Barcelona will always have an extra special place in my heart. For four months I called it my home while I was studying abroad my junior year of college. The city offers not only the best food, beaches, architecture, art scene, night life and sports experience that anyone could ask for, but is also a short ride away from plenty of other fun day-trips that are right outside the city.
There are a few things that people automatically think of when they think of Barcelona, such as Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, and although they are certainly breathtaking, there are a million other things that make Barcelona the best city in the world, most of which you will find from just allowing yourself to aimlessly wander and explore.
I could honestly have an entire blog dedicated just to this city, but I will try my best to showcase it in one post.
To-Do & See
To start off I want to talk about my favorite general area: the Gothic quarter. As you walk through the area and go in and out of the stores and restaurants that line the streets, every building makes you want to stop and stare. The highlight is the Barcelona Cathedral.
One of the most amazing parts about Barcelona is how both its gothic parts and modern parts work together so seamlessly. And while the gothic quarter showcases the best of the gothic side, Passeig de Gracia is the street that is the best showcase of the modern. Passeig de Gracia is lined with great clothing stores and also a few buildings by Gaudi. There are two that you should definitely check out: La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. While Casa Batllo is more interesting on the outside, La Pedrera is more worth actually going into, mostly for its stunning roof terrace.
A minute away from where I lived was Arc de Triomf. It’s a beautiful landmark that I got to walk past every day!
If you walk through Arc de Triomf, you will quickly reach Parc de la Ciutadella. It’s a great place to walk around and stumble upon pretty lakes and fountains.
La Sagrada Familia (designed by architect Gaudi) is a must-see while in Barcelona. Both the inside and outside of this church are equally stunning. Buy your tickets ahead of time online to avoid waiting in a long line to get in. The inside is adorned with stained glass windows and columns that make you feel like you’re in a forest.
|If there is a FC Barcelona game and you like soccer at all then GO! The environment and loyal fans make for such a fun experience.|
Park Guell is a great place to explore for hours and the place where you can snap the most picturesque insta. You get a beautiful view of the city while also getting surprised at every turn by unique architectural structures and mosaic covered benches.
If you want to do a fun excursion outside of the city then maybe you should try a horse back riding trip! I went to Ranxo Mestres with a group of students from my study-abroad program and had a blast!
Another day-trip to take, especially if you are ready for a change of scenery from the Barcelona beaches, would be hiking at Montserrat, a mountain just an hour train ride away! In fact, even if you’re not wanting a change of scenery, you should still go. After getting off the train you can take a cable car up to the mountain and enjoy the views from afar before getting to the hiking!
Like I mentioned in the beginning of my post, there are a million “to-see” places that you would find in a travel guide, but there are a million other things to come across just by walking around! At the very least you’ll see lots and lots of cool sculptures and art scattered around the city.
To Eat & Drink
Let’s start with the bars…Chupitos is great if you want to get a variety of fun shots! They have hundreds to choose from. See below for the Harry Potter shot that gets lit on fire!
And let’s not forget about L’Ovella Negra, a great pregame spot if you’re looking for something a little more laid back. You can order a huge container of Sangria with plenty of nozzles to share!
Now for the food…Go to Bo De B for a delicious sandwich. Get some patates braves to start!
La Boqueria, a large market, basically counts as an attraction, but since it is filled with amazing food I’ll list it under this category. Inside you will find completely skinned animals lying around everywhere, fresh fish sitting on ice, berries galore and the best fruit smoothies that you’ve ever had in your life, among many other things. Go here for lunch and try a few different things!
Go to Brunch and Cake for brunch. Make sure to end your meal with a slice of…you guessed it…cake.
At some point make be sure to order a classic meal of Seafood Paella and Sangria.
Finally, whatever you do, get some Tapas! Plenty of restaurants will offer them, but even better would be to go to a tapas-only restaurant and get a few things to try!