10 things to do in Barcelona.
Of all the reasons I needed to visit Barcelona, Gaudí was the strongest of them all. And if you’re not the artsy type, worry not, Barcelona has so much more to offer besides Gaudí. The highlight of this city would be the casual, laid-back, boho-vibe it exudes. The government has put in massive effort to make Barcelona one of the most tourist friendly of cities in Europe.
- La Rambla : This never-ending stretch of paradise was my first target of the trip. Granted, it is a very very touristy zone but nothing about it is boring. Flanked on either side by eateries and stores of every kind imaginable, there is not a dull moment in sight. You could easily spend the whole day just exploring along this paved street and still not have enough time.
- La Boqueria : This market has its entrance at La Rambla and is a must-visit. Whether you make a purchase or not, it is worth waltzing by just to admire the never-ending array of food ranging from chocolates and candies to vegetables and meat. There are some pretty cafes within the market too.
- Museu de la Xocolata : The Barcelona Card offers a wide selection of museums with free entry and this museum is one of those. It is quite small but has very interesting sculptures and art made of chocolate, including one of Messi. The entry ticket is a bar of chocolate with a code on it, how interesting is that.
- Els Quatre Gats : This cafe dates back to June 1897 and was a gathering place of sorts for prominent artists, writers, musicians and architects during the Modernist Period in Catalonia- Pablo Picasso, Rubén Dario and Antoni Gaudí to name a few. It is one of the oldest serving restaurants in Barcelona. A proper meal for two could set you back by about a 100 Euros but is definitely worth the splurge.
- La Barceloneta : It is a neighbourhood in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona known for its sandy beach. There are numerous beaches along this stretch of sand. Even if you’re visiting during colder months, a walk along the boardwalk itself is pretty interesting and a great background for photoshoots.
- Museu Picasso : Another free museum courtesy of the Barcelona Card, this one you have to visit. This museum has separate rooms which document all the different periods of Pablo Picasso as an artist. It was a very enlightening experience as I got to watch Pablo Picasso develop through the years.
- Passeig de Gràcia : A walking tour around one of the most notable avenues in Barcelona, whether on your own or on a guided tour, would be time well-spent. I chose a guided walking tour on Air BnB and it was a very interesting one. There are quite a bit of landmarks in this area including Gaudí’s first ever commissioned building, Casa Vicens and some of his better known works like Casa Batlló and Casa Milá. The area has a lot of history and provides a lot of insight on Barcelona’s past.
- La Sagrada Família : Arguably one of Gaudi’s best known works, it is now a UNESCO Heritage Site. Construction began in 1882 and it is still a work in progress. It is a marvel to behold even though it remains unfinished almost one and half century after construction began. One of the most touristy spots in Barcelona, better buy skip-the-line tickets in advance if you plan on entering this Basilica.
- Park Güell : Another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces, it originally began as a housing area but was later abandoned and then transformed into a park. Check entry timings and tickets ahead of time to avoid being stranded waiting for the gates to open or having to turn back after coming such a long way.
- Camp Nou : I am not a soccer fanatic but I could not pass up the opportunity to visit the private spaces of FC Barcelona. The Camp Nou Experience cost a pretty penny but it is a once in a lifetime experience to partake.
To maximise your visit, I highly recommend the Barcelona Card , you can find out more about it here. I purchased the 72 hours Barcelona Card and even though I could not make use of all its benefits, it was worth its weight in gold. The best thing about this card is the fact that it is an all-in-one card which takes care of public transport, free entry in select museums, discounts on shopping , food and on the Barcelona Bus Turístic (The best way to explore the city).