It was all about Birthday, Beach and Barcelona

29th Nov 2019

Birthdays have been always like a festival for me. I always try to do something new on my special day. It could be something with my looks, maybe a new haircut or colour like last year or maybe visit a new place as I tried to do this year.

I had Barcelona on my wish list for many years and finally got the golden opportunity to visit it this time. Let’s be truthful, you hear Barcelona and immediately imagine nice warm weather, crowdy beaches, tasty food and a long walk on La Rambla. However, this time you are going to explore Barcelona from my viewpoint, a cultural take on Barcelona.

My husband and I planned to spend a long weekend in Barcelona and we booked such that my birthday also falls in the duration. In addition, with my special interest in the cultural heritage of a place, I am going to take you on such a journey via the local streets of Barcelona. This is the story about Barcelona’s handicraft works, its age-old dance form, famous painters and architects who have carved their niche and have left a mark in world history.

We were there for 3 days and 4 nights in a hotel named BESTPRICE DIAGONAL near SELVE DE MAR metro/bus/tram station. It is highly recommended by me since it is a hotel within decent budget and most importantly centrally located to all major historical and famous landmarks. The overall experience was enriching and boy there are many souvenirs to pounce upon, so please keep empty spaces while packing your bags!

Here is my itinerary to guide you if you are planning to visit Barcelona sometime soon.

Pro Tip: Take the Hola Barcelona card for public transports in the bus, tram, train (R1-valid for onward journey from Barcelona, like Ocata beach but not for the return journey, for return you can buy a ticket of just 2.5 euros) and metro

Day 1: -

a) Poble Espanyol - It is a replica of a typical Spanish village in which shines the soul of Spanish people, their style of living, their work ethics and artistic sense. A walk in the morning around the streets would give you the village vibes as if you are among those people living their lives. Some key things to seek for are:

i) authentic handicraft works like jewellery, table cloths, wall decorations, etc

ii) FIESTA- a free multimedia show about the festivals of Spain,

iii) Fran Daurel museum of collection d’Art Contemporarani

iv) A beautiful constellation by Josep Guinovart stating the fusion between nature and Art.

Day 1
Photo of Poble Espanyol, Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Barcelona, Spain by Pratyasha Sharma

b) Caixa Forum - Being a former textile factory it is also an art gallery that hosts many cultural programs. But the highlight is its terrace that gives an amazing view of the city buildings and a walk around its exhibition ground made with bricks just elevates your experience. Have a look around the museum too if you have time.

Photo of CaixaForum, Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Barcelona, Spain by Pratyasha Sharma

c) MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya) - A huge museum with natural surroundings and amazing top view of Barcelona is a treat for both art and nature lovers. It is a heaven for museum lovers. Keep 3-4 hrs in hand to complete the whole museum including temporary ones.

Photo of Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Parc de Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain by Pratyasha Sharma
Photo of Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Parc de Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain by Pratyasha Sharma

d) Joan Miro’ Foundation - Based on Joan Miro’s work collection and line of work, this museum is an architectural marvel. The temporary exhibitions are also worth a watch. This stop is on the way to the palace so no need for extra effort to search for the station to reach the palace.

e) Montjuic Castle - One of its kind this castle was a military fortress built on the top of Montjuic hill and surrounded by the beach on both sides. We went there around the time of sunset, and it was a beauty to watch. We couldn’t visit inside as the gates were closed by 5:30 PM so better reach early and have a look through. The cannons placed outside gave a feeling of wars happened in the past. The view was breathtaking. From there you can take the cable car to get a surreal view of the Barcelona city from above and also to save time by reaching the metro station to the city directly. Double benefit.

Day 2: -

a) MUHBA -To know the real history of Barcelona, Museum of history of Barcelona is the best place to visit for art lovers. It has conserved the essence of Barcelona with the winery, textile dyeing baths, roman invasion, its architectural, the geographical, historical, civil and political developments are documented superbly. On 1st Sunday’s of every month entry is free. It is a must-visit.

b) Picasso Museum - Who has not heard the most famous Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso’s name. And anyone would feel lucky to see his artworks in this museum. Housing around 4000 paintings, this museum is a treat to watch. Whether free entry or paid there are specific time slots to visit the museum. So, it’s better to reserve early to make your trip plans easier.

c) Park Guell - Visiting Barcelona without being aware of Gaudi’s architecture, is impossible. This park situated on Carmel hill is just an example of Gaudi’s marvellous architecture skills. The view, his work and the weather are in sync here. Beautiful place to wind down, take pictures and soak in your vacation. You can also learn about Gaudi and his works in the Gaudi museum nearby.

d) Shopping in La Rambla – The Ramblas are the signatures of Barcelona, and the central one is La Rambla da Catalunya hosting major branded shops, local handicraft works and native cuisines. A walk here itself elevates your mood, shopping would just cherry on top.

e) Flamenco Show - In my stay in Barcelona this was what made the most impact on me. What wonderful energy, fantastic singing and great dancing. It was a perfect way to end the day. The more I describe the less its effect will be. So, I would suggest not to return from Barcelona without watching the show. It was a mind-blowing performance!

Day 3: -

a) Ocata Beach - Sun above your head and beach below your feet, what else someone needs to feel gratitude for life! Barcelona is all about beaches but most of them are crowded or too far to visit. The beach near Ocata station is an ideal visit if you want the whole beach to yourself. Sit. Soak up the sun, click beautiful pictures, share talks with your partner, feel life. Even the train route is so scenic!

b) Arc de Triomf - Built by architect Josep Vilaseca I Casanovas, it is the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. Watching the sunset and a long walk there takes out all the tiredness of your body. Also, a great place to take pictures.

c) Casa Mila - Other significant works of Gaudi are Casa Mila, Batlao and Vincens. Can admire these buildings from outside and visit the shops for souvenirs.

d) MACBA - Museums are the ones that attract me most. Beautiful installations, works and paintings of famous artists like Takis, Josep Maria de sucre, Antoni Tapies and Charlotte Posenenske are amazing. Anybody interested in contemporary art must visit the museum.

e) Sagrada Familia - They say, always save the best for the last to amplify your experience. Enough books, google stories and photographs had been there in my mind of this place but none could justify what my eyes saw when I reached there. A wonderous architecture that just simply blew my mind. The cathedral is still in making but work speaks loudly the thought put behind it, a magnificent art! Pre-book tickets to skip the huge line and get once in a lifetime view of the cathedral interiors.

I want you to treat this article as a travel log, just to share my experience. I want all of you to go there explore it by yourself and pen down your experience below in the comment section.