I went to Barcelona, Spain!
We did it, one more country added to the “been there done that” list – what an amazing feeling!
Usually, I travel in pair, together with my girlfriend, but we tried something a little bit different this time and brought two more friends with us. We were all ready to get another dose of Summer vibes, even tho Summer ended here in central Europe where we live. Solution? Barcelona, Spain! 🇪🇸
I’ve learned a lot in the past years of traveling as a broke student. Yes you guessed it, we booked the cheapest flights that we could find and we got there for around $35. Btw, we flew with Ryanair from Marco Polo (Italy) and we got there for like $10 with a bus. Not bad right? 50 bucks and we were already chilling on a sunny beach in Barcelona!
We paid for 4 nights in Barcelona. We came there on Sep 21th and went back on Sep 27th. You may be counting and realizing this is much more than just 4 nights, it’s actually 6 nights! So why have we just paid for 4 of them? The answer lays in a simple budget-friendly solution that I’ve learned myself. Book your flights for late at night so you don’t need to stay anywhere the first night (we spent some time on the airport actually, but that’s up to you, you could go out and explore as soon as you land). This is how you get an extra day without paying for it. But that’s not all, you can actually get another day for free, and that’s actually your last day. You usually need to leave your hotel or apartment in the morning, but don’t go back yet! You still have a full day at your location, and again, plan your flight back late at night. This is how you’ll be able to spend another day at your destination without paying for an extra night.
That’s enough, let’s check what we did in those days in Barcelona!
DAY 1 - 9/21
We all gathered together in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and went on a bus to Marco Polo airport in Venice (Italy) which took us about 3,5h to get there. Looking back, we had enough time to explore Venice in this time but we stayed at the airport I actually flew for the first time, what a traveler! We had like 7 hours at the airport but it passed quickly with a good company and before we knew we were in the air!
DAY 2 - 9/22
Landing, not the smoothest as other said, but I’ve read a lot about Ryanair being the champion in bumpy landings, but I liked that feeling!
We arrived, we were actually in Spain!! But all we could see at midnight when we arrived was huge BARCELONA sign on the airport and google maps confirming that we are in Barcelona (you never know! ). Everything else was waiting for the sun to get up and us to get some sleep – at least we thought so. We tried our best to sleep at the airport but we were just too excited and haven’t slept much. What we actually did was laying on the airport chairs that we pushed together, spending time on phones planning next days and waiting for Burger King to open at 5 AM, thanks for that Burger King!
We were on our way to the city center as soon as the sun got up. They have a metro in Barcelona that gets you from the airport to the city center and that was great! We bought 120-hour metro tickets (5 days) for around 38€ each. When traveling, public transport may be quite expensive, just like this in Barcelona, but I advise you to buy it no matter the cost because it always pays off and is totally worth it.
Our first stop was Barceloneta, metro stop at the beach, where we spend our first morning in Barcelona. We were amazed by a beautiful sandy beach and gorgeous W hotel on it. It was already hot, sunny and we soon noticed how active Spanish people are. EVERYONE was running or being active in one way or another. I haven’t seen that many active people anywhere else that I’ve been. We weren’t one of those tho, we were still tired from the long night that we went through, which showed later in the day when we got to the hostel and slept for a few hours, during the day! And yes, we were in the hostel, which some people don’t like, but I guess hostels are awesome for many reasons. The first and most obvious reason is the price – hostels are usually the cheapest way to sleep anywhere you go, but you most commonly share a room and bathroom with others, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I had no bad experience in hostels and meeting other travelers and people from all around the world is a beautiful thing in my opinion. However, we had a private room this time because there were four of us and we had a room for four, which meant we had some more privacy, still for the price of the hostel. We paid around 20€ per night each, and when we came to the hostel, the lady that showed us around also offered us free breakfast which we didn’t have in the offer before, what an awesome deal!
As I already mentioned, we slept for a few hours after that and then we went out in the evening. This evening was the only one that we had a chance to see Magic Fountain which is basically a fountain that has shows some evenings, spraying water with light shows and music, starting with iconic Barcelona song! There was also a big free concert near the fountain so we went there as well where we grooved with the locals and eat some hot dogs.
After that we went back to the hostel to get some more sleep, what a sleepy day! But look, I still had a lot to say about this day, because it was amazing to experience! And it also felt like a whole week, to be honest
DAY 3 - 9/23
We visited Sagrada Familia, huuuge church that is still under construction after well over 100 years, but they said it will be finished by 2028 so they are getting close! We haven’t went in because that would break our bank and we would need to wait in line for hours – book online if you’d like to visit it! However, it was worth seeing this awesome church that Gaudi designed and we also got some iconic pictures from the Park Guell with a lake which is located next to the church.
We then wanted to go to Gaudi park, but we were only able to see the free part of the park as tickets for that day were sold out, somehow. Gaudi park hasn’t gone as planned so we had some additional time which we spent in Subway, of course! Subway led us back to Sagrada Familia and this is where we also went to a FCB Barcelona history museum, perfect for all the football addicts. This museum was free sooooo, why not.
After that, we decided to climb to the castle. But hell nah, who would walk, we took the funicular! Just note, that was kinda expensive, 12€ per person or something like that We got a return ticket for that money tho, one way ticket is around 8€. Funicular (made for 4 people, that was great!) took somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes to the top and the view was getting better every minute. By funicular or by foot, however, but you really need to visit the castle! The view of the city is amazing from there and you can actually walk 360° around the hill and see it from every angle! This is free, but if you want to see the castle from inside, this will be another 3€.
We went back down to the city where we spent evening hours. We ran out of the water on the way back to our hostel, which is kinda expensive in Barcelona. We paid up to 3€ for a small bottle – for half a liter! There was the store that looked just like every single store out there – labeled “Super market“ even if the store has one shelf and full of Indian sellers. A lot of them were also missing the prices, so you never knew how much will something cost you, but that was not the case in this store. There were prices labeled properly, but what blew us away were the prices which were actually very low! We entered the store with a hope to leave with a bottle of water but you can imagine what happened. We felt like the biggest gangsters in town with a gallon of water (8 liters) and 4 more big bottles (1.5l each) and we got all of this for just 4,70€ – MINDBLOWING!!
DAY 4 - 9/24
We could say that was our day off, we took it easy. We woke up, ate our free breakfast in our hostel with friendly Antonio and went to the beach. Swimwear and beach towels were all we needed next to the beautiful sandy beach, amazing warm weather and good company. We jumped to the sea and really relaxed after a few days.
We decided to go to La Boqueria for lunch – a huge food market full of traditional food, fresh fruits and much more. La Boqueria is located on La Rambla which is the most famous walking street in the world! We went there by foot because it was not too far from the beach and we walked trough whole street which is approximately a kilometer long, full of people, shops, coffees and apparently thieves so make sure to have an eye on your belongings when walking there, or actually pretty much anywhere you go. We luckily didn’t come across anything like that, but I’ve been warned and now I’ve warned you. Sad enough, La Boqueria was closed, so we had to return the next day. We then returned to the hostel with the metro, went to shop for some instant noodles and prepared that in the hostel – jummy.
We haven’t stayed in the hostel very long, we just ate, changed clothes, refreshed ourselves and went back out – this time not together. I and my girlfriend Kaja went to the boat ride while Andrej and Eva went to the watch football game between FCB Barcelona and Real Madrid on Camp Nou. The boat ride was very nice, with live music and lasted for an hour and a half while we sailed along the Barcelona coast at the sunset. Once again, we had one more unique perspective and view to the city and it was amazing and also quite cheap, I believe it was under 10€ per person and just for compartment we paid 40€ each for a boat ride in Budapest – fair enough, we had welcome drink included there, but not here in Barcelona even tho we thought we have it for a moment, but nope For sure, we all had amazing evening, our friends enjoyed too!
When the ride was over, we went to the dinner and we ate traditional Paella (seafood rice) which was delicious! Of course, we had to drink sangria (alcoholic drink) because we didn’t had the drink included on the boat. Excuse: sangria is traditional for Spain too, so we really needed to take it – and it was very nice.
We came back home to the hostel before Andrej and Eva did and we went to sleep. Also, we had the only key to the hostel we had and we agreed that they’ll call me when they will be near and I will come open them. I heard my phone ringing at 1 o’clock in the morning, and I’m sure I heard it as soon as it started ringing because I was mentally prepared for the call if that makes sense When I picked up Andrej said “FINALLY!!“ and I was pretty confused because once again, I am sure I picked up right away. When I opened the doors, I saw that they had a plastic bag full of food and water in their hands. They said that they thought I will never open and that they will stay outside the whole night so they got themselves some water and food. Andrej said that he was calling me for an hour and when I checked my phone, I actually had A LOT of missed calls. It’s still a mystery how I haven’t heard a phone ringing next to my head for a whole hour and then randomly picked up one of the calls, but I’m glad I did (sorry fellows).
DAY 5 - 9/25
ZOO time! We visited Barcelona ZOO and you won’t believe, we saw animals. Penguins and crocodiles interested me the most because we don’t have them in our ZOO here in Slovenia. That’s also the time when I realized how strangely beautiful Spanish pigeons are. They are not even pigeons, instead, there are green parrots everywhere in Barcelona! I know, I needed some time before I realized that lol.
We had bad luck yesterday so we absolutely needed to revisit La Boqueria. This time, we got our bellies filled up with some traditional food and also with fresh fruits and juices. Even if you don’t feel hungry, it’s nice to visit it to see the variety of food that you can get there, which may not be available in your country, or at least, doesn’t grow in your country – and then people say Barcelona is not a tropical destination, oh please, I saw dragonfruits
That was our last evening in the city so we decided to come back to Barceloneta again – that’s the name of the beach we went to several times by the way. Summer was ending and that was obviously the last day of the seaside season for this year. As usual, we were sitting at the beach, looking at the waves, enjoying the sun and making fun of all that Indians that tried to sell us towels. They were saying “pario“ which, according to our translation skills, means blanket for giving birth, which sounds very disturbing once you get it And scary enough, it makes sense because they were actually selling some kind of blankets (or thin towels). Actually, there were two types of people trying to sell you stuff on the beach, all of them were Indian of course, which you could predict by now One thing that they were selling were towels for giving birth and the other thing were alcoholic drinks, more specifically sangrias and mojitos. Of course, all of them were selling this illegally, without a bill or permission. With that said, any time that police were there, they ran away and vanished for a minute or two, as long as the police were around. When one of mojito and sangria boys saw the police, he buried the rum into the sand in front of us, put down the tray of already prepared drinks and ran away empty-handed. We were already thinking about drinking some of this (ofcourse ) but in the end we decided to wait if he’ll return, and he actually did. He was looking for a buried bottle of rum for quite some time before he found it and it felt kinda awkward because we exactly knew what happened. We didn’t get free drinks sadly, but we got his smile and we’ve also been asked if we would like some drinks for the 100th time that day, he refused when I asked if we can get some as partners in crime.
DAY 6 - 9/26
Our final day in Barcelona But we were not done yet! We said goodbye to our friendly hostel guy Antonio which fed us every day and off we went to the Camp Nou. Not to watch the football match but to check out the stadium in general and to see the official FCB Barcelona museum. That cost 30€ per person but you simply have to visit such a thing when visiting Barcelona. It was funny to see where these famous people such as Lionel Messi walks every day, where they change clothes and even where they kick the ball to make a fortune.
We had to find one more thing when we left the stadium – souvenirs. We found them, we bought, awesome, everything was done. We also sent postcards the other day which I personally never did, but it felt great to sent something to your loved ones.
We hopped on the metro to the airport and there we heard two people who went on that same metro just to play Despacito to make some money. I know this is a Spanish song but sorry, I heard it too many times when it was popular. But I’m not complaining at all, one more thing added to this incredible journey.
We had to cross two metro lines to get to the airport, which led to a very interesting situation. We crossed lines many times in the past days so that alone was nothing really special. However, there are always stairs, escalators, and elevators at every metro station in Barcelona. On this one, there were no stairs, just escalators and elevators and for some weird reason, people were waiting in the line for elevators while there were not that many people on escalators – we obviously took the escalators as always. To get to the metro stop that we wanted, we needed to go down, and we tough we need to get down with one escalator (we haven’t even expected to be able to get more than one deep) but apparently, that metro station was DEEP. We took escalator after escalator and it felt like we’re on repeat already, everything looked the same every time, floor by floor (every floor was at least 10 meters tall). 10 floors later, we saw a sign to turn left to get to our station – and not to get down anymore, but there were still escalators leading even deeper for some of other metros! And there we were casually waiting for metro 100 meters under the ground. Metro arrived and we were at the airport quickly after this, a few hours before the flight as expected.
Andrej got a window seat on the plane and agreed to switch it with mine, much appreciated. We took off when the sun was still in the sky and I was able to see Barcelona from the air, well, at least coastline and later sea before we went too high to be able to see anything. It was beautiful, everything of course photographed and recorded but I wish Ryanair would care more about cleaning the windows, those were horrible. Overall, well done Ryanair, we are still alive and so are our bank accounts.
We landed in Venice and waited for our bus to arrive to the airport to pick us up and get us back to Slovenia. This is where our trip really ended – when the plane landed. A few more hours on the road and we were back home.
DAY 7 - 9/27
Our trip has ended at 2 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of the night, when we arrived back to Ljubljana. Kindly enough, my mom was there to pick me and my girlfriend up and in no time we were home, showering with hot water for the first time in the last week. Home sweet home, but traveling is damn awesome. Till next time, byeeeee.
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