What To Do in Barcelona + Amsterdam

Last fall, my friend and I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and Amsterdam, Netherlands for a 2 week trip. I haven’t created a blog post from our experience but thought this was the perfect time to wanderlust  for when our boarders open up again #covidlife. 

Check out a few tips we have for planning an amazing European trip!

1) Book your hotel/hostel in the middle of the action!

In Barcelona, we booked at the Yeah Hostel Barcelona, which had a rooftop, perfect for morning vibes, and was walking distance from food and tourist spots. If it’s just you and a friend, I would suggest springing for a private room. We didn’t and while it wasn’t a big deal, having a private room in Amsterdam was luxury. In Amsterdam, we stayed at The Bulldog Hotel which had a bar in the lobby and a cafe attached, right on the water. We also booked the Bulldog because it had a really cool bathroom that we obviously had to do a photoshoot in.

2) Walk as much as you can!

Plan your route in the morning but also make sure to have fun along the way! We planned a few days that were scheduled (some museums are ticketed for a certain time) but for the most part we planned a few places we wanted to hit throughout the day but weren’t restrained for time so we could adventure! In Barcelona, we stumbled upon a leather shop where they made us custom Barcelona belts. Magic like that doesn’t happy on a schedule! We also love photo shoots so we obviously made time for that whenever we wanted.

3) Make sure you book tickets in advance for a few tourist attractions.

In Barcelona, you don’t want to miss Sagrada Família and Park Güell by Antoni Gaudí. We just walked around Sagrada Faília but you could get tickets anytime. Definitely buy tickets in advance to Park Güell. In Amsterdam, we bought tickets to the Anne Frank House which you had to go at a certain time. Another museum you should definitely buy tickets to in advance is the Van Gogh Museum. We didn’t get into Park Güell, but definitely did another photo shoot.

5) Don’t skimp on meals

If you want to really experience a culture, make sure to enjoy their local cuisine. In Barcelona, we got tapas in the local square, gelato while strolling the city, and paella at El Cercle. In Amsterdam, we enjoyed cafes and fresh mint tea, street fries, and fresh stroopwafels. Check out our permanent stories in our bio for where we went @rachelvkinglifestyle.

4) Take a day off! 

I’m definitely not a wake up super early go all day to fit everything in kind of traveler. I like to enjoy the environment, sit for hours with a coffee and people watch, go out at night and wake up late. I definitely suggest taking a beach day (we went to Playa de La Barceloneta) and grabbing a bite by the water. 

After two weeks of traveling, we were ready to do it again!

Have you traveled to Barcelona or Amsterdam? What were your favorite things to do?

(All images © Rachel V King Lifestyle, Kodak Portra 400 film)

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