Oh, Barcelona, one of my favourite cities in the whole wide world. Gaudi’s architecture, which can be found all over the city, makes Barcelona very special and unordinary.
I’ve been to Barcelona on many occasions and every time I’ve discovered something I haven’t seen before. Getting first impression of the city is very easy, walk down La Rambla, watch people rush from one place to another and just take everything in. But be very careful as pick pocketing is very common around La Rambla.
So if you are on a tight schedule walking down La Rambla will probably be enough to get the first impression. Otherwise, if you do have enough time I would recommend getting lost in narrow streets around the centre or doing the Walking tour recommended by Lonely Planet. We have done that and it really covers all the biggest attractions around La Rambla. If you want more information about that walking tour, just leave me a comment and I will describe it more in detail. And yes, we always use Lonely Planet tour guides. 🙂
Whether you are a huge foodie or not, visiting Barcelona’s open market, that is close by, is a must do. They offer plenty of fruits and freshly squeezed juices that provide badly needed refreshment. When you have seen and tasted everything is time to move on to, probably, the most famous church in the world.
La Sagrada Familia was probably Gaudi’s biggest project as it is still unfinished. Exterior of this ”church” will surely impress you, but I strongly recommend paying the entrance fee to enjoy the even more fascinating interior.
Following Gaudi’s footsteps further around the city will bring you to Park Guell. The entire park is huge and you will meet a lot of locals jog in the park. Payment is required nowadays to enter the part of the park that was actually designed by Gaudi. You’ve probably seen the mosaic animals and the little house that looks like it was torn from fairy tale.
If you don’t want to pay the entry fee but only snap a picture, you can do that from the street. But you won’t be able to get very close and usually there are a lot of people trying to get the best photo. Be prepared for crowds of people everywhere around Barcelona!
Another attraction I would recommend and was designed by Gaudi is La Pedrera also known as Casa Mila. Chimneys on the top of the roof are really unique. Inside the house is also a museum that covers Gaudi’s life and work.
A huge football (soccer) fan or not, Nou Camp is a place to visit when in Barcelona. The history of the club is intensely and closely connected to the one of Catalonia. That is also reflected in the slogan of the FC Barcelona – Més que un club (More than a Club). On the stadium there is a huge museum which will take you through club’s and Catalonia’s history.
In the afternoon I would recommend returning to the city center – Plaҫa Espanya and then climb up to Montjuic (you can walk or use escalators).
On the top you will be greeted with some spectacular views of Plaҫa Espanya. Some amazing pictures can be taken from there. When on Montjuic you should wander to the Olympic stadium and just walk around a bit. Trees can offer some badly needed shadow on very hot days during summer.
In the evening a famous water show called La Font Magica takes place on Plaҫa Espanya, it is free and watching that show is the best way to finish off a day in Barcelona.