A Guide to Barcelona, the Quiet Metropolis
By: Michela Ferrucci
If you have never been to Barcelona before, you’ll be surprised at how quiet a big metropolis can be while at the same time filled with tourists. Visiting this city for the first time, I was awestruck at how much it has to offer. Rain or shine, there are so many interesting things to do and see in Barcelona!
You can explore the city by bike, subway, or bus, but the best way is by foot since many cultural sites are within walking distance of each other. Walking through the charming streets and sights of Barcelona allows you to get a genuine feel of the city. In addition to beautiful views, Spain, like Italy, has wonderful traditional cuisine which one must try when visiting this beautiful country. Here are just some of the must-see sites in Barcelona that are well worth the trip.
One of the main streets in Barcelona, La Rambla is a long promenade lined with trees running on either side. Great restaurants and cute little stands selling regional products can all be found along this street. La Rambla connects Plaça de Catalunya to Barceloneta, which run along the coast of Barcelona.
Within the busy street of La Rambla lies La Boqueria, a large market open every day except Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Here, you can get a taste for all kinds of food from fruit and candy to meat, fish, and other delicacies. Here you can find plenty of restaurants where you can sit and watch people walking by while you enjoy a Spanish meal.
Barceloneta is on the seafront of the city. This place is full of shops and restaurants you’ll want to check out. If you’re not in the mood for shopping and eating, Barceloneta is perfect for just taking a stroll and enjoying one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia is one of Barcelona’s main churches to visit and features beautiful, Gothic Catalan architecture. The Cathedral lies in the center of the city and at the heart of the Gothic area.
The Gothic Area of Barcelona is the area near Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia. This area is filled with very quaint restaurants, cafés, vintage shops, and interesting concept stores.
The Picasso Museum, also in the Gothic area of the city, is a must-see for art lovers. The best way to get a glimpse at the famous Spanish painter’s work is to visit during weekdays or book your tickets online to avoid wasting time standing in line. With 4, 251 works of Picasso’s art inside, this is one stop in Barcelona you won’t want to miss.
The first thought you’d have when seeing the Sagrada Familia is “how big is this thing?” This basilica is the largest unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world, rich in Spanish history. An iconic symbol of Barcelona, this amazing monument was designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Next up on your itinerary should be Casa Batllo, a private house designed by Gaudi. Most of this building is now a museum, but the other part belongs to a very wealthy family. A visit to Casa Batllo is interactive, as a mobile tour device explains every corner of each room for no additional cost. The interior and exterior of this Gaudi masterpiece were all inspired by the theme of the sea, making for yet another interesting destination in Barcelona.
Finally, if you’re in the mood to shop for something cool and unique, Flamingo is an interesting shop in the city because here, you pay according to the weight of the clothes you have chosen. In other words, you pay by the kilo!
With amazing architecture, plenty of art, history, and delicious food, Barcelona is one place you don’t have to think twice about before booking a flight and reserving a hotel!