Since I moved to Australia, I`ve focused more on Australian travel destinations. With Europe getting ready for summer, it`s the perfect time to share some tips for a European trip. Enjoy the top tips for Barcelona from our guest writer.
Barcelona is a city packed with culture and history. Nestled in the northeast of Spain with a stretch of Mediterranean coastline along one side and the majestic Collserola Mountains on the other, it is the perfect getaway.
The city has recently been rated as the third best city in the world for ‘overall traveller experience’, and it truly does have something for everyone. Whether you’re exploring the colourful Gaudí creations or lounging on the sandy beaches, sampling some delectable tapas and sangria on the bustling Las Ramblas or making your way around the Roman ruins in the Gothic Quarter, there is plenty to keep you busy. Here are the top five things you simply must see when visiting the stunning Catalan capital:
1. The Sagrada Familia
It’s nearly impossible to imagine Barcelona without Antoni Gaudí’s astonishing unfinished masterpiece: the Sagrada Familia church. Dedicated to the Holy Family, the intricate designs captivate millions of people each year, making this structure the most visited monument in Spain.
Upon completion, this feast for the eyes will have 18 towers; 12 dedicated to the apostles, four to the evangelists, one to Jesus and another to Mary. The building of the church, which relies entirely on donations, is anticipated for completion in the first third of the 21st century. Fingers crossed!
2. Las Ramblas
Next on the list is Barcelona’s most famous street, Las Ramblas. You’ll find plenty to see here, including the Boqueria Market, considered to be one of the best markets in the world and very popular due to its Modernist structure and fantastic range of fresh products.
Las Ramblas is also home to the most prestigious theatre in the city: El Gran Teatre del Liceu and at the far south of the street, right by the Port, you can see another of Barcelona’s emblematic monuments: the statue of Christopher Columbus. Don’t forget to pick up a souvenir or two, but watch out for pickpockets.
3. Barceloneta Beach
Not only is this city a thriving metropolitan area, but it also offers access to seven beaches! Until 1992, there were no beaches in Barcelona, but things changed when the city underwent a makeover before hosting the Olympics. Now there are plenty of spaces to relax in the sun and Barceloneta is now known as one of the best urban beaches in the world. It is surrounded by cool ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars) and you can find some of the best seafood in town here.
4. The Gothic Quarter
Another place that you absolutely must visit is the Barrio Gótico, Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhood. In this area you can see the spectacular Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona, constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. Just around the corner is the Plaça Sant Jaume, where the grand government buildings of Catalonia stand.
Journeying through the winding streets of this neighbourhood, not only will you discover plenty of Roman ruins, but you’ll find a wide variety of bars and restaurants, making this place a top spot to visit at night, too.
5. Park Güell
This is one of the most beautiful places in the city. Located in the upper part of Barcelona, it was designed by Gaudí and was originally meant to be a housing estate. Entry to the ornamental part of the park costs 8€*, but it is well worth it! From here you can enjoy the most spectacular views of the city, plus catch a glimpse of some of the Catalan architect’s most colorful work, from the dragon fountain at the entrance to the mosaic bench higher up. Pack a picnic for a family fun day out.
Of course there is so much more to see and do in Barcelona, from a visit to the incredible Casa Batlló to a journey around the hip Gràcia area, chilling out in the Ciutadella Park to shopping on Passeig de Gràcia. A great excuse to come back for another fantastic weekend!
More on the guest writer
This post was provided by AparmentBarcelona.com, an online apartment rental agency based in the Catalan capital. They have stacks of local knowledge on what to see and do in the city and offer some great advice on where to eat, drink, dance and much more. For more insider tips visit their blog.
*: Prices were accurate at time of publishing.
Looking for more tips on Barcelona? Check out my places to visit in Barcelona article.
Photo Credit: Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona