We are spending the beginning of this new season in Spain, in a city up north about an hour from Bilbao called Vitoria-Gasteiz. I just arrived last Monday and have been battling the jet lag pretty poorly…(Unfortunately, my body is taking too long to adjust so I’ve been delaying sharing a sneak peak of our new home away from home (coming soon though :)).
Regardless, I planned a quick trip to Barcelona just a few days after arriving, the location of the first game of the regular season. How could I pass this up?! Barcelona might be my favorite city out of all the European cities I’ve visited and lived in. This was my second time visiting, which gave me more time to truly enjoy the city without the pressure of making sure all the “famous” sites are explored.
I used this trip to test out the Spanish transportation systems. I plan to visit several many other cities so this was a perfect first trip to figure out the best ways to travel throughout Spain. The negative part about being in Vitoria and wanting to travel is that the airport is an hour away in Bilbao, which requires extra time and extra planning. I, of course, diligently did my research on this and other modes of transportation at my disposal. My trip consisted of, first, a bus ride, second, a flight, and last, a train ride:
Bus to Bilbao
I decided to fly to Barcelona because there were only two outgoing trains from Vitoria on the Renfe, which had arrival times that were too late for my liking. I decided to take the bus to Bilbao (because I was traveling light anyway…). The autobus was super comfortable and easy to take, and you can check the schedules to and from major cities in all of Spain here: http://www.autobuseslaunion.com/en/timetables.asp
You arrive in just 50 minutes and then proceed to Gate 12 for the airport bus. You can purchase a ticket when getting on the train for 1.45 Euros. This bus should take about 25 minutes to Bilbao International.
Flight to Barcelona
The flight to Barcelona is 55 minutes…short and sweet. You can find several inexpensive airline options online.
Train back to Vitoria
My return back to Vitoria was on the Renfe, Spain’s high-speed rail system. The fastest journey from Barcelona on the Renfe was 4:40. I took the 9:30 fast-track which had me arrive in Vitoria at 14:08 precisely.
Barcelona, once again did not disappoint. Highlights of my trip:
A view of Camp Nou from the hotel patio.
Casa Batlló is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces located on Paseig de Gracia. This architectural landmark is testament to Gaudi’s unique style and his attention to detail. Gaudi made this for a wealthy aristocrat named Josep Batlló.
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is a market filled with the freshest foods as well as restaurant/cafes. It’s located in Ciudad Vieja near Las Ramblas and the Liceu opera house. The nearest metro stop is Liceu on T3.
El Nacional is a venue with four restaurants, a cava bar, a cervezaria, a wine bar, and a cocktail bar. The restaurants cater to meats, seafood, tapas, and quick eats! Amazing seafood was had at La Llotja, its seafood specialty.
And, of course, the Picasso Museum! No pictures allowed, but this one I snuck of “El Viejo” 😉
Plaça de Catalunya.