Once I get over the fact that I am visiting Barcelona, which sometimes takes me a while, I start to think about what I can do while I am there. I have been fortunate enough to visit the Catalan city a handful of times, each with a different purpose – allowing me to see a lot of the city from a few different perspectives. Now I am not going to say that I have ‘done it all’, but I hope my experience will go some way in helping you make the most out of yours.
This is normally a staple for the bucket list if you’re a first time traveller to Barcelona and for good reason. It is easy to get to and a quick ride on either line 2 or 5 of the city metro will get you to the Segrada Familia station. Once you exit the metro, you get your freebie fun almost immediately – views of the intricate detailing on the enormous spires are breathtaking and certainly worth getting the camera out for. Not satisfied with only seeing the outside? Then you’ll be pleased to know you can head inside the building and up the spires too! I would strongly recommend purchasing your tickets online prior to arriving as the queues can sometimes be very long. Views from the spires are beautiful, especially if you strike it lucky with the weather (which is kind of easy to do in Barcelona).
One of my biggest regrets when I visited Madrid was that I didn’t jump on a Segway straight of the bat and see as much of the city as possible on the first day. On my most recent visit to Barcelona I realised just how right I was! On the first full day after a hearty continental brekky, I had booked a 2 hour Segway tour around Barcelona. We met at the arc de triomf (not the one in France), where we were guided on how to use the machines safely. It took me a little while to get used to balancing without jerking back and forth, but after 5 minutes the movements became natural and I was able to confidently roll my way along the route. The 2 hour tour is a great option as it gives you enough time to enjoy the thrill of being on a Segway for the first time, but leaves a good amount of time for taking in the city sights and listening to what the guide has to say. We highly recommend engaging with your guide – these people love their city, if you show an interest it’s likely you’ll gleam all kinds of useful information about the place your visiting that might just come in handy later on during your trip.
If you’re a lover of football, then this is simply a must do. I have done the Nou Camp stadium tour twice during previous visits to Barcelona and whilst that experience is brilliant – it doesn’t quite match up to the hype of game day and watching the Catalan giants do their thing. I went to see the game against Sporting Gijon and whilst the atmosphere was not up to the standards I am used to with the English game, at points the football was on another level as I watched Barca thump home 6 goals! Seeing the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar playing at all is great, but together they become a dynamics trio that can muster up endless possibilities on a football pitch. If you can get there for a bigger game, then do – I’d love to hear if the atmosphere is any better for a derby or on a big champions league night!
See what that says? Amble not run, so soak in everything as you stroll down Las Ramblas; the performers, the sreetfood, the stalls – they are all part of it and all worth spending some time to visit. I love this place and try to visit every time I am in Barcelona. One of my favourite places along the strip is Mercado de La Boqueria, regardless of your wants and needs when it comes to food – you’ll find something to feast on in this place so make sure you take some euros to sort yourself out with a refreshing smoothie or maybe some super fresh seafood tapas. As you work your way down Las Ramblas you’ll no doubt be hassled to enter restaurants along the way. A quick tip from me – avoid eating or drinking along the main route; the costs are highly inflated and the quality tends to suffer too. Head off onto the side streets and hunt down the smaller style tapas bars that are hidden there – you’ll save yourself pounds in your wallet and put on the pounds in good food!
I couldn’t go a whole post without talking about eating and drinking now could I! The local beer in Barcelona is Estrella Damm, a delightful light smooth beer that quenches your first after a long day of city exploring. Estrella, which translates to star, is the oldest brand in Spain, so they must be doing something right. What better accompaniment than some tasty tapas to go along with it? Barcelona is full of outstanding tapas bars and you’ll never be more than a short walk from one. I love the patatas bravas you get in Barcelona, the spicy garlic sauce is thicker than I have found it to be in other areas of Spain. If you can afford too, then order as much of the menu as you can; go for variety, try everything and be ready to go have a hard earned siesta afterwards!
Have you got any other fun things to do in Barca that I missed? Comment below with your suggestions.