Back home in NYC and so excited to be able to share this post of my quick week long Euro adventure this past February. To start I had been itching to get back to Europe for a few years now! I hadn’t been back since I studied abroad in Florence during college in 2014 & Kyle hadn’t been back since high school! I had been on and off again eyeing airline prices last November and was shocked when I found a direct flight from JFK to Lisbon airport via TAP Portugal (all flights found using Expedia.com) for only $206! When I looked further into prices I was overwhelmed with how low they were. Lisbon to Barcelona for only $33 a ticket via Vueling Airlines, Barcelona to Dublin for $57 a ticket via Vueling Airlines, then Dublin back to New York for only $230! *(For final flight back to NYC we did have to fly into Stewert International Airport near West Point then take a $20 bus from their into Port Authority. Still worth it for the overall price and bus ride was only about an hour and 20 mins). Overall visiting 3 countries cost us around $500! Which is about 5x cheaper than my last flight to LA lol.
Through this experience I will always highly suggest using a travel site like Expedia or Kayak and booking all one way tickets! If you try to book a multi city trip the price will jack up and will come in around $2000. The key for us was using multiple different airlines. Also once you are in Europe it is SO easy to get from one country to the next for a very cheap price.
^above photo taken on the Lisbon pink street
We decided to start our trip off in Lisbon because neither of us had ever been but had always heard great things about it. We left late Sunday night – 11pm EST to be exact (because of my New York Fashion Week duties) and arrived around 11am Lisbon time and boy were we exhausted. I hadn’t really been sleeping during fashion week anyway and tried my best to get a good sleep on the plane but sometimes that isn’t always easy. When we arrived I was so tired that I LEFT MY PASSPORT ON THE PLANE. I travel a lot and have never done that (!!!), luckily I figured it out right away and the flight attendants had it waiting for me when I got back. When we made it to the customs line FINALLY, it was a nightmare!!! It took us 2 hours to get through passport control and note that from talking to other locals this is very normal for the Lisbon airport. Therefor if you are flying through or connecting through Lisbon make sure to give yourself enough time.
We were only spending about 24hours in Lisbon so I wanted to make sure we had a great hotel! Through a bit of research on blogs and websites, Memmo Alfama came highly recommended. I was also able to find a way cheaper price by booking it on Booking.com over the hotel website – the room altogether for one night was $130 then split between the two of us only $75 each which was fabulous based on how nice it was!
Below are photos from the hotels roof terrace and pool. It was so dreamy I still think about it! They also had a continental breakfast that was to die for with champagne, amazing fruit and spreads.
Unfortunately I had to work a lot of my time in Lisbon because of quickly approaching deadlines for NYFW campaigns. So we didn’t eat out while there except for a quick lunch which wasn’t good enough to mention. We did enjoy amazing cocktails at our hotel, which I recommend even if you are not staying there! As well as seeing the gorgeous city center, admiring the tiled buildings and visiting the Pink Road! I would also note if traveling to Portugal it is very cheap!! Our Uber’s (they do have Uber there!) to and from the airport were 10 Euro (about $13) and the food was extremely affordable, which was a welcome change from the extremely expensive country of Iceland lol!
From Lisbon we took our $33 flight to Barcelona which was smooth, quick and easy! For this leg of the trip we decided to stay in an Airbnb! Direct link to the Airbnb we stayed in HERE. It was in a fabulous location walking distance to pretty much everything we wanted to see (except the beach) and only 10 mins from La Sagrada Familia. It also had a BEAUTIFUL private rooftop that we drank wine and watched the sunset from each night (photos below) that I would definitely recommend to anyone traveling to Barcelona in the spring/summer months! My only issue with this particular Airbnb was the wifi. It was terrrriblllle. Unfortunately with this job I do not have the luxury of going off the grid. Every morning and every afternoon I had emails to attend to and approvals to edit and send in. So staying at a place where wifi was advertised then not provided was frustrating. However if wifi is not something you care about then definitely a great BNB for you!!
WHERE WE ATE IN BARCELONA: We went to so many great food places and had tapas almost every night! Sharing our favorites and must hit spots below!
Brunch at Brunch and Cake. I had gone here abroad but this second time around it was so much better! Kyle ordered the acai bowl and it literally came out with the word BRUNCH cut out in cantaloupe!!! I had the avocado toast and their green juice and each were fabulous and very IG worthy 🙂
Tapas at El Nacional – La Taperia. This is a beautiful market hall in Barcelona that contains 5-6 different restaurants inside with a huge bar in the center. Kyle and I took a quick lap around the place and then decided on the verbal tapas restaurant, which we had no idea what that meant at the time. We quickly found out when the waiters were running around screaming the menu and you were able to raise your hand when they came out with what you wanted and they served it to you. SO FUN. Our faves were the ham croquettes and seafood paella.
Paella at Guell Tapas. When I visited Barcelona while studying abroad we never went to get paella (why? Idk). So this was a MUST for our trip. A follower recommend Guell Tapas off of Las Ramblas and we LOVED It. The sangria was also great!
Drinks at The Cotton House Hotel. A follower actually recommended this place to me and I am SO happy that she did!! The inside was absolutely stunning and one of the prettiest interiors I have ever seen in Barcelona. Their cocktails were fabulous and they also served dinner if you wanted to stick around for longer!
Beach Lunch @ CDLC. For Valentines Day it was so beautiful out that we really wanted to spend it at the Barcelona Beach. As touristy as the places are on the beach we were really happy with our decision to go to CDLC for lunch, which is right next to Opium and also turns into a club at night. The staff was so sweet and we both really loved the food as well as the amazing decor! From there we walked over (nice 20 min walk on the beach) to the W Hotel where we got drinks on the terrace!
Dow Jones Bar. Yes yes we KNOW… This is a hot spot for American study abroad students. But this is my recap and I HAD SO MUCH FUN HERE. We also went on an off night (Tuesday) and there were many non Americans there, so don’t @ me about this lol. Basically the concept of this bar is that each drink is on the stock market and goes up and down in price depending on how many people are ordering it. Ultimately being able to get drinks/beers/shots for as low as 2 Euro. Every now and then they would have a stock market *crash* and prices would hit so low I just had to dabble in a few of their signature shots! For us it was definitely a rose of our trip. 🙂
WHAT WE DID IN BARCELONA. Sharing a few of our favorite activities from Barcelona.
Casa Vicens. This was a highlight for both of us on our Barcelona trip! I had already seen Parc Guell when studying abroad but wanted Kyle to get an idea of how beautiful and iconic Gaudi’s work was. In 2017 Barcelona opened Casa Vicens to the public, which is Gaudi’s first masterpiece he ever designed in Barcelona and shaped their country’s architecture from there on out. It is a self guided tour and we both felt like we learned so much from it. Highly highly recommend this!
La Sagrada Familia. This was also something that I missed doing when studying abroad so was thrilled to be able to do it this go around. It is the countries largest tourist attraction so make sure to book tickets in advance if you would like to see the inside. It was truly iconic and striking and I cannot wait to see it when it is finished!
W Hotel Rooftop View. If you do not make it to Parc Guell, another spot to get an incredible view of the city is from the W Hotel Barcelona. It sits on a far north corner of the Barcelona and you are able to take in the beautiful city while sipping a craft cocktail. 🙂 You will also get great beach views on your walk over.
Shopping! I am a huge fan of Mango and love shopping at their stores here in NYC. However sometimes their prices are a bit high for my liking so when I saw that Barcelona had a Mango OUTLET – I was thrilled.
Barcelona Arc De Triomf. A beautiful site that you would be able to hit after finishing a beach day. This wasn’t originally on my list so we only were able to see it from the cab =/ however I would definitely make it a stop for your trip!
Overall as I have mentioned on my Instagram account and stories – I LOVEDDD Barcelona so much more this second go around. I am so happy that I gave it a second chance and went on a more relaxing trip. It was just what I needed after NYFW and finding some time to relax.
SHOP MY EUROTRIP LOOKS
From Barcelona we took our $57 Vueling flight to Dublin, which was both of our first times there! I relied on a few friends for help in terms of what to do, see and where to stay and they did not fail. We ended up staying at The Shelbourne Dublin, which is absolutely hands down the most beautiful place I have ever stayed. It is part of the Marriott chain so I was able to leverage my families Marriott points to help us out with the cost. I promise I don’t generally live this lavishly when traveling but once in awhile it is so nice to do so.
A few pictures of The Shelbourne below. Note that it is in a FABULOUS location. We were able to walk everywhere – even Guinness (30 min walk, but along the water which was nice!)
WHERE WE ATE IN DUBLIN: I was so so so pleasantly surprised with the food in Dublin. Everything we ate was delicious. I had a few different dishes with a combination of mushrooms, potatoes, truffle and all were fabulous! Note however that Ireland as a whole is more expensive. So be prepared to spend a little more there.
The Ivy Dublin: UGH. So much to say about this place. We went for brunch (make sure to make a reservation – they offer through OpenTable there) and all of my interior dreams were fulfilled. The inside is drop dead gorgeous and probably the prettiest restaurant I have ever been in. The food also lives up to the decor, which rarely happens! I had the buttermilk pancakes and Kyle got the truffle chicken sandwich. Each we recommend!
The Arlington Hotel: This kind of falls within the food and the entertainment category! Basically the Arlington Hotel offers something called Celtic Nights – which is where they have dinner and a show. The show is filled with fabulous entertainment! Great Irish singers and Irish dancers!! The musicians are super interactive and love getting the crowd involved. The place is of course filled to the brim with tourists but everyone is in a great mood and you really feel like you’re getting a piece of the Irish culture. HUGE NOTE!! You definitely want to get tickets ahead of time for this. However! The show actually does not start until 8:30pm, dancers 9pm. We got our tickets for 7pm and were so tired by the time the show actually started. Would recommend going at 8pm. Food is fine! It wasn’t bad but wasn’t the best meal we had in Ireland.
Brookwood Dublin: Perfect for a simple night out with great food. Hands down the best mushroom/truffle gnocchi I have ever had and the ambiance is great for a date night.
The Woollen Mills: This was recommended to us by a friend who is from Dublin and she did not lead astray! Another place to definitely get a reservation to as it fills up very quickly. We went for brunch and it had a great vibe with even greater people watching along the river. 🙂
WHAT WE DID IN DUBLIN
Trinity College & Book of Kells: We were lucky in getting amazing weather during our time in Dublin! The first full day we spent exploring the city and loved touring the Trinity College campus and popping into the Book of Kells. Going into the Long Room which is in the exhibit was jaw dropping. Photos below!
St Stephens Green: Cutest little park in the midst of Dublin! We grabbed coffee from Insomnia then walked through, which was so nice. Also recommend stopping by The Shelbourne while at the park as it is right there!
Guinness Storehouse: So this was the only preplanned activity that we had for the trip (lol). For Christmas I bought Kyle and I tickets to the Connoisseur Tour of the Storehouse and looking back so happy I did! Guinness was incredibly crowded the day we went. Our tour guide said that at least 7,000 people will come through those doors on a daily basis and of those 7,000 only 20% will get to do a tasting. With the Connoisseur tickets you get a half pint of 4 different types of Guinness, including their original recipe. You will also teach you how to pour your own Guinness which, within the storehouse always has a huge line. Lastly your ticket alone gets you a free Guinness! So we were able to take those up to the Gravity Bar, which has a stunning view of the whole city of Dublin and get a complimentary pint! Super fun!!
Greystones: Our second full day in Dublin we wanted to get out of the city a bit so decided to check out the Greystones which is about an hour train ride south on their metro system called DART. Trust me however that the train ride goes quickly because majority of it is on the water and you get to see some amazing cliff views! The small town of the Greystones was so nice and the people even nicer. We walked a bit along the water then sat, relaxed and took it all in. Enjoying a cute lunch at their local cafe before heading back to Dublin!
Pub’s – Dame Tavern: There really are pubs everywhere, to be honest I was actually kind of surprised by that. Even though I had heard this about Ireland seeing it in real life was actually a sight to see. We decided to skip the Temple Bar and instead do another strip of pubs our favorite being the Dame Tavern! Super cozy, and great vibes.
*Picture Opportunity* – I loved getting to see the famous Dublin umbrellas street! To find it just type in the bar Zozimus and the umbrellas are in front of it! The bar is also realllly cute. We didn’t go inside because it was 10am but if we had more time we would’ve gone back.
We enjoyed a great breakfast at our hotel before heading back to New York! As stated above we took a Norwegian Air flight into Stewart International rather than JFK due to $$$. If you end up taking this same flight note that there are no TV’s, wifis, outlets, etc. We didn’t know this going in and basically got screwed. So definitely come prepared!
So with that – thank you all for reading and I really do hope that this was somewhat helpful for your upcoming travels!!