August 2018. We hit Barcelona!
Barcelona is a city full of historical places and art of course! You can find a bit of everything in there. Our favorite parts were the “Barrio Gótico” Gothic Quarter and the “Borne”, but of course we tried to cover every little bit of it.
So I’ll give you our tour! But if you want, you can skip directly to the tips at the end of the post!!
The first day we went to La Rambla, awesome place to see some old-decorated buildings, find some good souvenirs at a good price and check out the market called La Boqueria. You’ll find there a big variation of fruits, juices, candies (lots of them) and of course, seafood!! They sell something called “salteadito”, which is a small plate with a bit of every kind of seafood, some shrimps, squids, etc. We went all the way up to the Catalunya Square, and then started walking down zigzagging among La Rambla, Laietana (big famous street where you’ll find famous stores) and Portal del L’Angel (one of their Disney stores is here)! In this area is where you’ll find the two zones called Barrio Gótico and the Borne, really small streets, with cool architectural buildings. The cathedral is also somewhere there, and some hidden gardens.
After walking a lot, we decided it was time to eat. We found an amazing buffet restaurant, all you can eat for 9.95 eur, it included: entrances, fruit, salads, main dishes, desserts and unlimited refill of non alcoholic drinks and coffees, if you wanted an alcoholic drink (wine or beer) you got just one glass of it. We ate a really good paella in here, a lot of desserts (if you go, try the quesadilla! The name of the restaurant is FrescCo and it’s close to the famous chocolate store Chök, so you can go for an extra dessert there if you still have space!
After that, we went for a nice walk down La Rambla until Paseo Colón, and on our way we found some amazing living statues, one of them you can even find her on Instagram as @elangeldelarambla.
We continued and passed through Plaza Real, more Gothic Quarter, some street performances in front of the Cathedral and then a quick night visit to the La Sagrada Familia, before going for some really well deserved Venezuelan food in the restaurant Rincón de la Abuela (you can find it on IG as @rinconabuelavenezolana)! OMG! It felt just like home. It was amazing, delicious, spectacular, all the good words you can imagine!
And just like that we got to our second day! We started it by going to the free part of the Park Güell. The whole park was designed by Gaudí as per Eusebi Güell’s request and the composition is known as part of Gaudí’s work.
From there we jumped to the Laberint d’Horta. In the entrance of the maze you can see a statue representing Ariadna and Theseus. We went through the labyrinth to find Eris, and we did, despite the rain and all!! Although we did get lost around 5 times, also on our way out. Maybe we should’ve thought of using a thread like Theseus. Also around the gardens you can see other sculptures representing the Greek mythology.
As we cannot get tired of getting some magic, we went to have a magical snack in a coffee house called Pudding Pie, in the street Diagonal 515. We had some nice coffees, desserts and you can also play some board game. Plus, the whole place is decorated as Harry Potter, you can find wands, owls, spell books, all!!
We all know one of the best ways to know a city is by walking it, and boy, did we walk Barcelona. Our next stop was one of Gaudi’s houses. The Batlló house is simply amazing, all the details on the outside. It’s one of the greatest works of Gaudí from the Catalan modernism during his naturalism phase.
If you wanna have a great night view of the city, go to the terrace of the shopping mall Arenas de Barcelona. You get to see all of Plaza España and the illuminated city. And from there, make a quick jump (figuratively speaking) to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, everyday at around 9:00 pm they make a show of lights and music with the fountain, beautiful! Then we went for a small bar tour around the city and had some “tapas”.
Third day, here we go! We started the day by going to Park Güell, yes, we know, again, but because we wanted to get in, though we couldn’t because they have schedules. It’s better if you buy the tickets online, also it’s cheaper. But our advise: at least on Sundays, if you get there before 8:00 am, you can get inside the paid part FOR FREE! But make sure you wake up early and get there on time.
As we couldn’t get in, we went to Tibidabo. What an AMAZING view of the whole city and the weather was amazing. You can get in the amusement park attractions or just walk around. There’s the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is a church and minor basilica on the top of the mountain. In the restaurant that is there we had the “patatas bravas” and they were delicious, the service on the other hand, not good, which is really bad considering it’s the only restaurant up there.
We went down from Tibidabo and went straight to the Castle of Mountjuic. You can go by teleferic of simply walking (it’s a 30 minute walk, walking slowly and enjoying the view and the mountain). The Castle closes at 8:00, so if you want to get inside, make sure to go a bit earlier than we did haha
Fourth and last day of tourism: WE FINALLY MADE IT TO PARK GÜELL!!!! We got up at 6:00 am and made it there by 7:45 am. Of course, as soon as we were inside the paid part for free, we just sat down to have a little rest and finish waking up. We walked around, enjoyed the end of the sunset from the terrace and took a look at every detail. The multicolor salamander, also known as the dragon, is beautiful, just as you would imagined. Half of the terrace was closed due to renovations, but at least we could enjoy part of the mosaic work of Gaudi.
We had our entrance to La Sagrada Familia at 12:00 pm, so we went to a cafe in front of it and sat down with a nice view to have breakfast and a nice cup coffee (take into account that they usually start working after 9:30 am). We had made our reservation for the Basilica online, it’s cheaper and also you make sure to actually be able to get tickets.
La Sagrada Familia is just from another world. The old and the new part. The colours. The architecture. The work. The thought in it. The feelings. Everything. You can run out of words describing it. It was the best part of our trip! No doubt.
Last touristic stop was our quick stop at the Barceloneta beach, we could not bath in the sea, but we did get our feet in it!
After it, we finished our trip by going to have some beers in The Moritz factory bar. Really good beers and tapas, don’t miss it.
I wanna give special thanks to our friend Gloria who gave us amazing tips and was our host and personal tour guide! Go visit her page http://www.mochilasconcuentos.com (in Spanish) for amazing stories!
*For public transport, better ask the drivers of buses or any person from a touristic place. Google maps usually gives the longest more complicated routes.
*Buy all touristic tickets online: they’re cheaper and you make sure you get in.
*The ticket T10 is valid also to come and go to the airport terminal 2B and you can also share it, so you don’t have to buy 2 tickets from the start.
TICKETS AND PRICES:
*Park Guell: 10 euro
*Basilica: 13 euro
*Tibidabo Funicular: 7.7 euro
*Laberint D’Horta: 2 euro
*T10 metro: 10.2 euro