Discover the city on foot, bike, segway, or hop-on hop-off bus
When going to Barcelona first thing to do is packing your most comfortable shoes even better if you stay in flip flops. Barcelona -also known as Barca- is one of those cities that is very enjoyable to be walked on foot, you will never get bored, or tired because along the way you will see street performers, the beach, the old city, the city center, Gaudi’s overwhelming art, eye-catching architecture, endless shopping streets, Tapas bars, and seafood restaurants. Not only walking the active ones could go for biking, the adventurous could try a segway, and the want-to-take-things-slowly people could enjoy a no-frills hop-on hop-off bus -tickets are sold on board. (Photo courtesy: Hakan SERT)
Walk La Rambla
La Rambla is where Barca’s center lies, it’s a very interesting long street where you’d find quirky street performers, and nearly everything is sold from souvenirs and food, to pets and museum tickets -usually sold at a more expensive price-, you’d also find museums, theatres, and most of all La Boqueria food market. Start your walk from Placa Catalunya -this is also the best place to start your hop-on hop-off journey the nearest bus station would be infront of El Corte Inglés Department Store- up to Mirador de Colom also known as Christopher Colombus monument, if you continue straight you’d arrive at the old port area -Port Vell- where you could also have a nice walk, and go to the Aquarium, you could also continue your walk until you reach La Barceloneta only if you are ready to take a dip at the sea. (Photo courtesy: Paulina)
Take a dip at the Mediterranean
Though the water is quiet cold, still very refreshing, and entrance is totally free. All you need is a towel, sun-cream, and a good book, or an ipod. Make sure to get yourself some refreshments from Spars supermarket, ice cream from any of the nearby shops, or even better if you could get your hand on some Spanish Churros. (Photo courtesy: Jean-Guy Dallaire)
Bonus Tip: The further you walk, the more you will find less crowded, and less touristic beaches, however Spanish crowds are not annoying -sigh.
Attend a Flamenco Show at the Palau De La Música Catalana
This place is beautiful from inside out, though not a big fan of going to the same place twice, but I have attended the Traditional Flamenco show twice, and tickets are affordable it would cost you something around 30 euros -all depends on the show that you are attending and your seats location-, and is within walking distance from La Rambla (Photo courtesy: Paulo Valdivieso).
Bonus Tip: Make sure to get one of those tiny booklets that have information regarding Barca’s main attractions and ongoing events, and most of all grant discounts in lots of places, you will find it at any Tourist Information Desk.
Savor authentic Catalan food at Plaça Reial
This square lies next to La Rambla; a meeting point it is specially in summer time, hosting a variety of events and music festivals making it a known tourist attraction. On the plaza, there is a number of restaurants and nightclubs as well. If you are eager to get the real taste of Catalunya, then you cannot miss eating at the very authentic and affordable Les Quinz Nits, don’t get discouraged by the endless queues that usually do not stand for long, and don’t be disappointed if you were served by a rude waiter, the food there is worth the hassle, and is very reasonably priced. (Photo courtesy: Jordi Paya)
(Photo courtesy: FelixGP)
The best place to see Barca from above at 512 meters high, the summit of the mountain is occupied by Sagrat Cor Church -Sacred Heart- with a replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Jesus, or Christ the Redeemer on top of it. The church is surrounded by one of the oldest “still functioning” amusement parks in the world, this trip is truly a must even if you are not planning to play at the Park! (The church on Mount Tibidabo by William Hall)
(Tibidabo amusement park by: Adriano Amalfi)
La Sagrada Familia
Or The Sacred Family is Barca’s main landmark, and an Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, it’s such a beautiful church one that proves how impressive, colorful and different Modernista art is. Works at the Church are still in progress, if you want to skip long endless queues be there early, or book your tickets online. Make sure to pay a combo ticket that includes entry to the towers -elevator lift- for amazing views of the city, and a closer view of the church, however if you fear heights do not go up the towers, because the hardest part in fact is going down the stairs; freaking narrow and spiral -honestly my worst experience with stairs. (Photo from La Sagrada Familia’s official website)
Price: There are several options but if you aim for the church without a guide it’s 15 euros, but if you aim for the church and the towers without a guide it’s 19.5. Check the full list of prices, and types of combo tickets.
Eat Tapas & drink Orxata
When in Spain you can’t help it, but eat Tapas before every meal, or while snacking along the way. So what’s Tapas? They are basically snacks, or appetizers made of olives, cheese, bread, seafood, you name it! Looking at a Tapas display will be temptiing enough to make you feel hungry. How about Orxata? Brave to try something that you don’t know what exactly it’s made? It’s sweet, served cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and without any alcohol involved ;). (Tapas by: Salome Chaussure)
(Orxata shop by: Robyn Lee)
Munch the freshest seafood & paella near La Barcelonata
That’s the land of seafood, served at their freshest state, on your very first bite you will taste how fresh it is, your best deal is getting a platter for two, with a seafood paella on the side -you have to try the noodles paella made with vermicelli- the variety is amazing, and portions are usually very generous. Pick one of the restaurants lying near La Barcelonata serving premium quality, at much affordable prices than the ones at Port Vell, and above all less touristic “but still touristic” (Photo courtesy: Matt Westgate).
The more you see Gaudi’s art you will feel how authentic it is, this is your chance to take a walk amid the nature, and get lost in this labyrinth, pay a visit to the museum. Try to be there as early as possible, as it’s usually over crowded.
(Photo courtesy: John.Purvis)
Savor Churros with hot chocolate sauce
Churros are a Spanish signature, the Spanish version of Bala7 El-Sham but without honey, or sharbat, traditionally made with sugar sprinkled on top, served with hot chocolate sauce to dip in, but some prefer to eat it with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon.
Take a tour at Camp Nou stadium
Even if not the craziest football fan, can you believe touring the great Camp Nou? Getting to take a photo with one of their trophies? Seeing F.C. Barcelona’s first football jersey? Seeing the players’ changing rooms? Learning all about this legendary club in the most entertaining way? Even better if you attend a game. (Photo courtesy: Philipp Rummele)
Visit La Boqueria
Even if not hungry I bet you won’t leave without munching your way out of this large public market-mmm, let me guess fruit salad, or ice cream made on sticks out of freshly squeezed fruits? Don’t get tempted too quickly, one thing I learned from street markets shopping specially closed ones; is that usually the most expensive booths are those facing the gates, as you go further in prices usually drop. La Boqueria is located close by La Rambla’s Liceu station, & the Opera. (Photo courtesy: Adriano Agullo)
Walk at the Passeig de Gracia
It’s such a pleasant walk specially at night when it’s less crowded, and street lights are reflecting the street’s beautiful architecture, if you just want to wander, and marvel at impressive architecture this is certainly the place to be specially that you will find Casa Batllo -also built by Gaudi- along the way, if you already haven’t had enough from Gaudi’s art -hehe- you could visit it during the day, and if you care for branded items shopping that’s your best deal. (View of Passeig de Gracia from Casa Batllo by: Neil Howard)
Shop at Las Arenas or any of Barca’s endless shopping streets
What’s special about Barca is how everything sold is in vivid colors, this is your guide to shopping in Barcelona. For late night and weekend shopping head directly to Magnum Plaza at Port Vell. (Photo courtesy: Tokyographer)
El Barri Gotic
The Gothic Quarter is the center of the old city of Barcelona, and your chance to see another architectural, and artistic style different from Gaudi’s, make sure to hang around the Santa Maria Del Mar Basilica as in this area you would find street performers, and sometimes even tourists, and locals dancing. (Photo courtesy: Oh Barcelona)
Clubbing & Music Festivals
Will you go for Primavera, Sonar, Fiesta de La Merce, Festival Internacional de Jazz, or Barcelona’s Summer Festival? Or you prefer some clubbing in the heart of the city? Whether this, or that Barca promises you of a great experience, well your decision ;)…(Photo courtesy: Nikos Koutoulas)
So tell us, have you ever been to Barca? In your opinion, what’s the greatest thing to do there? and if you haven’t are you excited enough to visit? Let us know in the comments below…