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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Barcelona - top places to visit

Updated: Jan 6

ITINERARY - HOW I SPENT 3 DAYS IN BARCELONA, SPAIN


Barcelona is one of the iconic cities of Europe and ranks 6th in the top of the most visited European cities. Obviously, as a huge travel lover, I could not miss a visit to this place, even if it was a very short one, only three days. If I had more time, I would have added two more days to explore everything I wanted. I arrived here during the bank holidays on May 1st, and the city was much quieter than usual (according to official media sources), and the weather was perfect, neither very cold nor very hot.



HOW TO GET TO BARCELONA:


On Barcelona airports there are lots of international flights from the most European cities and even from other continents.

Once you arrive at Barcelona Airport, there are several ways to get to the city: train, bus or taxi. We chose the bus option, it seemed the most convenient, with the final destination Placa de Catalunya. The bus station is on the right as you leave the airport, and tickets are bought from the vending machines at the station or from the driver. For the return, Placa de Cataluna is also the starting point and you have to remember which bus you went with, A1 is for terminal 1 and A2 for terminal 2. Usually, terminal 2 is for international flights, and terminal 1 for domestic flights.

Bus tickets from the airport can also be purchased online.



TRANSPORT IN BARCELONA:

To get around the city, if we didn't walk, we used the subway, which is very easy to use and reaches most places in the city. A single trip costs 2.40 euros, but it is more profitable to buy a 48 or 72 hour pass if you plan on using it more.


The ticket for public transport can be bought simply, valid for 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours (details here), as well as with entry to over 45 tourist attractions in Barcelona, details here.


Types of tickets available for public transport in Barcelona
Types of tickets available for public transport in Barcelona

WHERE ARE TO STAY IN BARCELONA?


I've made a top of the accommodations with the best ratings on Booking and the closest distance to the center, from the cheapest to the most expensive:


- BCNGOTIC 13 - is an apartment type accommodation unit, with a kitchen and can accommodate up to 4 people;

- Izaila Plaza Catalunya - accommodation unit that has both double and twin rooms. It is located near Placa de la Catalunya and is soundproofed.

- Maldà Singular Hotel - modern furnished and decorated accommodation unit, with spacious rooms;

- Hotel Jazz - is a hotel-type accommodation unit, which has a swimming pool on the roof.

- Praktik Èssens - furnished and modernly decorated accommodation unit, which has a swimming pool.

- Hotel Granvia - accommodation unit that has both double or twin rooms, as well as apartments for families, which can accommodate up to 4 people.

- Room Mate Pau - accommodation unit with terrace and garden. The rooms are modernly furnished; WHERE TO EAT IN BARCELONA:

As for the food, the prices are a bit more affordable. The city is full of terraces where you can eat and I did not pay more than 30 euros for a meal for two people. The exceptions are the La Rambla and Barcelonetta areas, where the prices are a bit higher and you can even pay double for the same meal.


The best rated restaurants, with low-medium prices:


- Bien Gusto;

- La Parrillada;

- Alquimia Barcelona;

- Mirandoalmar;



TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN BARCELONA:

Guell Park is one of the most famous parks in Europe, being built according to Gaudi's sketches and is on the list of UNESCO monuments. I would say it's more than a park, it's an open-air museum.


To visit this place, I recommend booking 2-3 hours, it is quite vast, and if it is crowded (as it always is) you lose even more time because it is difficult to move forward, especially in some areas of the park . The ticket costs 10 euro / person and can be purchased both online and on site.


Park Guell, as well as the rest of Barcelona, ​​are animated by these parrots, called Monk Parakeets. I'm sure you can't miss them, they're as common as pigeons and they make a lot of noise.



Picasso's Museum was the first place we visited in Barcelona. We arrived in the city too early for check in, so not having much luggage, only the backpack, we chose to visit this place to fill up our time. There is the option to leave the luggage in the locker rooms of the museum. Tickets for visiting the museum cost 12 euros per person and can be purchased from here.

It is a place where you can admire some of the most representative paintings of Picasso, especially from the years when he formed his own style of painting, observing an evolution in the way he made his works of art.

Picasso's Museum - place to visit in Barcelona


Sagrada Familia is the most beautiful cathedral I have visited so far. Both the exterior and the interior are true works of art. The building has been under construction since 1882, according to the sketches of the famous architect Gaudi, and the deadline for the completion of the work is 2026. Tickets to visit the cathedral can only be purchased online, and the cheapest ticket is 26 euros, which includes only visits inside and to the museum. To climb the towers, the ticket price increases to 36 euros or 40 euros with guide included.


Barcelonetta Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Barcelona and is the ideal place to relax after a long day of exploring the city. Although it is not in the top of the beaches I have seen, I consider it wonderful that such a large city has its own beach area. Barcelonetta Beach is equipped with showers, toilets, changing rooms and wifi.

Barcelona, top places to visit - Barcelonetta Beach

Ciutadella Park, another place to relax in the city, the most interesting point being in the area of ​​artesian fountains. We chose to relax with a boat ride on the lake. The price is 6 euros for 30 minutes, and entry to the park is free. Also in the park you can visit a mini botanical garden, we caught it closed, unfortunately.

Barcelona, top places to visit - Ciutadella

Sagrat Cor Cathedral, located on Tibidabo Hill. We got there quite late and it was already closed, but we were able to enjoy the view of the city, which is beautiful. To get here, you have to change some means of public transport: metro to Placa de Catalunya, train S1 to Vallvidrera Inferior, funicular to Vallvidrera Superior and mini bus 111 to the cathedral. To return, the mini bus has the same stop as the one you got off at. For all this exists is the possibility to buy a single ticket from the train or subway station, which contains 10 trips.

Barcelona, top places to visit - Sagrat Cor

The Gothic Quarter; In the past, a Roman village was located in this place. Today, it is the historic centre of Barcelona, with narrow streets preserved from the Middle Ages. It is also a very touristy area, with many bars, restaurants and local shops. Every street is worth walking on, but if you are pressed for time, Carrer del Bisbe, Placa de Sant Felip Neri, Els Quatre Gats and Barcelona Cathedral should not be missed.

Barcelona, top places to visit - The Gothic Quarter

Mirador de Horta is a place a little bit outside of the city. You can easily reach it by metro until the stop Valldaura and then walk for about 20 minutes. I chose to visit this place for the swing at the top of the hill and for the view over the city. Unfortunately, we did not find exactly the swing we were looking for, we found another one with a not so spectacular view.

Barcelona, top places to visit - Mirador de Horta

Motjuic Fountains, which we discovered by mistake on our way to Pueblo Espaniol (which we did not visit in the end). It is a large park with lovely architectural details and countless fountains. There are fountains built in the form of a waterfall, on several levels, which offer a unique visual spectacle, especially after dark, when the water is illuminated in different colors.

Barcelona, top places to visit - Motjuic Fountains

Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi's works of art and one of the most impressive buildings. The plan was to visit it inside as well, but the price of € 40/person discouraged us. Meantime they dropped the price a little bit. Tickets can be purchased here.

Barcelona - top places to visit - Casa Batllo

Casa Mila, another work by Gaudi, part of UNESCO patrimony and absolutely gorgeous representation of art nouveau as well. Tickets are cheaper online and can be bought here.

Barcelona, Spain - travel

Palau de la musica


It is considered one of the jewels of the city. It is built in the Art Nouveau style according to the sketches of the architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner and is on the list of buildings registered in the UNESCO Heritage. Its construction lasted 3 years, from 1905 to 1908, and it is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The interior is as spectacular as the exterior. On my next visit to Barcelona, ​​I decided not to miss visiting this work of art. Tickets can be purchased here.


Barcelona - Palau de la Musica

How we organized all these tourist attractions in just 3 days: - Day 1: Palace of Catalan Music (seen from outside), Picasso Museum, Montjuic Fountains; - Day 2: The Gothic Quarter, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, seen from the outside, Park Guell, Mirador de Horta; - Day 3: Sagrada Familia, Ciutadella Park, Barcelonetta Beach, Christopher Columbus Statue, Piata Real, La Rambla, Sagrat Cor;

Other tourist attractions in Barcelona, ​​which you can visit: - Bunkers el Carmel; you can opt for an organized tour to find the most beautiful views of Barcelona, details and tickets here; - Vicens House, tickets here; - Pueblo Español; - San Pau Recinte Modernista; - Arch of Triumph; - Camp Nou stadium, tickets here; - Flamenco show, tickets here; - Day trip to Montserrat, tickets here; - Learn to prepare Paella, tickets here; I also filmed a vlog in English from Barcelona. If you are interested in watching some video footage, the vlog can be found on my YouTube channel.


As conclusions, Barcelona is a city worth visiting, Gaudi's architectural style being unique in the world and which left me speechless. Reserve 4-5 days and if possible a slightly bigger budget. Not because the city itself is expensive, but because visiting the tourist attractions is paid for everywhere, there are a lot to tick off, and at the end when we draw the line, it adds up to a rather large amount.



Read also about other cities in Spain, such as Malaga, Ronda, Nerja or about how we organized 8 days in Andalusia.


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