Last summer my friend Katrien and I, both in desperate need of inspiration and adventure, went on a city trip to Barcelona. Barcelona had been on my ‘places I definitely have to visit-list’ for a really long time so I was curious whether it would meet my expectations. Well, it for sure did! I’ve been to amazing cities, walked on beautiful beaches, visited historic sites and seen many churches, Barcelona has it all and on top of that also houses some of the most wonderful buildings I’ve ever seen, thanks to mister Antoni Gaudi.
What to do & see in Barcelona
Although there really is so much one can do and see in this fantastic city, I couldn’t stop myself from making a short list of some of the must do’s for whoever is about to visit to Barca and can use a bit of inspiration and advise.
Antoni Gaudi : Barcelona has Gaudi’s handwriting all over it. Some of the buildings and areas that he designed can only be seen from the outside, others can also be visited. We decided to visit Palau Güell, the Güell family home, of which you probably recognize the beautiful mosaic chimneys, Park Güell (in case you want to sit on the benches and see ‘El Drac’, the famous dragon, make sure to buy your tickets beforehand) and the Sagrada Familia (also make sure to buy tickets online). But there are many more options.
Mies van der Rohe Pavilion : originally designed and build in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exposition, the pavilion got disassembled shortly after the expo was over but got resurrected at its original spot in the 1980’s. If you’re interested in architecture and design, this building and of course the Barcelona chairs that were designed for the expo as well, won’t be a disappointment! To see and read more about the pavilion, have a look here.
CaixaForum : right across the street from the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion you’ll find the CaixaForum. This museum and cultural centre offers a wide range of events such as exhibitions of ancient, modern and contemporary artists, concerts, lectures and more. The museum is located in a former textile mill that was completed in 1911. After the factory closed its doors in 1918, the building was used as a warehouse and a police station and finally transformed into a museum in 2002. You can visit the CaixaForum website here.
Even though the current exhibition at the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporary de Barcelona) didn’t allure us to pay the museum a visit, the mural by Keith Harring at the left side of the building made it all up for us. MACBA website for more info.
Tiles : this might seem a bit odd, but walking through the city I found the different tiles that were covering the streets of the city very charming. Some of them even made it to my Barcelona moodboard.
Tapas : although I’m not that interested in food and being a vegetarian sometimes have to miss out on local dishes, in Barcelona I had the option of trying all kinds of different tapas. These typical Spanish appetizers can be found everywhere. There are so many options that there’s something for everybody. My advise would be to try as much tapas as you can.
Sagrada Familia : even though the Sagrada Familia was already mentioned in the Gaudi-chapter on this list, this church deserves it’s own attention. There are simply no words to describe this mind blowingly beautiful building. It is the most amazing church I have ever seen and the only thing I can say about it is to, when you go to Barcelona, not forget to pay it a visit. I promise you won’t be disappointed! For tickets and more info have a look at the Sagrada Familia website.
Of course my short list doesn’t cover it all and many other interesting sites and options could have been mentioned. But I hope this will give you an impression of my visit to this wonderful city and maybe even inspire you to go and discover Barcelona yourself!