The first time in Barcelona I spent 1,5 month exploring a city without a map or a guide — just strolling around streets of old Gothic quarter or spacious avenues of The Eixample district. I fell in love with it the first moment I first found myself among its crazy architectural shapes, and this love grew into even more special bond, when Barcelona became a first holiday destination for me and my future husband at that time.
This June we decided to take a quick getaway to the city we both love so much for just a few days. It was as little of a touristic visit, as it could possibly be, as we missed all the attractions people usually go to in the Catalan capital: La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s interiors, its numerous museums and cathedrals. Instead, these days were filled with visits to local coffee shops, paseos along the quay, quick stops for glasses of refreshing sangría when it got too hot, and laid-back evenings in our small hotel room with cold rosé, manchego cheese and a pack of jamón forethoughtfully bought in Mercadona.
5 MUST-DO in Barcelona
1) Meet Gaudí. New Barcelona is filled with his genius, and this is what defines its architectural shape. Other modernists also lived and exercised their talents here, so
taking ‘Ruta del Modernisme’ can be a great idea (the route is marked with small red paving stones along the walking passages around the city)
2) Visit Tibidabo — the highest mountain in the city, offering a unique view over the city. Don’t miss out a small churros kiosk, set next to the entrance to the amusement park!
3) Get lost in narrow streets of Barri Gòtic and feel the rhythm of medieval Barcelona. La plaza de San Felipe Neri is my favourite place in the area, I could sit there for hours, watching people come and go, listening to the sound of violin and a delicate murmur of water in an old fountain.
4) Surrender to your sweet cravings! There’re so many pâtisseries and bakeries in town, but my special recommendations go to Escribà (located on La Rambla right next to Boqueria market) and Bubó (in El Born district).
5) Speaking of El Born, yes, that’s another must! Being nothing prestigious historically at all, this district has now become a centre of social life: numerous cafes, bars, galleries, and unique shops are all here. Strong lunch recommendation: Mercat Princesa.
For some reasons I don’t understand myself, I didn’t take much photos that time, but I did put together a short video
of this trip to Barcelona and Mallorca, and if you’ve missed it earlier, on blog you can find it here