Go see explore Barcelona – I recently did. It’s a lively, vibrant city, rich in art and culture located on the Mediterranean. It is cosmopolitan and trendy, let’s not forget the capital of Catalonia, a municipality of Spain and I enjoy it there immensely.
It was over ten years since I was in Barcelona and I was looking forward to a revisit. My visit came just a few weeks after the Catalonians declared independence from Spain, so I did not know if I would be landing in the middle of riots or something worse. I am glad to say, there was no trouble at all when I did get there and the people of Barcelona were going about their day to day business as normal.
Due to the geographical position of Barcelona, the weather is just glorious and sunny, most of the year. I visited at the end of November and it was in the mid-20s! It was just fabulous weather!
We stayed in the Gothic quarter, which is the oldest part of the city, and in my opinion the best area to stay in.
It is walking distance from anywhere you want to go, and it is buzzing with a great atmosphere! Some of the buildings are ancient, but they mix in with the modern buildings beside them. The streets are narrow and medieval and have the most wonderful shops, restaurants and bars.
I love Spanish food and every meal out was wonderful and reasonably priced. Of course the Tapas were so good and tasty!
On Sunday mornings from around 11am there is a lovely Art Market around the corner from Barcelona Cathedral, on the Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol on side of Pi church in gothic area. It has been going for about 30 years and has local artists showing their work. I bought a really nice watercolour here.
Barcelona has the added attraction of lovely sandy beaches on its doorstep. The main one is Barceloneta Beach and it is only a short stroll from the city centre, approximately 20-30 minutes’ walk, depending of course, how quick or slow you stroll. The beach has bars and restaurants, so you won’t go thirsty or hungry if you spend a day down here. A city that has the best of all worlds, lovely food, art, culture and a few sandy beaches!
|This was the first building that caught my eye on arriving in Barcelona as I departed the train station. It was designed by Antoni Gaudi, the architect who had the most influence on Barcelona’s architecture. His architecture is unusual, the façade of Casa Batlo resembles skulls and bones. This was the home of Senor Batlo and his family who hired Gaudi to design it and Gaudi took his inspiration from nature. Casa Batlo’s location is centrally located on Passeig de Gracia. We also took a look at this building at night; it was lovely all lit up. There is an entrance fee to go into the building and audio guides can be collected from the reception.|
La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona. It’s a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 and won’t be completed until 2026, approximately 100 years after Gaudi’s death! Some of Gaudi’s architectural plans are being used in the construction but they are now more open to interpretation, since Gaudi himself is long dead.
This is probably the most famous street in Barcelona, a tree lined pedestrian street filled with locals, tourists, art, food, shops, restaurants and bars. I bought a lovely colourful oil painting of Las Ramblas on Las Ramblas by a local artist. That’s my thing, to buy a little piece of local art when I visit somewhere. When strolling down Las Ramblas, as in any large City, be aware of pickpockets.
Las Ramblas starts at Plaça de Catalunya, a large square considered to be the centre of Barcelona. I had a couple of my morning coffees sitting outside one of the street cafes on this square, people watching, a very relaxing pastime, I’d recommend it! There are lovely fountains that light up at night.
This is a magnificent gothic, Catholic, cathedral which was located right across from our hotel. Entrance is free at certain times of the day, mostly in the morning or if you are attending mass. I found this a really annoying thing about Spain on my many visits over the years, is that you are charged to go into a church! This at least has been my experience! Yet, when in Italy or Ireland you can walk into any church free of charge!
This is Barcelona’s famous food and drink market. It is located just off Las Ramblas and attracts Barcelona’s locals as well as tourists such as myself. It is colourful and here you are able to get a huge variety of fish, meat, spices, nuts, sweets, drinks, hot food, cheeses, the list goes on.
We visited on Saturday morning and it was buzzing. I was, of course, limited on what I could buy, as I couldn’t take food home with me, pity that, or maybe, it was a good thing!
Hubby and I spent the morning wandering about the market, forever eating and drinking anything that took our fancy! I ate so much food, I’d never need to eat again for at least a week! (of course that is dramatic, I ate dinner that night!)
I loved it down here! The weather was gorgeous, the setting was glorious and we ate outside in a lovely restaurant, the atmosphere was amazing, I could have stayed all day, gazing out at the marina.
The Yachts down here can only belong to the super rich! The walkway down around the marina is entered by crossing a lovely wooden bridge.
So, if you are looking for a place to visit – go, see and explore Barcelona, you will enjoy it immensely!