Besides Madrid, Barcelona is perhaps the most well-known city in Spain. It’s nestled on the coast in the Catalonia region, rich with culture and fun things to do. It’s a huge city, but very walkable, and the highlights are easy to access on the metro or on foot.
The weather is also fantastic, my friend and I went in January and it was a pleasant 50 degrees each day, which was like going to the tropics after being in the Minnesota cold. Winter is also a good time to go because you’ll avoid the insane tourist crowds that flood the city during July, August, and September.
What to See and Do in Barcelona
The most iconic landmark of the city, this cathedral is something you must not only see from the outside, but it’s imperative that you tour the interior. I don’t care what kind of budget you’re on – this is non-negotiable.
Meaning “sacred family” in English, this church is an architectural wonder. Designed and constructed by Anton Gaudí, the beloved architect and artist of Barcelona. Construction of this massive cathedral began in 1882 and is still unfinished work, and isn’t expected to be completed for at least 20 more years.
Located in the Gracia district of Barcelona, Parc Güell is another Gaudí site to see as well as a great location to get a panoramic view of the city. The subway station is a bit of a walk away from the sloping hills that lead you up to the park, but hiking up to the park makes the view so much more worth it. Beautiful mosaics compose concrete benches and decorative walls throughout the park. It’s worth it to pay to enter all of the Parc, I’ve been twice and loved it each time.
The Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is another stop worth making during your time in the city. Here you’ll find quite the collection of his pieces from the various “periods” of his life, as well as learn more about who Pablo Picasso was, beyond being an artist.
La Boqueria Market
A fun stop on Las Ramblas, La Boqueria Market is a bustling outdoor shopping excursion. Unfortunately, it has become something of a tourist trap, when it used to be the local market that people bought fresh produce, fish, and meat at. If you go for a visit, buy a few things from a stall owner to support their business in exchange for your photos.
Another architectural creation of Gaudi, Casa Batlló is a unique and interesting museum to walk through as a Barcelona experience. Located in the heart of Barcelona on Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batllo is definitely worth touring if you have a cloudy or rainy day in the city and want to spend some time indoors.
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