hotel arts

You know I'm alllll about Spain. I only visited like 100 times last year... not really but kinda. 

It should come as no surprise that I'm heading back to my favorite country next week. Landing in Madrid and then taking the train to Barcelona for 4 days before Paris Fashion Week.

This sounds like quite an adventure but the train is really the easiest and most affordable way to travel around Europe. Flights from JFK to Madrid are always running & they can be more affordable than other surrounding airports (read my Ultimate Travel Hacker Guide for airfare tips). 

The fare difference between landing in Madrid compared to Barcelona was literally a $1,500 difference... that's a new evening bag. The train (Renfe) from Madrid to Barcelona is like 2 hours and anywhere between $60-$150, depending on the time & class you choose. The trains are luxury & efficient, I actually look forward to the experience.

I don't mind the extra leg because I get to relax and have lunch in my favorite city PLUS save over $1,000.

SOLD!

When planning your next trip, search airports within a few hours from your destination, even if it's in a different country. The flights are crazy expensive because Barcelona has Mobile World Congress (I'll touch on that later) next week at the same time as Paris Fashion week, hence why I'm flying in through Madrid. The train from Barcelona to Paris is only a few hours & significantly cheaper than flying strait there. Now I get to have fun in multiple cities & save on some major cash.

hotel arts
If you are a new reader, I spent two weeks traveling through Spain (catch up on the CRAZY travel year here). Some cities I had been to previously, where others I had never visited. Barcelona was among the few that were new to me. I know it seems weird because I feel like that's the city everyone hits first in Spain.

Since we had two weeks to explore the entire county, I only had time to stay for the weekend but that was enough to leave me wanting more. 

BTW... this is going to be Penny's second time to Barcelona. Is she for real? I am seriously jealous of how good she's got it!

Anyway, next week I am going to be focusing on the best restaurants. I have a full culinary experience planned. HELLO JAMÓN IBERICO! 

Until I eat my weight in cured ham and cheese, I've made a mini guide to Barcelona from my last trip...

hotel arts

TO EXPLORE


▹ The Gothic Quarter - My favorite little nook in this city was the Gothic Quarter. It's the happening place to be in Barcelona. The streets are narrow & winding, so much that cars can't really fit (everyone has a motor bike there). The architecture is fitting of the areas name, gothic, dark... very medieval... ver sexy! Sergio and I went tapas hunting there and we had the BEST time discovering little places that literally only sat 5 people or look like they were built right into a cave. It's the perfect place to get lost and have an adventure.

TO STAY


▹ Hotel Pulitzer - This is such a chic and trendy spot. If you're into boutique hotels, you will die for everything from the lobby bar to large pieces of modern art in the hotel rooms. The roof top garden-esque bar is perfect for an afternoon drink or starlit evening. They are also very pet friendly! They gave us a dog bed, bowls and toys for Penny. I want to be her in my next life.


TO EAT


▹ Arola - This place is wonderful. It's situated on a terrace at the Hotel Arts with a view of the Mediterranean. There are gardens all around you, they pluck fresh herbs right in front of you to put in your food. I watched our server grab fresh mint for my tea, it was heavenly. The food is amazing. It is a mix between local cuisine and Mediterranean. If you visit Barcelona during the summer this is THE SPOT to go for food, drinks and hot social scene. 


TO DRINK

 

▹ Carpe Diem Lounge Club or as the locals say "CDLC" - When in Europe, you have to visit a nightclub. I am so far out of that stage in my life but it's so fun there & totally necessary. This place was great. There are giant Buddhas everywhere & indoor daybeds with white draping curtains. The best part about this place is that it's right on the water. If you need a break from the noise, you can sit on the outdoor patio just steps away from the sand. 

hotel pulitzer

TO SHOP


▹ Janina - I went lingerie crazy when I was there during my last visit (read about my Top 5 Going Out" Lingerie Shops). There are stores on every corner & Janina's lingerie is classic, stylish and up to the minute in terms of fashion trends. The shop also carries a selection of pieces by La Perla, Eres, Dolce & Gabbana, as well as Spanish brands such as Andreas Sarda.

These are just a few things I loved the most from Barcelona from my quick trip & more to come after next week!!

xo

TRAVEL SHOP