This is my third visit to Barcelona and this time I’ve fallen deeply in love with this city. We had only two days here, but we could have spent easily two months without seeing everything. Here are five things to do in Barcelona.
Sagrada de Familia
La Sagrada de Familia is Spains most famous basilica and probably the basilica that took longest to build of all basilicas in the world. The construction of Gaudi’s design started in 1882, the work hasn’t finished yet. It will be, one day. The estimation now is the year 2026, but it all depends on the money that visitors bring in. That money goes to the construction.
The basilica is regarded as the master piece of Gaudi. All his ideas of architecture can be seen in it. He started with a gothic design, but changed it so often that their where no traces of gothic architecture to be seen in the last designs.
The last years of Gaudi’s life were devoted to the basilica. He estimated it would take him ten years to finish it, it became a bit more. To get the work done, he even lived in the church for a while. He is still there now, buried in his own basilica.
Gaudi’s work is half of the attraction, the other half is formed by all the scaffolds and the hundred workers who are busy day in day out to finish the Sagrada de Familia.
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona
Parc de la Ciutadella
One of the great things of Barcelona is all the space within the city. Space that is often filled with parks. Parc de la Ciutadella is one of the ‘green lungs’ of Barcelona. It stands on the grounds of the former military citadel which was taken down in 1869. The park is designed by Josep Fontseré for the 1888 Universal Exposition. It houses some beautiful buildings, fountains and even a giant mammoth.
On the other side of the street stands the Arc de Triomf de Barcelona, which was once the gate to the park.
Passeig de Picasso
Las Rablas is Barcelona’s is the place ‘to be seen’ and to watch people in Barcelona. This is where the locals come for a stroll and to enjoy the street theatre and live statues in the evening and to walk by all the little stands. Las Ramblas is divided in five sections, every section used to have his own function: bird market, flower market (Las Rablas is Arabic for dry flowers) etcetera.
In the summer, when Barcelona is packed with tourists, walking on the Ramblas can feel like being in a traffic jam. If you don’t like big crowds, go for a stroll somewhere else.
Barcelona is full of monuments, restaurants, bars, shopping malls and more big city attractions, but one of the great things is that it has some create beaches as well. Just ten minutes from the city center you can crash down in the hot sand or cool of in the cold sea.
The beach starts at the harbor, where the big yachts are waiting on their owners to return from the terraces packed with tapas eating, beer and sangria drinking tourists. The further away you go from the harbor the less crowded the beaches become.
There is a cable car running from the harbor up to Parc Montjuic, where – among others – the botanical gardens of Barcelona are.
I’m a vegetarian, not really a beer drinker (anymore), Mark is a beer drinker, not really a vegetarian, so the Cat Bar looked like the place to go and eat: veggie burgers and Spanish beer. This international place has got a big selection of microbrewery beers, local real ales, Brewdog beers and Montseny beers. You can try them out, relaxing on the sofas or eat them with their home-made hummus and vegan burgers (best vegan burgers I’ve ever ate), vegan chocolate cake or other freshly made vegan treats.
The Cat Bar is located next to Jaume I metro, just off Via Laietana on c/ Boria (which is the continuation of C / Carders).