Movie to get you inspired: Woody Allan’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona!
|La Pedrera roof top|
Been twice to Barcelona and had a blast both times! If you want to go in the summer book in advance and stay in the city. We were allured into staying near the beach area by the Costa Dorada which made us have to drive for 30 minutes every day to get to town. It was okay, because we stayed a week and managed to combine beach time, the city and even a trip to PortAventura. But this specific beach area was more a parents, kids and dogs destination, nothing to die for and I would not recommend it unless you are going with your family and on a budget! Barcelona on the other hand is amazing!
The red tourist bus ride around town is a great option for you to get an overall sight of the many things to see in Barcelona (and some history intel as well). You can buy a day pass which gives you access to three different roots that cover different interesting areas – even the Barça football stadium. I suggest doing all three of them and using the bus ride to visit La Sagrada Familia, el Parc Guell and the Barceloneta area, which are the furthest from the actual city center, in case you are considering walking around.
|Stained glass in La Sagrada Familia|
La Sagrada Familia is a beautiful unfinished Cathedral envisioned by the amazing Gaudi. Because the master died without being able to complete his work, other architects have joined the plan for its conclusion. You can very easily spot the difference in styles between Gaudi’s work and the rest, but both are magnificent and worth visiting - inside the Cathedral the stained glass will take your breath away.
|Ceeling of La Sagrada Familia|
The Parc Guell is another must go. Gaudi’s house, the entrance that looks like the candy house from Hansel and Gretel and the many colored animal statues and benches the artist made for the park, make this one of my favorite spots in Barcelona. Plus, you get a spectacular view of the city and a nice break from the confusion of the city center in this big green park. It’s a long way up to Parc Guell but I found out, last time, some escalators that take you all the way up to a smaller side entrance to the park.
|Parc Guell - the entrance|
Along Via Gracia you have several buildings worth visiting, most of which have Gaudi’s hand. La Pedrera is my favorite and it’s well worth the wait in line to visit the apartments that Gaudi designed and decorated in Art Nouveau and Deco. Don’t miss the amazing roof top.
|The facade of Casa Batllo|
Downtown you have Las Ramblas which is a very animated street, nice just to have a look around and to visit La Boqueria which is the most colorful food market I have ever been– a must go for photographers! To go out try the marina area which is packed with bars and clubs!
|All the three pictures above were taken at La Boqueria|
Barrio Gotico is the cool neighborhood: from old buildings, shops, trendy restaurants and bars to small churches and hidden squares, it’s perfect for strolling and getting the vibe of Barcelona. Don’t forget to visit the Catedral de Barcelona. My favorite churches are Santa Maria Del Mar and Santa Maria del Pi.
* The fotographers for this post are not only myself but my friends who travelled to Barcelona with me, whose pictures are currently all mixed up with mine.