Barcelona, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Europe. It gained popularity after holding Summer Olympics in 1992. The city is quite lively and is well-known for it’s art and architecture. Sharing top five must places in Barcelona –
(city view from National Palace)
Sitting right in-front of the Spain Square, on top of Montjuic hill is the grand and magnificent, National Palace. Inspired by Spanish Renaissance architecture, the palace offers a spectacular view of the city. Currently, palace is house for National Art Museum of Catalonia. Another reason to love this palace is the colorful fountain show that happens in the evening, well known as Magic Fountain of Montjuic.
Other nearby areas that can be covered are Spain Square which marks the starting point of the palace and ‘Arenas de Barcelona’, a former bull ring turned into shopping centre with rooftop restaurants offering panoramic view of the city.
The city was built under the Roman Empire, the remains of which can be easily found at the Gothic Quarters. The main attraction at the quarter is the gothic architectural church, also referred as Barcelona Cathedral. The Gothic cathedral took nearly two centuries to built, 13th – 15th century. Amidst this, the place is filled with shopping area and small bars all around. Portal d’Angel, is one of the busiest pedestrian lane in all Europe. Since this place is flooded with tourists, it is also a hub of pick pocketing.
La Sagrada Familia
One of the most famous landmark in Europe and also part of UNESCO world heritage site is La Sagrada Familia. The church remains to be Gaudi’s most famous and controversial work. Started building in 1883, this Roman Catholic minor basilica is anticipated to be completed by 2026 which also marks the centenary of Gaudi’s death. The church was only completed 20% on Gaudi’s death. During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, a lot of Gaudi’s idea were burnt in fire that destroyed the workshop on the site, this further slowed the construction of the church. Post completion, it will be the tallest church in the world.
Explore Gaudi’s Architecture – Park Güell, Casa Batlló
( view from the top of Park Güell )
Park Güell – Designed on request by Count Eusebi Güell, this is yet another feather in Antoni’s cap. Located on Carmel hill, the stylish luscious park was built for the aristocrats of Barcelona. Colorful ceramic tiles, mosaics, straight out of a fantasy land, the park is definitely a must visit place.
Casa Batlló – Hired by Josep Batllo in 1904, Antoni Gaudi was asked to remodel this building located in the centre of Barcelona. Known as ‘House of Bones’ due to it’s cage like structure, the building is deemed as Gaudi’s one of the masterpieces. Today, this place is flocked with tourists and is also quite an Instagrammable place.
Day or Night, this place is always bustling with people. Known for it’s eateries, high-end restaurants, it sits right next to Gothic Quarters. La Rambla, is packed with street performers and artists creating your portraits, caricatures, paintings in less than five mins. One can simply enjoy Flamenco dancing at the nearby theatres or at the small bars around. If you are a Sangria lover, you must try out the big glass of Sangria or other cocktails offered at the restaurants. La Rambla has quite a vibrant vibe to it.
- Pick-Pocketing is a major issue in the city. Always be alert. Chances of Pickpocketing triples if you are at a tourist place.
- Try not to carry designer bags, you will easily gain unwanted attention from pick pocketers. Carry your backpacks infront.
- Booking for sightseeing must be done in advance as authorities sometimes restrict ‘Entry on the spot’ due to high demand.
- For cost saving, buy tourist day pass to use public transport like buses and local trains/metro.
- Choose buses over trains, as they are safer in comparison to trains.