We have just returned from a 4 night/3 day Jet2CityBreak to Barcelona and it was fabulous… the weather was great – 18 degrees and sunny!
Being a city break package our trip included 22kg luggage per person which was great as we didn’t need to worry about restrictions for this short duration and would have plenty of room for souvenirs 😊
We flew from Leeds Bradford at 4.30pm on Easter Sunday and despite being forewarned by Jet2 about French Air Traffic Control strikes and Swissport strikes on that day, it was the quickest we’ve ever got through bag drop off and security, in fact we even departed a couple of minutes early!
We arrived at Barcelona on time and headed to our hotel. We hadn’t booked transfers as we originally thought about getting the metro. However, when we headed that way we noticed it was very quiet and being Easter Sunday we weren’t sure whether all the services would be running especially in the evening. Instead we used Uber which arrived within 5 minutes and we were at our hotel in around 25 minutes, the cost was approx. 30 Euros.
We stayed at the INNSiDE Barcelona Apolo Hotel which was in the Theatre District. The hotel was modern and bright, and the reception staff were very welcoming. The rooms were lovely and clean and spacious with a lovely big bed (and huge pillows!!!!), refreshments were provided including juice and water in the fridge. There’s a small bar area and a large lobby with plenty of seating. We didn’t find the Terrace Restaurant as this didn’t open until 7pm and we were usually out and about but the photos on the website looked lovely. It was a 15-minute walk to the Port area and a similar distance to La Rambla so a really good central location. There was a metro station literally minutes away. Across the road was a Café 365 which was perfect for a croissant and coffee in the morning for breakfast and was so reasonable, 2 croissants for 1.60 Euros and they were very tasty. These cafes are found all over Barcelona and are good for lunch too.
We booked on to a City Tour Bus on our first day (it’s become a bit of a tradition for us as a family to get on a tour bus especially on the top deck!!), we like to have a good look around and get our bearings, it’s great for hopping on and off and getting around. Just remember to tie your hair back as it gets a bit blustery on the top deck, Dad didn’t have that trouble though😂 We caught the bus near the Port and had lots of photo opportunities along the route. We pre-booked but you can get tickets on the day and there are 2 Bus companies offering tours. We used Barcelona Bus Turistic which did seem a bit quieter so more availability on the top deck.
We finished the day by walking down La Rambla down to the Port where we stopped for refreshments by the sea, it was lovely and sunny with a breeze so perfect weather.
Day 2 was a Gaudi Day. We had pre-booked tickets to La Sagrada Familia and to Parc Guell as we’d read that you were best pre-booking to guarantee entry. It was a 50-minute walk from our hotel to La Sagrada so we decided to get the metro which was so easy. A Single trip is 2.40 Euros per person however after researching a bit more we could get a Family ticket for 10 Euros which covered 8 journeys so this worked out cheaper, you can buy online and collect your ticket at the metro station using a code.
You can also get the Hola Barcelona Card, which covers travel for a selected number of days. We didn’t opt for this as it was our intention to walk more places but time wise it may be beneficial. We got the metro a few times but still managed to clock up 1000s of steps every day so definitely make sure you have comfortable shoes.
We arrived at La Sagrada a little bit early, but they allowed us in after going through security. It is simply Amazing, it’s definitely one of those WOW moments when you walk in through the door, the detail is out of this world and phenomenal. We booked to go up one of the Towers and got a view of the city, plus you got to look at the detail on the outside of the Cathedral and see the work that is currently still being undertaken. Definitely one to tick off the bucket list.
Our next stop was at Parc Guell, again we had pre-booked tickets for 2pm. There were limited tickets available on the day for much later on so definitely worth pre-booking. We stopped at a Café nearby for a spot of lunch before going to the Parc. It was very busy, but we were able to look around and get plenty of photos.
Day 3 we booked a stadium tour at Camp Nou, home of Barcelona Football Team. A must for football fans, even my Mum and Sister were impressed. It was fascinating to see the number of trophies they have won, they really are one of the biggest teams in the world. The pitch was amazing, we took plenty of selfies and photos!
My Sister had researched places to go whilst we were there and found Poble Espanyol which is an open-air architectural museum where you walk through different areas of Spain such as Andalusia and Galicia, it is made up of streets, squares and recreations of traditional buildings throughout Spain. We did this in the afternoon on our last day.
We had hoped to see the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc during our stay however we didn’t realise the showtimes were only on certain days so make sure to check the timings to co-ordinate with your visit dates if this is something you want to see.
We found a Tapas restaurant we wanted to try called Guell Tapas, this was located off La Rambla. The first night we tried they were fully booked, same on the second night however we managed to book in for the Wednesday night and we are so glad we did. It was busy even though there were plenty of tables, so clearly a popular choice. The menu had plenty to choose from, we had the Paella and it was divine, really worth the wait. Top Tip – pre book to make sure you get a table. You’ll find it on the street Carrer Nou de la Rambla.
With plenty of sites to see, lots of photo opportunities, shopping and many places to eat and drink, Barcelona is definitely recommended for a city break, with flights from Leeds Bradford it was a perfect getaway!