Barcelona has been a firm favourite to visit for quite a while so as soon as we arrived, I wasted no time in doing the regular hotel faffing around and instead chucked my coat on, grabbed my camera and headed straight out of the door!

Seeing as our hotel was smack in the middle of the gothic quarter (I can’t recommend it enough), the walk to the sights took all of 1 minute! πŸ™‚

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There’s so much to see and do in this city (we’re got a full list of it all here) and not to mention an abundance of places to eat too so having a convenient location in this city was pretty much high up there on my list or priorities.

We started off with the Barcelona Cathedral which, despite the cloudy weather (which soon cleared up), still looked rather impressive. (I never used to think weather had a huge impact on how I viewed cities until this trip to Palermo where it rained A LOT in the freezing cold and had me wishing I’d just stayed indoors).

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We couldn’t go into the Cathedral at this time (it would be opened later) so we figured we might as well go for a gander around Barcelona’s Gothic quarter…

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There were lots of nice little pastry shops dotting the corner and beckoning you to come in…

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…as well as some rather impressive sweet shops! (I stocked up on quite a few bags of sweets here and ended up eating them for weeks. I tend to get greedy like that in sweet shops).
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We decided to ditch the maps and just make our way randomly through Barcelona’s side streets…

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…which, as it turns out, is not a bad way to see more of the city!

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We madeΒ our way over to Columbus’s Monument…

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…where there was a street market on the opposite side of the road. This is where Chris and I lost Georgia and Lloyd for about 20 minutes as they went off in search of vintage treasures.

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Eventually, we couldn’t hold out much longer and dragged Lloyd and Georgia down to Las Ramblas in search of drinks and food.

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See, I told you the sun came out in the end! And what a different that sunshine makes!
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I’m almost certain we ended up going down side streets we didn’t need to and couldn’t make but I have to admit, it made for a welcome change to over planning sight seeing in a city like this. There’s definitely something liberating about just chucking your map away and leaning into your instincts…

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…even if your instincts lead you to feeling like you’ve seen the same street more than once. πŸ™‚

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Tapas and pinchos were definitely on the menu at many of the restaurants here and we figured we might as well take a gamble and try something different.

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Random aside – how cute are these two???

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Again, see why I said getting lost in Barcelona has it’s perks. Only downside is I don’t know where this building is or what it’s called! Have you got any idea?

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Before you knew it, we were back at the Cathedral again…

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a building so intricate you just have to photograph it twice (and then some more times)….

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… before finally getting pinchos at a random place in town. Not my choice by the way (PHEW! No pressure!) and glad it wasn’t as it was not great..

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By this point, I was ready to kick off my shoes and have a nice long bath before heading out again for the evening….

…but not before seeing at least one Gaudi masterpiece. This led us straight to one of the closest – Casa MilΓ !

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A place so beautiful (and so famous) you’ve also gotta photograph it twice! πŸ˜‰

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We actually took a proper tour of the building a couple of days later but for this evening, it was time to get home and prepare for what would be a rather amazing food and cocktails fuelled evening! πŸ˜‰ (More on that very soon…)

Hand Luggage Only srprsme competition

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  • Wow this is a really great post. I have never been to Barcelona and usually don’t think about going to Spain after having so many family holidays there as a kid! This has really made me want to go! Oh, great photography as always too!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you like it Danielle. Ah, you’d love Barcelona – totally know what you mean about travelling to Spain as a child.

      Thank you lovely! πŸ™‚

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ah. You make me wanna pack a bag and head back to Barcelona. I only had a short time there but it left an impression. La Ramblas, the architecture – everything about Barcelona stole my heart. Loved Casa Mila – still wish I got to explore inside the building – maybe next time πŸ™‚

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s such a magical city isn’t it! πŸ™‚

      We stayed for a few nights and that didn’t feel like enough either. I bet if you even stayed for a month you’d still not do everything! Haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I love the Gothic quarter.I need to revisit Barcelona:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      O-M-Gosh, it’s stunning isn’t it Tanja . We fell in love with the area too! πŸ™‚

      Llyod & Yaya xx

  • How appropriately ‘metal’ are those statues (sculptures?) in the GOTHIC quarter?! Quite a contrast to the boulevards – which I’m getting serious Lisbon/Los Angeles vibes from! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So true, it definitely stands out – you’re totally right about Lisbon! The architecture feels so similar (in the best way possible of course).

      We need to explore LA much more! Every time we’ve been there its been to just catch a flight! πŸ™

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • MissLilly

    I really love Barcelona, it’s a shame I’ve only been there once. It’s such a diverse city, so much to see, do and eat!!!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There really is isn’t there. Well the good thing about not doing everything is that you now have an excuse to return. Haha!

      Barcelona is such a wonderful place – so glad you loved it too! πŸ™‚


      • MissLilly

        it’s always a good excuse to return

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Exactly! πŸ™‚


  • Chrissy

    This is so funny! I just arrived in Barcelona five hours ago πŸ˜€ Unfortunately I couldn’t see much, since it was almost dark already, but I am really excited for the next days!
    I am also going to blog about my trip πŸ™‚

    Chrissy |

    • HandLuggageOnly

      No way! Ah! You must be loving the city Chrissy? Barcelona is stunning! Did it stay nice and sunny for you?


  • Barcelona is beautiful! it’s always fun just putting the map away and seeing where you end up =o)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It really is an amazing city! There’s so many places to discover – that’s what we loved most about it too! πŸ™‚

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Becca

    I bloody love Barcelona! Your photo’s just make it clear I need to go back asap! xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! Thanks Becca. Barcelona is B-E-A-Utiful! So glad you like it as much as we do!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Imma Dou

    I’m glad you liked my city πŸ™‚
    I hope you come back soon! Barcelona is very beautiful (even when I’m provably not appreciating all its beauty because I’m so used to it )
    have a lovely weekend!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You are so lucky living in such a wonderful city, Imma! πŸ™‚

      Barcelona is so beautiful – we can’t wait to visit again soon!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Ksenia Ruzanova

    Barcelona is so amazing! Sad, I didn’t have enough time to explore everything during my short visit there. Thanks for so many photos! Was a joy to go through them:)


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah! So glad you enjoyed Barcelona too Ksenia. You’re totally right, Barcelona is so beautiful – I don’t think there’s ever enough time to see everything… At least that makes for a great excuse to return. Haha! πŸ™‚

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I’m obsessed with sweets too! Always a must when traveling…or anytime lol. What were your favorite sweets in Barcelona??

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Same! We found this tiny little sweet shop in the Gothic Quarter where they made all the boiled sweets in the shop itself.

      They had the most moorish Watermelon candies I’ve ever tasted! I’ll have to try and find the name for you, Emma πŸ™‚

      Lloyd xx

  • Your photos makes me drool with those sweets and I am secretly envious now while typing here. I wish I could fly now to Barcelona. My friend was there last month with his girlfriend and they have so much fun.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, it’s such an mazing city! You’ll love it when you visit… We can totally understand why your friend had such an amazing time. We’re heading back soon to enjoy the city too πŸ™‚

      Lloyd & Yaya πŸ™‚

      • That’s great to know Lloyd & Yaya, I am happy for you two. My friend from Netherland together with his girlfriend, we are planning to backpack the whole Europe most probably early next year. Can’t wait for that moment. ^_^

        Daisy from Qatar. πŸ™‚

        • HandLuggageOnly

          That sounds incredible Daisy! You will seriously love it. Let us know if you have any questions before your trip – we’re always happy to help with any tips or tricks.

          Lloyd & Yaya πŸ™‚

          • Sure Lloyd & Yaya, You can count on that. LOL, you are making me more excited and my adrenaline is rushing now. hahaha

            Take care guys and have a lovely afternoon.


          • HandLuggageOnly

            You too Daisy! We’ll be back in Barcelona on Thursday so we’ll try and post a few more pics on Instagram too πŸ™‚

            Have a lovely evening.

            Lloyd & Yaya x

          • Wow…. now I envy you, in a nice way of course. I will follow you on IG then using my personal account, Daisy Mariňo. Looking forward to see your lovely pictures. πŸ™‚

            Have a good morning.