TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN BARCELONA

In the words of Ed Sheeran, “let’s pretend we are dancing in the street in Barcelona“!  I totally get why he wrote a song about this amazing city now that I’ve had the chance to visit!  There are SO many things to do in Barcelona, but I have rounded up my top ten.  We spent a total of three nights here, and we were able to easily check off each of these things.  Enjoy!

Postcards from Barcelona

Shoes // Dress

When to go

Whenever you get the chance!  For us, that happened to be the last weekend of September.  The weather was beautiful.  Temps were in the mid 70’s and we never experienced rain.  Do keep in mind that most apartments and homes in Barcelona don’t have air conditioning so during the day it can get a little warm.  The evenings seemed to cool off a bit, and I was happy to have a light leather jacket with me for venturing out.

Where to stay

Airbnb all the way!  Sadly I wouldn’t recommend our actual Air BnB that we stayed in due to some issues with the host responsiveness upon arrival.  However, all of our other experiences with Airbnb on this trip were great! Our stay in Barcelona ultimately turned out fine, but it took a few tries with our host in making it right.  The actual location we stayed was right off La Rambla.  It was definitely a noisy part of town in the evenings, but we liked being within walking distance of several things we wanted to see and do.

Buses to and from the airport are easy to locate and cost about 6 Euros to get you to Placa Catalunya.  The ride will take about 30 minutes.  The city overall is very walkable at all times of the day.  We arrived after 10PM on a Friday night and there were still plenty of people everywhere and restaurants and bars were still open and busy.

Top 10 things to do

Have a beer at Olgod Craft Beer Bar

Talk about random, chance happenings, Olgod Craft Beer Bar was that for us. We were in a cab sitting in a TON of traffic on a Sunday afternoon after having toured the Sagrada Familia heading back to our place when we saw Olgod out the window.  We kept watching the meter on the cab tick upward when we decided to just get out and start walking the rest of the way home.  We popped into the bar for one beer, and ended up staying for 5 hours!  We met 4 other Americans visiting Barcelona and had the best time drinking and chatting with them!  By far, one of the most memorable parts of our trip! So when things aren’t going your way while traveling, embrace it because you never know who or what you might experience that will stick with you forever.

Olgod gastropub has over 30 beers on tap - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

 

Visit the Beach and dip your toe in the Mediterranean

A Saturday at the end of September in Barcelona, the beaches were still jam packed with visitors!  There are plenty of public areas to layout if that is your preference, along with several beach bars where you can sit and people watch while sipping some rose!  The beach right along the water is mostly rocky, but higher up you will find softer sand.  One thing to keep in mind, you will see locals along the beach selling cheap little souvenirs and services – including massages.  I had a woman come up to me while we were sitting along the beach and just start rubbing my feet haha!  I politely told her no thanks several times but she kept doing it!  She finally did stop, but beware, they can be a little pushy at times.

Visit the public beach in Barcelona and have a beer

 

Visit the public beach and sit at a beachfront bar - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

Hat // T-Shirt // Sandals

Visit Mercat de la Boqueria

This open air market was right down the street from where we stayed!  There are aisles upon aisles of fresh squeezed juices and all sorts of other fresh food to nibble on!  Not to mention the colors everywhere are so fun to see!

Visit the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona to find fresh juices, fruit, desserts and more.

Explore La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona

Visit La Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona and try a dragonfruit smoothie.

{Dragonfruit Smoothie = DELISH}

Buy yourself a pair of espadrilles

Spain is known for these cute little shoes with the jute wrapped bottoms.  You will literally see them EVERYWHERE — in store windows and on the feet of local women (and men too)!  I purchased my pair from La Manual Alpargatera.  They have been in business since the Civil War era!  The staff was super helpful in bringing out several styles and sizes for me to try and I’m so happy with the pair that I picked!  I know I will wear them for many years to come!

Visit La Manual Alpargatera to buy a pair of espadrilles - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

Climb to the top of Turo de les tres creus

This is the highest part of Park Guell.  When you reach the top, you can see some pretty spectacular views of most of Barcelona!  If you’re afraid of heights, beware!  But I promise the views are worth it!

Climb to the top of Turó de les tres creus in Park Guell - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

View from the top of Turó de les tres creus in Park Guell - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

Have a picnic in Park Guell

Remember how I talked about embracing when things don’t go your way while traveling?  Here’s another example for you.  As we roamed around the free parts of Park Guell, I became hangry.  Google maps had already failed us once on finding something near the park to eat, but then it redeemed itself by bringing us to Guelly Sandwich Shop!  The shop is located right outside of the park on a hill top (right as you come up the steps from the Guell train stop).  This little family run shop was the cutest, and their sandwiches were delish (along with the churros dipped in chocolate)!  We grabbed ours to go and walked back into the free part of the park and found a spot to enjoy!

Visit Guelly Sandwich Shop and have a picnic in Park Guell - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

Dine at Brunch and Cake

If you have a love for the beautiful and creative content that you see on the gram, then a meal at Brunch and Cake is an absolute MUST while in Barcelona!  I found out about this place while searching hashtags before our trip and I’m so glad I put this on our list to visit!  The food was SOOO good, and the presentation was out of this world!  Be sure to arrive as early as possible (especially on a weekend) because there will most definitely be a line.  We waited for about 20 min for a table, but once we were seated the service was quick.

Have breakfast at the beautiful Brunch and Cake Restaurant in Barcelona

Sunnies // Skirt // Purse

Order matcha pancakes from Brunch and Cake in Barcelona

Get the matcha pancakes!

Order a latte from Brunch and Cake when visiting Barcelona

Get lost in the Gothic Quarter

The charming Gothic Quarter is full of narrow streets filled with bars, restaurants, and shops.  As we strolled through on a Saturday afternoon, the streets were busy with people enjoying a beautiful day!  I loved stumbling upon a musician playing on a street corner and taking it in for a moment!

barcelona gothic quarter

Stroll the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter and take in the sights and sounds - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is a must see.

Visit the Arc de Triomf

This was a fun spot on a Saturday.  The Arc de Triomf was the main access gate to the 1888 World’s Fair in Barcelona.  While we were there on a busy Saturday afternoon we encountered locals and tourists alike!

The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona is a lovely spot for taking pictures.

Visit the Arc de Triomf - 10 Things to do in Barcelona

Tour Sagrada Familia

If you’re not familiar with Sagrada Familia, it is a large unfinished Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona.  The church design was done by Antoni Gaudi starting in 1892!  Yes, you read that right, 1892!  The expected completion date is 2026.  If you plan to tour the church like we did (which I highly recommend), be sure to purchase your tickets in advance of your trip!  It is an absolutely breathtaking structure! When you exit Sagrada Familia, be sure to browse the paintings outside from local artists.  There are tons of different sizes and they make for a great souvenir to take home.  We purchased one to hang on our gallery wall.

A selfie in front of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Tour the Sagrada Famila when visiting Barcelona

The inside of the Nativity Facade looking down

The stained glass colors inside of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Breathtaking colors inside of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Barcelona was a beauty!  We had so much fun and made memories that will last forever!  Be sure to check out my capsule packing wardrobe post here!  And stay tuned for a recap of our visit to Rome and Sorrento too!

22 PIECES TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO EUROPE

We leave for a trip of a lifetime in exactly 2 weeks, but I started outfit planning like a year ago haha, kinda kidding, kinda not!  Knowing what to pack for Europe is a bit overwhelming, especially because I am notorious for being an over-packer.  In an attempt to have room in my suitcase for fun souvenirs, I am vowing to stick to somewhat of a capsule wardrobe.  This actually might be the most prepared I have ever been when packing for a vacation.  By writing this blog post it has really allowed me to dig in on how I can mix and match pieces from my closet!

packing tips for europe

  1. Comfy, but cute sneakers
  2. Sandals
  3. Mules
  4. Block Heel
  5. Crossbody Purse
  6. Sunnies
  7. Hat
  8. Bandana
  9. Swimsuit (depending on temps)
  10. Blue Jeans
  11. Black Denim
  12. Cutoffs (depending on temps)
  13. Denim Skirt
  14. Black Dress
  15. Another Solid Colored Dress
  16. Leather Jacket
  17. Windbreaker
  18. Chambray Shirt
  19. White Tee
  20. Black Tee
  21. Striped Shirt
  22. Lace Cami

CHOOSE A NEUTRAL COLOR PALETTE

By sticking to a neutral color palette, you will be able to better mix and match pieces to make different outfits from your wardrobe.  Pieces that are white, chambray, olive green or black will allow you to easily mix and match!

how to pack a capsule wardrobe for a european vacationACCESSORIZE

Pack accessories such as a bandana, sunnies, and a cute hat to help bring some fun to the simple pieces you packed.

A COMFY, BUT CUTE SNEAKER

When traveling to Europe, it’s inevitable that you will be walking A LOT.  You want to choose one that will look great with jeans, but can also be worn with dresses and skirts.

how to pack for a trip to europe

how to pack for europe

what to pack for europe

CONSIDER A RULE OF 3

When choosing what to pack for Europe, think of a rule of 3.  What are three different ways you could wear the item while on your trip.  You may want to be casual during the day when walking around doing touristy things, but then at night you may want to be dressier for a nice dinner.

packing for europe

Have you gone on a vacay to Europe?  If so, I’d love to hear from you plus your number 1 item to pack!  Comment below!

Traveling to Disneyworld soon?  Be sure to read my post on how to dress cute while visiting Disney!

LACE CAMISOLES FOR LAYERING

Fall is in the air, and that means it’s time to break out the layers!  Lace camisoles are the perfect piece for transitioning to fall because you can wear them alone or throw a jacket on.

satin camisole with lace trim

BLACK POLKA DOT CAMISOLE

EARRINGS (similar)

I recently purchased this polka dot lace camisole from Abercrombie!  Yes, you read that right, Abercrombie.  I’m pretty sure it has been at least 18 years since I’ve purchased anything from there, but I stumbled upon it during Labor Day Weekend sales.  I wore it out for date night, and it’s perfect alone or with a leather jacket thrown on top.

satin lace camisole

CROSSBODY PURSE

CLOGS (similar)

It will be great for the office too!  It’s not too low cut, and will be perfect with a long cardigan thrown over it.  This one comes in several different colors and prints AND it’s under $30!

lace camisole top

JEANS

camisole with lace trim

 

lace trim camisole tops

LEATHER JACKET

white lace camisole top

I rounded up 10 of my favorite lace camisoles below!  Which one would you choose?

BAKING WITH WAYFAIR

This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

wayfair kitchen accessories

wayfair baking accessories

ceramic measuring cups

Ceramic Measuring Cups

Baking has quickly become one of my favorite things to do on the weekends now that I have kids.  I love that it’s a way for us to spend quality time together, and it teaches them things too.  I especially love baking during the fall and winter months!  I also find baking more fun when there are cute kitchen accessories involved too!

fun things to bake with kids

chocolate chip muffin recipe

chocolate chip muffin recipe

baking with kids

ceramic spoons and cups

An easy go to recipe for us are chocolate chip muffins.  These are great for a snack or for breakfast, and this recipe freezes well too.  The ingredients are simple (most likely items you already have in your kitchen)!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

2 C Flour

1/3 C Brown Sugar (packed)

1/3 C Sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 C milk

1/2 C Butter (melted + cooled)

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pkg chocolate chips

1/2 C walnuts

ceramic spoons and cups

baking with kids

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400

Line cupcake tin with muffin cups

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder + salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.

Create a well in the center of dry ingredients.

Add the milk mixture + stir to combine

Stir in chocolate chips + walnuts

Spoon batter into the muffin cups (HINT:  these OXO cookie scoops are ah-mazing)

Bake for 15-20 min

Cool for 5 min

Serve warm or freeze for later!

Photos by Liz Olson Photography

Recipe c/o Genius Kitchen

What’s your go to baking with kids recipe?  Be sure to check out my last post on all of my must have kitchen essentials!

LABOR DAY SALE ROUND UP

The end of summer is here, and the sales have started! This is one of the biggest sale weekends of the year and there are tons of really great deals!  I am rounding up a list of my favorite retailers, their current sales and my top picks for you in my Labor day sale guide!  Happy shopping friends!

labor day sales

Abercrombie:  40% off Sitewide

H&M:  Up to 60% off + Free Shipping

Levi’s:  30% off sitewide with code SALE30

JCrew:  40% off your entire purchase including new arrivals with code BIGSALE

Madewell:  Select styles marked down

Nordstrom:  Up to 40% off

Old Navy:  Jeans, tees, sweatshirts & dresses are 50% off + 20% off your purchase