Itinerary: Malaga, Andalusia, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Malaga, Andalusia, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. 

Malaga is one of the sunniest destinations in Europe with an average of over 320 sunny days per year. The coastline is even named Costa del Sol (Coast of the sun) and there are plenty of beaches to be enjoyed.

In addition to it’s proximity to the sea, Malaga is a traditional Spanish city with modern bars, restaurants, and retail stores. The architecture has been influenced by previous rulers, with an Arabic citadel right by a Roman theater and catholic cathedrals.

I flew into Malaga to kick off my 16-day adventure in the region of Andalusia, staying for two days and then returning for another two before my return flight. Getting to Malaga is easy with its bustling international airport. From here, the cheapest and most efficient way to get down town is by the Cercanias (railway). There are airport buses, however, they are a little more expensive. Be aware that taxis have high airport tax added to fares. Alternatively, if you are arriving by land, buses or Bla Bla Car are great options.

Here are my recommendations for a 2 day itinerary in Malaga, Spain.

Heading to Spain? Check out my posts for Barcelona and Mallorca.

Day 1

Breakfast at Republica Malaga

For the start of our Andalusian trip, my friend and I stayed at Republica Malaga. Throughout my years of traveling, I have seen quite a few hostels but few that manage to achieve the comfy and homely atmosphere that Republica Malaga has. In fact, the entire hostel has been hand-decorated by one of the owners, Miriam. Miriam is also an avid traveler (just shy of 50 countries) and has taken inspiration from all the different hotels and hostels she has visited around the world.

Entrance-to-Republica-Malaga-Adoration-4-Adventure

The ambiance of the hostel is very social, and a lot of that comes from both Miriam’s decorating and bubbly personality. She wants to see guests having a good time and has plenty of recommendations for the city. She even helped us plan our itinerary, including many of the dining options included in this post.

Breakfast is provided complimentary to all guests and served buffet-style in the lounge and dining area. I was really impressed by the range of options with cereals, yogurts, toast, pastries, fruit, juices, teas, and coffee. I love long morning breakfasts and enjoyed sitting with a cup of coffee while chatting with other guests.

Free-breakfast-at-Republica-Malaga-Adoration-4-Adventure

Paseo del Parque and Paseo de la Farola

The first thing I would recommend doing in Malaga, is taking a stroll down Paseo de los Curas to Paseo de la Farola. Paseo de los Curas is a walkaway right by the port and has a striking white trellis structure overhead.

Paseo de la Farola is a perfect for sitting in the sun with a drink and some tapas. My friend, Katie, and I stopped in at a restaurant called Plaza to share Paella and bottle of white wine. For the location, the price wasn’t bad and the wine was actually very good. As a bonus, they gave us a glass of cava each. This is actually customary in the Andalusian region and many restaurants will usually serve a small complimentary liqueur with the bill.

Most of the restaurants in Paseo de la Farola will be a little more pricey because you are paying for the view of the port, however, there is a more economic option. The following day we visited Chopper and between three people, we shared a bottle of wine and tapas for €12.

After you’ve finished your meal, grab an ice cream and head to the beach, but be sure to come back through the leafy-green Paseo del Parque, opposite to Paseo de los Curas.

Centre Pompidou, Malaga, Andalusia, Spain

Playa de La Malagueta 

Every day in Malaga should be a beach day! Less than a fifteen-minute walk from the historical center and right next to the port is Malagueta beach. Even if it’s not warm enough to swim, still bring your beach towel so you can stretch out on the sand and soak up the sun.

Heading further east, you will find “Chiringuitos” – beach-side restaurants that specialize in espetos (grilled sardines on a skewer). In front, you will find old fishing boats transformed into fire-pits to cook fish. Some of the best Chiringuitos are in the old fishing neighborhood of Pedregalejo. I visited the area on my second visit to Malaga and loved the low key atmosphere and relaxed beach vibes.

Playa-de-La-Malagueta-Malaga-Andalusia-Spain

Dinner at La Casa Invisible

La Casa Invisible is an unexpected gem, with cheap drink and food options. Miriam from Republica Malaga brought a group of us here for dinner on our first night. The meals are a twist on traditional Spanish tapas and are very filling. The best part, in addition to the cheap drinks, is the atmosphere. It is situated in a courtyard with shady palms and a bubbling fountain. A great place to come with a group or a date.

Location: Calle Nosquera 11, Málaga, Spain

Day 2

Teatro Romanoa, Castillo de Gibralfaro and parador de Malaga

The architecture in Malaga is diverse, beginning with its oldest monument, the Roman theater, dating back to the first century BCE. It sits grandly in the center of Malaga, right next to the Alcazaba and path leading up to Castillo de Gibralfaro.

Castillo de Gibralfaro rises high above the city with magnificent views the whole walk up. The sights from parador de Malaga are free, and if you wish to enter the castle it’s free after 2 pm on Sundays.

Views-of-Malaga-from-Castillo-de-Gibralfaro-Malaga-Andalusia-Spain

La Alcazaba

In addition to Castillo de Gibralfaro, La Alcazaba is also free on Sunday after 2 pm. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets at the gates for a couple of Euros, or a joint ticket for a small saving. We happened to be in Malaga on a Sunday and explored the Arabic fortress palace with its stunning outlooks, arches, and fountains.

For other attractions, there are an impressive amount of museums in the city. I asked some locals for their favorites to narrow down the list for you:

  • Museo Picasso: free admission on Sundays after 2 pm
  • Centro de Arte Contemporaneo (CAC): free admission
  • Museo de Malaga: free admission for EU citizens and €1.50 for others
  • Centre Pompidou: free admission on Sundays after 4 pm
  • Coleccion del Museo Ruso: free admission on Sundays after 4 pm
  • Museo Carmen Thyssen: free admission on Sundays after 5 pm.

La-Alcazaba-Malaga-Andalusia-Spain

Wine from the barrell at Antigua Casa de Guardia

For a really unique drinking experience, head to Antigua Casa de Guardia. Here they serve sweet fortified wines (sherry) straight from the barrel. Miriam from Republica Malaga brought a group of us here from the hostel. A little glass of sweet wine was a nice way to start the night.

Location: Alameda Principal, 18, 29005 Málaga

Antigua-Casa-de-Guardia-Malaga-Andalusia-Spain

Dinner and drinks at La Tranca

For my first visit to Malaga, La Tranca was my favorite place to eat at and I only tried one thing – empanadas! This was another suggestion by Miriam of Republica Malaga and even got the nod of approval from an Argentinian friend. The flavors for the empanadas are listed on the wall and once you eat one, you will want to try them all!

On my second visit back to Malaga, I also dined at a tapas bar called Meson de Cervantes. It is a little more pricey than the other restaurants or bars that I have included in this post, but the food was top notch. Meson de Cervantes was suggested by a friend in Gibraltar. He also recommended “Tapeo de Cervantes”, so if you go, let me know how it is.

Location: Calle Carretería, 93, 29008 Málaga


Republica Malaga

Republica Malaga is a small and cozy hostel full of quirky personality. Each item, within the rooms, has been handpicked by Miriam and you can see the love that has gone into creating this wonderful place.

Situated in the center of the historical district, you couldn’t ask for a better location. Upon arrival, maps are available with all the major sites in Malaga. Make sure you grab one of their business cards too (you’ll see why when you get one).

Lounge-room-Republica-Malaga-Adoration-4-Adventure

My friend, Katie, and I stayed in a private double room with access to the two shared bathrooms. The kitchen is also shared if you prefer to stay in and cook. Both nights we were there Miriam invited the guests out to restaurants and bars. This gave us an opportunity to try local places and make new friends.

Republica Malaga is the kind of hostel that has guest extending their trips or coming back to Malaga. With one of the highest ratings on Hostelworld for Malaga, its definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Location: Antonio Baena Gomez 2, Málaga, Spain 29005

Website: https://www.republicamalaga.com/

Standard-double-private-room-Republica-Malaga-Adoration-4-Adventure.

My friend and I were complimentary guests of Republica Malaga, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


Budget breakdown: Malaga

All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Republica Malaga is a home-made hostel located in the historical center of Malaga. The spacious rooms include high ceiling and chandeliers, giving the rooms lots of light. Room options include a double room, twin room, triple room, 5 bed mixed dorm, and 5 bed female dorm. For the full list and current prices, please refer to Rooms.

Food: Republica Malaga provides a buffet-style continental breakfast to their guests each morning.

Day 1 – Paella and a shared bottle of wine between 2 for lunch at Plaza (€15), Baileys ice-cream from Conico (€3.80), wine and tapas for dinner at La Casa Invisible (€5.25), glass of wine at Casa Lola (€2.50).

Day 2 – Tosta and coffee with milk for lunch (€5.60), tapas and shared bottle of wine between 3 at Chopper (€4), glass of fortified wine at Casa Antigua de Guardia (€1.20), empanadas and wine at La Tranca (€10.30), glass of beer (€2.50).

Average daily spend: €25 each* ($26.67 USD and $35.29 AUD as of 19 April 2017) excluding accommodation.

*This daily amount could be reduced by skipping the wine and sticking to water.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Malaga, Andalusia, Spain including Passeo del Parque, Malagueta, Alzacaba, and budget food recommendations.

Have you traveled to Malaga or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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4 great getaways from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

4 great getaways from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for 4 great getaways from Barcelona, Spain.

The words “getaway” and “Barcelona” don’t sound like they belong in the same sentence. Why would anyone want to get away from Barcelona? Believe me, I am with you on that. I’m crazy about this city and am not shy to show it (it’s my favorite European city and in my top 5 of the world). So much so that I spent almost a month based here. And what a month it was!

Barcelona is easily worth a month (or more) of your time. However, it is still nice to get out of the city and explore other surrounding areas. The public transport system is easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Within just few hours you could find yourself in a totally different region or country.

Here are my recommendations for great getaways from Barcelona.

Heading to Spain? Check out my posts for Barcelona and Mallorca.

Montserrat (1 day)

Montserrat is the most well-known day trip from Barcelona. The monastery is just over an hour out of the city and easily accessible by a combination of train and rail or train and cable car. Alternatively, if you have a car, you can drive. There are many ticket options available on the website and it can be confusing. My friends and I bought our train and rail pass from the ticket office at Plaza Espana.

Once you arrive, there is no actual entrance fee unless you want to visit the Museum, Audiovisual Space, or take a ride on a funicular. Access to the grounds and the Basilica are free. Inside the church, you can view the famed Our Lady of Montserrat statue.

There are also numerous hikes, which were my favorite part. Visit the tourist office to pick up a map so you can find views like these.

Montserrat-Spain

Girona (1-2 days)

I visited Girona as a day trip, however, it could also be stretched into a lazy weekend. By train, it is 40 minutes from Barcelona Sants station and costs around €25 return. For photographers, this city is a dream with a mixture of cultures and architectures. A majority of the activities are free or less than €5 so it’s also a destination that suits budget-conscious travelers.

Here are some of the things you can do during your visit to Girona:

  • Walk through the Jewish Quarter and visit Europe’s smallest plaza
  • Visit the Santa Maria Cathedral and Arab Baths
  • Explore the garden and church ruins
  • Walk along the city wall and take photos of the incredible views
  • Eat delicious ice cream from Rocambolesc (there is also a location in Barcelona)
  • Visit the Cinema Museum.

River-onya-Girona-Spain

Valencia (2-3 days)

I visited Valencia for 2 and a half days and absolutely loved it. It takes 4 hours by bus from Barcelona, so is not possible as a day trip but you wouldn’t want to spend less time here anyway. Life is meant to be enjoyed in Valencia and there is absolutely no rushing.

Valencia is in the region of Comunitat Valenciana with the official languages of Valencian and Castilian (Spanish). English is also widely spoken. As a different region with a different language, it is nice to see the contrast to Barcelona (located in the region of Catalonia with the language of Catalan). it is also a University city, so there are also many young international students.

Read my 2 day itinerary for Valencia, Spain.

Plaza-de-la-Virgen-Valencia-Spain

Andorra la Vella (2-3 days)

Andorra is the sixth smallest nation in Europe, located on the borders of Spain and France, and close to the Pyrenees Mountains. From Barcelona, you can take a direct bus to the capital of Andorra la Vella in 3 hours.

Andorra la Vella is small but picturesque with a mountain backdrop. The city itself can be explored in a few hours and is probably not worth a day trip unless you are counting countries or looking to shop. The attached neighborhood of Escaldes-Engordany is like a giant outdoor outlet store.

The majority of visitors to Andorra come here for the skiing and stay up in the mountains. The other option for visitors to Andorra la Vella is one of their luxurious spas.

Andorra-la-Vella-Girona-Spain


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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations for 4 great getaways from Barcelona, Spain. Including Montserrat, Girona, Valencia and Andorra.

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Itinerary: Valencia, Valencian Community, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Valencia, Valencian Community, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Valencia, Spain.

Valencia is a Spanish city located on the eastern coast, around four hours by car from Barcelona or Madrid. It is most known for its Valencia oranges and as the original birthplace of paella.

For me, Valencia was a tranquil and charming break from the pulsing energy of the bigger cities. A place to take your time, have daily siestas and multiple cafe breaks. I spent a large part of my time wandering around with a serene smile, stopping to take photos whenever I felt like it or just sitting down in the plaza to people watch.

In total I spent two and half days in Valencia, however, it could easily be fit into two days without rushing.

Here is my two day itinerary for Valencia, including budget breakdown.

Heading to Spain? Check out our posts for Barcelona and Mallorca.

Day 1

Plaza de la Virgen and free walking tour

A great way to get orientated and learn the basic history of a destination is to go on a free walking tour. Most cities will have at least one walking tour, which you can find by asking your hostel or hotel reception desk, or by searching online. The free tours are on tip basis, so you pay what you think it is worth. I have also found this to be a great way to meet other solo travelers, making friends on previous walking tours in Barcelona, Porto and Amsterdam.

The free walking tour that I took in Valencia started in Plaza de la Virgen. Luckily for me, it was just a few minutes walk from my hostel. The guide led us around the center, showing us the main attractions and giving a brief overview of Valencia in two and a half hours. The pace is quite relaxed and overall we didn’t do that much walking (the center is quite small). I started chatting to another girl from Seattle and we decided to go exploring after the tour ended.

Plaza-de-la-Virgen-Valencia-Spain

Mercado Central 

The walking tour included a stop in the central market of Valencia, however, I think that it is worth a trip (or two!) on its own. Many major cities around the world have these public food markets. They can be really fun to explore and get an idea of the local produce and cuisines.

The typical Valencia snack to purchase here is horchata and farton. Horchata (orxata) is a local drink made from ground tiger nuts. There are similar versions in Latin American countries. The farton is a sweet pastry which tastes somewhat like a doughnut. The custom is to dip your farton into the horchata, however as I am not a big fan of horchata, I had mine with coffee instead.

Mercado-Central-Valencia-Spain

Plaza de la Reina and Torre de San Miguelete

A short distance from Plaza de la Virgen is Plaza de la Reina. This is a busier square with more restaurants and traffic (both pedestrian and vehicles) but it still retains that relaxed vibe. Rising above the square is the San Miguelete Tower and Santa Maria Cathedral. Both require a ticket to enter. If you are really into churches and don’t want to pay then you can visit the cathedral in Plaza de la Virgen for free.

The cost to climb San Miguelete tower is only two Euros and definitely worth it for some amazing views of the city.

Plaza-de-la-Reina-and-Torre-de-San-Miguelete-Valencia-Spain

El Carmen street art

When I had arrived the previous night by bus from Barcelona, I couldn’t help but notice all the street art I saw while walking to my hostel. This area is called El Carmen and is a maze of decorated alleys close to Plaza de la Virgen. There are also a ton of cafes and restaurants littered throughout this area. A Spanish friend of mine who lived in Valencia told me that this is where she used to go for drinks.

El-Carmen-street-art-Valencia-Spain

Ruzafa

At the time that I was in Valencia, the place to go drinking seemed to be Ruzafa. So much so that I actually ended up here two nights in a row. There is a range of bars from craft beer to jazz clubs, and I tried to visit as many as possible on a crazy pub crawl.

One famous Valencia drink is “Agua de Valencia”. This is consists of cava or champagne, vodka, gin and orange juice. Usually served by the glass or in a jug. I bought a jug to share but have to say that it was very overpriced. The Agua de Valencia I tried was similar to a mimosa which is very common in the USA and Australia. Apart from that, the drinks are generally well-priced starting from €1 for a tap beer.

Day 2

Bluebell Coffee Co.

While in Valencia, I upped my caffeine intake. It wasn’t to stay awake (I was still having daily siestas) but rather for the taste and pleasure of sipping on the hot beverage in between my leisurely strolls. The only issue was all the milk that I was drinking. I suffer from a lactose sensitivity, which means that I can’t consume dairy in large quantities. With all my coffee breaks, I really needed to switch to something light for my stomach.

Do you have a sensitivity or preference when it comes to food? Read my tips for traveling with a food allergy.

For those who have lactose sensitivities or prefer their specialty coffees, this can be a little tricky when traveling in Spain. Most cafes will only serve the standard types e.g. cafe con leche (coffee with milk) or cafe negro (black coffee). And if you are after soy milk, forget it. There more expensive options available are Starbucks and Costa Coffee, however, I tend to get sick of visiting chain coffee shops and crave the experience of an independent cafe.

And that’s what I found in Bluebell Coffee Co. A quiet and cute cafe with specialty coffee and fresh breakfast options.

Bluebell-Coffee-Co.-Valencia-Spain

Turia Gardens

When I asked a friend of mine what I should do in Valencia, she enthusiastically responded “Go to the river!”. The so-called river actually no longer exists but has been filled in and covered with a beautiful parkland that extends from Parque de Cabecera, in the west, almost all the way to the ocean in the east.

The park is full of people exercising, walking or just taking a relaxing. There is also a huge children’s playground in the shape of Gulliver from the book “Gulliver’s Travels”. I would recommend hiring a bike for a day and riding the entire length of the gardens to the sea. If you do go by foot, be aware of the different paths for cyclists, joggers, and walkers. I was almost run down when I didn’t look before stepping out onto a bike track.

Turia-Gardens-Valencia-Spain

Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias (CAC)

The City of Arts and Sciences is a huge complex of futuristic buildings within Turia Gardens. Each building is unique creation and contribution to the education of arts and sciences. There is an entrance fee to the science museum, aquarium, and 3D cinema or you can just wander around gaping at the science-fiction type architecture.

City-of-Arts-and-Sciences-Valencia-Spain

Playa de la Malvarrosa

If you bike east through the length of Turia Gardens then start to head north after the City of Arts and Sciences, you will find yourself at the sea! I actually walked the distance from Plaza de la Virgen to Playa de la Malvarossa and it took over an hour (I got the bus back).

The area around the beach is quite nice with a harbor, walking paths and Rollerblade park. The beach itself is calm and wide. Restaurants are lined up behind the shore and there is a feeling of merriness in the air. Especially if you visit on a sunny day like I did.

Playa-de-la-Malvarrosa-Valencia-Spain-Chantell-Collins


Budget breakdown: Valencia

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: 2 nights’ in a 6-bed female dorm (€22.20).

Food: My hostel provided free breakfast with tea and coffee however as the quality wasn’t very good, I bought my coffee and breakfast out of the hostel.

Day 1 – Coffee and farton at Mercado Central (€2.20), lunch and a beer (€6.40), latte with soy milk (€3.30), slice of pizza (€1.50), icecream (€1.50), beers in Ruzafa (€6.00).

Day 2 – Breakfast and coffee with soy at Bluebell Coffee Co. (€6.50), 1-liter bottle of water and bag of candy (€2.40), little sandwiches and fries at 100 Montaditos (€4.50), latte with soy milk (€3.30), slice of gourmet pizza (€2.50).

Activities: Tip for the free walking tour (€10), entrance to Torre de San Miguelete (€2).

Transport: Bus from Playa de la Malvarrosa back to Turia Gardens (€1.50).

Average daily spend: €37.90* ($40 USD and $52.14 AUD as of 22 February 2017).

*This daily amount could be reduced by cooking your own meals or sticking to drinking more water.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Valencia, Spain exploring Mercado Central, Turia Gardens, City of Arts and Sciences, and Playa de la Malvarrosa.

Have you traveled to Valencia or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Local guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Local guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. This guide has been written by a visitor to the island with contribution from the beautiful expats and locals of Palma. Thank you to Felicity Edwards for all her knowledge and help.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Planning a trip to Spain? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Barcelona.

Overview of Mallorca

Mallorca is located in the Balearic Islands, off the eastern coast of Spain. It is a destination that attracts tourists from all over the world for its breathtaking beaches, coastal biking paths, and mountain hiking trails. The island swells with visitors during the warmer seasons and provides a great getaway in the cooler months due to its mild temperatures.

Neighboring Ibiza may be more well-known as a party destination, however, Mallorca’s capital holds its own in nightlife and doesn’t shut down in the off-season. The island is buzzing with an international crowd and it’s almost impossible not to make new friends.

It is not unusual for visitors to Mallorca to end up extending their trip (like I did!) or even move there. As a firm new favorite of mine, I would recommend taking the time to make the most of Mallorca in all its splendor.

View-of-Palma-Mallorca-Spain

Top 5 places to visit

5. Palma

Palma is the capital of Mallorca and the location of the main airport. This charming city makes a great base for your time in Mallorca and is worth spending a few days exploring on its own. There are winding alleys, cafe-lined streets, striking plazas, a collection of galleries and museums, and a picturesque harbor.

Near the marina is La Seu Cathedral, an imposing and majestic site to behold. After snapping your photos and walking further along the sea, head inland into the old town. You will want to get lost in these compact streets while popping into stores and discovering the best places to have a coffee.

Catedral-de-Palma-Mallorca-Spain

4. Torrent de Pareis

The journey to Torrent de Pareis is almost as spectacular as the final destination. Windy roads lead through mountains with unique rock formations caused by water erosion. There are dozens of scenic viewpoints and you will be stopping the car countless times to take photos or just gaze in awe. Keep an eye out for the “Knotted Tie”, a looping road that looks like a bow-tie.

Once reaching the bay of Sa Calobra, it’s an easy paved walked to Torrent de Pareis. A cove where the stream meets the sea. A dramatic landscape of jutting rock faces, crashing waves, and turquoise streams.

Torrente-de-Pareis-Mallorca-Spain

3. Formentor

In every destination, there is always one spot that tops people’s must-visit list. For Mallorca, this is Formentor. A rugged coastline with spectacular sea views in the most northern part of the island, it’s the place most visitors want to see. There is also a lighthouse further along the twisting road.

Formentor-Mallorca-Spain

2. Coll Baix

There can’t be many better combinations than a hike and a stunning beach. Coll Baix is a hidden treasure that requires a little work to get to but is well worth the effort. First, it’s about a forty-minute drive from Palma to the town Alcudia, then more country roads. Look out for the signs for “Coll Baix” as they can be hard to spot. Once reaching the road, it gets a bit rocky and most people will park then walk the rest of the way in.

From the trailhead, it’s around thirty minutes to the beach. Parts of the trail can be a little slippery and steep, so take care with your footing. At the time of my visit, the tide was high, however during low-tide and warmer seasons be sure to take a picnic and enjoy the beach to its fullest.

Coll-Baix-Mallorca-Spain

1. Caló des Moro

The most memorable location in Mallorca for me was Calo de Moro. During the Summer it can get quite crowded so make sure you get here early in the day. Otherwise, during the off-peak season, you might find you have this incredible view to yourself and don’t even mind that it’s too cold to swim.

Caló-des-Moro-Mallorca-Spain

Eating and drinking

Palma Hippodrome

While on the island you’ll want to try some typical Mallorcan food. As a visitor, it can be hard to know where to go or what dishes to order. That’s why I was thrilled to hear of an all-you-can-eat Mallorcan-style buffet lunch for 11 Euros! Located at the Hipodrom (horse-racing track) in Son Pardo, just outside of Palma Centre.

Ca’n Joan de S’aigo

This place is well-known and loved by locals for its hot chocolates. It’s usually packed and there may be a line, but it is worth the wait! Try an ensaimada (Mallorcan pastry) while you are there. The strawberry ice cream is supposed to be delicious as well.

can-joan-de-saigo-palma-mallorca

100 Montaditos 

We all have our guilty pleasures and while in Palma, this was mine! 100 Montaditos is a chain restaurant but I don’t even care because they have a menu of 100 different sandwiches from 1 Euro each. There are even sweet sandwiches! I tried one with a chocolate-chip cookie bread and white chocolate as the filler. A great place to stop for a cheap bite and coffee or beer while exploring the city.

Lemon Tree

If you find yourself in Palma on a Friday night and feel like socializing over a drink – head to Lemon Tree. The Connect Lingus community hosts an international meeting there every Friday from 9:30 pm until 2 am (most people arrive after 10 pm). There is even a bingo game with a chance to win free drinks! I won on my first Friday and was a very happy lady. Connect Lingus also hosts other free events such as Zumba, Yoga, Circuit Training, day excursions, and fun nights out. I attended a few events while here and made some great friendships.

lemon-tree-connect-lingus

Transport

The easiest and most convenient way to explore the island is by car. If you have the funds, I would highly recommend hiring a rental for your time there. Alternatively, there is a public transport system (TIB for the island of Mallorca and EMT for Palma and its neighboring municipalities) that will take you to some of the spots that I have mentioned above.

Accommodation

Couchsurfing

Mallorca has an active Couchsurfing community for both hosting and events. For the first six nights of my stay, I was lucky enough to be hosted by a local who had time to show me around the island by car. Meeting locals is a great way to find out all the best things to see and do in Mallorca. If staying with “strangers” (soon to be friends!) is a little out of your comfort zone, then try going to a CS event first.

For more information about Couchsurfing, read my tips on finding travel accommodation on a budget.

Fleming Hostel

Fleming Hostel is located next to Plaza del Cardenal Reig and just a few minutes walk to Plaza España and Plaza Mayor. I stayed here for my last three nights in Palma and enjoyed the central location. The hostel is very modern with lots of space, light, and beautiful terraces. They have rooms with 2,4 and 6 beds which can booked privately or shared.

Location: Carrer Arxiduc Lluís Salvador 46, 07004 · Palma de Mallorca

Website: http://fleminghostel.com/

fleming-hostel-photo-credit-fleming-hostel

Photo credit: Fleming Hostel

I was a complimentary guest of Fleming Hostel, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Mallorca. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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Itinerary: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain.

I know what you are thinking. How can you only go to Barcelona for two days? That can’t possibly be enough to see and do everything in this amazing place. And you’d be right! However, we don’t always get the luxury of spending as much time as we would like in a city. Unfortunately with work, family and other commitments, sometimes all we get is two days to pack in as much as we can.

In fact, when I planned this trip to Barcelona it was to meet up with an old friend from Australia, Tamara. She was flying in from London and only had the weekend free. This was her first time in Barcelona, the third for me, and I was excited to show her around one of my all time favorite European cities.

So here was our two day itinerary for Barcelona – perfect for the first time visitor!

Heading to Europe? Check out posts on Portugal and England

Arrival

Plaça de Catalunya, Centric and Port Barcelona

Tamara and I met at the airport on Friday evening, before traveling in together. Another girl approached us to ask if we would like to split a cab and we agreed. The ride was actually really fun with all of us chatting with the cab driver and hearing about his life in Barcelona (and the many languages that he speaks!). If you are arriving with two or fewer people, then it is definitely more economic to take the Aerobús. This goes from terminals one and two to the city center for just under €6 a ticket.

The Aerobus terminates in Plaça de Catalunya, which is right near our hostel of choice, St Christopher’s Inn. We arrived with our bags and were greeted at reception by Adrian, who would become our new friend and comic entertainment during the stay.

St-Christophers-Barcelona-entrance-adoration-4-adventure

After checking in, we decided to start our night with some tapas and wine. We asked the other hostel receptionist for a recommendation and were pointed towards Centric, a bar across the square. For dinner, we enjoyed patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), artichokes and a squid slider over a bottle of Spanish red wine. I can’t imagine a better way to start a weekend in Barcelona!

Then we took a stroll down the colorful and energetic La Rambla to Port Barcelona for cocktails by the sea. Every time I have gone drinking at a bar in this area, the bartenders have always given out free shots. Talk about a warm welcome to the city.

Day 1

Park Güell and Gaudi House Museum

Park Güell is a wonderland of Gaudi creations. Originally a private estate, owned by Eusebi Güell, the park was made public in 1926. A large portion of the park is free to enter, wander around and marvel at the magnificence of Gaudi. To access the Monumental Zone and Gaudí House Museum, you can purchase your tickets online or at the gates. Tamara purchased her double pass to Gaudí House Museum + La Sagrada Familia for €24.

The Visit Barcelona website also offers guided park tours, including entrance to Park Güell.

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

There is definitely something magical about Park Güell. Imagine strolling along the pathways looking at the Gaudi constructions, inspired by nature. Buskers are found around every corner, adding to the ambiance with soothing sounds. And did I mention the views? Make sure to take your camera.

Park Guell, views of Barcelona, Spain

Street Art 

While visiting Barcelona, you are going to see a range of street art from political statements, amusing caricatures, and mind-blowing murals. We had a lot of fun getting lost down back streets and alleys to be surprised by new works of art.

Street art in Barcelona, Spain

Lunch at Belushi’s bar

After a big morning of exploring, we needed to recharge so we headed back to our hostel, St Christopher’s Inn. Attached to the hostel, is Belushi’s bar. Every morning they serve a continental-style buffet breakfast, complimentary to hostel guests. During the day and nights, guests also receive a 25% discount on food purchases as well as a number of drink specials.

Tamara and I ordered the patatas bravas (the portion was huge!) and two coffees. While enjoying our meal, we began chatting with another guest and decided to all go to the Gothic Quarter together.

lunch-Belushis-bar-St-Christophers-Barcelona-adoration-4-adventure

La Rambla and Gothic Quarter

La Rambla is great to see by day and night. There is just so much happening that it is hard to know where to look. For me, it really does seem to be the heart of Barcelona, that to connects everything, including the Gothic Quarter.

Step off La Rambla and you will immediately find yourself in a different world on winding alleys and quiet plazas. The Gothic Quarter is one of these areas with buildings dating back to the medieval times. The architecture is break-taking and will keep you amused for hours, even if you aren’t a history buff.

Lucky for us, Tamara has an interest in art and history and shared all her new found knowledge. If you want all the history, without the effort then you may want to take a guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Gothic quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol

The stand out activity of our trip was Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol. Located just a short walk from the Montjuïc Magic Fountain, Poble Espanyol is an attraction of Spanish arts, architecture, food, and history, enclosed within tower walls. We arrived thirty minutes before the beginning of the flamenco show and visited some of the artisan shops sampling sangria, cheese, olive oil and honey from around the country.

At 8:45 pm, we returned to the entrance of Tablao Flamenco de Carmen and were swiftly seated at our stage-side table. We had chosen the ticket options which included a dinner of five tapas, the main course, desert, coffee and a choice between sangria or wine. The food was incredibly delicious and plentiful. The tapas included a nice range of cheeses, ham, and seafood, showing off the best that Spain has to offer.

dinner-at-tablao-flamenco-de-carmen-barcelina-spain

With much excitement and anticipation, the flamenco show soon began. Tablao Flamenco de Carmen tribute to the Barcelona-born dancer, Carmen Amaya. The performance is multi-faceted with talented vocalists, musicians, and dancers. In total there were four flamenco dancers, two male, and two female, each with their our incredible and individual styles. Tamara and I were both in awe during the performance. It was really very moving and an experience that I won’t forget.

Get your tickets to Tablao Flamenco de Carmen here!

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen, Turisme de Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

You can’t come to Barcelona and not see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia (the sacred family). As this was my third time in the city, I had already been in the church twice. However, this was Tamara’s first and top of her list of things to do. I went along with her and while she explored inside, I walked around taking photos from the park across the street. If you are on a budget and can’t afford an entrance ticket, you can still go and enjoy these incredible views from outside.

For a professionally led tour, with entrance to La Sagrada Familia included, check out Visit Barcelona.

La-Sagrada-Familia-Front-entrance-Barcelona-Spain

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona

We’ve all heard of Arc de Triomphe in Paris, well meet the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. This was built for the 1888 Universal Exhibition and leads right up to the spectacular Parc de la Ciutadella. Stroll along the paved walkway to take great shots of both the arch and park from either end.

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, Spain

Parque de la Ciudadela and Picasso museum

Parque de la Ciudadela completely surprised me. It is a huge sprawling park, buzzing with activity and merriment. I spent an hour here while Tamara visited the nearby Picasso Museum (€12 entrance or free on Sunday between 3-7pm but there is about an hour wait). There is plenty to see and do with a grand fountain, public table tennis sets, and lush gardens.

Parque de la Ciudadela, Barcelona, Spain


St Christopher’s Inn Barcelona

We wouldn’t have been able to fit in as many activities as we did if it wasn’t for staying in a central location. One of the reasons that we chose to stay at St Christopher’s Inn is the fact that they are right near Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla.

There are so many reasons to love St Christopher’s, that it is hard to know where to start! I definitely felt at home here, easily making friends with the reception staff and other guests. The whole vibe of the hostel, bar and restaurant are very relaxed, fun and social. There is also a “chill out” room where you can go hang out with your new mates or relax while surfing online using the free WiFi.

We stayed in both a private twin room and 8 person dorm (on different nights). The private room came with its own bathroom, terrace, and access to a separate “chill out” room on the 7th floor. The dorm rooms are fitted out with “pod” beds that have their own curtain, lamp and draw to lock up your bags. In both rooms, the beds very comfortable, clean and modern.

St-Christophers-Barcelona-twin-room-adoration-4-adventure

St Christopher’s Inn has a variety of rooms available for groups of all types and sizes from mixed dorms, female-only dorms, twin en-suites, as well as 4, 6 and 8-bed private rooms.

Location: Carrer de Bergara, 3, Barcelona, Spain, 08002

Website: https://www.st-christophers.co.uk/barcelona-hostels

St-Christophers-Barcelona-common-room-adoration-4-adventure

My friend and I were complimentary guests of St Christopher’s Barcelona and Barcelona Tourism, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


Budget breakdown: Barcelona

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: St Christopher’s Barcelona is a social hostel located right next to La Rambla. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Booking.

Food: St Christopher’s Barcelona provides a continental-style buffet breakfast to all their guests. The attached bar and restaurant, Belushi’s, provides a 25% guest discount on food and other drink specials.

Arrival – Tapas and a bottle of wine at Centric (€34), cocktails at Port Barcelona (€48).

Day 1 – Lunch of Patatas Bravas and coffee at Belushi’s bar (€7).

Day 2 – Coffee at the Costa Coffee near La Sagrada Familia (€7), lunch of tapas and wine near Ciudadela Park (€38.45), nachos and 2 jugs of beer at Belushi’s bar (€26.50).

Activities: Although my friend visited Gaudi House Museum, La Sagrada Familia and Picasso Museum, I choose to wander around the nearby streets and parks instead.

Transport: Taxi from Airport to Plaça Catalunya (€20), Metro pass x10 rides (€10), Airport bus (€12).

Average daily spend:  €44.10 each* ($46.77 USD and $63.37 AUD as of 19 November 2016) excluding accommodation and the Flamenco Show.

*This daily amount could be reduced by purchasing food from supermarkets or local bakeries.


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Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain exploring Park Guell, Gothic Quarter, La Rambla and Port Barcelona.

Have you traveled to Barcelona or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.