Barcelona, we will love you forever! Jordan and I spent his Spring Break traveling through Spain and Portugal, and we had an incredible time. Perfect weather, incredible food and drink, once in a lifetime experiences, and each other. Spain and Portugal aren’t typically countries that top wanderlust wish lists, but something about their charm drew me in. I must have dreamed about them out-loud enough because eventually Jordan wanted to go too, so we started making plans. This trip was the first trip to Europe planned by June Twenty Travel, and even though I learned a lot, it was incredible. I 100% would hire JTT again 😉
We arrived in Barcelona pretty late on Friday evening, so after checking into our hotel we had one mission - FOOD! Barcelona is known for it’s late night culture, so we had no problem finding incredible food and drink at such a late hour. Paco Meralgo is a highly rated restaurant, but I was not nearly prepared for just how much we would enjoy it. When we walked in they swept us to the bar where two seats had just become available. Jordan and I loved sitting at the bar because we were able to watch them prepare plates or tapas and cocktails.
My philosophy on planning where to eat while traveling, is to go where you *must* but allow yourself the freedom to discover everything else. I’m telling you about Paco Meralgo because you simply must treat yourself to a tapas dinner next time you’re in Barcelona. Here are a few pictures of our favorite dishes and cava (sparkling white wine, produced just outside of the city).
On our first full day in Barcelona, we took a day trip to the Penedès Region. Our private guide and driver picked us up at our hotel and we drove about an hour outside of Barcelona to a town called Vilafranca del Penedès. This charming village was bustling for the Saturday morning market, but still so charming. We walked through the winding streets and visited the Vinseum (loved, loved, loved).
From Vilafrana, we drove to Albet i Noya and our time there would turn out to be the very best part of our trip. Albet i Noya is a small, organic vineyard and winery. It was a treat just to be there, but touring all of their facilities and hosting a complete tasting was unreal. Dear June Twenty Travel clients, if we’re ever working on your own trip to Barcelona and you so much as kind of like wine, I will highly recommend this experience. We took the oceanside route back to Barcelona and stopped in Sitges - Jordan loved this beachy town so much he’d happily move there.
The next morning, we met up with our private guide for a tour of the key Barcelona spots. I’ll be doing an entire blog post about the pros and cons of private guides, but for now you should know that we looooved having a private guide for our Barcelona tour. We started with a walk through the Gothic Quarter, then we went to La Sagrada Familia, and ended in Guëll Park. Everyone who likes architecture even a little bit must see La Sagrada Familia someday.
During our time in Barcelona we stayed at Hotel Murmuri! We were upgraded to a room with a balcony (thank you, June Twenty Travel) and had a great view. The hotel is located right off the main shopping strip, which leads right into the Gothic Quarter. And perhaps, most importantly, it’s a ten minute walk from Paco Meralgo. I’m always keeping my eyes open for incredible hotels, but Hotel Murmuri has my stamp of approval.
At the end of our trip, Jordan designated Barcelona his favorite city. I loved it too, but you’ll have to wait and see which city was my favorite-favorite. Barcelona is a great spot because it has a modern, city vibe with the absolute *best* window shopping, but it’s also full of rich history and architecture. Jordan and I were walking Lincoln after work one evening, and this I shared this sentiment with him about our trip:
“When I look back on our trip, I’m so proud! I am proud that we made the investment and I’m proud that we went. That was money and time well spent.”
It felt really good to be able to to experience the very foundation that June Twenty Travel is built on in such a genuine way. I hope that you feel inspired to travel, no matter what stage of life you are in. I know it will enrich you and I know you won’t regret it.
June Twenty Travel consultations are completely complimentary. If you are feeling pulled to travel, but you aren’t sure where to start, I would absolutely love to meet with you. We might end up being a great fit to plan your next trip, and if not you’ll leave our conversation feeling inspired and filled with wanderlust.