Barcelona, Spain

A few years ago, before I left my teaching job, two of our close friends and we planned an exciting adventure to Barcelona, Spain! It is a beautiful city with a robust past. This was a whirlwind of a trip, some days going on little over an hour of sleep (jet lag is the worst), but we had a blast. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona, from the architecture to the history to the delicious tapas. One highlight of ours was seeing the stunning work of Antoni Gaudi all throughout the city. A lot of sightseeing and eating was crammed into our five-day trip, but it was worth it. We hope to return one day and to visit other parts of Spain as well.

Where to stay: 

  • Anywhere in the heart of La Rambla. This is near the center of the city, and there are some great hotel and Airbnb options with easy access to public transportation.

Where to eat:

  • Tapeo – A delicious tapas restaurant that we liked so much, we went back twice!
  • Viana – Fun atmosphere with yummy food and cocktails.
  • El Xampanyet – A popular bar with great tapas.
  • Take a cooking class! We did an amazing cooking class on Thanksgiving day that began with grocery shopping around town and ended with a delicious paella feast.

What to do:

  • Sagrada Familia – This is a beautiful Roman Catholic basilica. Construction began in 1882 and is still ongoing. It is expected to be completed by the year 2026. We recommend getting a pass to go up one of the towers for a breathtaking view.
  • Casa Batllo – This is a must see house designed by Antoni Gaudi.
  • Casa Mila – This is a beautiful house, the last one designed by Gaudi.
  • Gracia – A less touristy neighborhood with shopping, good cake, and coffee. Here you can also visit Park Guell full of unique gardens and neat buildings.
  • Magic Fountain – Check out their weekly calendar, because there is often a free jazz and water show on Fridays.
  • Joan Miro Museum
  • Picasso Museum
  • Walk around the Gothic District

Tips: Buy a T10 card: It is 9.80€ and allows up to 2 people to travel 10 single times, on the trains, metro and trams.

Pickpocketing is extremely common in Barcelona. We actually saw this occur! One time we were on the train, and a man in front of me had cash in his pocket. We arrived at a stop and two girls got on making a lot of noise, pushing others around, and causing a lot of confusion. They grabbed the cash and ran off the train. It happened really fast and no one realized what was going on until the doors shut. Lesson learned: Always wear a cross shoulder bag and don’t keep anything in your pockets.

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