5 Reasons you need to visit Barcelona

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is home to many amazing sights. I had seen a handful of beautiful pictures of the architecture, the beach which runs the length of the city and the mouthwatering food consumed. However apart from this I didn't know much else about the city. All I knew was that I was excited to visit somewhere new and sunny to explore. 

Upon our arrival into the city we was welcomed by a comfortable heat. As we made our way to the hotel we started to get a feel for the place. Busy, quirky and breathtaking were my first thoughts as we explored. And as the trip went on we was welcomed by more and more astonishing sights to explore. It had everything you could want from a city break, from breathtaking sights to explore; architecture to swoon over; parks to get lost in; beaches to relax on and of course fantastic sunshine. 

1. The Architecture

The architecture is one thing that Barcelona is famous for. This is due to Gaudi who is a famous architect. During the time that Gaudi lived in Barcelona he designed and built some breath-taking building and monuments which are well known today. Such buildings as the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and Cascada fountain in park de la Cuitadella. Each building/monument although designed by the same architect are different and unique.  

Casa Batllo: This has to be one of Gaudis prettiest constructions. The building was previously a house which has been redesigned by Gaudi in 1904. Previously known as the house of bones the building is designed with stone, metal, wood and ceramic of all colours. You are able to admire the building from the outside and the inside with a ticket.

You can book tickets to go inside: here

Sagrada Familia: This was the first building/monument that was designed and constructed by Gaudi. The construction for the building however started in 1882 and is still being carried out with expected completion in 2026/2028. Although the building is currently surrounded by cranes and scaffolding it is still spectacular to look at. You are able to go inside the building to admire it from the inside - however you will need a ticket which sell out rather fast. The tickets start from 15 euros depending on what you want from your visit. If you don't book then it may be sold out when you arrive,

You can book tickets to go inside: here , the money from the tickets goes towards the continuing construction of the building.

2. The Parks

As well as a gorgeous beach Barcelona is also home to some pretty spectacular parks. Whether you are looking to visit a park to relax, explore, swim or even row a boat there is a park for you. Although there are parks located all over the city the two most well known parks are Park Guell and Park De La Ciutadella.

Park De La Ciutadella: This is the park which is home to Barcelona zoo, Catalan parliament and a stunning fountain. Pictured below the fountain is open to the public to explore and climb the stairs to go inside. Originally the park was the only green space in the city and is still today full of green areas to relax and explore. However if you are looking to do something fun while visiting the park you can always hire a boat to row around the lake. The park is the only a short walk from the beach if you would rather somewhere shady to relax in.

Park Guell: This has to be the most famous park in Barcelona due to its buildings and monuments which were designed by the famous architect Gaudi. Anyone who has seen photos of Barcelona is sure to have seen the photo of a blue and white structure with views of the city in the background. This park is located at the top of the city up a rather steep hill. Although if you are walking up the hill it may seem tiring when you reach the park it will all be worth the walk. However something to bare in mind when visiting the park is the fact that to access the section of park with the impressive structures you will need a ticket. These can be brought on the day in the park but be aware that they do sell out rather fast so it would be recommended to book your tickets.

You can book tickets for the park: here

3. The Views

Due to Barcelona's hilly landscape the high points of the city offer some amazing views. Depending on the location you are at you can either see across the marina, across the city or across the city and out to sea. Barcelona is lucky that it has multiple locations which rise above the city to offer spectacular views. And with such a wide variety of breathtaking architectural buildings and monuments the views are even more spectacular. But where do you find the best views . . . 

Park Guell: As well as being an exciting and interesting park to explore the park also offers some of the best views across the city and out to sea. You are able to experience the views from various locations within the park but to experience the best views it is recommended to buy tickets to go into the monumental zone. This part of the park is home to a terrace filled with mosaic benches where you can sit and take photos of the most breathtaking views across the city with Gaudi monuments in the photo. 

Teleferic De Montjuic: This is the Barcelona cable car. Located to the west of the city the cable car allows you to travel up the Montjuic Mountain. On your 750 metre long journey you will be able to admire the views across the city and spot such famous landmarks as the Sagrada Familia. The cable car allows you to hop on at three different locations. This is perfect if you want to catch a ride up buy walk down or just ride both ways. At the top of the mountain you will be welcomed by the Montjuic Castle. You are able to go inside the castle with the purchase of a ticket at the top. However the castle can be admired just from the outside. 

From the walls around the castle you are able to admire views of the marina and out to sea. You can also still see across the city if you look across from where the cable cars are coming from. 

4. The Food

This is one of the most exciting things when visiting a new location. Finding good food makes a trip complete. I find that when I am exploring somewhere new and it is hot during the day I don't want to be eating anything too filling or heavy. Therefore when we came across a fruit stall on our way to the beach it was perfect. The little stall sold all kinds of fruit pots to suite what you are looking for. The location of the stall made it perfect to eat as you walked along the marina to the beach. However we did come across other fruit stalls within the city where you could buy fruit pots.

Ice Wave: This is a little ice cream shop located within the Gothic Quarter. The area is known for its quirky buildings and interesting side streets with little shops such as this ice cream shop. The shop serves rolled ice cream made fresh from your order. Whether you are looking for a fruity ice cream or a chocolaty ice cream the little shop has it.
5. Font Montjuic Fountain 

This spectacular fountain is a must see when visiting the city. Although stunning during the day at night the fountain does a special show where music is played and the fountains perform in unison with coloured lights. The show times vary depending on the season and the time that the sun sets. However during the summer months the show starts at 9.30pm till 10.30pm. This is every night apart from mondays and tuesdays.

However be prepared to arrive early if you would like a specific location to watch the fountains or a close up view as hundreds of people flood to see the fountains every night. This is no surprise when the fountains are so spectacular. Even if you have seen the show before it changes every time.
We would love to know of your top reasons for visiting Barcelona? What would you recommend if we returned?

Love Chloe and Megan 

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Hiring a car in Dublin | Mini roadtrip

Location: Dublin, Ireland 

On our recent trip to Dublin we decided that it would be a great idea to hire a car to get us from the airport and around the city to the sights we wanted to see. We found this to be the best choice of transport to get us into the city from the airport due to the lack of other options available. Having our own car meant that we was able to explore the city at our own free will and see the sights we wanted to see. It also meant that we could get into the city without having to wait for public transport.

The only way into the city from the airport is by hire car, bus or taxi.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way of transport into the city then you should look into getting a hire car. You will be able to explore further away sights which may be difficult using public transport and have the freedom to travel between sights at your own free will.

Hiring a car can however depend on so many things:
  • your age - certain companies require you to be a certain age
  • how long you need the hire car for
  • where you are going with the car
  • whether you consider the car type important
  • how much you plan on spending
Due to only having the hire car for the day we only headed to a few sights. However by having a hire car we had no need to worry about how we was going to get there or how long it was going to take. The car enabled us to travel to each place effortlessly and sight see along the way. 

The sights we saw include the Guinness storehouse, a lighthouse, a castle and the Irish coast.
Things to consider before you get your hire car . . .

Pre-booking:: This can speed up the whole process! If you have already booked your hire car the company know all of your details which will save time when you go to pick up your car. The company will also already know which kind of car you are looking to hire and should have it ready for you. If you arrive on the da y to choose your car they may not have the car you wish to hire.

Hire company:: Different companies offer different deals and different cars. First thing you would need to do is check that the hire company which you want to go with has hire cars available at the airport you are flying into. You would also need to compare the prices each company are charging and which cars they have available.

Where you are heading:: This could affect the type of car you will be needing. If you are heading into the city you may prefer to get a smaller car which is easier to park and drive around the city. However if you are planning to head further with the car then you may prefer to go for something which is more fuel efficient so you are not spending lots on fuel. You may also require a car which you can fit luggage into.

Don't forget:: you will need your driving license and credit card to pick up your hire car.
Our hire car enabled us to visit areas of Dublin which would be inaccessible if we was relying on public transport. This little lighthouse was located on the Irish coast, where you can see the pin on the right of our map.
Malahide Castle::

How could you go to Ireland and not visit an Irish castle? This specific castle dates back to the 12th century. Surrounded by over 260 acres of grounds the castle is set among breath-taking gardens. You are able to purchase tickets to go into the castle and explore the gardens.

You can learn more about the castle: here.
Have you ever been to Dublin?

We would love to hear about any sights you saw when visiting Dublin?

Love Chloe and Megan

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