If you’re obsessed with Europe then you should absolutely visit Barcelona and make it the number one city that is on your radar. Far more than pristine history and culture, the city offers something magical. Gaudi’s architecture is everywhere and if you’re a fan of the great man then you should jump on a plane today. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, and had a picnic in Park Güell. As well as exciting places to experience why not stay in a Barcelona luxury apartment rentals and make your visit a little bit more magical?
Reasons to Visit Barcelona
The Work of Antonio Gaudi
Antonio Gaudi was born in 1852 in Reis, Spain. He believed that there were no straight lines in nature and as such there should not be in architecture. This philosophy has seen the man construct some magical works which never fail to make you marvel in sheer wonder. He is known as the greatest exponent of Catalan modernism.
With most of his work in Barcelona, which of his work should you see on a visit?
- The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família – This unfinished cathedral is arguably Gaudi’s greatest project and is the most visited attraction in Barcelona routinely getting 4.5 million visitors a year. Gaudi’s 100 spires, 13,000 seater cathedral soon ran out of money and was never completed. In 2010 work restarted to make Gaudi’s dream reality. If you only take in one Gaudi masterpiece make sure it is this one.
- Park Güell – Park Güell started life as a rich man’s luxury compound. In 1900 Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudi to design and build it. This was a landscaping project more than anything else and Gaudi did not disappoint. Much of it looks like it could be in Alice in Wonderland. The compound was a commercial failure and was bought by the city and made into a park.
- Casa Batllo – Casa Batllo has an exterior and an interior that could have come from a Doctor Seuss book. Once you’ve stopped gazing at the intriguing outside of the building, arguably inside is the most astonishing. Use the virtual reality app here which will guide you through this house which looks like and feels like a Salvador Dali painting. The imagination and cleverness of the design will stay with you a long time after you leave.
- Church of Colònia Güell: Gaudi’s Crypt -The Church of Colònia Güell, the resting place of Gaudi is a little off the beaten track but it is well worth your time and effort to visit. The church is beautiful in its own right and is a fine example of Gaudi’s imagination and architectural skill. Given its remote location, it tends to be quieter than the other Gaudi masterpieces.
Most of the Gaudi attractions require an entrance fee and it is a good idea to book online to avoid queues.
Spend Time to Visit Barcelona Beaches
The coast of Barcelona is mostly soft sandy beaches with each one offering something a little interesting and new. For bars, restaurants, clubs, and water sports head west. Sebastià is a very popular beach for this activity. Hotels and cafes are just behind the beach so enjoying the sun, sea, and making fast friends over a cold beer is certainly possible.
If you want a more relaxing beach and one where the locals frequent try heading north past Olympic Port. Lugaris is a particularly good beach and here you will find locals walking their dogs and children digging the sand. It is an intriguing town in its own right with locals gathering in the evening to gossip. The town is a great place to find an apartment for your visit. Try Lugaris.com in the first instance as they have plenty of choices.
If you’re a little tired of sun and sand why not head down to Diagonal Mar Mall. It is a repurposed industrial site. The factories and warehouses are now long gone and this is now replaced with stores from leading brands and boutique sellers.
If you want a true flavor of Barcelona start in the city center and head to your favorite beach. With each district, the architecture and feel changes and it is a truly fascinating experience. The walk takes around an hour and on a hot day, you have the perfect excuse to stop for a cold drink or ice cream.
La Boqueria is a market that is truly part of Barcelona’s history. Since medieval times the great city has had a La Boqueria with the current edition beginning around 200 years ago. One of its stand out features other than colorful food and locals shopping and gossiping is the cast iron roof which was built in 1914.
The market sells mostly food and includes a lot of produce from Spain. Most food can be found here, however, including exotic cheese, fish, fruit, and meats. La Boqueria makes for a great hour or two people watching over a delicious tapas and drinking a cold beer. It is both a great snapshot of life in Barcelona and a great place to go for lunch.
There are plenty more reasons to visit Barcelona, but these should be well enough to spark your interest in exploring one of the most magical places in the world. Be sure to plan your itinerary by using platforms like Pinterest where visual storytelling can give you a real idea of what appeals to you most. Are you looking for other magical places? Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a post!