I love travelling and I loved Barcelona. Great people, food, architecture, weather…what’s not to love? We visited over an Easter weekend and the weather was lovely. Well , mostly lovely – it did rain one day!
With around a two hour flight from London and numerous airlines flying direct, there’s no excuse not to go. And if you’re on a budget, here’s some handy travel tips to help your money go further.
Here’s what to do in Barcelona
Hire a bicycle and go exploring
Barcelona is a pretty good city to cycle in as it’s pretty flat and has cycle lanes. Hire a bicycle in the Gothic Quarter (or Barri Gotic) and cycle to Barceloneta (one of the beaches) and along the Passeig Marítim. There are lots of lovely bars and restaurants to stop at along the route for lunch or a drink (just one though if you’re cycling!). We had lunch on the beach and it was wonderful to sit outside and soak up the sunshine.
Visit Park Güell
You will be blown away by the magnificence that is Park Güell, which is one of the architect Antoni Gaudi’s major works. It is phenomenal and one of the largest green spaces in Barcelona. There is so much to see and take in – it’s 17 hectares! Spend a day walking around and taking in the really unusual structures throughout the park as well as the wonderful colours with the mosaic tiles. Trust me and do not miss it. It’s not free to visit but at only €10 a ticket it’s well worth the price.
See some art
Barcelona is an art lover’s delight. One of my favourite artists, Salvador Dalí, was born in Figueres, a short train ride from Barcelona, and where the Dalí Theatre and Museum is. We didn’t go to the museum but only because there was an exhibition of his work while we were in the city.
Barcelona is home to many amazing art museums. We didn’t have the time to visit them all but if you’re an art fan be sure to check out Fundació Joan Miró, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Picasso Museum (which features almost 4,000 of his pieces!) and The National Art Museum of Catalonia.
Explore Barcelona’s amazing architecture
Architecture lovers will love Barcelona! The Gothic Quarter, Barri Gotic, has many architectural delights, such as the Royal Palaces and the Cathedral, which was built at the end of the 13th century.
If you’re a fan of Gaudi, there is of course the famous Sagrada Família to visit as well as Park Güell, but Gaudi also has many buildings throughout the city, such as Casa Batlló (picture below) which you can buy tickets and visit. Casa Batlló is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site!
Find your favourite tapas
Tapas and Spain are synonymous, right? But, as with every cuisine, there is good tapas and there is great tapas. Oh, and I had no idea how many different types of sangria there are! For example, I have no idea sangrai could be white – made with Cava. Our favourite tapas bar was Tapas 24 but be prepared to queue… however it’s worth the wait – the chef who owns it worked at El Bulli, which was a 3 Michelin starred restaurant that won Best Restaurant in the World for a number of years.
Visit the Sagrada Família
No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing the magnificent Sagrada Família. The first stone was laid in 1882 and to this day, it’s still not completed. Gaudi worked on the construction from 1883 until his death in 1926 and is buried in the Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt. The queues to get in are very long so factor that in when planning your visit.
Explore the food markets
Barcelona’s most famous food market (and one of Europe’s largest), La Boqueria, can be found on the main street – Ramblas. Packed full of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish to take home, there are also bars dotted around that sell food and drink to eat in the market. The market is open from 8am to 8:30pm Monday to Saturday.
Ramblas also has many stalls along it’s boulevard, selling many different items. We bought an art work which we have displayed in our bathroom!
Another food market to explore is Sant Antoni, which is also rather large but has less tourists! There are so many markets around barcelona that you’ll no doubt stumble upon some whilst exploring the city.
We loved our long weekend in Barcelona! The city is full of fabulous architecture, art and culture and rich history. And of course the food and drink is wonderful too!