cruise, international travel, travel

Travel Guide :: 24 Hours In Barcelona (is Not Enough!)

So many of you were following along on my Instagram adventures two weeks ago when I set sail with Princess Cruises on an epic 7-day Mediterranean Cruise. Well, today we’re finally sharing the first of many travel notes from this journey starting at the beginning – in Barcelona!

First thing to note: 24 hours in Barcelona is simply nowhere near enough time. If you end up in this unique city, I highly recommend coming in a few days early to see the city and surrounding areas. I know I’ll be back! Here’s my suggested itinerary for a quick day in the city…

park guell in barcelona | travel guide on coco kelley

Park Güell: Everyone knows Barcelona for its stunning buildings and art by Gaudí. To get a major dose of it, head to Park Güell and get there early to beat the crowds as much as possible. Definitely buy tickets online ahead of time – when we got there the park was already ‘full’ for the day, as they regulate the number of people who can pass through certain areas. There are parts of the park that are still free to wander through, which is what we did. The views are stunning and well worth it, even if you can’t get into the main areas.

If you have time, pop over to La Sagrada Familia for more amazing Gaudí works.

la boqueria market | barcelona travel guide via coco kelley

La Boqueria: This huge market is a dream for foodies. Skip lunch and head here instead – you won’t regret it! I couldn’t resist the fresh squeezed juices and a little meat ‘cone’ for a snack, even though we had already eaten.

meat from the market in barcelona! | travel guide on coco kelley

stacked fruit stands in la boqueria market | barcelona travel guide on coco kelley

From the market, stroll down Las Ramblas – the main street with a wide pedestrian mall that leads all the way down to the water. Then it’s time for dinner!

gallito restaurant in barcelona | travel guide on coco kelley

dining at gallito in barcelona | travel guide on coco kelley

gallito restaurant in barcelona | travel guide on coco kelley

Gallito: Just below the huge W Hotel situated right at the edge of the water, you’ll find this treasure of a restaurant. With a view of the beach, and a surfer vibe, you can almost imagine you’re in LA, but the food will quickly tell you otherwise. We ordered a ton of small items as we had to catch a bus out of the city, but everything was perfectly delicious! Especially the HUGE plate of jamon!

Because our lodging was a bit last-minute, the group of us ended up staying outside the city in an adorable beach town called Sitges. While at first I was bummed we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the city at night, my mood quickly changed when I saw this place. If I lived in Barcelona, this would be where I spent my weekends, NO DOUBT.

a charming blue and white door with anchor in sitges | spain travel guide on coco kelley

the stunning beaches in sitges | spain travel guide on coco kelley

Yes, the water really did look that good, and yes, this place is every bit as charming as it looks in these photos. Compared to the rushed pace of the city filled with tourists, this was a lovely escape. I somehow managed not to get a great shot of the boardwalk that winds down the waterfront and then turns into streets that lead deeper into the city. Only being there for a pretty limited time, we stuck to our little area, but it offered quite enough!

a welcome outside the san sebastian hotel in siges | spain travel guide on coco kelley

the san sebastian hotel and pool in sitges | spain travel guide on coco kelley

Hotel San Sebastian: Our hotel was just off the boardwalk and some rooms had a view of the beach while others (mine!) looked down on the pool, which I sadly never got to enjoy. It was completely peaceful and the front desk was quite helpful with everything. Just around the corner from the entrance to the hotel is La Pepa Del Mar, a fantastic and well appointed restaurant. I was so enamoured with my lunch there on the second day that I forgot to take some photos, but you can see by their website how well appointed it is!

la caleta on the beach in sitges | spain travel guide on coco kelley

La Caleta: On our morning run we discovered this gem of a spot right on the beach as well. In fact, the whole area is peppered with fun little finds like this, but I loved the view from this one in particular. The perfect spot for an early evening drink!

Did this post feel as quick as my visit did? I told you – 24 hours is not enough! Luckily, the trip continues into more parts of Spain, France and Italy! Stay tuned…!

this post and trip sponsored by princess cruises. all opinions my own. thank you for supporting the brands that support coco kelley!