This week we're heading off to Barcelona, one of the most magical places on Earth. And no, that's not an overstatement. As soon as you land at the Barcelona airport El Prat, you will immediately feel this new energy that will follow you across the city.
Barcelona amazes me. No matter how many times I visit, I always find something new to explore, a hidden gem I haven't noticed before. From the most famous tourist spots like Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and Montjuic Castle to those small streets with charming balconies, colorful markets and lovely parks, you're bound to fall in love with this city.
I knew that my Voyager bag would be the perfect companion through Barcelona. It's elegant just like the city and ideal for a long-weekend trip, just how long I was planning to stay this time.
As much as I love traveling, I hate packing. In the midst of online check-ins, last-minute shopping and other final preparations, packing only adds unnecessary stress before the trip. I'm always tempted to bring more clothes than I need, I always have the same dilemma about whether to bring hand luggage or a bigger suitcase and I'm always super worried about forgetting something essential.
Of course, everything turns out well every time. But packing can never go without the stress.
This time, I was determined not to let anything ruin my excitement about going to my favorite city in the world. I was already visualizing myself climbing up the Nativity Tower in Sagrada Familia and soaking in that mesmerizing view of the city that you can only get from there.
To my surprise, my new Voyager bag took almost all the stress out of packing (I will never not worry about forgetting something at home).
This duffel bag fits just enough stuff for a long weekend, so I don't have to worry about bringing too many clothes. Plus, it has all these handy waterproof compartments that let me store my sensitive essentials such as my camera and makeup.
When I arrived, I was ready to explore the city like I'm seeing it for the first time. Of course, I knew I had to revisit some of my old favorites.
Even if you have just one day in Barcelona, you simply have to take the Gaudi tour. My first time in Barcelona, I only had one day (never do that to yourself) and this is what I chose to do. I didn't regret it.
The Gaudi tour takes you through some of the most stunning architecture Barcelona is famous for. From Palau Guell, across Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, all the way to the unforgettable Sagrada Familia, these buildings will take your breath away. All of them unique in their own way but all carrying Antoni Gaudi's recognizable mark.
By the way, don't believe anyone who says entering Sagrada Familia is overrated. That person has probably waited in line for two hours and gave up before they even managed to go in. The interior of the most awe-inspiring church in the world is truly magnificent.
Pro tip: get your ticket online from their official website and skip the line. And if you can, splurge on the ticket that includes the climb to one of the towers.
Definitely find the time to take a stroll along Las Ramblas, the fabled main street. Filled with shops, restaurants and street vendors of all kinds, this walk alone will take you at least an hour. Forget about your diet once on Las Ramblas, the delicacies on display all through the street are irresistible.
While you're there, make sure to take a turn from Las Ramblas to the Gothic Quarter. Ever so charming and mysterious, Gothic Quarter will have you cruising the tiny streets and grow more and more fascinated with everything around you. While the whole area is beautiful, the most iconic part of it is the Barcelona Cathedral, so don't miss it.
If you have more time in the city, definitely wander off away from the city center. You'll find incredible sights that are so worth the extra effort.
There is the Castle Montjuic that is astonishing both inside and out and gives you one of the best views of Barcelona. If you're a soccer fan, you can't skip Camp Nou, the home stadium of the famous FC Barcelona. And, of course, the incredible Tibidabo amusement park that is much more than an attraction for kids. Located on a hill, Tibidabo's rides will give you unforgettable views of the city.
If you're going to visit one spot outside the city center, make it Park Guell. Another Gaudi's masterpiece, this park is an enchanting labyrinth that will give you a million chances for a great photo. Even if you don't visit the main terrace (it has a fee and requires booking in advance), just walking through the park is a fantastic experience.
This time, I used the last day of my visit to chill out on the Barceloneta Beach. Surrounded by bars and boats, this well-known beach is the perfect way to complete your trip and reflect on all the amazing moments you experienced over the past few days.
Even as I wait for my airport ride on Plaza Cataluña I can't help but look around and try to soak in as much of this city as I can. I pick up my faithful travel companion Voyager as I walk out of the square, completely certain that I'm coming back to Barcelona again.