Globetrotting to Barcelona is one of my best travel memories. Culture, history, tradition, and gelato are busting at every corner of this popular European city, nestled on the northeast shoulder of the country. With a stretch of Mediterranean coastline along one side, and majestic mountains on the other, a trip to Barcelona is attractive to a variety of travelers. They city has so much to offer: delicious grub, great music, old rustic cobble stone streets that are filled with beautiful people—the list goes on. Historically, impressive works of art and medieval architecture may have defined the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, but nowadays, the fashion and food scene is appealing to a new crop of travelers. Y’all know the drill, head inside for the low-down.
Park Guell, don’t leave Barcelona without hitting this up.
Typically when you think of a park, you visualize grass, benches and a playground, but at Park Guell in Barcelona, they take the park concept to the next level. The Mosaic-covered buildings, steps, and sculptures in Park Guell are worth checking out, plus the views of the city from this locale are impeccable! Guell is open all year round so save your excuses, anytime is the right time to go.
Barcelona’s architecture expresses the richest and fullest the city has to offer. From the infamous Dragon Stairway, La Sagrada Familia, Torre Agbar and Mercat de Santa Caterina, to stone column tunnels, gothic mansions, grand churches and dainty pavilions, make sure to set aside enough time to see it all.
La Sagrada Familia
Religious or not, this sight is not to be missed.The Basílica Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Catalonia, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudí’s most famous works in Barcelona. It’s a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882 (that’s not a typo) and isn’t expected to be completed any time soon. Real art takes time, in the case, an unspecified amount of time.
Barcelona’s residential communities wanted to see great changes, eventually, the people got what they wanted. In Gaudi, town homes were updated with decorative forms and techniques using Moorish design influences created by none other than famed spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí. Casa Batlló, one of Gaudí’s original masterpieces, sits in the center of this community and is an absolute must-see.
Get Your Flamenco Dance On
The Nae Nae ain’t got nothing on Flamenco dancing in Barcelona. It’s colorful, passionate, intense and drama filled—takes skill to execute and practice to perfect. In recent years, the city’s long tradition of Flamenco has been adopted by a new and younger generation, birthing a unique spin-off to the traditional form. Trying to learn some new moves, head to a local restaurant that is known to host Flamenco dancing, that’s the place to perfect your thrust and twirl.
Eat Paella, Lots Of It
Paella is a traditional spanish rice dish
Paella is to Barcelona what rice and peas is to Jamaica, the country’s quintessential rice dish. The servings are massive, they can feed your entire travel family. I’m sure you’re wondering where to go to get the best paella the city has to offer. Our picks: El Suquet de l’Almirall, 7 Portes and
Catch a Game at Camp Nou
Camp Nou, Soccer Stadium in Barcelona
Camp Nou is the city’s premiere soccer stadium. It’s been the home of Futbol Club Barcelona since 1957. With a seating capacity of close to 100,000, this is by far the largest sporting facility in Spain. During my visit to the country a few years back, I got the opportunity to go on a private tour of the stadium. Shortly after I visited, the men’s soccer team, FCB, won the 2010-2011 World cup. If you’re a sport’s aficionado, plan ahead and secure tickets to match while you’re in town.
Go shopping at La Area
After eating and sightseeing, you MUST go shopping. Fast-fashion retailers like Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear and Hoss Intropia all have roots in Spain. Not only are you likely to find styles that never make their way over to the USA, but apparel is definitely cheaper! In 2011, a former bull ring in Barcelona was transformed into a spectacular new shopping center, Las Arenas. From Versace and Giorgio Armani to Cartier and Calvin Klein, if you’re looking for high-end fashion, this swanky shopping complex is worth hitting up.