If you ask me for my favorite city trip, I do not have to think long. Barcelona is my all time favorite. This beautiful Spanish city has everything to offer. Culture, nature, beach, good food and a pleasant climate.
It's a city where you can endlessly wander around to discover something new every day. However, there are some highlights that you should not miss.
The rambla was originally a dry riverbed that led the water to the sea during heavy rain. Nowadays, it is a cozy 1200m long boulevard in the center of Barcelona. Along the Rambla you will find some nice sights:
- Monument a Colon: This 60 meter high column is at the beginning of La Rambla on the Plaça del Portal de la Pau. The column was designed for the 1888 world fair and marks the place where Columbus came to land in 1493, after the discovery of America.
- La Boqueria or Mercat de San Josep is Barcelona's most colorful food market. Here the local restaurants do their shopping. Wander around and taste the delights they sell here.
If you want to eat something in this neighborhood, do it at one of the stalls in la Boqueria. The restaurants in this area are real tourist traps. If you want to sit somewhere, walk a few blocks further and find a cozy restaurant.
This stately 1850 square is not far from the Rambla. The neoclassical lampposts are a Gaudi design.
Our son is a fan of Picasso so visiting this museum was a must. Even if you are not a fan, the property in which the museum is housed is also worth a visit. The cozy courtyard is especially magnificant.
The Barri Gotic is the true heart of Barcelona. It is the oldest part of the city (27 BC - 14 AD) and was chosen by the Romans to set up a new 'colonia'.
This 14th century Gothic cathedral is at the heart of the Barri Gotic. In the crypt lies the alabaster sarcophagus of Santa Eulalia, who was tortured by the Romans in 1339 for her faith.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
The exterior columns are beautiful, but you definitely have to come in. The concert hall is a feast to the eye. Brightly colored tile and sculpture and stained glass provide a true spectacle. It is also the only concert hall in Europe that uses natural light.
Casa Mila or La Pedrera (the quarry) is one of the special buildings designed by Gaudi (1906-1910). It does not have a single straight wall and completely deviates from the norms, making it mocked by the intellectuals.
This Gaudi building also has no straight line. The facade is a portrayal of the Catalan legend of Saint Joris and the dragon. The roof stands for the green scales of the dragon and the balconies are inspired by Venetian carnival masks.
In 1882 Gaudi started with this megalomaniac masterpiece. He lived for 16 years as a hermit on the building site and built everything by improvising. He is buried in the crypt. The church remains unfinished. One hopes it will be ready by 2026.
Gaudi built a residential complex in the early 20th century, commissioned by Eusebi Guell. As nobody wanted to live in it, it became a park in 1922. I personally think it is one of the most cozy places in Barcelona.
Certainly walk through the 100-pillars hall. This is a cave-like, covered market hall with 84 sloping pillars. The mosaic work is beautiful. Above this space lies the Gran Plaça Circular, which is said to be the tallest bank in the world.
At the entrance of the park lies the colorful dragon 'Python', which according to Greek mythology monitors the waters of the underworld.
Unfortunately I didn't make these wonderful pictures myself. All credits go to Chris Van Kerckhove. Go to her site to see some more of her pieces of art.
Looking for a good guide? I selected a few.
Did I miss one of the highlights? Or do you want to share a hidden gem? Please do so below.