If you follow me on tik tok, you may have seen I spent 2 weeks in Europe celebrating my 30th birthday!
It has always been a dream of mine to go to Europe and I am so grateful I was finally able to make that a reality. My husband and I went there together and since we both had not travelled internationally (besides Mexico), we were a bit overwhelmed at the idea of trying to navigate seeing multiple areas on our own.
We decided to do a cruise for most of our stay, so that it could take us to each place to make it easier to travel around. We started in Barcelona Spain and moved through the South of France and Italy, ending in Rome. We had a wonderful time and are glad we did the cruise for our first European trip, but now feel we can confidently take on our next Europe trip sans cruise ship.
Today I want to share all about our time in Barcelona, Spain which we absolutely loved!! We did not anticipate loving Barcelona as much as we did and now, we definitely would like to return someday.
We stayed at The Hoxton Poblano in Barcelona, Spain. I chose this hotel because it was so beautiful! I have never stayed at such a well designed, aesthetic hotel. Every part of this hotel was perfectly decorated and stylish. It's basically a content creators dream. Besides the adorable decor inside, the part that got me to book it was the amazing rooftop pool, which also housed a restaurant/bar. The rooftop restaurant was a hip, taco bar and they also had a Chicago style pizza joint downstairs. The rooms are super cute and the beds are all king size and very comfortable (and I am picky).
We landed in Barcelona at 8:30am and the hotel was so kind to allow us an early check in. I emailed them regarding it a few times, because I knew I would be desperate for a shower and refresh post 22+ hours of traveling with little to no sleep. When we arrived via a taxi from the airport, they let us check in immediately and we were so happy we could cry after so much travel and lack of sleep.
I am sad that quite a bit of my time in Barcelona was used towards overcoming jet lag. However, it did make me really grateful I chose such a luxe hotel because that is where we spent most our time while there! The day we arrived, we showered, got settled, and my husband immediately reserved us a poolside cabana (make sure to reserve it first thing in the morning). We headed up there and crashed on the cabana during our reserved time from 11am-2pm. I honestly was in and out of a half sleep the whole time lol. We left our house at 2:30am the night we left for the airport, so I was basically going on 2 days of barely any sleep. I didn't want to let myself fully nap and mess with acclimating to the new time zone, so a half nap outside was perfect. We dipped in the pool and ate delicious tacos and chips w/ guac for lunch.
After our poolside time was over, we decided to walk around the neighborhood we were in (Poblano). It was a clean, nice area, however it did not have a lot going on from what we could tell. There was a Westfield mall across the street with stores like Zara, etc, but I am not very interested in shopping at stores in other countries that you can shop at back home. After some walking around I was honestly too jet lagged to function, so we headed back to our hotel room.
We ordered pizza from Four Corners, the Hoxton's pizza restaurant via room service for dinner that night. It was a delicious pizza on a focaccia crust. We passed out early and woke up wide awake around 11pm lol. We ended up watching Jumangi with The Rock and Kevin Hart and actually loved it! After we watched that, we went back to sleep.
Our next day in Barcelona was jam packed full of activities! We found a cute breakfast spot called El Petit Princep that had yummy looking, healthy breakfast options. It was within walking distance from our hotel and to our next stop (or so we thought) La Sagrada Familia. We put on my AirPods and listened to music during our walk. It made the walk really fun and enjoyable. We ordered Acai bowls, I had the green detox juice and my husband had coffee.
Once we were at breakfast I suddenly realized that there was a meeting spot address for our tour that we were going on and decided to double check it. I was panicked to realize that we were supposed to meet at Park Güell and our peaceful morning was suddenly swapped for panic mode. We checked the uber app and it said we could quickly get one, so we ate our food and ordered the uber. The Uber's kept cancelling on us and no one would show up. We were officially going to be late to the tour, which had us all kinds of stressed. Thankfully a vacant cab drove by eventually and we were able to get there, but unfortunately 12 minutes after the tour start time. We called the company and they said the tour guide had already started inside, so we needed to buy entrance tickets (again) and attempt to find them. Thankfully a nice family ran up to the entrance and ended up being in the same perdicament as us and had booked the same tour. We stuck together and my husband ended up spotting the tour guide, thanks to the photo the company sent us of him.
I am grateful we did not miss this tour because it was really cool and informative! After seeing Park Güell, we headed to La Sagrada Familia with the same tour group in a shuttle bus. La Sagrada Familia is absolutely insane to see in person. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before. It is so intricate and unique in design. We loved this tour and it is definitely a must see while in Barcelona. After our tours were done, we were hungry, so we looked up places on our phone and got a taxi since it was not in walking distance. We unfortunately did not love the lunch we got, it was fine but nothing to rave about. After lunch we walked to the gothic quarter and checked out some shops. We quickly saw La Rambla and were not very interested, so we walked to the Arc De Triomf. We felt safe everywhere we walked. Of course on La Rambla and other high traffic touristy areas, you need to be extra cautious of your belongings.
The Arc De Triomf was awesome to see, after that we walked back to our hotel. I was exhausted, so I ate leftover pizza from the night before for dinner and my husband ate at the taco bar on the rooftop. After I got time to rest we headed upstairs and hung out at the rooftop bar. It is a really fun chill atmosphere, they play vibe-y house music.
Barcelona would be a super fun city to party in, unfortunately I was too bogged down from jet lag, and honestly I have gotten pretty lame in my age haha.
The next day we walked to El Petit Princep for breakfast again because it was the best sounding place in our waking vicinity and we really enjoyed it the day prior. This time I got the green detox juice, vegan maple pancakes (omg so yum) and an Acai cup. My husband had the green detox juice, an Acai bowl and coffee.
After breakfast we checked out of our hotel room, but had an hour before we checked into the cruise. The hotel held our bags and we hung out on the rooftop until our taxi arrived that the hotel kindly ordered for us to take us to the cruise ship. We got checked into the cruise and hung out on the rooftop pool on lounge chairs and had a few margaritas. We were excited to be heading to France the next day! Check out my other future posts to learn all about our other stops with our recommendations and learning experiences, we had plenty lol!