Barcelona in 2 days:
This was our first trip to Barcelona and even though we only stayed two days and wished we stayed more we saw everything there was to see in the winter season and enjoyed our time in this beautiful and relaxing city.
First thing to know is that it is a city filled with culture, religion, good restaurants and ancient buildings. Our goals where to visit La Sagrada Familia de Barcelona, Park Güell, the houses of Gaudi and explore the city center.
We stayed at a beautiful apartment minutes away from the metro station right next to ave. Catalonia. Everything was walking distance which helps a lot specially when you are in a budget, trying to save money and want to get the most out of your experience.
Our first day consisted of eating our hearts out with classic Spanish Tapas and Wine and walking around the Ave. Catalonia getting to know local markets, stores and fairs around the block. We had a lovely sidewalk dinner in the same avenue and we got to dish & dine with a lovely view.
Our second day was a bit higher paced. We bought the city tour hop on hop off buss which goes around for $30 and takes to sight seeing all around the city.
It picked us up at La Sagrada Familia de Barcelona where we where hopelessly breathless so see the immense and colorful building filled with tempered colorful glass, history and amazing Gaudi architecture and design. The entrance fee here is about $15.
Then a 20 minute drive to Park Güell where we were taken in awe by Gaudi’s’ yet more colorful design and inspiring arquitecture. If you get the tour you will learn the history of it but the Hop On Hop Off buss we bought explained it very well and we decided to just walk around at our own pace and experience it ourselves.
We then proceeded to a 3-hour long bus ride along side all of Barcelona (except the beaches which the tour of them is closed during winter time), glanced at the amazing Olympic area of the ports, gothic city and more.
After it was all said and done with had a great dinner at a local restaurant and ended our night and cultural experience discovering the many shots that a local bar had to offer. From crazy wild shots with accessories to simple shots in which you had to dance for.
Our First European Adventure:
Traveling around Europe for the first time we learned a lot of valuable lessons, do’s and don’ts and tips from locals, tourist guides and people who actually knew what they were doing when they got here. So here is our list of tips to follow for your next European Vacation or any vacation that requires you to be on the move all the time.
- If you are not staying in one place during your whole trip, or can’t leave your luggage there while you go off and explore new and exciting places BRING A BACKPACKING BAG or a CARRY ON! I hate re-wearing clothes and never know what to pack but being jumping around cities in busses, airplanes and trains with a 42” luggage and a carry on has been exhausting and overwhelming.
- Plan your trip day by day, train tickets are cheap and you can get them the same day, you can also get sightseeing and activities tickets with 24 hours anticipation. Don’t be an over planner, go with the flow because an uptight agenda when your traveling is the worst!
- Take time for yourself, sleep in if you want, it will all still be there when you wake up, except if its winter where in eastern Europe 4pm is the new 9pm.
- Have a nice, full and heavy breakfast, grab a granola bar for the day and you’ll likely be full until dinner and save a couple of bucks.
- Don’t fly everywhere, don’t be that person, taking a train is so much simpler and takes just as much time. Barely any lines, no fuss and so much less expensive than a plane ride.
- Buy your plane tickets at least with 4 months advantage. We bought our tickets to Madrid for $230 but waited to buy our return ticket home and that ended up costing us double what we payed to get there.
- Uber is your friend but the metro is your life. The fares are so low and take you everywhere you want and need to go, also they are way more simple than you imagine and easy to figure out. I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say they are moron proof but if you are wary of the signs it’s likely you wont get lost.
- At the beginning of everyday, plan it. Just when you wake up, before leaving your bed, grab your online map and route your day, take screenshots of every route you need to take to and alternate routes in case you decide to explore more things, this will come in handy and prevent you from paying those extra $10 dollars a day for your cellphone usage.
- Don’t forget the power adapter, we did.
- Airbnb is your new bff, you will spend twice as less here than in a hotel. Almost all include Wi-Fi but not all include elevators so be sure to read every little detail before renting it. We had an apartment on the third floor with spiral staircases and six luggage’s (we are 3 people and didn’t think over packing was a problem) and almost died going up and down to get the luggage.
- Almost all places have free Wi-Fi, relax.
- Bring all of the medicine you may need, you probably wont need it but if you do, finding the one that always works best for you may be a problem.
- Change cash, banks charge you a percent of each transaction they have to convert.
- Try to eat healthy. Your body will thank you and you will thank yourself when you don’t have an upset stomach that last a week.
- Bring snacks from home, a good book and adventurous spirit.
I have never been a lover of history or art but I have always appreciated and respected it. Getting to know historic and amazing museums have made me open up my mind and be in awe by the amazing details and graphic display that the artist portrayed. In my latest vacation I had the amazing opportuniy to visit the Mona Lisa Exhibition in the Louvre Museum in France. The most famous, visited, copied and talked about painting in the world.
The museum has been exhibiting the portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1506 from 1797. The Louvre museum has been open since 1793. The location was chosen given its adquisition of King Francis I of the Republic of France.
The exhibition is beyond full all the time and people from all around the world come to admire the unique painting that is said to be looking at you from every direction and carries secrets from what is rumored to be da Vinci’s underlying messages inside every one of his painting.
Highly gaurded and highly insured in over 100 million dollars, Da Vinci’s painting is the awe of the artistic world, whether it is of the two different symmetric backgrounds, detail or the fact that da Vinci painted it.
Fun Facts about the painting:
- It’s the most copied painting in the world.
- The eyebrows and eyelashes of Mona Lisa have disappeared with time and over cleaning
- It’s insured for 100 million dollars
- It is worth over 700 million dollars
- Napoleon used to own the painting because he was obsessed with the beauty of the woman in the painting
- Mona Lisa isn’t her real name
- The glass that covers her in the museum is bullet proof
- Has been the subject of two art terrorism attacks directed on her
- Is painted in wood
Road to Paris: How to see Paris in a day, or maybe two.
Follow me and Google Maps on our journey visiting the amazing monuments of Paris, France!
- Reflecting Pool at Lincoln Memorial
Although a busy and big city Washington D.C is by far one of the best places to visit if you are a history, art and travel lover on a tight budget. I spent the last three days walking around in 80 degrees weather and with $200 dollars in my pocket.
First thing is first: Smithsonian museums are free!
You could spend hours in just one museum because they are just so amazingly huge! I spent 3 hours walking around the portrait gallery which is by far one my favorite museums so far!! and a whole hour just walking around the ocean life exhibition in the Museum of Natural History . So that’s 4 hours of my day completely knocked off and more because you can easily spend 4 hours in the Museum of Natural History.
Second of all: Public transportation is way cheap!
If you aren’t scared after being cat called a thousand times in the streets (like me) you go to the nearest train station buy a week pass ($30-$35) and ride that red line unlimitedly right into the heart of town and start walking. (Hey, you have to shave those extra food pounds somehow, am I right?) If you are like me or just don’t want to walk that much, you take Uber pool! My hotel was 27 minutes from national mall and every single ride was about $5-$7 dollars. AMAZING! Hey, maybe if you walk around instead of ubering up and down you end up spending about the same as on the subway.
Thirdly: If you are visiting the national capital you have have have! to take half a day to walk around in Georgetown. Now, there are no subways here so Uber is a necessity but I promise it’s worth every penny, specially when you get to visit the home of the ever so delicious Georgetown Cupcakes, the beautiful and always classic macaroons from Olivia’s Macaroons or simply walk M Street NW corner where you will find beautiful shops, restaurants and more that will definitely give you some Harry Potter / Old Time vibes.
& lastly my go to travel tip is to always book trips in advance, that’s how you will get the best prices and your wallet won’t take such big blow at once!
Head to my Instagram feed for more original photos from my trip!
All pictures are property and photographed by myself.