Barcelona is hands down our favourite city in Spain. It has a vibe about it that no other city can compete with. The trip from Valencia took a little over three hours before we were in the heart of Barcelona. We had chosen a little B&B called La Casa de Marcelo and it was perfect. Right in the middle of town, close to the famous Ramblas, the old town and a 10 minute walk to the beach. Although Marcelo warned us that the metro was home to best pickpockets in Barcelona, we took our chances and decided to use this as our main method of transportation. We didn’t have any problems using the metro, it was air conditioned, on time and at eight euros for a five day ticket you couldn’t go wrong!
With only three days in Barcelona, we had to list everything we wanted to do. Most sights we wanted to see related to Gaudi in some way, shape or form – but we also had some errands to run. We’d been toying with the idea of sending some of our winter clothes home and decided Barcelona would be the last place we would probably be able to understand what costs (80 euros) were involved. I also wanted to cut my hair. Something that was obviously a massive change for me, but with the heat and the inability to maintain it, I decided it was time for a change. Language wouldn’t be a barrier here, so I decided to do it while they still understood what I wanted.
La Sagrada Familia: One of Gaudi’s unfinished works of art. He worked on it for 30 years before his death in 1926 and is estimated to be complete in 2026. The cathedral is gigantically impressive and true to it’s gothic style. Some say it’s ugly…by some I mean Gus, but even he can appreciate the complexity of this design. It was here that we tried to have our picture taken in front of the monument, which led to a massive fail. But we took one of the monument on it’s own, so you can tell we were there. The line to go into the cathedral was just as massive as the monument itself. A two hour wait we were told, but we did go at midday and with so much to see we didn’t get a chance to see it inside. We did get told that if we get there first thing in the morning it’s much easier to get in… We’ll have to check it out next time.
Park Guell: We loved Park Guell. If you’re not up for the hike then make sure you take the road Baixada de la Glòria which has a mix of escalators and stairs to the top of the Park. It’s still a work out, but you get to rest a little on the escalators which we found refreshing. You can see a great view of Barcelona from the top of the hill especially the Sagrada Famillia, which is as you know hard to happy snap from below.
Gaudi wasn’t a fan of square structures, which is one of the reasons all his creations are curved or circular – representing infinity. Some also say he took acid. Whatever you believe…this park is amazing! Columns and wavy rooves, street performers everywhere, sweeping steps leading up to the famous Iguana. My favourite were the gingerbread houses, as they look like they’re something out of a story book. Very cool!
We got a good lunch deal around this area also it was six euro for pasta, salad, chicken and fries. So if you can find it, it’s not flash – but had a great deal for locals and us tourists alike
Las Ramblas: Everyone tells you to go visit Las Ramblas when you go to Barcelona. I’ve done it twice now, the first time I was on my own and too scared to go in because everyone told me I’d get robbed for sure. This time, we walked down Las Ramblas and the only kind of robbery we encountered were the prices of meals. We ordered a large coke and out came the biggest pint of coke we’d ever seen for only 9 Euro!! Just a little excessive we thought!! So if you’re going down Las Ramblas make sure you don’t eat on the restaurants on this street. Obviously catered for tourists. Check out the street performers and the food and art markets towards the end of the street. The street vendors will drive you insane trying to sell you whistles. But after the 50th attempt at selling it, they get the idea. We weren’t overly impressed with Las Ramblas, but I guess it’s something you should do, especially if the markets are on!
Barcelona FC: Coming from a family of hardcore Barcelona supporters – going to a soccer match was one of our must see’s while in Barcelona. Unfortunately, we timed it very badly and missed out on the season all together in Spain. We did however get to see the stadium, home to the 2010-2011 world champions! Loved every minute of it, you can do an audio tour for an additional five euro – but we just did the walk around and stocked up on some merchandise. Well worth the 25 euro.
All in all, we loved Barcelona and the fact that is has a beach so close to the city just makes it all the better. People are friendly and although they tell you to be careful of the pick pockets, we were fortunate enough to not have a problem here. The food here was also incredible – so plenty of opportunities to try some tapas if you’re in the area. We will definitely come back here!
P.S.. My long hair is gone, no tears and Gus still recognised me – which was a bonus!