In Barcelona we stayed at a hostel called Paraiso. It was nice enough, but the didn’t seem to be anyone there. Even in our own room we didnt really talk to the people sharing the room. If your interested in meeting anyone else in a more communal hostel, my recommendation would be try another one, if you want quiet this one is for you. Our plan for the day was to see the Sagrada Familia, a famous church designed by Antoni Gaudi starting in the late 18th century. It was never completed and is still in the process of being finished. So if you wonder why tickets are so expensive, this could be why. But I will get into that in a bit.
First, we decided to finally get Paella for lunch. Unfortunately we didn’t know this but thursday is the day to eat Paella in Barcelona. Being friday we had to find a spot that makes it all the time but that isn’t microwaved like all the touristy spots on Las Ramblas. After walking around in that area and talking to the locals we learned two things; the first, never eat paella on Las Ramblas, and don’t eat anywhere you don’t see the local older crowd eating. They eat at places they respect for the services and more so the food. This is a great sign of a good place to eat. I know everyone says ‘omg, Las Ramblas is amazing, bla bla bla…’ but to me it was just another tourist street with artists, pit-pockets, and souvenirs. Get away from those areas and get lost in the unknown parts of this city. You can spend ages discovering places.
Anyways, we spoke to the guy running our hostel and he told us to explore his neighborhood. There are tons of great places to eat and it isn’t taken over by tourism. We found a great spot and ordered a traditional style paella from the region. 45 minutes later it was served, 5 minutes after that, it was almost completely gone. Delicious. Afterwards, we walked next door and got a gelato to complete the perfect meal. By this time, our reservation time was coming up so we decided to enjoy our ice cream as we walk our way over to Sagrada Familia early. The tickets were somewhere around 50$ for the both of us with passes to go up the towers. Tickets are a standard rate unless your a student, then you save 5$ or something like that. After a little research we took the recommendations of others and purchased our tickets online before we left the hostel for later that afternoon. My personal recommendation would be the same, buy your tickets online. There isn’t any service charges and you can pick up your tickets at the front gate directly from them so there is no need printing them out. This is super convenient. The best part is you get to skip the line waiting to get your tickets and get in, which can be as long as 2-3 hours long. I dont know if because we chose a later time in the day or we got lucky but we had no line.
The both of us had the mentality that this was just one more church, similar to every other church, so we had thought we would, maybe, stay for an hour. NOPE, this is not like any typical church you have ever seen. I think we ended up spending about 2.5 hours there gawking reading and wishing we could explore and get lost in the tiny walk ways throughout the upper interior. seriously plan to be here a long time especially if you have to wait in a line.
After wandering around for a good bit we headed back to the hostel. we planned to join a pub crawl through Barcelona. We had heard everyone saying great things about going out so I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. I can’t speak for Kristin but I was pretty upset. Either we got the worst pub crawl on the planet or Barcelona only knows how to make drinks with sugar and water and all of their shot glasses are the sizes of thimbles. I have no idea what people are talking about but i would rather chill in a open park area with a bottle of wine, or beer with friends. The wine is super cheap, and by cheap I mean around 2$US for a really good bottle. 3$ if you feel like splurging. Anyways, the pub crawl sucked. We heard good things about other clubs but we decided to call it a night and head back to the hostel around 3am after the final club.