Barcelona. Where do I start? I’d heard so many wonderful things about this vibrant town. So much so that I was a bit nervous that in the end, it might let me down. Is it as beautiful as it looks in photos? Does the food taste as delicious as they say? Are the people as welcoming as they sound? Now, without hesitation, I can assure you that the answer to all three of these questions is, “Yes.”
From awe-inspiring architectures to tasty tapas – we made sure we to make the most out of our five days in town, pulling from a list of recommendations via friends and online sources. In case a trip to Barcelona is in your near future, below I’m highlighting our top five activities outside of over-indulging on food and wine.
- Parc Güell: This was one of our first and favorite sights in Barcelona. Now a public park, Parc Güell was Antoni Gaudi’s idea for an upscale neighborhood, perched high above the city. Though it failed to live out Gaudi’s residential dreams, it was later turned into a park people from all around the world could admire. From a “forest” of columns to a tunnel mimicking a “breaking wave” — Gaudi’s architecture is known to reflect the most beautiful aspects of nature. You must try to go early — it will be worth a front row seat to one of the most spectacular views of Barcelona. You can purchase your ticket and a scheduled time to visit here.
2. Sagrada Familia: This Roman Catholic Church, designed by non-other than Antoni Gaudi, is hands down one of the most fascinating pieces of architecture we’ve seen. The exterior tells an elaborate story of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. And not long after being there, you’ll see that Gaudi’s imagination and attention to detail set him apart from other historic architects. Every inch of Sagrada Familia holds purpose, every sculpture, tile, and mosaic has meaning. And the most interesting part of all, though it was started in the late 1800’s, the church is still under construction and decades away from being completed. It’s also the burial site of its creator, Gaudi. I would highly recommend this tour for Sagrada Familia which included a tour of one of Gaudi’s lesser-known buildings, as well as a delicious cheese and wine pairing on the property.
3. Picasso Museum: Packed with Picasso’s most famous paintings, this museum is one of the best I’ve been to. It boasts hundreds of pieces of Picasso’s work over the years, with a flow taking you from when Pablo was just a boy up until his death. The audio guide was incredibly interesting, discussing how Picasso’s family, friends, and tragic life events contributed to the evolution of his work. We bought the “Collection and Audio Tour” pass here for easy entry. (Tip: You can’t take pictures inside. We got yelled at the moment we pulled out our camera!)
4. Parque del Laberinto de Horta: Known as Barcelona’s oldest garden, this park is the perfect quick escape for fresh air and a break from the crowds. From flower beds and fountains to a maze (it’s harder than it looks) of hedges, this place is perfect for people of all ages.
5. Olympic Stadium and Museum: Home of the 1992 Olympic Games, this site is a sports lovers dream. Though you can’t go into the stadium, you can certainly peer in, walk around the Olympic Park, and catch a glimpse of yet another beautiful view of the city below. For a small fee, you can enter the museum which takes you throughout the history of each sport and highlights some of the most well-known Olympians and athletes. And if you’re feeling up for it, just across the street is another beautiful park overlooking Barcelona. A great place to roam around and enjoy the views!
Feel free to reach out with questions if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona soon!