Barcelona, Spain - A city which we had no expectations. A city we didn't even really seek out. It just so happened, when we decided to visit one of our bucket-list beach city in Spain - , and we figured, we can spend couple of days in Barcelona before flying back home! But guess what, turns out, we fell in love with this beautiful, cosmopolitan city and we want to visit this place again with lot more days in hands! But for now, let us share with you how we explored the Best of Barcelona in just 2 days!!
The first stop we want to suggest any visitor who wants to spend a weekend in Barcelona is the world famous Las Ramblas; a tree-lined pedestrian that starts at Plaza Catalunya and winds down through the old city to the port. Las Ramblas is the heartbeat of the city! You simply can't visit Barcelona without making a visit to this popular bustling city street. It is the best street to go shopping, enjoy a meal, drink a glass of sangria or two, and people-watching. But whatever you do, watch your belongings. Las Ramblas is one of the most common places to get pick-pocketed in all of Europe. Happy to say, we escaped without any incident!
Museu Nacional D'art de Cataluna (MNAC)
Within the boundaries of Montjuic, you will also come upon the Museu Nacional D'art de Cataluna (MNAC). The museum, constructed for the International Exposition of 1929, houses the world's best collection of Romanesque mural paintings. Wander through and gaze upon examples of Catalan Modernism, Gothic Art, and Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
Tip: For FREE entry to the museum, visit on a Saturday after 3 pm or on the first Sunday of each month.
The Gothic Quarter is the center of the old city of Barcelona stretching from Las Ramblas to Via Laietana. It's a fascinating area to walk around, as many of the buildings will take you back to the Medieval times.
The city was taken over by the Romans in an invasion during the 2nd century, which allowed them to take over the entire Iberian coastline. Leisurely strolling through the Gothic Quarter and admiring its architecture was the best part. This small city in itself is filled with lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. You can try some of the most traditional restaurants and menus and even buy some unique souvenirs.
Don't miss out on a visit to this gorgeous 14th century cathedral located in Gothic Quarter! Officially named the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, but more commonly known as the Barcelona Cathedral, this church holds a lot of history! After exploring the church, check out the antique flea market set up just outside the cathedral front doors.
Antoni Gaudi's Architechture:
La Sagrada de Familia
La Sagrada Familia - the name is synonymous with Barcelona, Spain, the Catalan capital. This church is the defining work of Antoni Gaudi. He was a humble man born in Baix Camp, but who worked and lived in Barcelona for most of his life.
The church is built in the shape of a Latin Cross. It is a massive Gothic structure that dominates the Plaza of La Sagrada Familia. It is definitely worth the visit if you find yourself in Barcelona.
The church is a UNESCO world heritage site and not scheduled for completion until 2026, a full 100 years after his death. While some might be content with looking just at the outside, with it's angels, carvings, impressive doors and the use of over 20 different kinds of stone, l would urge you to see it from the inside. This place has withstood the test of time, even survived the Spanish Civil War!!! How cool is that? A true testament to God.
Tip: I recommend getting your tickets online to avoid waiting in line which can sometimes be up to 3 hours of time. Also the church is built entirely through donations, so it is a nice way to contribute to this magnificent obsession of Gaudi.
The roof of Casa Batlló resembles the back of a dragon. Its vibrant exterior displays colorful mosaic made from broken ceramic tiles, while bone-like embellishment surround its windows. For obvious reasons, it is commonly called The House of Bones. Be sure to get your admission ticket and video guide in advance!
Park Güell is a little off-the-beaten-track, but totally worth the effort to get there! Park Güell is where Gaudí turned his hand to landscape gardening. It's a strange, enchanting place where his passion for natural forms really took flight - to the point where the artificial almost seems more natural than the natural.
Wander through the gardens and take your time looking at all of the unusual and colorful sculptures and mosaics throughout the park. Park Güell has 2 different areas: the Monumental Zone, which requires the purchase of a ticket and the Free Access Area which is open to all visitors at no charge.
Where to Stay:
Our Choice: Room Mate Anna
Featuring a seasonal rooftop plunge pool with views and a solarium, Room Mate Anna is set in Barcelona City Centre. The hotel features cutting-edge and modern design as well as personalized service. The hotel serves a daily hot and cold buffet breakfast until midday.
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