Big bonny boulevards bend around Gaudí’s grand Güell and grandstanding Gothic genius. Museums, Monserrat, Modernisme and mosaics create a Catalonian cloud nine.
Now I’m no poet, but Barcelona just lends itself to alliteration.
It’s a city engrossed by the sea, settled along the hills, filled with history and bustling with modernity. To put it simply, Barcelona is almost perfect. Whether you’ve got a couple of days or a couple of weeks to explore this Catalonian capital city, there are more than a few things that you shouldn’t miss. Here are the 6 best things to do in Barcelona:
- Experience Gaudí: Two of the most famous works of Antoni Gaudí, Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia, are among the most impressive sights in Barcelona. Their grandeur alone demands a visit, but their appeal extends past their size alone; the works of Gaudí are not only innovative and quirky, but quintessentially Barcelona.
- La Boqueria at La Rambla: Though it is deemed the main tourist drag, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is a comprehensive–albeit a bit inauthentic–way to experience the cuisine of Barcelona. La Boqueria serves up a visual smorgasbord of fresh fish, gourmet tapas, dried fruits, cured meats, aged cheeses, and other Mediterranean favorites.
- Montserrat: The mountaintop monastery at Montserrat, just outside the city, is a fascinating way to spend a day. Save your breath by making your ascent by bus or cable car, and lose it again as you look out across the sprawling city of Barcelona. For the views alone, this day trip is well worth the trek.
- Tapas y Bebidas: As a food lover and wannabe Sangria connoisseur, tapas are probably my very favorite part of Spanish culture. Eating these bite sized appetizers–typically composed of a toasted piece of bread and some configuration of cured meats, fish, cheeses, and tomatoes– is probably one of the most delicious (eh… important) activities for any traveler in Spain. Check online ahead of time for special promotions like 1€ tapas on certain nights of the week!
- Visit a Museum: You didn’t think I was going to let you leave Barcelona without visiting an art museum, did you? Museu Picasso is the most popular museum in Barcelona and houses many of Picasso’s early works. If Picasso’s sketches are not your style, there are plenty of other museums for every interest like el Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona for “soccer” enthusiasts or el Museu de la Música for instrumentalists and music lovers.
- Hit the Beach: Perfect sand, perfect waters… no further explanation required. Go.