Here, our journey through Barcelona continues! If you’ve missed part 1, click here, otherwise carry on enjoying the trip 🙂
One of my top tips for a city break is to walk everywhere. If you have enough time and your feet can take it, walking gives you the perfect opportunity to discover hidden gems and in a city like Barcelona, there are plenty to be found.
Waking up on our first morning in Barcelona, we put on our Nikes (suitable footwear is a must) and headed out into the glorious sunshine. Breakfast wasn’t included in our hotel booking but we didn’t mind. Barcelona has a coffee shop on every corner and offer an array of freshly baked pastries and superb coffee. With our stomachs satisfied by a chocolate croissant and some caffeine to wake us up, we headed to one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks: the Sagrada Familia.
The Sagrada Familia is truly a stunning piece of architecture. It’s said to be the most famous Guadi building and has been in construction since 1892 and is not expected to be finished until 2030. The amount of detail that has gone into the church is incredible with many sculptures and intricate patterns on the side of the building. We did not get to go inside as the queues were massive and we had so much more to see. I strongly recommend that you book your tickets online way in advance if you’d like to go inside as it’s extremely popular.
Next, we headed to the picturesque Guadi gardens, Parc Güell. This is a great walk as it’s all up hill so gets those legs moving! Great for working off that chocolate croissant 😉 Featuring an array of Guadi sculptures, the gardens sit on top of a hill overlooking the city. There are some fantastic views of Barcelona from the very top making your photos extremely Instagram worthy! However, remember that if you would like to see the Guadi sculptures, you need to pay for a ticket as these are sectioned off. When we visited, you could only buy the tickets at certain times throughout the day and we didn’t want to waste our precious time hanging around. You can still enter the majority of the gardens for free though and can also access the viewpoint without needing a ticket. The gardens are filled with beautiful flowers, ancient structures and unique buildings so is definitely worth a visit.
It was lunchtime by the time we had finished touring the gardens so we began to descend back into the city to look for somewhere to grab a quick bite. We weren’t following the map as such, we were just letting our feet wonder. This really is my favourite part of touring a city, just letting your mind lead the way. If you think a street looks pretty or interesting, walk down it! You can discover some amazing hidden places. We came across this street, away from all the tourists, which was full of life. There was a Saturday market going on and the sunny street was filled with stalls selling an array of interesting food from meats to cakes, fish to pastries, and plenty of activities for kids to get involved in. There were a couple of bands just situated in the middle of the street, playing great music that just added to the amazing atmosphere. If we were relying on a tour bus, we never would have stumbled across it!
Time to tour another of Guadi’s great works in the afternoon: La Pedrera. You can instantly tell that this is a Guadi building from the outside. It stands out from the rest and we were keen to see what architecture lay inside. This is one of Guadi’s main residential buildings, being made up of stunning apartments. The building is inspired by elements of nature and is built up of two apartment blocks linked by inner courtyards. I loved all the beautiful colours on the walls inside the building, especially the splashes of purple in the courtyards. Make sure you go up to the roof terrace where there are incredible sculptures, chimney tops and stairways. All the ramps and steps make you feel like you’re on a big wave! You also get the chance to have a look inside one of the apartments which has been created to give you an impression of what a family home would look like in 20th century Barcelona.
After a Sangria stop (well you need to make sure you keep hydrated!) we found Casa Batllo, another beautiful Guadi creation. The outside of this building is simply stunning with its detailed floral design and unique balconies. I don’t know why but for some reason, I think the balconies look like the faces of sloths! Again, we went inside but I wasn’t as impressed with the interior of this one. To me, it could have been any house and I didn’t really feel like there was anything special about it. If you are being careful with your money, I would definitely recommend going inside La Pedrera but then giving this one a miss. Be sure though to still seek this one out to admire the artwork of the exterior.
For our second evening in Barcelona, we took a trip on the metro to the Font Magica de Montjuic (magic fountain). From Thursday to Sunday, this incredible fountain puts on a light show to music in the evening which is extremely popular with tourists. It gets extremely busy around the fountain but believe me, it’s worth it! The water spurts up to great heights and all the colours and music make it seem so amazing. This is definitely worth a visit and it’s something fun and different to do in the evening. I could have sat and watched the fountain all night, it really does suck you into a trance!
Make sure to come back next week for my third and final part of my Barcelona diary!