Top ten things to do in Barcelona

Friday, July 24, 2015

Remember our Italian adventure? Well after our Italy hopping we headed over to Barcelona from Venice and the first feeling that hit me was that I’ve come back home. Don’t get me wrong, Barcelona is plenty different to Sydney but after wandering through alleyways that only seemed to get narrower and intricate, old buildings in every corner, Barcelona got us back in touch with the metropolitan. And the comparisons to Sydney only increased as we soaked up the sunshine and wandered through the city which was a mixture of old buildings, spacious roads and bustling beaches. That is where the similarities ended though and as we scratched the surface and began to dig deeper, Barcelona unfolded as an incredibly unique experience. The charm of Barcelona can certainly be credited to unconventional artists it birthed such as Dali and Gaudi. With the latter's ingenuity embedded through the city, it certainly is a place like no other in Europe. 

If you're headed to Barcelona, here are our top 10 suggestions for things to do while you're there:

1. Watching the sunrise from Park Guell
Personally, this is not my favourite Gaudi site but the views from top are unparalleled. A stroll through this park is the ideal way to start the Spanish morning and getting acquainted with the city. Wandering about with the iconic sight of the Sagrada Famiglia standing out even at a distance was what made this experience the perfect way to start our Spanish leg of the holiday.

2. Visit at least one of the Gaudi houses
During our time in Barcelona, we were blessed to see two of of Gaudi's houses; Le Pedrera and Casa Battlo. Although it is perhaps unfair to compare as they are so different to one another, I preferred Casa Battlo for its incredible interiors. One look at this amazing space and you will truly understand the essence of Gaudi's aesthetic.

3. Visit the Sagrada Famigia
While many tourists choose to experience the Sagrada Famiglia from the exterior, we truly recommend you visit the inside of this magnificent church. If long queues aren't exactly your scene (they weren't ours), I suggest pre-booking the tickets which is very easy. For a closer look, you can even climb one of the towers however if you don't wish to folk out the extra cash, this isn't a must do activity.

4.   Gorge on Spanish delecacies at the La Bouqeria.
Spanish food markets are so fun, even for vegetarians! La Bouqeria is Europe's biggest food market and being situated in the middle of Las Ramblas comes with the perks of an amazing and vibrant atmosphere. If you count yourself as a little claustrophobic, be aware that it is very packed at all times of the day though personally I think it only enhance the buzzing ambiance. There is everything from candies to desserts to meat. Me? I bought lots of saffron!  Having heard praises of Spanish saffron, buying it at a cheaper price than in Sydney was hard to resist. 

5. Catch a Flamenco show
Flamenco originated in southern Spain and the ideal place to catch a show is Seville. However, if you happen to only be visiting Barcelona or Madrid don't miss the opportunity and catch performances from southern dancers who do authentic shows in the larger cities like these. We caught a show of the Tablao Cardobes on Las Ramblas and it was a great watch.

6. Paella
When in Barcelona, eating Paella is a must and there are vegetarian options available too! Make sure you do your google research beforehand to avoid getting into one of the restaurants that cater specifically for tourists and therefore are not as great. We were a little too tired though and sat down at a restaurant in Las Ramblas for our fix. 

7. Stroll along Las Ramblas
Wandering along Las Ramblas is a great chance for people watching and putting your feet up before you tuck into some paella and a drink or two. 

8. The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona
It is the older area and a great chance to revive the memories of narrow streets from Italy and sooth our hunger to get lost amongst historic alleyways. 

9. Shop
With a Zara and H&M every 5 mins you can’t avoid some retail therapy. It is also fairly affordable.

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  1. I really must go to Barcelona...I've wanted to go there for so long, it looks amazing!! Love all of these pictures :)) xx

  2. I've always wanted to visit, thanks for the share! :) xo~ Lena

  3. The food looks delicious! I loveeee this travel post and excellent tips lovely :-) Nice blog followed

  4. Wow Barcelona looks so enchanting and filled with creativity! You have to admire all the work and beauty that has been put into the architecture. Casa Battlo is on my bucket list it looks insane!

  5. I loved Barcelona and unfortunately missed out on Sagrada Famiglia, so I'll have to go back! Gaudi's work and art is incredible and should not be missed!

  6. Very nice photos !
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