Sunshine, sangria, incredible architecture... what's not to love about the city of Barcelona?
I feel like this city has everything. It's rich in history, the food's amazing, the architecture is unbelievable, the beach is beautiful, and the people are very friendly.
Here are a few of our favourite experiences during our five day stay in sunny Barcelona.
The Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city with many medieval landmarks. Squares lead to alleys, that lead to more squares, that lead to more alleys. There are so many unique places to discover as you get lost in the oldest part of Barcelona.
In Barcelona, we managed to find an Airbnb in one of the most beautiful squares in the gothic quarter. We stayed in Plaça Reial, a beautiful square surrounded by yellow buildings. In the square you can find many palm trees, a beautiful fountain and many many restaurants and bars. We stayed on the top floor so we had a view of the entire place. We loved to watch the sunset from there over Mount Tibidabo (yes.. like the one from Friends).
Beyond our square, there are many other squares to discover that are just as cool. Each one of them has their own vibe and feel to it. They can sometimes be hard to find, but they will always be a great surprise when you come across one unexpectedly.
If you ever find yourself in Barcelona, make a point to get completely lost in the Gothic Quarter. Discovering incredible landmarks in this city on your own, is what gives it it's charm.
Much of Antoni Gaudí's work is located in Barcelona. Gaudí is a Spanish architect who lived from the 1850s to mid 1920s. If you're unfamiliar with his work, just google his name and take a look at the photos. His work is truly one-of-a-kind and unlike anything I've ever seen before. Barcelona is his city. His art is showcased here in many ways.
Most notably, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família. This basilica is outrageous. I mean it is really, really big guys. When complete it will be an astounding 170m high. The highest religious building in all of Europe.
The construction has taken over a century and they are not even finished building it yet. Nonetheless, this building is still remarkable unfinished. Gaudí himself is buried there.
Ok so, just a side note: taking pictures of the Sagrada is HARD. It's so big, so it's difficult to get it all in one shot and there are so many tourists there marvelling at this thing... But we really enjoyed our time exploring this incredible building.
Park Güell is another one of Gaudí's masterpieces. Park Güell was designed by Gaudí and constructed in the early 1900s. It has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site along with the Sagrada.
Here are a few photos from our adventure through this eccentric public park.
Here's a few more shots of the amazing architecture in Barcelona.
FOOD + DRINK
The food and drink in Barcelona were probably my favourite. Let's first talk about the sangria. You cant go to Spain without getting sangria with every meal right? Cause that's what I did.
The best sangria we had was when we were sitting by the beach in the gorgeous sun. This is one of my favourite memories of our trip to Europe. It was the beginning of our trip, the weather was everything we needed after months of Canadian winter, and that sangria was just so damn good. We were totally stress free.
Catalonia is the region of Spain that Barcelona is located in. And let me tell ya, they make some pretty great wine. We enjoyed it (and the price) a little too much! If you're going to this region, definitely try some Catalonia wine.
Ahhh the oh so famous Paella. If you don't know what paella is, it is a Spanish rice dish usually made with seafood, that is SO AMAZING. I usually don't like rice dishes too much, but the paella in Spain in something to die for.
Tapas has taken the world by storm, but did you know it originated in Spain? (Tapas are small savoury dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.)
We ended up going on a Tapas tour at night where we went to a few different "Tapas bars" with some new friends. This was a great way to enjoy some of the Barcelona night life as well as try some traditional Spanish tapas and drinks. We did this tour with Sandemans tour company and it was actually really great. I would definitely recommend it.
Barcelona is in my top 3 favourite cities in Europe. The history, the food, the architecture... I can't say it enough but this city really does have everything. If I could, I would go back and spend at least a week here. We had a truly amazing time.