Awesome Barcelona! What a great city. Barcelona has it all, awesome people, awesome food, awesome sights and sounds, awesome history. If you have a chance to visit, don`t think, just do it! See the gallery at the end of the post.
I traveled to Barcelona for five days. Berlin to Barcelona for under € 200, all inclusive. Flight, accomodation, food, sightseeing tour and fun. Here’s my suggested itinerary for the City of Barcelona that will have you ticking off the major sites and some of the lesser known ones too:
Day 1: When I arrived at El Prat Airport in Barcelona, I took the Aerobus to Plaça de Catalunya. Straight into the heart of Barcelona. The Hotel was right around the corner from Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s most famous street with cultural centres, theatres and intriguing architecture. Set between narrow traffic lanes and flanked by plane trees, the middle of Las Ramblas is a broad pedestrian boulevard, crowded every day until late night hours with a wide cross-section of society. A stroll here is an absolute freak show, in a good sense, with souvenir hawkers, buskers, pavement artists, mimes and living statues. You won`t get bored. The second sight I stumbled into was La Boqueria, an completely insane food market directly on Las Ramblas. They have rows and rows of stands with fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, ice cream, empanadas, pastries, cured meats, bars… I mean just about anything you can think of putting into your belly, and every row is completely packed with people trying to taste all the best items. La Boqueria and Las Ramblas took up the majority of that day because there was so much to see. I finished of the day with roaming the streets close to my Hotel.
Day2: The second day I took the Barcelona hop-on hop-off city bus tour which has three different tour routes to explore the city. I saw most of the major sights all around the city while jumping out of the bus at places of interest before jumping aboard for the next stop – the choice was all mine! It was important for me to get an overall impression. What a great City! I was on the road for about 10 hours, seeing places like Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Park Güell, Port Vell, Sagrada Família, the Port Olímpic marina and Barcelona World Trade Center.
Day3: A tribute to Barcelona’s favorite son, Antonio Gaudí. The Sagrada Familía and Park Güell were on the itinerary. Two million-plus visitors a year wander through its mystical spaces and climb its twisting staircases. Like a drip castle rising up from the middle of Barcelona, the church is Gaudí’s wild interpretation of Gothic architecture, four towers on each of the three facades represent the twelve apostles. The towers reach a height of 90 to 120 meters. Another four towers represent the four evangelists. They will surround the largest, 170m tall tower, dedicated to Jesus Christ. The last tower, dedicated to Virgin Mary, will be built over the apse. The building itself blew my mind. Gaudí began work on it in 1883, and they hope to wrap it up by 2026 – one hundred years after Gaudi died.
Gaudí’s Staircase, Pavilions and Serpentine Bench at Park Güell. Did I mention it was raining on and off for four days? End of October was not the best time for Barcelona, then again, you only live once. Enter Park Güell at Olot Street. Upon entering the park, visitors are greeted by a pair of gingerbread-style houses at the main gate. It was pouring by the time I arrived. Gaudí’s Pavilion with 88 stone columns was the best place to dry up. Up on top is a broad open space whose centrepiece is the Serpentine Bench. Time for a Kodak moment! Wrapping it up for the day.
Day4: Barri Gòtic area (Gothic Quarter). Barcelona’s finest Catalan Gothic church, Santa Maria del Mar – this is what I call a Gothic church. Not that I really know what I am talking about but hell yes, this is a Gothic church! A great example of 14th century Catalan Gothic architecture. Built in record-breaking time, it took 54 years to build Santa Maria del Mar. A massive and inspiring building.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economical and administrative center of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.