Unlike our trip to Amsterdam, the Barcelona visit was surprisingly great. I have to admit l was a bit biased about the city. The reason being, that we are Real Madrid football fans, and we loved our Madrid trip. Barcelona, on the other hand, l didn’t really know much about , save for their football team.
I did know about the Sagrada Familia, a church l was curious to see. Much to my delight, the city had not only this beautiful masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi, it had really interesting architecture throughout . We spent a total of 4 days wandering and soaking in the beautiful Catalan culture.
*Affiliate links contained in this post. Anything you buy via the link will not affect the price you pay and we get a small commission.*
Our hotel (Ayre Rosellon Hotel) was located a stone’s throw away from the Sagrada Familia. You can search for it or other hotels in Barcelona here. Our first day was spent within the walls of the Sagrada. I had purchased our tickets online thankfully, as this saved us hours of standing in a very very long line that wrapped around the building. We were directed to the other side, our tickets scanned on the phone, and bang.. we were in like Flint.
Words alone can not describe the beauty of the interior. It was beyond anything l could have imagined. The stained glass works, the altar, the stairs, the details that went into it all. We spent a few hours walking through the bottom floor, seeing how they put the wood pieces together. We learned what inspired him, – nature (honeycomb, tree of life, etc ). We watched the movie about his life, both in Spanish and English. I didn’t even mind waiting till most of the crowds had left (closing time) so we could have people free pictures because it was crowded!
It was great looking at old photos of him. They even had some old designs that he had made while at the University of Barcelona that were discovered after his death. He lived a humble life from what l could see. A single bed! when one would have imagined that a man in his position would have all the trappings of wealth. My first thought had been that this was a Walt Disney gone mad kind of tribute to God. I felt differently after seeing it. I am so glad we toured inside. It is well worth the €14.85 per entrance fee and l recommend it highly. He died an old man, after getting hit by a train and had a grand funeral. It is hopefully destined for completion by 2026, exactly 100 years after his death.It was fun to wander down Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya, as well as the Gothic Quarter. It was also fun to now recognize Gaudi’s other works as we went about the city. A change from my love for Impressionism.
I loved the wide streets and loved the Avenue Diagonal Barcelona, with all it’s fancy stores.
Related: El Born Barrio
We tried to visit the Picasso museum, but once again, the wait was just too long. It was hot and the line stretched way down that little narrow street. I left the husband in line while l went to see just how long the line was. It took me almost 5 minutes to get to the front. Oh..hell..to the NO! Granted, it was free admission at that time (Sunday after 3), but we tried again the next day, willing to pay, but it was still long. I have an aversion to long lines. I’m the person who used to pay $49 to get into Magic Mountain or $60 for Disneyland, then refused to stand in ridiculously long lines to ride for 20 seconds. I’ve become even fussier with age.. :o)
Of course we had to go by Camp Nou, the Barcelona football club Stadium. I was quite impressed by their official store, l must say. It was so beautiful, we were almost tempted to buy a jersey or 2! We happily wandered about with the fans and took pictures.
Best places to visit in Barcelona include:
- Sagrada Familia
- Camp Nou
- Plaza Catalunya
- El Born
- Gothic Quarter
- Barceloneta and check out the W hotel
- Park Güell for Gaudi’s work
- La Rambla
- Ciutadela Park
- MNAC Barcelona
Our food and favorite neighborhood pictures will have to be in a second post.
Have you been to Barcelona? Is it a place that you would like to visit or is it a must miss for you?