Truth be told, there’s no better place than home. Especially if your home is Barcelona. It’s music to my ears when people tell me how much they’ve enjoyed visiting the city where I was born. And no wonder, it has pretty much everything you could ask for: good weather, good food, good shopping and lots of culture.
If you happen to be out and about here (or you are planning to) there is a little trail I’d suggest you to do. I figure a couple of days would be great to do it all and have some time to spare discovering the city but that’s up to your timing, of course!
My favourite path includes a bit of shopping and lots of culture (or rather Gaudi, for this particular occasion) but if you’ve never been here it’s the perfect quick getaway to get to know Barcelona better.
Let’s start downtown, at Las Ramblas. To all Catalonians it’s a tourist trap, but you can’t miss it. Its infamous food market “El Mercat de la Boqueria” is an explosion of taste and colours. Foodie explorers should certainly stop here for lunch. My top suggestion? Head to the back of the market and indulge into some serious Spanish food at La Gardunya. It might not be the easiest restaurant to find but it is worth looking for it!
If you have time to get lost around the area, you’ve got two options: walk through Carrer Tallers and its little vintage and rock-n-rolla shops until you get to the contemporary museum MACBA or walk the other way towards the old city (that is the Gothic Quarter and Born), where Barcelona’s cathedral is. These are my all-time favourite neighbourhoods in the city, but will cover that another time.
Now we passed Las Ramblas is time to kick-off the proper shopping at Passeig De Gracia. The good thing about this pathway is not only than you can find both high-street and luxury shops but its long and wide streets and the beautiful architecture to admire. Two Gaudi buildings in the same passage! Little Tip? Get yourself a rest at Hotel Condes de Barcelona’s rooftop, where you can see Sagrada Familia from afar while having a cold and rewarding drink.
By the time you reach the top of Passeig De Gracia, you’ll be entering a new neighbourhood called very similar: Gracia. If you want to experience the true Barcelona, I highly recommend you walking around here and just taking as much as you can. It’s full of squares where you can have a drink and lots of different types of restaurants and independent stores. Now if what you want is more sightseeing then head towards Park Guell directly.
It is such a pity you now have to pay for entering a park. It’s losing its initial purpose, which was just to have a gorgeous place to hang out or have a picnic. Now you have to pay €8 if you want to get to the main square (where all Gaudi mosaics are). But oh well, at least you can wander around it.
To finish this trail, of course you need to visit Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s renown church. The church that never seems to be finished some might say! Wonder why? It’s because it is being constructed with the money you pay for entering it.
Aaaand off to the beach and a mojito we go.
Take care careless readers,