I have always found it kind of odd when someone told that he is in love with a city. Well, sunny Barcelona proved me wrong. A few months ago my cousin invited me to come with her to Barcelona and of course with the brightest smile on my face I accepted the invitation. I traveled with her and her family and we stayed in the city for about 3 days. Although our time was limited, we managed to make the best out of it. All in all, our small trip was successful and we came back with unforgettable memories. So here are my suggestions what you MUST visit in Spain’s most incredible city.
- Take a walk in the gothic quarter (Barrí Gotico)
Situated in the heart of Barcelona, this old medieval neighborhood attracts tourists and locals with its narrow streets and buildings dating from the Roman times. You can easily get lost while wandering in this labyrinth of small streets and hidden squares.
- Visit MACBA
If you are keen on modern art, don’t miss the MACBA. All year round you can see unusual exhibits and admire the incredible art pieces of non-commercial artists.
- Eat at La Boqueiria
This is the biggest food market in Barcelona, where every day you can find fresh food and veggies and try local and international cuisine. From tropical fruits to salami and sweet goodies, La Boqueira has it all. Be sure to go with an empty stomach there, so that you can try as much as you can.
4. La Barceloneta
Sea, sand, smiles and youth – this are the words, which describe La Barceloneta. Whether you are dining at the al fresco seafood restaurants, while watching the expensive yachts at the marina, sunbathing on the beach or just walking around this vibrant district, you will for sure get caught in the maniana vibe. The sun is shining, everyone is singing and dancing, just by walking on the beach alley you can feel as if you are in some kind of parallel world, where stress and time don’t exist.
5. Watch Barcelona from above
Standing 173 above the port, Montjuic castle is a fortress built in 1640 and has become a symbol of repression and of the city’s biggest struggles during different history periods. The top of the fortress is the perfect spot to get a 360 view of the whole city and take some awesome panoramic pictures. It is a bit of struggle to get there, because you have to walk and climb lots of stairs, but trust me it is worth the effort.
6. Gaudi’s masterpieces
Barcelona is home of the most famous modernist architect Antoni Gaudi. His work is familiar to people from all around the globe and has made him a symbol of Barcelona’s architecture. He is the master behind the astonishing buildings of Sagrada Familia, Casa Bastló, Casa Milá and of course the beautiful Park Güell. When we were in Barcelona we visited all of his masterpieces and I recommend you doing the same thing. All of them, except Parc Güell, are located pretty close to one another.
7. Plaça d’Espanya
This is one of the biggest touristic places in town, featuring many attractions and places for every interest. You can do lots of things there, shop at the mall, watch the magic fountains or climb to MNAC( Barcelona’s exhibition center) and admire once again the city from above. When we were in Barcelona there was a special carnival in the city, so the botanical gardens, which are just above the exhibition center, were opened and we got to explore them for free.
8. Stroll along Passeig de Graç
Ambling along this major avenue, you can look at the astonishing architectural buildings and do some window shopping at all the expensive high end clothing brands. Even if you are not in the mood for doing a major damage to your wallet, you can still enter some of the shops, because all of them are a fashion museum on their own.
9. Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc de Triumph
Whether you want to have a quite picnic or just get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the green oasis should be on your to do list. On the grounds of Parc de la Ciutadella, there are several iconic buildings and attractions: The zoo, The Catalan Parliament and my personal favorite – The Cascada fountain, which will leave you speechless.. At the end of one of the entrances stands the Arc de Triumph. The arch was built with colorful brickwork in Mudejar style and in my opinion, outstands the monument in Paris.
10. Try the tapas
Tapas are an essential part of Spanish cuisine. For those of you, who don’t know what tapas exactly means, it is basically an appetizer or a snack, which can be served hot and cold. There are many variations of Spanish tapas, but my favorite would be the pimento de Padron. These small green peppers are an amazing side for wine and great for waiting while your main is served. You can find tapas in bars, restaurants or even small cafes. Most of the times ‘tapas’ come in small portions, so don’t rely on them to satisfy your hunger.
Where we ate?
- Flax and Kale – the most delicious vegan and vegetarian food
- Chök – pastry shop, which serves unusual and unique donuts
- Caelum – the cutest pastry shop with french inspired pastries and interior design
- Eyescream and Friends – instagramable frozen yogurt
Even now writing this blog post I am falling in love once again with the whole Spanish atmosphere and amazing sights and I remember how hard it was to say “Adios”. I really hope that my travel tips help you have a memorable stay in Barcelona.