After visiting a few Spanish cities there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure. The Spanish know their architecture skills. From medieval castles to astonishing gothic cathedrals and modern Calatrava masterpieces, they’ve got it all! But Barcelona is the cherry on top!

I had written a whole post about Seville and how quickly it captured me on under it’s spell and instantly became my favorite Spanish city. Let me tell you, that was pre-Barcelona. As a Lisboner I’m no stranger to having the beach right at my feet whenever I wish. And I know there’s no better way to escape the hectic city life then to feel the sand between your toes and the sea breeze stroking your face.
So yes, Barcelona is my current favorite Spanish city and it comes with the beach package too!

I found Barcelona to be much more cosmopolitan then Madrid and definitely more beautiful. But Barcelona’s charm is all in it’s architecture and it owes the a big part of that to Antonio Gaudí. His masterpieces are scattered through the city, bringing a magical wonderland feeling to Barcelona.

Barcelona’s public’s transportation is great! The metro covers the whole city and it’s relatively cheap. Another great thing is that Barcelona’s main airport, El Prat is only 20 min away from the city by train. And a single metro ticket will get you all the way to the city center.

Catalonians are just as nice, cheerful and free spirit as the rest of the Spanish. They are definitely proud of their culture and heritage. Although they are quite a bit bigoted when it comes to Catalonia and show it by waving the catalonian flag from their balconies. The whole signage system of the city is also in Catalonian while generally most people speak Spanish in public.

All and all Barcelona was definitely worth the visit.

Now here’s a little review of all the amazing places I got to visit:

View of Barcelona from Park Guell


1. La Sagrada Familia
This remarkable structure is beyond words. It is just sublime! I had never seen anything like it. The attention to details is incredible. The entrance like many other places in Barcelona is quite pricy with 14.80€ entrance fee, specially since the whole constructions seems to be going on through ticket sells and donations. It wasn’t as big as I had expected but it was once in a life time chance and I didn’t want to miss it. However, if you’re on a budget you can totally skip the entrance and enjoy the lavishing exterior instead.

 


2. Park Guell

Park Guell is another Guadí masterpiece. It comes with beautiful views of Barcelona and the magic touch of Gaudi’s tile work.

 
3. Las Ramblas
Every city has one of these huge avenues with a rooftop of tree branches and beautiful luxurious shops  and expensive cafes. Barcelona has a few but Las Ramblas is the most famous one which takes you from Plaza Catalunya all the way to Barcelona’s Port. Packed with restaurants and street performers, it’s definitely the liveliest spot in the city.

While you’re in Ramblas make sure you check out La Boqueria fresh market. It’s a beautiful market where you can buy almost anything delicious and treat yourself with a fresh smoothie. Like they say, if you can’t find it in the Boqueria, you wont find it anywhere else!

4. Plaza Espanya 
From Plaza Espanya to the museum of Catalan art you’ll get a whole street full of fountains. It’s specially famous for it’s illuminated magic fountain where you can see a light show combined with music at night time at specific hours. This place was truly magical and definitely a highlight of our visit.

Museu de arte Catalunya

5. Port of Barcelona

This place is the best walking location. It’s peaceful, quiet and beautiful and perfectly suited for an afternoon walk or even biking if you manage to rent a bike.

6. Park de la Ciutadella

This park reminds me very much of El Retiro in Madrid. It basically has the same vibe to it. A Lake with rowing boats, a stunning sculpture facing the lake and a few beautiful structures. It’s definitely a great spot to grab a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day while you’re staying in this gorgeous city.

7. Camp Nou
I’m neither a football fan or a Barca one, but I have to say I was very amazed by the Barca experience museum. The design of this museum was great. Lots of interaction and great ideas to feature the greatness of this club. It was truly a Barca experience and not just a museum filled with trophies and awards. However the entrance fee is ridiculously expensive!!! A normal ticket costs 23€! I personally would have not gone if it wasn’t because of my ultimate Barca fan brother, but I have to say I didn’t come out disappointed.

8. Casa Batlló

Avenida Diagonal is filled with beautiful architecture but Gaudi’s Casa Batlló has definitely stolen the spot light. It’s a fantastical yet creepy looking building with beautiful tile work and curvy forms. I didn’t get the chance to go inside. Not only because I didn’t have much time but also because I thought it’s too expensive for a small house. (a normal entrance fee is over 20€)
Although from what I have seen and read I’m sure it’s no less fabulous inside. If you get a chance make sure to visit this place at night time as it’s even more magical with the lights reflecting on the colored tiles.

Barcelona impressed me so well. It’s definitely somewhere I’d want to visit again. There was just too much to explore and see in this beautiful city and due to the lack of time I missed out on the museum hunt which is basically a crime for an art student. But perhaps that’s the best excuse to get back to Barcelona sometime soon.

I hope you have enjoyed the post. Leave me a comment if you have any other recommendations for Barcelona 😉

Happy Travels,

Matin

5 thoughts on “Barcelona, the architect’s dream!!

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