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I have just returned from a beautiful 3-weeks trip to Spain and France. It was my first time visiting Spain, and I loved it so much! In the following weeks, I will share with you some of my favorite things that I did during my trip, some travel itineraries, and some tips on how to plan your trip to Spain and/or France. Let’s start!
Barcelona is the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. Catalonia has its own language, which is Catalan, but Spanish is also an official language.
What makes Barcelona a fantastic destination is that it has it all: the mountain, the city, and the ocean.
1- Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is the main attraction in Barcelona and not to miss, even if you are spending a few days only in Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia is a beautiful church made by the architect Antoni Gaudí.
Gaudí is the architect of many magnificent buildings or parks in Barcelona, such as La Casa Milà, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, and much more. Gaudi’s works are unique and different from other architects. The colors and mosaics, the organic shapes, and the textures make its buildings look like something out of a fairy tale.
La Sagrada Familia has two distinct sides. One side is called the Nativity facade, with gothic architecture, and the other is called the Passion facade, which is brighter and looks like a sand castle! What also makes this church so unique is that it is still incomplete! There is still a construction site with a tower crane. The construction started in 1882!
2- Try paella
Paella is a classic Spanish dish you must try if you visit Spain. It is originally from Valencia, another city in Spain, but it’s on every menu in Barcelona too.
Ingredients can vary, but in general, it is made with saffron rice, shrimps, chicken, chorizo sausage, and mussels, and in the one that I tried, there was also squid! With a glass of sangria or cava (Spanish sparkling wine), you have the perfect Spanish meal!
3- Park Güell
Park Güell is another work by the architect Gaudí. It is a beautiful park of 12 hectares with gardens and beautiful architectural elements. The most popular place in the park, which offers a beautiful view over Barcelona, is the Mosaic Terrace, with colorful benches made of mosaic.
Then there is also the famous Gaudí Dragon, made out of colorful mosaic too. Gaudí’s house is also in the park and is now a museum available for tourists. Make sure to also stop at the Colonnaded pathway, where some musicians often play.
Exploring the park takes about one to two hours, and I strongly recommend buying tickets on the official site in advance since it is a top-rated attraction in Barcelona.
You can get them here.
4- Arco de Triunfo
Did you know that Barcelona also has its own Arc de Triomf? With its unique orange color, this monument is undoubtedly worth the detour. It was built for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair and is close to the Parc de la Ciutadella. It is a lovely area to take a walk with palm trees.
5- Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is a beautiful neighborhood to spend an afternoon in the center of Barcelona. The narrow streets from medieval times, nice shops, free expositions, and restaurants will surely charm you. Look also at the stunning Gothic Cathedral, and take a picture with the famous Pont del Bisbe (Bishop’s Bridge).
Next to the gothic quarter, you can find La Boqueria, an awesome open food market with Spanish specialties. If you are a food lover, it’s the place to go because you can try many things for a modest price!
6- La Barceloneta
La Barceloneta is the most popular beach in Barcelona. Like I said earlier, Barcelona is a fantastic travel destination because you have the mountains, the city, and the ocean all in the same city. From my experience, many other beaches are better than La Barceloneta, but it is still worth the detour to understand the phenomenon of this place.
Some people sell mojitos or offer you a massage, a towel, or sunshades. So it is pretty touristic, but I found it amusing! Also, you get to see the famous luxury hotel, W Barcelona, with its half moon shape.
Ciudetella Park is a lovely park in Barcelona close to the seafront and in the heart of Barcelona. There are fountains, statues, nice old buildings, and a zoo. It is free to enter the park, but you must pay to enter the zoo. If you are interested in visiting the zoo, you can book your tickets in advance here!
Ciudetalla Park is the perfect place to relax and take a break from the heat under an orange tree. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect afternoon?
8- Avinguada Gaudí
Avinguda Gaudí is a beautiful avenue close to the Eixample district. On one side of the street, you get to see the Sagrada Familia, and on the other, the beautiful Hospital de Saint Pau (see picture below). It is a street with great restaurants and shops where you can try typical Spanish food. Try “horchata,” a refreshing Spanish drink (no alcohol) made with tiger nuts.
9- Jardins del Doctor Pla I Armengol
After eating a full paella at the Avinguda Gaudi, why not hop for a little walk in this green space, only a few minutes from the Hospital de Saint Paul. The park offers a stunning view of Barcelona, on the sea, and you also get to see the Torre Glòries, a unique skyscraper. If you’re lucky, you might as well see some green parrots!
10- Book a day-trip with Erasmus Barcelona
If you are 35 and under, Erasmus Barcelona is an organization that offers organized day trips, trips, and parties in Barcelona. I heard about the organization before on Instagram and thought it was only for European students, but it is actually for any people under the age of 35! The price varies depending on the activities, but for a day trip, it’s around 25-30 euros per person, which includes a private bus to the destination.
You get to discover amazing places that are not easily accessible if you do not have a car. I participated in the Palafrugell beach hopping, so I got to explore a beautiful little town on the Costa Brava, which would not have been easily accessible with public transport.
If you are interested in booking an activity with Erasmus during your stay in Barcelona, download the application Erasmus Barcelona or go to their website for more information.
This is it for 10 Things to Do in Barcelona! I hope you enjoyed it and made you discover this beautiful travel destination. If you are interested in traveling to Spain, stay tuned for more travel guides, and follow me on social media to avoid missing a thing!
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