We spent 4 days and 4 nights in Barcelona – catching one full day on our way down to Morocco and another three days on our way back. Everyone told us that Barcelona is an awesome city – from the architecture, to the beach, to the food scene, all the way to the party vibe – and we totally agree.
The one big drawback for me — I desperately wanted a local to show us around the cool spots. I felt like we barely scratched the surface of what was quite obviously an awesome place to live and hang. Barcelona to me felt like New York – a city that draws tourists in droves, because there is so much to see and experience, but where the essence of the city can only be experienced if you either live there or at least have a trusted local source to point you in the right direction.
That said, we had an awesome time. Gaudi-designed buildings, in particular the La Sagrada Famillia Church are out-of-this-world fantastic (and fantastically expensive to tour too). The vision that this man had – particularly in the 1800s when busting out with out of the box design wasn’t really a thing, is striking. We took an audio tour of the La Pedrera building, which had all sorts of fascinating insights into his design process, the Barcelona high society of the time, and Gaudi’s life — I would recommend.
The best way I can describe how I felt inside the La Sagrada Famillia is – it’s like the an alien spaceship, brought down from some fantastic jesus-occupied planet.
The other glorious bit of Barcelona is the food. We had several amazing and delicious meals in the city, and many many had sandwiches. We would personally recommend Cal Pep, Mirilla, and tiny hole-in-the-wall La Cova Fumada that serves the best fried mashed potato balls with squirts of mayo and chili sauce (¡la bomba!) that I could ever imagine trying.
We didn’t do our best on the partying front (shame, really) but in the Barri Gotic area, the Manchester pub has the best deal in town, as far as price goes – $1 Estrellas and lots and lots of local 20-somethings hanging out (I don’t know that you can buy anything, and in particular beer, anywhere else in Barcelona for just $1). And while we are on the topic of recommendations, we can’t recommend enough Hostal Solyuk — a small hotel inside an apartment building in Barri Gotic. It was modern, spotless, and had a balcony where we could enjoy alfresco lunches and wine. And the staff are super nice!
The best thing about Barcelona though are the parks and the green spaces. We spent a morning in Gaudi designed Parc Guell, which despite the crowds was still awesome. Many places to hangout, with awesome views of the city.
We also spent a better part of one of the days in Montjuic, which is huge, very green, also comes with awesome views, but much much less touristy. Shame it has such a tragic history. For the most part we saw locals, and even then not too many. I think this was my favorite place in Barcelona.
A few more shots from awesome Barcelona — I can’t wait to go back, and would not mind living there for sometime (having to learn spanish and actually finding a job in Europe pending).