Barcelona

Top Ten List: Barcelona, Spain

    1. Walk El Born and Gotico district– take a day or two and walk the streets, get lost in the plazas, shops and cathedrals admiring the beautiful modernismo architecture – this would also be the time to try some cava (white sparkling wine), churros with hot chocolate, tapas and all the most delicious things Barcelona has to offer.
      Where to find these treats:

      • Churros/Cava: I could give you a list of THE BEST PLACES to try these but honestly I went to those and others and they all tasted the same.. so my advice… find a place that either a. has a long line or b. has a cute atmosphere, can’t go wrong with either choice.

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      • Cafes to visit: Story, La Clandestine, Guzzo, Vinya de Senyor 
      • Restaurants: Macaroni (make your own pasta dish), Sensi (amazing Tapas), Mosquito/Red Ant (dumplings tapa style)
      • Cathedrals and Plazas: Santa Maria, Cathedral de Barcelona, Basilica Gotica, Placa Reial (my personal favorite 🙂
      •  Shisha Zirab– great atmosphere and very cozy, I got a glass of Cava and strawberries with cream for 3.80 Euro… such a deal. gpexportphoto-0004
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    2. Tours
      • Walking Tour of Gotica (free/whatever you feel like paying) – if you’re into the history of a city .. this tour was spectacular and can be done before or after you walk the neighborhoods. It gives you a good idea of the places or plazas and churches you pass casually to get from one cute bar to another.

      • Devour Food Tour (not free) – Actually quite expensive, about $75 but worth it if you have the money. The tour takes you around a couple neighborhoods depending what tour you do and you learn history, the culture of the food and wine in Barcelona and you get to try local food and drinks from local shop owners.
      • Self Guided Walking Tour of Mt. Montjuic and Olympic Park (free) – it’s a great walk or run and you get to see where the 1992 Olympic Games were held (think Dream Team!) but also can see what changed Barcelona’s national image and what is considered the best city success story from hosting the Olympics.
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    3. Hotel Barceló 360 view (free) – at sunset of course, it reminds me of the Space Needle in Seattle where you can get a breathtaking 360 view of the city while enjoying an adult beverage. You can also walk around Raval de la Rambla, another popular neighborhood. img_2144
    4. Gaudi Tour– you can take your own Gaudi walking tour and hit Casa Batlló and Casa Mila  (La Pedrera Roof) and the cute neighborhood of Village of Gracia. If you’re feeling ambitious you can even walk to La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell in the same day.
      • Tip #1: If you are planning on taking tours, book online prior so you don’t have to wait in lines and I would definitely recommend Audio Tours whenever you can afford it. Makes the experience that much more engaging and interesting and most of the time it is free or only $4-6 more to rent. If you have a headphone splitter, you can rent one for two people!
      • Tip #2: Don’t skip going to the La Pedrera Roof or going inside La Sagrada Familia. I lived in Barcelona for 2 1/2 months and probably passed by these places 5 times until the last week I was there and took the time to book tickets and go in . Breathtaking and simply indescribable. Do it.

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    5. Blai street – a bunch of cute bars with 1 euro pintxos and drinks in the neighborhood Poble Sec, fun place to go to watch sports (soccer) and chill and off the beaten path.

    6. Camp Nou – experience the reason the rest of the world loves soccer so much, oh and also see some of the most famous soccer players at the same time.. because they all play on the same team (maybe we should change their name to the “Heat” or “Warriors”)gpexportphoto-0001

    7. Free Museum Sundays – most of the public museums are free on Sundays! So if you have a Sunday to spare, do it.
      • Museum Picasso – (free on first Sunday of the month or every Sunday 3-7) this is definitely a cool museum and worth going to… get there early because it might come as a surprise… but we weren’t the only people to figure out the free Sunday trick.  1-10
      • History Of Catalunya Museum – A museum to have a drink on the top of… History of Catalunya museum… not sure if the museum is any good but the view, overlooking the huge yachts and bay… is hard to beat.MUHBA – You can check out the Roman ruins that runs under the city.
      • MACBA – Beautiful view of the city and a lot of great art.
    8. Beaches and Barceloneta – whether it’s in the summer or winter it’s worth taking a stroll through the cute neighborhood of Barceloneta or ride your bike down the beach and watch people laying out, playing volleyball or futevolley (volleyball with your feet), paddle boarding and/or surfing at all times of the year. If you have the time go to Cali Papi and grabbed some Cod Fritters and a beer.

    9. Markets– (La Boqueria, Santa Caterina, Sant Antoni) all the outdoor markets really make you feel like you are in Europe… it’s just fun to walk through but if you stay long enough and want to make dinner it’s a really cool and unique experience that we don’t really have in the States.

    10. Day Trips: If you are in Barcelona for a long period of time and want to take a day trip here are a couple of suggestions that we took and recommend.
      • Dali Museums – Go to the Dali Triangle which consists of 3 different cities with 3 different museums of Dali.
      • Monsterrat Mountain – Take the train to a famous monastery on top the this beautiful mountain and take it the funicular to a cave or go to the peak.
      • Girona – Great Medieval city inbetween Figueres and Barcelona, great cobblestone paths and history. Great to go if you feel like stepping back in time.
      • Places we wished we went: Costa Brava, Sitges, Wine Country

Other great food cafe/recommendations: Bacoa (burgers), Sirvent (Brunch), La Pachuecha (Mexican Food), Brunch and Cake (brunch)

 

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