If you spend much time on our blog you know we write a ton about Barcelona, Spain. Why? There are so many layers to Barcelona. The wonderful city has so much it wants to tell you. For us, it is one of those places that around every corner is something new. As we walked down the Las Ramblas, retracing the steps of Orwell and Hemingway you can’t help be feel a connection to the history of this place. As you stare in wonder at one of Gaudi’s playful architectural creations you begin to understand the city and it becomes a part of you.
Those of you that have yet to visit this incredible city, here are our top picks:
For you football fans Camp Nou is one of the world’s great cathedral’s of sport. It is the home of the mighty FC Barcelona. The sheer size of the venue is what is so unbelievable Even if you are not super interested in athletics, you must tip your hat at the impressive expanse of facility. Take a tour of the storied FC Barcelona museum. It is a bit over priced, but for the exuberant fan, it is a must.
Our next recommendation is not in even in Barcelona…It is the must see day trip outside of the city: The monastery at Montserrat. Pack a lunch for you and your loved one and board the train for the hour long trip north of the city. We did a post recently about visiting the benedictine monastery check it out here. Go for the views and the tram ride up and down the mountain.
The Opera House
We have a tiny confession We have never been into the opera house. We have stood in line for tickets twice, took pictures from the lobby, and dreamed about what it looks like on the inside. But due to circumstance beyond our control we have never made it in. That is why it is on this list. We want to see it too! If you do go, please let us know what you think. Should we keep it on the list of must sees in Barcelona?
We exited the underground right in front of the grand cathedral, walked out into the sunshine and there towering over me was one of the most interesting structures I have ever seen. I stood looking at the exterior for nearly 30 mins! It is a collage of biblical proportions in more ways than one! The detail, the stories, the cast of characters just on the exterior of the church is impressive. Then we walked inside! I couldn’t help but feel dwarfed by the soaring ceilings inside. This is one of those places that the pictures simply does not do it justice. It is a must see on any visit to Barcelona.
We have done a couple of posts on this famous park. It is a bit of a hike to get to the park but it is so worth it. The views from the plaza of all of Barcelona is breathtaking. The park is another creation from the mind of Gaudi. It is one of those iconic places that is on every tourist map for the city. But there is so much more than meets the eye. Gaudi outdid himself on the design and function of the park. The serpentine benches that line the upper plaza are a work of art. The lower plaza has unique little design details that make it fun. The columns that support the upper plaza are actually hollow and are used to collect rainwater from above! The beauty of the park is that a visit any time of day delivers a great experience.
We are lumping a bunch of different sites under this one heading. There is a good reason for this. We want to you see it all! A great primer for seeing the mountain is to start at the Olympic museum atop the hill. Wander around the many displays. Get your bearings on where and what events were held. Your next stop is of course the Olympic stadium. Take you pictures and move on not much to see there. Take in the views of the swimming and diving centers. Walk through the parks and gardens.
The Magic Fountain
A great evening attraction is the magic fountain of Barcelona. The mix of water, lights and if you time your visit right… music is highly entertaining. On most evenings you can watch as water is launched into the air in a choreographed display that is memorizing A word of caution, watch you belongings. This is a favorite spot for the el pickpocket-itos.
We could of filled this list with just Gaudi related locations. He is that good. And there are enough Gaudi locations to fill many a list. We are offering our recommendations for the best. La Padrara is a wonderland. There really is no other word to describe the feeling of wandering the bends and bumps within the apartment complex. Being there reminds us the power of the mind to create beauty. At every turn during your tour you are going to smile and be amazed at the level of creativity that Gaudi possessed. Our hint, look for the details, they will amaze you.
People watching in an anarchist bookstore
If you know us well, you know we love to people watch. There is no place better in Barcelona than in one of the many revolutionary bookstores. This is where the red-blooded revolutionaries come to get more….. revolutionary. Sip your beverage, read some Hemingway. Take it all in at your own pace.
Calle L’Escar, 22, 08039 Barcelona, Spain (La Barceloneta)
Our last recommendation involves food. The perfect ending to any visit to the inviting city of Barcelona is a dinner at the Barceloneta. You are going to have to save up your Euros to splurge on this one but the return on the investment is huge. Located on the city’s harbor, this seafood out of this world.
That is it. Our quick recommendations for Barcelona. Getting to Spain is easy. There are direct Barcelona flights from all of the major hubs in the states and Europe. Barcelona also has one of the most user-friendly airports. Enjoy your stay in Barcelona! Send us pictures!
This post makes me (Franca) want to go back to the lovely Barcelona, I should just take Dale there, he’s never been.
I loved the old city, getting lost in the many little streets and of course I am a big Gaudi’s fan. You brought back nice memories, thanks! :)
Franca- You two should go! I really think that Barcelona is one of those under discovered places. Happy travels. Mike
I visited for the first time after TBEX, the Park Guell is soo beautiful! Great post.
Great selection, Barcelona is one great city! I can think about one more thing :) A drink in La Champagneria Bar, this a true soul of Barcelona :)