Travel
Barcelona travel guide & review – The city of Gaudi

I have always wanted to visit Barcelona. All my friends who were there, were very impressed and told me marvellous stories about it. My best friend lived there several years and always invited me to visit her and spend a couple of days in Barcelona. Anytime I decided to do that, something would come up and obstruct my travel. Anyway, after some years of intending to visit it, I finally booked our flights with Easyjet. So after about two hours flight we landed in sunny Barcelona.

Sightseeing

The first attraction that we visited was La Sagrada Familia. It is a Roman-Catholic church, which has been under construction since 1882 and is still not completed. It has been speculated that it would be finished by 2026. Sagrada Familia was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is acknowledged as his masterwork. He devoted his last fifteen years to this project.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

We continued our tour along the Passeig de Gracia, where you could see the famous Casa Mila, Casa Amatller, Casa Battlo and Casa Lleo Morera. They represent a real architectural attraction.

Casa Battlo, Barcelona

Casa Battlo, Barcelona

Walking down the Passeige de Gracia you will reach Plaza Catalunya surrounded by very interesting architecture and fountains. What makes it very special are the hunderets of pigeons that fill it with life. The pigeons are used to people, coming very close to you, eating directly from you hand and climbing on you.
Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona

Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona

Parallel to the  Passeig de Gracia is running the La Rambla avenue, which is also worth walking along. At its lower end the Monument of Columbus rises proudly. The monument is 60 meter high and located at the site where Columbus returned to Spain after his first journey to the Americas.

Monument of Colombus and Port Administration

Monument of Colombus and Port Administration

The port of Barcelona is full of beautiful boats. You can just sit on a bench under the green palms and enjoy the sun, the smell of the Mediterranean sea, the sound of the rippling water. It is just like in a dream.

Boats at the port of Barcelona

Boats at the port of Barcelona

Walking to the east you will reach the beach. Despite the average tempriture of about 15ºC in the very beginning of March, there were dozens of people bathing and sliding on their surfboards.

Beach: Homage to Barcelonetta

Beach: Homage to Barcelonetta

The enormous Vela hotel, covered all over with glass and reflecting the water, reminded us somehow of Dubai. At the port you will also find the Aquarium and Cine Imax.

On our second day we visited the Fortress Montjuïc built in the 17–18th century to control the city. Located 173 meter above the sea level it has a wonderful view towards the city, stadium Olimpic and the port. You can take the Teleferic (a cabin lift) to the castle and enjoy the splendid view. A return trip costs 9,00 EUR. Nowadays the fortress is a museum and is surrounded by Barcelona’s largest parks and gardens.

We continued our tour to the National Museum of Art with a view over Plaza Espanya, which is one of Barcelona’s biggest and most important squares. The square was built in 1929 on a site, which was previously used for public hangings. In the middle of the square there is a fountain designed by Josep Maria Jujol, who is known as collaborator of Antoni Gaudi.

National Museum of Art, Barcelona

National Museum of Art, Barcelona

You will reach it when going down the “Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina” avenue and passing by the 47 meter high Venetian towers. In this area a number of trade fairs have been organised every year.

Venetian Towers in Barcelona

Venetian Towers in Barcelona

On the last day of our tour we visited the impressive and unforgettable Parc Güell. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and built in the period 1900-1914. Nowadays it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudi”. At the entrance there are two remarkable buildings with interestingly shaped roofs. They reminded me of chocolate cakes with sugar roofs.

Along the stairs leading to the park there is a colourful mosaic fontain in the form of a dragon. The  main terrace of the park is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent and covered by a colourful mozaic.

By designing the park Gaudi followed natural forms so that everythings harmonises with the surrounding environment.

Tip for the public transport

The public transport in Barcelona is very well organised. You can buy a shared ticket T-10 for zone one. It costs 7,85 EUR and allows you 10 trips independent of the number of persons in you group. As an example, if there are two of you, you could use it for 5 trips together. Since one single ticket costs 1,40 EUR the shared ticket saves you a lot of money and trouble of byuing individual tickets for every journey.

Accommodation

We booked a flat through an online reservation system BOOKING.com at hotel “Marina aprtments”. The location was very good – just behind Sagrada Familia  and close to the Metro station. The apartment was also very nice – one livingroom with TV, two bedrooms and a modern kitchen.  Just around the corner there was a 24 hours supermarket, which was very practical.

How long should I stay in Barcelona?

In order to be able to visit the main attractions without too much haste, you should already plan three full days. We spent in Barcelona two nights, which allowed us one full day and two half-days of sightseeing. Unfortunatelly at the end I had some conflict with my companions. They were already very exhausted from walking and preferred spending the last day on the beach with a cold beer.

Where should I eat in Barcelona?

To this question unfortunatelly I cannot give a good tip. We did not have much luck with our choices of restaurants. It was rather expensive and the staff not very friendly. My friend, who lived quite a long time in Barcelona recommends “Les quinze nits”, located on Plaza Real. If you want to visit that restaurant, please take into consideration its special working hours. In the evening it opens for guests after 20:00 o’clock. Another recommendation of my friend is “Luz de gas” at the port.

Author: Rositsa Sirakova

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Foto: Monument of Colombus and Port Administration