A cosmopolitan city that never sleeps, Barcelona is colourful, vibrant and avant-garde. With so many things to see in Barcelona, it's not difficult to see why so many tourists end up spending many days exploring Barcelona's sites. Whether you decide to stop and marvel at the main tourist attractions or venture past its beaten paths, Barcelona will sure have something you will like.
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Although an unfinished project, this is Gaudi's most impressive masterpiece. From the outside, this majestic building looks so big, it will literally take your breath away. You can walk around it and admire its perfect details from all angles. To me, the Sagrada Familia gates act like a magical door to a new world: a world of chromatic perfection. The way the light penetrates the colourful windows creates a visual concert and offer you what I would call spiritual balance.
Make your way up to the Passion Power and see Barcelona's rooftops. This is the perfect opportunity to admire Barcelona in all its splendour.
Buy your tickets in advance and select a time slot online. Make sure to select the Passion Tower if you want to see the best part of Barcelona from above. Don't forget to collect your audio guide on your way into Sagrada Familia, as you will be able to listen to vital information about the cathedral. Sagrada Familia should be part of your Barcelona itinerary, you will fall in love with it.
Park Güell was by far my favourite site in Barcelona. I loved walking through the park, all dotted with succulent plants, palm trees and beautiful flowers. If you want to capture Barcelona's most known façade, then you need to buy advance tickets to the Monumental Zone. I chose to visit the park at 7:30 pm since I wanted to capture a colourful sunset over the city. Besides, I figured that Park Güell will be less busy around that time. I suggest checking the sunset time in Barcelona and plan your visit accordingly, should you wish to capture a magnificent vanilla sky.
Arc De Triomf
Having seen plenty of interesting architecture around Barcelona, I didn't expect the Arc de Triomf to be any more impressive than others I've already seen in Europe. How wrong of me to presume this! It's almost that for a second I forgot I am in Barcelona, the city of quirky architecture. Well, the Arc de Triomf is no exception. Made of red brick and tastefully decorated, this symbolic memorial is located in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella. You can walk right under the Arc de Triomf, whilst the palms and green space around make this into a prime photographic spot.
This is perhaps Barcelona's most popular street. It's a 1.2 km long pedestrian mall dotted with trees, restaurants, hotels and shops. You can follow it towards the sea, or take some side streets towards El Raval, The Gothic Quarter or El Born. Being so popular, La Rambla gets really busy, especially during peak hours and tourist seasons.
Great nightlife, lovely tapas and lots of cute shopping boutiques make El Born one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Barcelona. Allow yourself to get lost in a maze of small, romantic streets which will lead you to either Picasso Museum or Chocolate Museum. This is a great place to stop for a drink. I found El Born it to be one of Barcelona's most photogenic corners.
Mercado De La Boqueria
If you like fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, this is the right place for you. Located in the heart of Barcelona just off La Rambla, Mercado de la Boqueria offered me the chance to buy a lot of food for very reasonable prices. Among many types of seafood and fish varieties, I found good snacks, nuts, fruit covered in chocolate and freshly squeezed juices.
A Gaudi masterpiece and a very popular tourist attraction, Casa Batlló will definitely impress you. Also known as the house of bones, this colourful site looks wonderful during the daytime, as well as during night when several lights underline the skull like structure of the building. My favorite thing about Casa Batlló was how the central part of the facade reminds me of Monet's Nymphéas: a beautiful lake with ripples and water lilies on the surface.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Casa Milà is yet another Gaudi work of art. Although now very loved and admired, Casa Milà has been subject to much controversy and criticism. It appeared in many satirical magazines and has been compared to an Easter Cake. Some business men even got angry with the owners as they thought Casa Milà will devalue the land around it due to its unusual façade.
Beautiful mansion, Güell Palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí". The building stands out for its innovative conception of space and light. It is located right in the heart of Barcelona and tickets can be purchased in advance.
Gothic Quarter Barcelona
The Gothic Quarter is a wonderful part of the old town. Here, you will find many buildings from medieval times, some dating as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Stroll around and admire beautiful landscapes and true gothic landmarks. Be vigilant here, as there are plenty of pickpocketers in the area.
El Raval used to be associated with nightlight, cabarets, crime and prostitution. In recent years however, El Raval has become more of a tourist attraction, featuring the El gat del Raval (The Raval cat). Although I felt relatively safe, I would urge tourist to visit the area during daylight.
Nothing screams awesome more than a sandy beach. This is a brilliant place to sip a cocktail and enjoy some lazy sunny days right by the Mediterranean Sea.
What was your favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Which of Gaudi's masterpieces did you love the most? Let me know in the comment section below.