Europe, Spain, Travel

The Beauty and Wonder of Barcelona

For a (very) long Labor Day weekend, I went over to Barcelona to do some sight seeing.  There’s a lot to pack into five days, in a city you’ve never been before.

I once took one of those online quizzes, “Which city should you be living in?” and my result came up with Barcelona.  Definitely not surprising, since it literally has everything I would ever look for in a city to live in: energy, culture, history, beauty and hip people.  While there are so many things I could share about the trip, here is a piece of my itinerary and some tips along the way:

Click on any of the links below to get full information on times, tickets, discounts, etc.  Note that it’s best to buy your tickets online at least two days before, to avoid waiting in long lines or not being able to get in at all!  Also, take a look at some of my notes next to each (in italics)!

Museums & Monuments 

Sagrada FamiliaI recommend booking the Passion Tower tour.  You get some incredible views of the city and of the Mediterranean.  Also consider going in the evening between 6-9pm.  Gaudi is buried in the basement, in an incredible shrine!
Address : Sicilia, 286 / Phone : 00 34 932073031

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La Pedrera: An impressive Gaudi building at the Passeig de Gracia.  I suggest the Secret Pedrera Tour.  It’s an evening tour and a lot more magical (plus it comes with Cava).
Address : C. Provença, 261-265. / Phone : 00 34 93 484 59 00

Park Guell: (Gracia Area) I HIGHLY recommend visiting this, as it is home to some of his most famous sculptures – this makes for a fun day trip!  Make sure to purchase tickets for the Park.  If you want to see Gaudi’s home, it will be a separate ticket.

Address : Carrer D’Olot / Phone :  34 934 091 831

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Tibidabo: Overlooking the entire city of Barcelona and the Mediterranean on one side and endless Pyrenees mountain ranges on the other.  The church is at the highest point and the views from there are breath-taking.  But that’s not the only thing to see – there’s a whole amusement park there too!

Basilica Santa Maria del Mar: One of the oldest basilicas in Barcelona, this 14th century wonder is worth viewing!  If you have time before you go, read Cathedral of the Sea – while the story is fictional, the timeline of the basilica being built, is real.  It brings to life all of Barcelona when you are touring it!

Temple d’August: One of the hidden wonders of Barcelona, nestled in a Gothic Quarter alleyway, is this tiny little museum that reveals just how old Barcelona really is, and how the Romans really did infiltrate so many different parts of Europe!   While I have pictures and could go on and on about how wondrous this is, it’s worth just seeing for yourself.

Areas to Walk Through

Gothic Quarter: The entire section of the city is incredibly magnificent – including Temple d’ August – behind the Cathedral of Barcelona, is a hidden doorway to Roman columns, dating back to 1 B.C.!!  

Las RamblasAlthough not my favorite area, as it is more touristy, there are plenty of things to experience – including La Boqueria – a huge outdoor food market and the opera house.  Just be extra careful of our belongings!  

Cocktail Bars/Restaurants

Makamaka – Great drinks and food by the beach!!

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7 Portes – – Has been open, since the 1800s!  A great traditional Spanish restaurant!

Ohla Boutique Bar:  Two of Spain’s best bartenders work here (Giuseppe and Giacomo), and it’s an incredible experience.  Ask for “The Mediterranean Treasure” and “Barcelona Kiss”.

Address : Via Laietana, 49 / Phone :  34 933 415 050

Hotel Omm: One of the best brunches in Barcelona, head to Hotel Omm’s Michelin Start restaurant, Roca Moo. 

Address: Rosselló 265 / Phone: +34 93 445 40 00

Eclipse at the W Hotel: For one of the best views of the Mediterranean, go to the top of the W Hotel for drinks!

Address: W Barcelona, Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1, 26th Floor / Phone: +34 93 295 2800