When you travel around the world, every now and then you’ll visit places that leave you completely breathless, with no desire whatsoever to ever leave again. Strangely enough, to me this happened to a city just a one hour flight away from home: Barcelona.
Barcelona will always be linked to Gaudi, one of the great masters of architecture. While mostly known for his colorful draco at the entrance of Parc Guell and for his obvious masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, few people realize his immense impact on the whole city. From the tiles on Passeig de Gracia to the lanterns on Placa Real, the Finca Guell and Palau Guell, Casa Mila (better known as la Pedrera) and Casa Batllo, one says you can see some of his work from every single spot in Barcelona.
But there is more, so much more. Whether it is the nightlife you’re after, the shopping, the beach, the architecture, museums or a simple stroll, Catalunia’s capital has got it all. To top it all off, there is the sangria and an immense variety of tapas in the small cafes and bistros all over town.
It is impossible to list all the things there are to see and do in Barcelona, and that’s not what this site is for. Instead, I’ll give my personal highlights of the city, and hopefully that’ll be helpful for anybody who plans on going there.
As mentioned earlier, it is virtually impossible to overlook Gaudi’s influence on the city. A trip to Barcelona would not be complete without visiting at least the Parc Guell with the draco and the famous curbed mosaic benches, and his undisputed (yet still unfinished) masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. His tragic death (the people of Barcelona left him on the streets after he was hit by a tram, not knowing it was Gaudi. He later refused to be transferred to a better hospital as he felt his place was amongst the poor) quite possibly made him even more legendary.
The highest point of Barcelona with amazing views over the cities. You can hike up the hill or take the pleasant little train-ride. On top, you’ll find the unique church and a rather outdated amusement park.
This hill on the other side of Barcelona is famous for its telecommunications tower, built especially for the Olympics in 1992. It also houses the majestic Olympic stadium, where now Espanyol Barcelona plays its home games.
Stadium of FC Barcelona, still one of the world’s most renowned football teams (that would be soccer for the American readers).
Collection of 5 separate streets (6 if you count the Rambla del Mar) that are more commonly known as Las Ramblas. They stretch from the Plaza Catalunya all the way to the statue of Columbus. On the broad pedestrian part in the middle, you’ll find flower stalls, bars, and some of the most talented street artists in the world.
This list is by no means complete, but should give you some idea of what this amazing city has to offer.