Barcelona – What You Can’t Miss and What to Know Before You Go

Can’t Miss: Sights

Park Guell

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This historic park was already at the top of my list of places to visit while we were in Barcelona but oh my goodness did it blow me away! The park is set high on a hill which overlooks the city of Barcelona. However, not only does it allow for fantastic views of the city, the mosaic tiles and creative architecture throughout this park make it a breathtakingly unique experience. I could not stop taking pictures of every detail in this park which could be seen from every corner you turn. Of all of the tourist type places to see in Barcelona, Park Guell would be my #1 recommendation. The architecture of the park engulfs the feel of Barcelona. You will not be dissapointed!

Can’t Miss: Sights

La Sagrada Familia

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Wow, wow, wow! This church (like many of the other buildings in Barcelona) was the life project of the architect who began working on it. Gaudi worked on the church until his death in 1926 but at that time, the building was less than a quarter complete. While I was there, I learned that they will be working on a project for the next few years which will make this church the tallest building in Barcelona. It truly looks like something out of the Harry Potter films, I could not believe my eyes. We went back to this building twice, we could not get enough.

TIP: If you walk through the park which is across from the entrance, you can get better pictures than standing directly in front of it. Also, if you want to enter the church (I recommend you do, the views from the top are unreal) you can purchase tickets beforehand here: www.tiqets.com

 

Can’t Miss: Sights

Mercado de La Boqueria

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This market is open from 8a-8p everyday (except for Sunday) and it is filled with all of the fresh produce your stomach could ever want! Located a few blocks from the aquarium, la Boqueria has a very large selection of fruits, meats and cheeses. We arrived as they were closing and it was still super busy. Be prepared to be surrounded by people regardless of the time you go. This is where many of the locals go to shop and where the tourists go to snack. With that said, I still suggest you go and check it out even if it is just to walk around.

What to Know: Sights

Park Guell

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Before heading to the park, BUY TICKETS! Seriously, heed my warning and don’t be like us and climb all the way up the hill just to be told that you can’t enter. It does not matter if you are visiting the park during off season, in the rain, or late at night – if you do not purchase tickets before you arrive at the park, you will only be allowed entry to the free part of the park – where none of the magical architecture is located. This is because they only allow a certain amount of people into the park at one time. Which sounds like a bummer but honestly, it’s kind of great because that means less people crowding your photo locations, am I right?

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Don’t worry! Buying your tickets beforehand is super easy and can even be done right on your phone. We used this website: www.tiqets.com. It was convenient because I chose the time slot I wanted to visit the park and then paid with my paypal account. Then they sent the tickets to my email. I showed them the email upon entry and it worked perfectly 🙂

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Once you arrive at the park with your tickets, there are a few different entries to the paid part of the park. Just look for the white umbrellas and your time slot, you can line up there. All entries lead to the same place. Take your time once you’re inside. They will give you a map and once you are inside there is no time limit, stay as long as you want and TAKE ALL THE PICS.

What to Know: Transportation

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If you are from the U.S., transportation is a non-issue. But in some places outside of America, they haven’t quite figured out that not everyone enjoys taking the subway and walking 11 blocks to their hotel/AirbnB. 

Enter, the saving grace of Europe, the hop-on hop-off bus. I know it sounds super touristy, but hear me out. For 20 euros, that bus takes you all over the city, to every site you want to see and then some. In Barcelona, the bus has 2 lines. We chose to take the green line which took us to the port where the aquarium is, the outdoor market (see la Boqueria), Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, Park Guell and even the beaches. The red bus just so happened to have a stop right outside of our hotel, so we booked it for 2 days for a total of 30 euro each. So convenient! Oh, and the bus stops at every stop every 10 minutes. It runs 9a-8p during the summer and 9a-7p during the winter. On top of all of that, not only does it take you where you want to go, you also get to learn about the city and relax while doing so. It’s truly a win-win situation in my opinion.

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If you are heading out after 8pm, there are so many taxis available around Barcelona. They also have Uber (not many countries in Europe do), and depending where you are headed you can get a taxi/uber into town for around 10/15 euro. 

I also recommend you rent and ride bikes along the beach or in the Gothic Quarter if you are visiting during the summer months. Unfortunately, the “bicing” bicycles you will see in various locations around Barcelona are not for tourists. They are only for locals who pay an annual fee to ride the bikes. But there are so many places you can rent from, depending on where you are staying or where you want to ride.

What to Know: Location is Key

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If you are planning a trip to Barcelona, you are probably curious about where the best location is for your stay. We stayed about 3 miles out from the city center of Barcelona which made it too inconvenient to walk anywhere from our hotel. From experience on this trip, I think the best place to stay is the Gothic Quarter. The Gothic Quarter is full of souvenir and high-end shops, bars, cafes and amazing places to eat all the tapas your heart desires. It is also where the Cathedral of Barcelona is located (pictured above). If you stay in or near the Gothic Quarter, it is also within walking distance of many other sites, such as the Arc de Triomf (pictured below) and the port where the Boqueria is located. Overall, there is more to do and see within walking distance of the Gothic Quarter.

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Barcelona is an amazing city with so much to see and do at all hours of the day and night. This large city is mainly known for its architecture so I highly recommend you see all you can when you visit.

 

Disclaimer: This post is based on my own personal experiences in Barcelona. All of the pictures were taken and edited by me. I do not claim to be a professional photographer or writer by any means. I am simply someone who wishes to pass on my experiences to others. Like what you see? Have a question? Leave a comment below.

 

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