“Hi, my name is Daizha and if I could go to any place in the world it would be Spain.” This was always my answer during icebreaker games when we had to say a place we would love to travel to. I even made a collage of all the places I wanted to travel, and Spain was right in the center. At 11 years old, I watched Cheetah Girls 2. I saw a group of ambitious and excited girls travel out of the country all the way to Spain and had the time of their lives. It was then I told myself I would see the world. I was going to go to Spain no matter what. I wanted to see different countries, cultures, and just travel. This was my dream. I would sing Strut in the streets of Barcelona no matter what.
Fast forward almost 10 years later and I am just so full of happiness because that dream came true. I’ve enjoyed travelling throughout my quarter abroad but this trip was so special to me. As a kid we all have dreams of going places and doing things, but as we get older we sometimes forget about them because of “reality”. This encouraged me even more to never let what I see or the challenges I’m facing to stop me from taking risks or dreaming big. That being said, let me tell you about my 5 AMAZING days in Barcelona!
I didn’t know what to expect from a solo trip but I had positive thoughts because it was Barcelona after all. I would highly suggest a solo trip. You have the freedom to go wherever you want, when you want, and truly be in tune with your inner spirit and just have fun with your own presence. This is how I was able to deviate from my “itinerary” whenever I changed my mind. The day before my trip I booked 2 walking tours but lol that was a wild idea because A) Getting out of the house and arriving by 11 am was a struggle and B) A 3 hour walking tour the day after hiking up a mountain was not appealing anymore. So with that, I planned my days as I woke up.
I made an effort to go to the Guadi walking tour at 11 am. Guadi is a famous architect responsible for creating some of Barcelona’s most famous sites such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. I still headed to the meeting spot but plans changed when I looked around and saw that I was right by La Bocqueria. La Bocqueria is a large open market with fresh fruits, hot meals, and foods. It reminded me a lot of Pike’s Place Market in Seattle. Still with hope that I would make the tour, I walked to the plaza just to see where it was. With no tour group in site, I hopped intro a small restaurant and ordered some tapas. I heard a lot about tapas, it being a famous food in Spain. It was basically just bread, with a bowl of cheese and grilled peppers! I soon discovered there were tons of different styles though.
I wandered back to La Bocqueria and had the BEST blended juice ever. It tasted so refreshing and healthy! I loved it. Then I bought some beautiful scarves in the alley nearby. I just love finding cute stuff in hidden places.
*tip* If you are staying in Barcelona for a few days I would suggest buying the T-10 metro card. Its valid for 10 trips for only 9 euros! I didn’t understand what the ticket was saying (even in English) until my 3rd day when I looked it up! I ended up paying 2.15 euros for one way tickets, a total of 4.50 euros each day omg.
From La Bocqueria, I walked 50 minutes to la Sagrada Familia. My legs were full of energy so I didn’t mind the trek. The key is to stop at places along the way, so your mind doesn’t really think you’ve walked an hour! Sagrada Familia was so detailed and large on the outside, but the inside is what surprised me the most. It’s just bursting with warm and cool colors! Guadi did an amazing job on this one!
I did a quick google search trying to find street food. I was excited to find California street food and walked 20 whole minutes before being led to some alley where it didn’t even exist. Nope not today satan! So I ended up getting some amazing tacos and rice from a Mexican restaurant near the Sagrada Familia.
Legs starting to feel the burn. Woke up whenever I sure felt like it and decided to see the best views of Barcelona and knew I wanted to shop. On my list: Park Guell, Turo de La Rovira, Diagonal Mall. The day before, I Googled ” where were the Cheetah Girls when they sang Strut in Barcelona” and some wonderful soul answered in a post with all of the locations. Park Guell was one of the results so it was a must!
I was a little caught off guard with the fact that the prettiest views of Park Guell had an admission fee of 7 euros. 7 euros? I kept it pushing and still enjoyed the FREE parts of Park Guell lol. Plus, the next place was free and had THE BEST view of Barcelona.
I walked from my airbnb, to Park Guell, to Turo De La Rovira. The journey to La Rovira was continuously uphill and this is where I started to feel my thigh muscles burn! But the view of Barcelona was absolutely breathtaking. I was really in Barcelona. I took the moment in and was just so happy.
Next, stop was Diagonal Mall. I was excited that there was a Primark and an FNAC where I could buy a portable charger. The Primark wasn’t as good as the one in Berlin but I still found some cute stuff for my family and I. I finally bought a portable charger and didn’t have to worry about my phone dying after a few hours!
This was the day my legs could barely move. I had climbed almost 50 flights (according to iPhone health app) and walked over 10 miles the day before. I took my time with getting ready, and planned to take it easy with visiting Casa Mila, back to the Sagrada Familia, and the Magic Fountain. Casa Mila was another cool building created by Guadi. I don’t know why I was surprised it cost to get in but I sure liked viewing it from the outside lol! I viewed the Sagrada Familia from the outside because why not? And then journeyed to the Magic Fountain which was so beautiful to see at night! I also was able to see the outside of Museu de National Arte Catalan because the Magic Fountain is actually right in front of the museum. The museum is free on Saturdays after 3 pm! Sadly, it closed at 6 so I had just missed the free entrance day! Nevertheless, I had fun watching the fountain light up and taking pictures.
My last full day in Barcelona. I went to see Castell del Montjuic since it was the furthest and last thing I wanted to see. It didn’t take as long as I expected to get there but it was a lot further than the other places. I really enjoyed the museum inside of the castle because I learned a lot about the Catalonia revolt in the earlier 20th century, as well as the history of Barcelona in general. It was quite fascinating.
This was an amazing trip and such a great experience solo travelling. As a young woman, it can be easy to let fear stop you from travelling alone. But using general safety precautions, and trusting your instincts will help you be safe while having an enjoyable time!
Tips for a female solo traveler:
- Book your airbnb or hostel in a central area
- Don’t have your phone out all of the time when walking ( Take a visual picture of your journey and look at it to see when to turn/make sure you’re going the right way)
- Where a purse or bag that wraps around your neck
- Enjoy this time for yourself. Time for self-care and celebrating all of your hard work!