Barcelona! One of my favourite European cities. Six years ago, I visited Barcelona for the first time and I went crazy. Every corner I turned, there was a Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear. I couldn’t stop shopping (FYI: There is a different price tag for the clothes sold in Spain, Portugal and Greece – it is about 30% cheaper than the other European cities). The same thing happened this trip but fortunately I managed to exercise some self control. Other than shopping, Barcelona has a couple of attractions that are worth visiting.
The must-see attractions in Barcelona are:
|Sagrada Familia||The beautiful but still under construction Basilica by Antoni Gaudi. Better to pre-book your tickets online to save time on queuing. There are a few different types of tickets but the basic ticket does not include the tower visit so if you would like to experience panoramic views, you have to purchase the top views tickets. Click here to book.|
|Sant Pau Recinte Modernista Barcelona||This UNESCO world heritage site was the home of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. It was the design of the famous Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.|
|Park Guell||Park Guell is one of the major works of Gaudi in Barcelona. Be prepared to walk quite a distance from the metro to the attraction itself. To save time, it is better to purchase the tickets online. Click here to book.|
|Palau De La Musica||Another UNESCO world heritage site. This beautiful concert hall is a designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. As this is still a working concert tour, you’ll have to join a guided tour to visit the place. Click here for more.|
|Barcelona Cathedral||Located in the heart of the city, this cathedral is hard to miss. There is an entrance fee to visit the cathedral but it is free during certain hours. Click here to find out about the visiting hours.|
There are a few other attractions such as Cassa Mila, Casa Batllo, Mercat De La Boqueria that you will see as you walk around the city. If you are into museums, you can take a metro to Palau National where you’ll get breathtaking views of the city.
The must-try in Spain is Paella and Tapas which you will see it everywhere. Most of the restaurants are open from 1pm-330pm for lunch and 8pm-11pm for dinner. I really enjoyed fideau – which is like paella but made out of noodles. Below is the list of our favourite restaurants in Barcelona. Remember to book in advance for some!
|Restaurant||Address||What to order||Ave price/pax|
|Can Sole||Sant Carles 4, Barcelona||We had the black noodles (fideau) with cuttlefish and paella. It was delicious. The only thing is that they don’t do 1 serve so each dish serves min 2 person. Reservations needed. Click here to book.||30 euros|
|Ciudad Condal||Rambla De Catalunya 18, 08007 Barcelona||The tapas here is so good, especially the eggs with fries. Bookings are a must!||20 euros|
|Velodromo||Carrer de Muntaner, 213, 08036 Barcelona||Good tapas. A little far away from the city centre.||20 euros|
|El Quim De La Boqueria||Mercado de La Boqueria, La Rambla, 91, 08002 Barcelona, Spain||This is like a little fine dining restaurant located in the market. The seats are limited so be prepared to wait. The mussels were delicious!||20 euros|
|Xiringuito Escriba||Av. del Litoral, 62, 08005 Barcelona, Spain||This place is very out of the way unless you are heading to the beach. I didn’t like the paella there – too salty. However, the monkfish and deep-fried baby squid was delicious! Bookings are a must. Click here to reserve.||25 euros|
|Pastisseria Takashi Ochiai||Carrer del Comte d’Urgell, 110, 08011 Barcelona, Spain||The croissants, pastries and cakes here are a must try! Good place for breakfast.||5 euros|
|Las fritas||Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 12, 08003 Barcelona, Spain||The snack ever in Barcelona. Who can ever resist freshly cut chips dipped in hot sauce. Yums!||5 euros|
If you are a shopaholic like me, there is a factory outlet about 45min away from the city called La Roca Village. This factory outlet is quite big – bigger than the one in Bicester Village and they have pretty good stuff. There are bus services provided to get there but we rented a car. Click here to for more information on La Roca Village.
Tips for travelling in Barcelona
- Always be careful of pickpockets especially in tourist attractions. These pickpockets work in groups so keep a lookout of your belongings
- It is easy to travel around Barcelona by metro. Taxis are not expensive too so might be worthwhile if there is four people
- Small shops do close during the Siesta but major shops remain open
- I spent 4D3N in Barcelona which was more than enough time. 3D2N would be sufficient to cover most of the places of interest
- Book attraction tickets in advance – it saves plenty of time