The ‘love holidays’ are some of my favorite holidays. Sometimes they are spent at home, and sometimes you set off on an adventure. Love and travel seem to go together. But, what if you’re on a long trip that isn’t necessarily planned around one of those love holidays? Having a date night while traveling can be a bit tricky if you didn’t plan for it. You want to make sure that it isn’t just another day of exploring, but that you’re also finding the romance.
A Love and Travel Story
Valentine’s Day happened to fall right in the middle of my 3 month backpacking trip with my now husband. We were going to be in Barcelona, and we wanted to make sure that we made it special. At the time we were broke, so we were looking for the Barcelona romance, but really the Barcelona budget romance. We had a full day, and one of the best Valentine’s Days that I can remember.
We started the day with a walk down the Block of Discord on the way to Sagrada Familia. Here you’ll see the famous Casa Lleó-Morera, Casa Mulleras, Casa Amatller and Casa Batlló. Each one is designed by a different architect in the modern style, and all are impressive. I would definitely recommend seeing these houses. If you go early, you’ll miss the rush of tourists.
We walked hand in hand down the strip as we made our way to Sagrada Familia. I’m sure most people know about the largest Catholic Church in the world, but in case you don’t, it (in my opinion) is Antoni Gaudí’s most magnificent work. The outside features massive spires and 3 different themed façades – Christ’s Nativity, Passion and Glory. The inside is totally different with a modern Gaudí flare and a colorful rain forest. It’s absolutely spectacular. The only way to really know what I mean is by seeing it for yourself in person.
We had a quick picnic lunch in the park across the street from the church, and then hopped on a bus to make our way to Parc Güell. It’s an absolutely stunning park designed by none other than Antoni Gaudí. You can see aspects of his modern style all over the park. There is a lookout space that requires tickets (we chose not to do this because we were on a budget) and instead decided to take a hike up the woods to an amazing viewpoint.
On the way down, we buried a small treasure and hope to one day go back to see if it is there. (That is if we can remember where we buried it). As we wandered through the park on our way out, we stopped at one of the local vendors. Dan let me pick out a couple pairs of hand crafted earrings for a Valentine’s Day gift – how romantic.
Love the Chocolate
After, we went back to our hostel for a little bit of rest. We enjoyed some time playing cards at the small bistro table that overlooked the city (a nice feature of our hostel). We also shared some chocolates that Dan had picked up for me as a surprise. What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolates anyway? I mean, what is any love holiday without chocolate? Thankfully it is so readily available no matter where you are, which makes it a good gift for love and travel.
Picasso for Barcelona Romance
We then decided to get dressed up for a date night. Valentine’s Day happened to fall on a Thursday which meant that the Picasso museum was free for a couple hours. (It’s free Thursday nights between 6pm and 9:30pm, and the first Sunday of the month between 9am and 7pm). We did learn that free meant long lines, so if you want to take part, either get there early or prepare to wait.
The museum has pieces from Picasso’s entire life, and it is fun to walk through and see how drastically his style changed as he aged. However, the majority of this museum focuses on Picasso’s life as an academia, be aware of that if you decide to go. I am glad that we got to see it, and really enjoyed it, but would not pay to go back.
The Magic Fountins
After the museum, we rushed over to Montjuïc to see the magic fountains. Music plays while water dances. At the time there were 15 minute shows between 8pm and 9pm. But, when I looked at the current timetable, it seems they have closed the fountain between early January through February. So, I’m sorry you won’t be able to include this attraction in your plans if you plan to go for Valentine’s Day. It is the only time of year it’s closed though, so if you’re in Barcelona at any other time of the year then I wouldn’t skip it. It really is magical and romantic, and to me lives the phrase ‘love and travel’.
After a long day of excitement we finally decided to grab some dinner. While there we exchanged Valentine’s Day cards made from our place-mats and reveled in the enchantment of the day. It was a truly romantic day and I’d recommend Barcelona if you’re looking for a romantic place to go. If you have more than one day, here are 5 experiences in Barcelona that you won’t want to miss. I hope you get to experience love and travel one day!
Already been to Barcelona and looking for a different romantic destination? Try this list. And don’t forget to subscribe!
Tags: Barcelona, Romance