Barcelona is a popular tourist destination, so we at The Travel Guide section of Amor, headed to the Spanish city to check out why this place has always been a traveller’s favourite.
With Barcelona less than a three hour flight from London, no wonder why this city is inundated with British tourists coming to explore the intricate architecture, Spanish food and flamenco bars.
Things to remember: – You will find many shops and places closed on Sundays – The Spanish are late-risers – some of the shops won’t open until past 11am – Some restaurants don’t serve food between 2.30-6.30/7pm – Expect the beach still to be in full use after 10pm – swimming, volleyball etc.
– Expect to see children after dark
The Majestic Hotel & Spa – is located on Passeig de Gràcia, which is regarded as one of the most expensive streets in Barcelona. Passeig de Gràcia is home to the luxury fashion outlets and two of Gaudi’s most famous pieces: Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Having all of these attractions at close proximity, this five star hotel couldn’t be situated any better. The hotel and its staff are flawless, rooms are spacious and the roof-top swimming pool/bar offers its guests some of the best views of Barcelona.
For more information, availability and prices, check out their official site.
Places to visit
Sagrada Família – This cathedral, designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, is probably one of the most famous tourist attractions in Barcelona, the very impressive, and never-quite-finished Sagrada Familia. Over the summer period, Barcelona is very busy, so when planning your trip to Barcelona, I would suggest purchasing your tickets for entry to Sagrada Familia in advance. We waited until arriving in Barcelona to buy tickets and because our visit was short – all tickets were sold out on the days we were there. We did however, go outside and were blown away by how gigantic and how intricate the design is, this picture (and any other picture I have seen) really doesn’t do it justice!
Casa Batlló – Another one of architect Antoni Gaudi’s creations, the Casa Batllo building is a must-see for anyone into architectural creativity. With very few straight lines and the use of colourful mosaic for decoration, it is said to resemble a dinosaur in the ocean.
Casa Mila – Again another creation by Gaudi himself, this is a true work of art – from the statues on the roof-top, to the detailed staircase to the meticulous door knobs. You could spend a day there taking in all of the different rooms and creative architecture.
Las Ramblas & La Boqueria – The Las Ramblas is a maintourist attraction as it offers a busy pedestrian walkway, covered by trees, leading all the way to the port. Expect painters, live statues, actors, musicians, florists, cafes etc. The La Boqueria is a large market off Las Ramblas, which offers delicious food and seafood to buy/eat, fresh fruit, goods, etc.
Uber – I am not one for public transport even in my own city, so I didn’t jump on their metro systems at all. What I do know is, Uber works in Barcelona – which isn’t as popular and therefore not as readily available as it is in London, but it is still operational, and reasonably priced.
Barcelona : City Tour – The tour buses are a great form of transport for hearing the official history of the landmarks a city has to offer and no other form of transport beats them, when wanting to explore tourist attractions. All bus passes come with a set of headphones, language options for the commentary and unlimited usage throughout the day/weekend (depending on what pass you have purchased), allowing you to hop on and off when arriving at a stop that tickles your historic fancies. These tour buses are insightful, frequent and reasonably priced. Pop your headphones on and take a visit down history lane.
Pedicabs – Another form of transport that I really enjoyed was the use of the pedicabs which was convenient, fast and gave us a chance to see the city. It was also nice to hear the opinions of the riders about working and being in Barcelona.
Port Vell Aerial Tramway – Although I didn’t personally manage to go on this myself (due to lack of time), these cable cars come highly recommended, as they show the whole of the city from a bird’s eye view.
Flamenco Shows – I attended the ‘Tablao Flamenco Cordobes’ show which has received rave reviews online and highly recommended by the local people of Barcelona. I unfortunately must admit, this is not the best flamenco show I’ve seen, actually I was quite disappointed. In my opinion, I think the venue was bad as not everyone could see the feet of the dancers – which is the main attraction of this type of dance. However I still recommend going to a flamenco show when visiting Barcelona (not this one obviously!), as flamenco is the Spanish traditional dance, originating from Southern Spain but practised all over the country – such an amazing passionate dance – a beauty to watch (usually!)
Barcelona is enriched with fresh seafood and vegetable/fruit produce, making this Spanish city a real favourite of mine when it comes to food. Popular foods include: Paella (although this rice dish originally comes from Valencia), Seafood, and Churros (fried-dough pastry, which you dip in chocolate – yummy!) For those interested in our recommended places to eat in Barcelona, please visit our blogpost.
For those of you who decide to visit Barcelona and check out my recommendations, please let me know how you get on, also I’d love to hear about your favourite spots, as I know this won’t be the last time I explore this amazing city. Another trip to Barcelona pending!
Words : @TheRubyMaeMoore