Barcelona and Beyond

Barcelona and Beyond

Hola!! *Goes to Spain once and swears she’s fluent in Spanish*

Anyways…..I recently went to Barcelona for my 30th birthday and to say that I fell in love at first sight would be a complete understatement. The scenery of historic sites at every turn, alleys that open up to upbeat plazas, and the feeling of being alive are just some of the reasons why I fell in love with Espana, specifically Barcelona! How can you not fall in love with a city that has amazing food, culture, people, warm weather, sandy beaches, amazing nightlife, and so much more!

I have this thing with doors, #ihavethisthingwithdoors

Gothic District

Your trip to Barcelona is incomplete without spending at least a day strolling through and exploring the gothic district. Just start walking in a direction and get lost….for hours. I’m serious, it probably is the best place I’ve explored that I just want to be lost in! I highly recommend staying nearby or getting a hotel in the area because you’ll be close to EVERYTHING that’s happening!

Barcelona Cathedral

One of the many many cathedrals you’ll see throughout your trip in Spain…but this one is great to because it’s one of those things where you could be getting lost in the Gothic District and you’ll just stumble upon the cathedral. Take a peek inside, if open. If not, you’ll probably run into some good street entertainment.

Roman Tower and Walls

Another beaut you’ll run across while exploring the Gothic District is the expansive Roman Walls that surround and encompass a good part of the Gothic District. The walls surround the original area that the Romans settled when they arrived to Barcelona over 2,000 years ago. Amazing!

There are marker signs located throughout at various points along the wall and recommend you take a quick 2-min break and read some…you’d be surprised what fun facts you’ll learn about the place.

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Gaudi

One cannot explore Barcelona without seeking a bit of architecture by the famous Antoni Gaudi. His architectural style which mixes nature and God in the most beautiful way is definitely a Barcelona charm! He spent his life building amazing houses, schools, churches, etc sprinkled throughout Barcelona with La Sagrada Familia being his final and most famous structure. It is also the longest construction project (thats been properly documented) and is set to be complete in 2026. If you’re in Barcelona for a few days I would recommend checking out some of Gaudi’s other famous buildings which will give you an idea where his foundations and inspirations come from.

Casa Mila/La Pederera

A perfect stop if you’re exploring Barcelona on foot and staying near Gothic or La Rambla is Casa Mila and Casa Battlo (next). They are both residences designed by Gaudi and incorporate plenty of his architectural style. You really get to see how he mixed in nature, insects, skeletal systems, and much more in his styles. The houses are located only blocks apart and definitely worth a stop if you have time. Even if you don’t have time for a tour, I would recommend stopping by because the exterior of the buildings truly speak for themselves especially Casa Battlo….

Note – the tour at Casa Mila uses augmented reality which is pretty neat treat! You get to see what Gaudi imagined as he designed each of the rooms!

Casa Battlo

Definitely a great addition to your Barcelona itinerary! You can get through the each of the Gaudi houses within an hour and maybe even schedule some time in between for some tapas and sangria…the perfect Spanish treat! I love the blue hues and skeletal facade of this house. The ceramic tile throughout is absolutely stunning and my phone is still filled with dozens of photos of the amazing ceramics.

Park Guell

This Gaudi masterpiece is a bit outside the city center and requires taxi, subway, or scooter transport (lets chat more about that later in this post…). We didn’t have much time to explore much but we did go for a quick afternoon stroll and it was PACKED so definitely plan your day out accordingly. Majority of the buildings have an entrance fee and there’s not much to see in the free parts of the park. After your tour of Park Guell stop by for some delicious gelato in one of the nearby shops!

La Sagrada Familia

By now you’re probably sick of me and my Gaudi fascination….sorry not sorry but this is the last one and of course I saved the best for last! If you go anywhere in Barcelona make sure you schedule a 3-hour chunk of your day to explore La Sagrada Familia. This is Antoni Gaudi’s most famous design and is still in construction today and is scheduled to be completed in 2026 (we know that means 2030 something)….all of the other sites discussed above are truly child’s play compared to La Sagrada Familia, everywhere you look you will just marvel at the level of detail and design that Gaudi put into his final work.

La Sagrada Familia is where you truly see Gaudi’s unbelievable mix of God and Nature. He perfectly incorporates columns that represent trees and windows and ceilings that represent the universe. You walk in to La Sagrada Familia and you’re unsure if you’ve stepped into a church or some sort of science planetarium, words truly can’t describe how gorgeous this place is. Also, for all of my religious folks you’ll fall in love with many statues and stone pieces depicting some of the most important moments of Christian/Catholic History. I hope to go back for when they are 100% complete!

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Picasso Museum

Picasso was from Spain, which I honestly didn’t know, and we even got to check out his hometown of Malaga (blog post soon come) during our trip but took a few hours during our trip to check out the Picasso Museum. Every first Thursday night of the month they have a free evening tour which actually costs like $5 per person after you book your online “free” ticket but still a $15 per person saver! We just happen to book our trip during the free week but make sure to book your tickets early because the free days fill up quick….if you do check out the Picasso Museum make sure you have a tour guide! Without a tour guide you won’t really know what pieces represent his life and his timeline…unless you’re a true Picasso aficionado….

Tapas on Tapas on Tapas…..

Did you really go to Spain if you don’t indulge in tapas and rounds of sangria? Apparently, sangria is not a popular drink amongst the Spanish and mainly only consumed by tourists which is mind boggling because the sangria in Spain was seriously the best drink EVER! Spain is so warm and sangria was very much a refreshing drink like iced tea. The sangria there was made with higher quantity of fruit and more variety. Its honestly quite the contrast in comparison to the American version which is made with the clear intention of getting you drunk!

Explore Beyond….

if you’re going to be in Barcelona for a few days then I definitely encourage you to rent a scooter and explore beyond your Airbnb/Hotel quarters whether it be Gothic District, La Rambla, Ciutadel…the scooter allows you to really get out and see not just Barcelona but Catalonia. The subway system is also a great way to get out and explore the surrounding sights but the the scooter does allow for more flexibility and impromptu stops along the route. Spain is stunning! We were riding around and would randomly stop to take photos of the architecture, parks, random art, its pretty much never ending.

Pro-Tip: You’ll need to obtain an international driver’s license BEFORE you arrive in Spain if you want to rent a scooter. They’re super simple to get and you can typically go to your local AAA office and get one in a matter of minutes. There’s no way for you to get one in Spain so make sure you get it before your trip!

Vespa, Barcelona, Spain

<3 Happy Travels <3

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