Spain is a beauty you can never miss especially in summer. We visited Barcelona in July. Hot weather, crowded streets, populated beach, and cold sangria. That sums up summer in Spain. Even though we went for a wedding, we managed to do the touristy things.
Duration of stay
Generally everywhere in Europe 3 nights 4 days are more than sufficient to explore the cities and visit the main tourist attractions. Barcelona is small city but it has way more tourist attractions than you would expect. We stayed for 4 nights and 4 days but still missed lot of tourist places because of the wedding.
Where to stay
When in Europe, Airbnb is the best option. They are well connected to the city centre, clean, and cheaper than hotels but will provide with almost similar facilities depending on which bnb you chose. We picked a bnb near the Gaudi building which was also close to a tube station. This just made going around the city easier. Avoid taking hop on hop off busses unless you are bad at navigation. It is really easy to grab a local map from a train station, take a day pass or week pass depending on your stay period and commute using tube. You will skip the crowd in busses and the traffic on the roads.
If food is the love of your life then this is the place. From local fruit and vegetable produce to sweet ice lollies made out of fresh fruits, dried fruits, to ice creams to bakery products to paellas to international cuisine; this street has it all. Also you could shop the local souvenirs and the gaudi inspired cutlery. You could also watch a flamingo show on the La rambla Theatre but only trick is you have to book the tickets in advance as they are mostly sold out. Also there is a mall at the end of La rambla where you can go shopping in air conditioning if you feel too hot on the streets.
Arc de Triomf
This is the part of the park and a walking path where a lot of people enjoy having a picnic, playing games, cycling or just walking. In the park has the famous fountain designed by Gaudi. We took a segway tour around the city as we had less time to see everything. So the tour guide said that the fountain characters are plated in gold. The park is also adjacent to the parliament which is generally busy with people working or protesting. The whole Catalan and Spanish government is a big thing.
Seriously this was a find. No really it is not just for kids but for adults as well. The tickets are chocolates and you can eat them. There are exhibits of characters or scenes made out of chocolate from movies. It is fascinating. Also they have a cafe outside the museum where the chocolate shake is to die for especially the hot weather.
Even if you are not a beach person, just go to the beach for the food and drinks. The best restaurants of the city offering traditional Spanish dishes and continental food are located next to the beach. In summers the beach is over-crowded so you could either visit in morning and evening. The casino is also located by the beach if you are a gambling person. There are a couple of clubs just next to the beach which are buzzing till early morning.
The Famous Sagrada de Familia
There has been enough said about this place. When we were going, honestly i did not have much expectations as the entry was expensive and it was talked about a lot. But when i got the first glimpse of the building it was serene. Literally it was under construction yet quiet. There were so much detail work on the exterior of the building. An art lover would go mad. You can spend as much time as you think is possible here. But if you are not an art person you would still enjoy the uniqueness of the architecture of Sagrada Familia. Just a tip buy the tickets online to make the process faster and also to get the time slot of your choice. Always plan your day ahead to make the most of your stay. Also don’t forget you free audio guide to know the attraction better.
Guell is a well known artist across the world and all the major attractions in Barcelona are built by him. Among these is park guell, which is on a height and you can see the city from top. Not just the location but the white and blue chip work is the beauty of this place. There are many instagrammable points in this park. But again do not forget to buy your tickets online as they are very particular about the entry timings according to the time slot you have bought. The queue is generally long so plan your journey accordingly. It does have a cafe and a gift shop inside which is reasonably priced so you don’t hungry and you can take some part of the artists work with you.
Enjoy the paella, sangria and tropical fruits when in Barcelona. Also if you are a sporty person do try water sports near the beach. Do visit the small narrow streets of the older parts of the city to know the culture and enjoy the real Spain.