Travel Guide: Barcelona Spain

Barcelona is the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region. It is one of the tourist destination in Spain. With its unique architecture, diverse culture, UNESCO World Heritage sites, museums, delicious tapas, it’s not hard to fall for Barcelona. It is a city that never sleeps and has a lot to offer for every traveler.

Placa Catalunya

 

Placa Catalunya at night

Where to Stay:

There are popular places to stay in Barcelona. The area around Placa Catalunya is the most central area of Barcelona. It is very near to most tourist spots such as Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, and Placa Reil. Ciutat Vella is close to Barceloneta, El Born, and Gothic area.

Getting Around Barcelona:

Barcelona is a big city. The quickest and convenient way to go around the city is through public transport such as the metro, bus, and tram. I used the ten ticket (T10) card which lets multiple travelers use the same card. It is cheaper than the individual tickets. It’s also walkable for the most part, but you may want to take public transport for some further out tourist destinations.

Places to Go:

When you are traveling, and in short of time, you like to make most of your destination. Here is the list of places to go and visit:

La Boqueria. It is the famous food market located just off La Rambla. It is popular with the locals and tourists.  There are numerous stalls with abundant displays of fruits, vegetables, cheese, seafood, meats, and sweets. Don’t leave the place without trying Spain’s famous ham (Jamon). My sister and I spent a lot of time trying different grades of Jamon.

 

 

 

Jamon Jabugo and Queso Manchego

Sagrada Familia.If you need to see one sightseeing, this should be it. The UNESCO listed church stands in the northern part of the city. It is said this will be the tallest religious building in Europe and it’s still under construction after more than 130 years. Although it is under construction, the majority of the building is open to the public. Entry is timed so best to order ticket online in advance and pick a slot that suits you.

 

Interior design of the church

 

La Rambla or Las Ramblas. It is a wide boulevard that runs through the heart of the city. It is usually crowded every day until the wee hours. It is lined with many shops, restaurants, and cafes. There’s a lot of pavement artists and living statues all part of the lane.

Gothic Quarter (Bari Gothic). The most ancient part of the city, where gothic architecture can be found. You will stumble a lot of historical monuments by just walking through this part.

 

Park Guell. It is park composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill. It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Antonio Gaudi. You can enter the park for free, but there is a charge for an area called “Monumental Area.” The Monumental Area includes a section where you can have a magnificent view of the city.  I suggest booking a ticket online in advance.

Barceloneta. It is Barcelona’s seaside district.

Placa Reil. If you like people watching, then Placa Reil is the place to be. It is palm-fringed square enclosed by historic buildings.

El Born Cultural Center. A place where recently recovered remains and buildings from the Roman period of the city.

Casa Batllo.It is UNESCO listed and another creation of Antonio Gaudi.

Parc de la Ciutadella. If you want to visit a park within the center, a good option is to Citadel Park or Prac de la Ciutadella. It is perfect for a picnic or a take a rest from all your exploration of the city.

Tips:

  1. Join a walking tour for free. There’s a lot of group offering free walking tours in Barcelona. This way you will see the sights and learn about the history. I took one walking tour to see the Gothic Quarter.
Our tour guide in Barcelona

2. Don’t miss tapas and sangrias. Barcelona is known for savory and amazing food. There are tons of restaurants and cafes along the beach of Barceloneta and on the side of La Ramblas. Don’t forget to try seafood paella, a popular dish in Barcelona. I recommend eating at Can Sole at Barceloneta.

Sangria every night, why not?!

 

 

3.Be careful with the pickpocketers. Always keep an eye on your belongings. If you’re in a restaurant, put your bag on your lap.

4. Learn the local language. The majority of the people speak Catalan.

5. Read blogs. You will learn from the experiences of other travelers and local.

Hope you enjoy your coming holidays in Barcelona.  Any questions? Share your comments below. 

 

 

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