• THE BEST (VEGAN) FOOD IN BARCELONA

    I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat more and more vegan recently. I’ve been pescatarian for over 2 years, and about 4 months ago, I decided to try and cut out dairy. I would say I eat vegan about 80% of the time, but one thing I struggle with is eating out, particularly in Ireland. Dublin has a few great places that have vegan options but it’s not a common thing. I find it especially hard when eating out with other people who aren’t vegan or even vegetarian. When I went to Barcelona on a solo trip back in November, I decided to do some research to see if there was good vegan food to be had there. And it turns out there are quite a few great options, so I gave a few of them a try and found one of my favourite restaurants I’ve ever been too! I think people think eating vegan is the hardest thing in the world, and I’ll admit it can be tricky sometimes, but often it just requires a quick Google search (or a look on the Happy Cow website) and you might end up finding some pretty amazing food!

    La Trocadero

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    This restaurant has really good reviews and was located in a really convent place, very close to La Sagrada Familia. I really like the decor and vibe of the place, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the food. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, just not great. I do think the main problem was I ordered badly. There were so many options that sounded good, so I went with the classic. It included vegan bacon, and I’m just not the biggest fan of most fake meat. I also learnt I don’t like vegan mayo, just as much as I don’t like standard mayo. Which is quite a lot. I mean, I hate it. I really hate it. However, the wedges were good and I would definitely go back and try one of their other burgers. I did also get a vegan cookie and it was INCREDIBLE, so I would go back just for that!

    Veggie Garden

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    I have mixed feelings about this place. They have a HUGE menu, so if you have a big group of people who have different tastes, this would be a good place to go! I got a bit overwhelmed so I went for their menu deal, which limited my options. I went for hummus as a start, their silver tray main course and then chocolate mouse for desert (all vegan). They brought me out a bowl of hummus to begin it. That was it, just hummus. I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do with it. I adore hummus but I’ve never eaten it with a spoon. Is that a thing? Am I missing something? Anyway, moving on, the main course was delicious. I’ve gotten this India dish before in a restaurant here in Dublin and I like getting some samples of multiple dishes. I think its just a cool idea. Plus they give it to you on a silver tray. The chocolate moose was good, but honestly I was so full from the main course, I couldn’t finish!

    BarCeloneta Sangria Bar

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    SPOILER ALERT: THIS WAS SOME OF THE BEST FOOD I HAVE EVER HAD!

    Honestly, vegan or not, this food was amazing by any standards. I got their vegan “squid” rings, and they so SO good. I think about them all the time and would be back to Barcelona just to eat them again. I also got the garlic mushrooms and bread, and it was all so fresh and delicious. Of course I had to try their sangria, I went with the Monalisa, which has a combination of cava, lime and mint, passion fruit and elderflower. I’m not a big cava person but it was really well presented and tasted so good. I want to go back and sample every one of their sangria’s. Finally, I got their raw brownie for desert and it was pretty good. Not the best I’ve ever had, but considering it was healthy, it was a nice desert.

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    There was one day were I caved and bought a pizza because I was starving but honestly, it wasn’t that great so it wasn’t worth including besides the fact that it was most definitely not vegan. I thought Barcelona had a lot of great options when it came to vegan food and honestly, if you put in a tiny bit of research, it’s not that hard to find copious places you can eat and if all else fails, just eat every meal at BarCeloneta Sangria Bar, because that’s what I plan on doing when I go back to Barcelona!

    If you want to see what I got up to, where I stayed and how I got around in Barcelona, click here!

    Love Jane x

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  • THE PERFECT 48 HOURS IN BARCELONA

    I started this post back in November after I spent 48 hours in Barcelona at the end of October. However, November and December ended up being some very rough months for me for a number of different reasons and it’s only now that I’m getting back to blogging. I still wanted to share some posts from my trip because I had such a good time. its actually quite nice to look back on it now and remember everything that I did. I know people can be a bit scared of travelling alone but if you’re going through a hard time or just need a break to give yourself more space and time to think, I would highly recommend it. I did a bit of research before I went and lined up a few things I knew wanted to do but I also gave myself a lot of time to just wander and explore the city. This post runs through all the spots I visited, as well as where I stayed and how I got around.

    DAY 1

    Park Güell

    This was my first stop in Barcelona and honestly I could spend so much time wondering around this park. It’s a public park composed of gardens and architecture elements designed by Antoni Gaudí. There are free parts you can look around, as well as a part where you need a ticket to get in. I would highly recommend buying a ticket so you can see it all. I decided to do the English guided tour and I’m glad I did. My tour guide was great and it was interesting to hear the history of the park. There was also some other solo travellers in my group so it was a great way to meet people and make friends. There’s just so many interesting pieces and bits of architecture and design, topped off with an amazing view of Barcelona. I think this is a must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona. I would highly recommend getting a taxi or a public bus to the park as it’s at the top of a pretty steep high (I took a bus and was very glad I did!).

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    Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

    After wondering around the park for hours, I walked back down to the city and found somewhere to eat. Then I headed towards the Magic Fountain. This was truly one of the most magical things I’ve ever seen. It’s a water fountain display, where the water moves in different ways with different colours and music. The show lasts for an hour and they go through multiple different types of musical; pop, rock, classical, jazz etc. I stood there for the whole hour and watched every single moment. It’s just so cool!

    Something to note: the show happens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and has a different start time depending on the season. They also add an additional night during the summer, but you can check out all of that here if you’re interested!

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    DAY 2

    Casa Batlló

    For day 2, I started at Casa Batlló, a house that was redesigned by Antoni Gaudí in 1904 and it was a pretty cool building to wonder around. I haven’t been to the other Gaudí designed houses in Barcelona so I can’t compare them, but I really enjoyed my time at this attraction. Barcelona is filled with Gaudi architecture, and it was cool to see how his style translated to interior decor. It’s a self guided tour, so they give you a phone and headphones, and there’s different numbers around the house which correspond with numbers on the phone, explaining the history of the house, as well as how different rooms where used or other bits of information. You can actually hold the phone up as you walk around and it shows you what the rooms would have looked like furnished. I didn’t really use this that much, as I found the design of the rooms interesting enough without any extras but it’s a cool feature.

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    La Rambla, Mercado de La Boqueria and The Gothic Quarter 

    After looking around Casa Battlo, I walked down to La Rambla and I would highly recommend doing that. It took about 20-30 minutes, but the Barcelona streets were made to wonder. La Rambia was very packed so I quickly made my way to the food market called Mercado de La Boqueria. It’s such a cool place to walk around and find something delicious. They have an amazing section of juice, smoothies, fruit, chocolates and so much more. But the juice. Oh the juice. It was SO GOOD.  I bought some and continued walking and strolling into the Gothic Quarter, which is a bunch of narrow streets full of random shops

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    The Marina and Beach

    When I needed a break from all the walking, I headed down to Barcelona beach and just chilled out on the sand. It was really nice and relaxing (except for the multiple people coming up to me asking if I wanted a drink, a massage, a towel etc). I love people watching so sitting there with the waves and watching (aka creeping on) everyone was right up my alley. I then got something to eat (food post coming soon!) and wandered along the marina as the sun was setting. I continued to walk towards my hotel and stumbled upon a wine festival. I think that’s the great thing about walking around European cities, you never know what you’ll find!

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    HOW I GOT AROUND

    To get around, I used a combination of walking and public transport (and if i’m totally honest, I did take a couple of taxis when I was just too tired to get home any other way after walking all day). But other than getting tired, I didn’t have any issues walking. The streets are just so beautiful, and it was so nice strolling around. When I was trying to get somewhere a bit further away, I used the public buses. To figure out what buses I needed to take, I simply used google maps. I bought a 2 day unlimited trips ticket for €15 at the machine at the airport station (this included my trip from the airport into the city). This made life easy because I could jump on the bus as much as I wanted and all I didn’t have to worry about anything.

    WHERE I STAYED

    I booked the BarcelonaBB B&B through booking.com and I loved it. The decor was so interesting and the couple who owned the place were very friendly and helpful. They gave me recommendations and booked a taxi to take me to the airport. The breakfast selection was nice, but very limited for a vegetarian/vegan. However, my final morning I left too early for breakfast so they made me a bag with breakfast to-go to take with me and left it on my bed the day before, which I thought was such a lovely touch. I had to share a bathroom with another room, but that wasn’t too much of an issue for me, and I thought the location was great.

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    That’s about it! I would recommend everything that I saw, as well as where I stayed. It really was a great 48 hours. I fell in love with Barcelona and can’t wait to go back. It’s such a beautiful and colourful place.  One of the things I didn’t get to do was take the cable car from the marina up to Montjuïc Castle, so that will be top of my list next time. I will also be heading straight back to the Mercado de La Boqueria for some juiceMy next post I’m going to talk through where I ate while I was there, including some of the best food I’ve ever tasted, so check back for that!

    Jane xx

     

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