I have to say that Barcelona is one of those cities, where you feel so present and so full of life. It’s one of those cities where time stays still, where you have no worries in the world and each day feels like a fiesta.
We spent only 3 days in Barcelona, but it was enough to fall in love with this city! The start of our trip was from Oradea, Romania, where we took a very cheap Ryan Air flight. The flight has been launched recently, hence the very cheap tickets!
Instead of introduction …
Not sure how much you guys know about Barcelona, I personally didn’t know many things but I bought a guide to read on the way there and in 3 hours I had an idea of where we are heading to! Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and one of the most vibrant cities of Spain. It has an interesting history being one of the provinces of Spain that united under the Catholic royalty after the Reconquista.
A symbol of the city in the old port is the great statue of Cristophor Columb, who visited the city of Barcelona after discovering the New World, in order to present its achievement to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel. The statue is surrounded by several steel lions, that are the main attraction for the young tourists who are riding them, probably dreaming this way to come back to this magnificent city.
At the border with France, in Northern Mediterranean Spain, Catalonia and its capital Barcelona are the most developed region of the country, being for several centuries the industrial and maritime centre of the Iberian Peninsula.
Barcelona’s main attractions …
When you walk on the streets of Barcelona, you realize that Barcelona is a very modern and cosmopolitan city. The architecture is just mind-blowing: you can see a very well combined mixture of old and new and of course you can not miss the art of Gaudi.
Gaudi – a sort of landmark of the city, is known for shaping Barcelona, for building everything in harmony with nature. You can see his art throughout the whole city: in the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and of course the Guell Park. Unfortunately, you have to pay for a ticket to see them. I would recommend booking them online in advance, so you won’t have to stay in very long lines. As for the prices: to enter in the Sagrada Familia it will cost you 22 euros, for Casa Batllo and Casa Mia approx 20 euros and to see the Guell Park you have to pay 8 euros. There is also a part of the park which you don’t need to pay for and it’s beautiful. Also, if you happen to be around Park Guell, and have a bit of energy left, you have to climb on top of the hill, to El Bunker del Carmel, where the whole city of Barcelona is revealed in front of your eyes. The view from there is absolutely breathtaking.
Our trip was short, but it was worth it. We walked a lot, trying to discover every hidden corner. You must absolutely see Plaza de Espana and it’s dancing fountain, L’arc de Triomf, Parc de la Ciutadella which is right near L’arc de Triomf, and is absolutely beautiful.
And if you are sticking around that area, just have a walk to Barceloneta, a kind of beachy and sandy Barcelona, it’s district of sunny long beaches and walking areas full of tourists from around the world.
Barcelona is such a vivid and diversified city. You can spend your day visiting museums, doing shopping in the great commercial centers, walk your heart out like we did, or simply enjoy the sun and it’s warm rays at the beach. A city you will fall in love with.
… and flavours
Another thing we enjoyed in Barcelona, was our daily adventure in La Boqueria. Yes, it was an adventure each trip there. La Boqueria is a local market, situated in the center of Barcelona, which you can also enter from La Rambla. You can find everything there: from fresh fruits, to juicy meat, to tempting sea food, interesting wines, yes, everything that you can eat. There is a saying in Barcelona: “If you can find it in La Boqueria, you can not find it anywhere.” In fact, if you are on a low budget trip to Barcelona, is there where you can find tasty and healthy snacks or food at accessible prices, while enjoying the atmosphere of latin bazar – you should not miss the crunchy-fresh sandwiches as well as the big and spectacular crepes.
But if you can afford something more, there are definitely a lot of restaurants, where you can try some tapas, paella and a glass of sangria. Ask the price first, if not mentioned in the menu.
If you really want to relax, you can buy a beer from a supermarket and walk throughout the city sipping a light and delicious red Estrella beer.
Barcelona and its people
Maybe this part would have been good to start with, but I think that it’s important to analyze also the people you meet and chat with. First of all, Barcelona is full of tourists, probably each season of the year, so it is quite difficult to identify native Barcelonians into the crowds. Second of all, although you expect to hear a lot of Spanish on the streets, you will hear more English and French or the local Catalan language. Yes, Barcelonians are speaking their own language, from the same family with Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French or Romanian. It’s a language spoken mainly in the province of Catalonia and represents the official language in the area, the province benefitting from a large autonomy given by the government in Madrid. Third of all, Barcelona is full of immigrants, mostly from Spanish former colonies of South America, but not only, that came to the city to work, earn money, live and love. It’s a good opportunity to mention and to thank our Airbnb hosts in Barcelona, Eliana and Alvaro, who came to Barcelona from Columbia and could share with us some interesting facts and opinions regarding their own country as well as their new city.
In the district we stayed for 3 days, we found a very good coffee corner, where locals are drinking their coffee and reading the newspaper in the morning. In this kind of remote places of the city you can meet the true Barcelonians, just try to talk with them they are nice and friendly. In fact, when in Southern Europe, I always feel like I am treated as a local by the people who live there, and no, it’s not because I look like I am from the south, it’s more because my husband looks like that. He is always being addressed either in Spanish, Italian or Greek, accordingly to the country we are visiting :).
Instead of a conclusion
As a matter of fact, Barcelona is the place everybody was praising before we really went there. Maybe it’s a little bit expensive, but for sure it is worth to go see it. As those who were praising it, we would definitely would like to go back there. And I’m saying that, because we were really impressed by the way the city welcomes its tourists, by its architecture, lifestyle and elegance. And of course by its people.
So, yes, put Barcelona on your list. You will not regret it!