I can talk about Barcelona for hours and still have more to add about the city. Barcelona is in my top 3 charts, along Istanbul and Dubai, and has so much to offer for every type of tourist. This was a couple city break and we visited the attractions without rushing, allowing many breaks and local treats.
The food is cheap and you can try food vendors without worrying about food quality and hygiene as most of them will prepare it in front of you with fresh ingredients. Eating at restaurants is below the average meal in British pubs so you have to try Catalan Paella, fish and sea food, with a jug of Sangria.
A three days travel card will give unlimited travel with every kind of transport in Barcelona and is a good investment, rather than buying single tickets.
The accommodation was booked at a cheap hotel close to Las Ramblas, famous pedestrian street full of shops, food vendors, restaurants, gift shops, coffee shops, museums and other atractions. To reach La Rambla from any other location, just take any public transport going to Placa de Catalunya. You have to visit La Boqueria Market, the most famous market in Barcelona, and eat jamon, freshly cooked sea food, sweets and fruits. Everything is sold cheaper in the afternoon, when the market is getting ready to close.
Barcelona Aquarium (Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, 0803) is Europe's most important recreational and educational Aquarium and the richest in the world for Mediterranean fish species. You will be amazed by the 80 meters long tunnel, 21 large aquariums, 11,000 animals and Europe's only Oceanarium. You will make a souvenir picture at the beginning of the tour with no obligation to buy.
Casa Batllo (Passeig de Gracia, 43, 08007) is one of Antoni Gaudi's masterpieces. I recommend you to admire it during the day for the details and at night for some mystical vibes.
Basílica de la Sagrada Família (Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013) is probably the most important landmark in Barcelona. Was designed by Antoni Gaudi, and the construction started in 1882, and the construction was interrupted many times. It is aimed to be completed by 2026, and the completion of the spires will make Sagrada Familia the tallest church in the world.
The Church has three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Pasion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South, currently under construction works. The Nativity Façade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence. The Passion façade was built according to the design that Gaudi created in 1917. The Glory façade, on which construction began in 2002, will be the largest and most monumental of the three and will represent one's ascension to God. It will also depict various scenes such as Hell and Purgatory.
Sagrada Familia is stunning both day and night. Booking the tickets online offers advantages such as e-ticket and skip the line. The landmark is reachable by public transport
The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach 45 metres while the side nave vaults reach 30. There are gaps in the floor of the apse, providing a view down into the crypt below. The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms.
Gaudí used hyperboloid structures in later designs of the Sagrada Família. Themes throughout the decoration include words from the liturgy and the three entrances symbolize the three virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. Each of them is also dedicated to a part of Christ's life. The Nativity Façade is dedicated to his birth; it also has a cypress tree which symbolizes the tree of life. The Glory façade is dedicated to his glory period. The Passion façade is symbolic of his suffering.
Various other landmarks and attractions are situated at walking distance from Las Ramblas, such as Barceloneta Beach and Parc de la Ciutadella. The park includes Barcelona Zoo, the Parliament of Catalunya and the large fountain designed by Josep Fontsere. Gaudi's Casa Mila is few bus stops away from the park. The Torre Glories is the skyscraper that marks the gateway to the new tech district of Barcelona. While walking on the streets of Barcelona, make sure that you try as many tapas as possible and strange flavours of ice-cream.
Barcelona also means FC Barcelona, mes que un club. Public transport will bring you a couple of minutes away from Nou Camp. Inside the stadium, it's the biggest fan shop I ever seen.
Park Guell (Carrer d'Olot, 5, 08024) is a public park system composed of gardens and architectural elements located on Carmell Hill. The park was built in 14 years, between 1900 and 1914, and is the reflection of Gaudí's artistic plenitude and his naturalist phase. Gaudí's multicolored mosaic salamander is situated at the main entrance. Take your time and walk slowly through the park, the landscape unique architectural elements: viaducts, grottoes, colonnaded hall, winding staircases, semi-closed conversation seats decorated in multicoloured ceramic fragments. The terrace offers views of the city and the sea. Use Green and Yellow bus lines to reach Park Guell.
Book your tickets online and you will avoid the any entry delays. You can choose the time slot for the beginning of your visit.
We loved every single thing about Barcelona and we returned later on, with our boy, for more visits at the above attractions and an extra day at the Zoo.