I was lucky because that year it was extremely hot and on January 1, during the day I could sit loosely in my t-shirt. After that week there, it became my favorite city in Europe.
The last time I was there after all the pandemic madness was in the summer of 2021, when travel restrictions were no longer in place. Despite having just gone through 2 years of social estrangement, the people in Catalonia’s capital seemed closer than ever.
I stayed at a tiny hotel on the Rambla, the famous street where the epicenter of Barcelona’s fun was located. It’s always crowded here, full of terraces, entertainment, boutiques, artists, where you can choose to have a drink while admiring the spectacle of the street. This street stretches from Plaça de Catalunya, where the beautiful 12th-century Romanesque monastery of Santa Anna stands, to the harbour.
The place I like best is in the middle of the street and it’s a market, the Mercat de la Boqueria to be precise, where you can find absolutely everything you want fresh. The plethora of colours will surely take your eyes away, from fruits, sweets, jamon, fish and seafood, which you can enjoy right there, having the opportunity to sit at the table and admire the chefs while they cook it for you.
The first thing I did when I got there, was obviously to eat 😊 Even from the plane I was dreaming of a seafood paella and a carafe of sangria, as only in Spain you can find.
The place where we enjoyed a delicious paella was in Plaza Real, at the Toboggan Restaurant “La Gallega”. For breakfast you can make a quick stop at Santagloria, where you’ll find coffee, fruit freshies and jamon sandwiches. Another restaurant I really liked and where I had the best pork ribs was Pura Brasa.
I love the fact that everywhere you go and everywhere you end up in Barcelona, there is something to see. It’s like an open-air museum, where Gaudi made his significant mark and you can admire his works outdoors.
To be able to see all the city’s sights, you’ll need at least 3 days, during which time you should be prepared with comfortable footwear, as you’ll be walking for miles.
The most famous building is the Sagrada Familia, a basilica that looks impressive, but it has always irritated me that it is forever under renovation. I hope to get to see it at some point without that scaffolding on it.
Antoni Gaudi’s most famous secular building is the UNESCO-listed Casa Milà (La Pedrera), which you can find near the elegant Passeig de Gràcia boulevard. Close to it is another building that I like enormously, Casa Batllo.
You should not miss Guell Park, which is considered to be the most artistic work of architect Gaudi. You’ll have to climb 900 meters to get to it, but you’ll have a chance to get some great photos there.
Also, if you haven’t had your fill of famous buildings, you must also see Montjuic Castle, and if you want your experience at the castle to be as memorable as possible, choose to go up here by the cable car that leaves from Avenida de Miramar.
Another impressive place and one for which you have to walk and climb some distance is Tibidabo. You certainly won’t regret it once you get to the top, as it will give you a superb view of the city.
Also, up here you can find a cathedral that you can visit or venture into the amusement park.
I also loved the Museum of Illusions, for the different and very cute pictures. You have to make sure you have someone with you who can take photos.
Barcelona seems to me to be a complete city, because you have the mountains and the sea, and after you are tired from all the walking, climbing, sightseeing, you can relax on their famous beach, Barceloneta. Here, you can lay your towel directly on the sand and relax among the hundreds of people you’ll find there. For the more adventurous, you’ll also find nude beaches here.
Barcelona is always a good idea. It’s not the kind of destination where you go once and you won’t want to go back, on the contrary. Once you get there, it seems like you’ll want to revisit all the beautiful places in the city, go shopping or enjoy some good food.
I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Have a nice holiday!