Barcelona is one of those European cities that is a mixture of old-world and contemporary; full of interesting places and a multitude of historic locations begging for your time and your money. It can all be a confusing whirl of activity, and you may find yourself in a place in the city you did not intend and have no interest in at all. Don’t worry, here are some suggestions for first-timers in this majestic and captivating city.
See Barcelona’s Sagrada Família
This jaw-dropping piece of architecture is one of the most complex and stunning you will ever see. When you get there and see the construction going on, it’s not because of restoration, its because the church is only about half finished! Despite that it is still being built, it is more than worth the price of admission to see its intricacies up close and experience the otherworldly feel of the sun streaming through the Sagrada Família’s stain glass windows.
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter
This section of Barcelona is another great area if you are a fan of architecture. Parts of the Gothic Quarter date back to the first century. Here you can find ancient cathedrals, synagogues, and even a hidden Roman Temple. You can see what inspired Picasso, and recognize buildings from Goya paintings. The area also boasts a restaurant that first opened its doors in 1786 and several open-air markets where you can shop.
Barcelona’s La Pedrera (The Stone Quarry)
This marvel of a building was built in 1906 and is advanced even by today’s standards. Its twisting winding stone façade is void any straight edges and has a roof that resembles rolling hills with an ensemble of very unique and whimsical chimney stacks. The vibrant and fantastic interior of La Pedrera is a can’t miss, so make sure to book a time to see it.
Catch an FC Barcelona Match
Even if you are there in the offseason, the stadium, Camp Nou, has plenty to see and do while you are there. There is an interactive museum, trophies, and a chance to walk onto the pitch where so many famous soccer players have been.
Eat Spain’s World-Famous Dish
Eating Paella in Barcelona is like eating Pizza in Italy, or tasting wine in France. It is hard to believe this specialty started from the royal leftovers in the nineteenth century. Barcelona’s version of the dish is seafood based, but other versions are also available.
Stroll Down Las Ramblas
Las Ramblas is Barcelona’s version of Bourbon Street and is just as much fun. It is filled with markets, shops, florists, performers, bars and all framed by trees and venerable old buildings interspersed with modern artworks. When you visit, you will understand why this is Barcelona’s most famous street.
Check Out the Barcelona Magic Fountain
Armed with 3620 water cannons accompanied by even more lights, this dazzling show is not only breathtaking but its also absolutely free. Just remember this show involves water being shot into the air, so getting too close can get you soaked.
Climb to the Turó de la Rovira
Turó de la Rovira is a hill which overlooks Barcelona and is the highest elevation in the city. It once housed anti-aircraft guns and shelters during the Spanish Civil War. Now it is the perfect place to see Barcelona from a unique view. If you are a photographer the best time to shoot Barcelona from Turó de la Rovira is during the “Golden Hour” right before sunset. It complements both the cities architecture and its natural surroundings.
There is much more to see and do in Barcelona, so do some research before you go to find the things that interest you the most. With a little planning, your first trip to Barcelona should be an exciting and memorable one.Follow my blog with Bloglovin