• Samantha Lara

Solo in Spain: A guide to Solo Adventures



Traveling solo can be daunting, but there are places that are great for easing you into it, and Barcelona is one of them! Thinking of solo travel but unsure of a destination? Look no further.



One of the first questions I get is: how did you pick Spain? Honestly, I looked for flights in my price range and voila! SPAIN. Barcelona is a perfect place for solo travel. A city that is easy to navigate, has something for everyone, and is a perfect blend of history and modern times, Barcelona is perfect. I have compiled ideas for your itinerary from the things I did in hopes of inspiring your travels!


Great Solo Travel Experiences

The second question I get is: what do you do to keep from getting bored when you solo travel? First off, solo travel is anything but boring, but okay okay, I hear you. On this trip I saw a flamenco show, did a three country tour, visited Monserrat for a half day tour, went sailing, got a massage at an amazing Roman bath spa, visited a nearby beach town, saw the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Família Basilica. I did a lot! And, all by myself.


What did I use to book my experiences?

Where did I stay on this solo trip?

What do you need to know before going to Barcelona?


 

What did I use to book my experiences?

My favorite way to find experiences to book is through GetYourGuide and AirBnB. Did you know AirBnB had more than just accommodations? Well, they do! Everything from walking tours, food tours, horseback riding, sailing, cooking classes, yoga, photo shoots, and more! I booked my flamenco ticket and day trips through GetYourGuide, and I booked my sailing excursion through AirBnB. I also booked a photoshoot through AirBnB. It can be SO hard to get pictures of yourself when traveling solo. For $25-35, you can hire someone to take professional photos of you!


There are so many ideas for things you can do while solo traveling! On this trip, I also went to the Aire Spa-- a Roman thermal bath spa with multiple pools varying from super hot to ice cold, with jets and without. I got a massage and opted for the cava (champagne) and chocolates. .


Where did I stay on this solo trip?


For the first half of my trip, I stayed in the Gracia neighborhood at Boutique Apartments 23. While I adored the area, I did not super like the place I booked. It was not lacking in design or comfort, however, I was put off by the lack of service and care from staff. I had emailed them in advance to let them know I would be arriving early. No one was there when I arrived. I waited two hours before someone showed up. Mind you, this was my FIRST two hours in Spain after a long day of traveling. When they finally arrived, it was as if I was in the inconvenience for arriving early. I knew my room would not be ready but I just wanted to drop off my stuff so I could head out to explore. Later in the day when my room was ready, I returned and met the hotel manager who quite literally said to me, "If you need something, text me on WhatsApp, if it is important, I will respond, if I think it is not important, I will not respond. I am here 9-5 and that is it." Not my kind of service. Anyhow, the place was clean and nice and the A/C worked really well. Just, not the vibe I am used to.


The second place I stayed was in the Gothic Quarter, Moods Catedral. Situated right next to a Roman city wall, my room overlooked a plaza and was conveniently located above a restaurant. The hotel was nicely designed with staff on site 24/7. I loved the balcony overlooking the plaza. The location could not be better. SO much to see and do just around the area. It was absolutely beautiful in the Gothic Quarter. I totally recommend this place over the first one.



Interestingly enough, AirBnB is not prevalent in Barcelona. Or, if there were places available, they were just as expensive if not more expensive than hotels. I chose these two places based off the tickets and experiences I booked. For example, I stayed in the Gothic Quarter during the days I had a tour and sailing booked. The places I was to meet the guides were a five minute walk from the hotel. Perfectly planned! I suggest getting your itinerary in, order, map it out, and then find a place that is situated in the areas you are doing things. It's also important to group your activities in the same areas so you can get more done rather than going from one side of the city to the other and spending so much time in transit.


What do you need to know before going to Barcelona?


Okay the juicy stuff. Public transit is fantastic in Barcelona. So, in 1992, the Olympics came to Barcelona and the city got a ton of money. Very thoughtfully, the city used some of the money to revamp existing arena structures and a lot of the money to bolster the public transportation system. It changed the city completely. Now, you do not need a bus pass to use the bus, you can just use your own credit card! I also used a more beefy bus to go an hour away to the small beach town of Sitges (it only cost $3, but they only take exact cash!).


Things you must eat: of course tapas, but also paella, and a Spanish omelette, and tomato bread. All. So. Good. Also, order cava instead of sangria, it is a local staple. Favorite spot for paella: Guell.


To note: people eat LATE in Spain. Dinner is maybe around 8 or 9! So make sure you eat a late lunch or have snacks so you don't get hangry. They also seem to wake up late... I didn't get coffee till 9am. Just saying!


That's it! A quick guide to solo trip to Spain! I hope this is helpful and you are able to book your trip with confidence. I am so excited for you!


Follow @sammiealoha on instagram for more travel inspo!

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