If you have one day to explore Barcelona on foot how would you exactly do it? This walk of mine might help you figure out.
I am going to walk you through the medieval town of Barcelona, Make you admire architectural treasures and modern Tapas bars – the soul of the city.The city is amazingly modern but exquisitely ancient.As the sunsets, we walk towards the beach through the most famous streets of Barcelona.
Preparing for the long day :), We stuffed ourselves with sumptuous breakfast and decided to walk and explore the city, Not only to burn all the extra calories we had packed ourselves with during the trip but to get the real feel of the city.
We headed straight to the most famous building Sagrada Familia.Where we started our journey for the day. Antoni Gaudis Massive creation- Now who wouldn’t visit this place after coming to Barcelona?
Well,I wondered why there was construction going on- Maybe restoration work? But, No. The building has been under construction since 1886 and it’s still continuing, interrupted from hindrances in the past. The UNESCO World Heritage site has long history about its construction and design.
As of now it’s a large Roman Catholics church with history of art never seen before, that interprets a very modernized balanced Gothic Architecture.I researched into it myself, out of curiosity leading to the civil world and if I write about it, I will have to altogether write another post!
- Please book your tickets online prior to your visit- If you don’t want to be stuck in a long queue waiting forever.Yes, don’t do the mistake I did (The church had prayers that day so no way I could actually enter , even if I stood in the queue—I want to go back so bad!!!)
- The nearest station is “Sagrada familia” and two metro lines go directly- L2 & L5.
- It is open all the days. In winter from 9 am to 6 pm and in summer 9 am to 8pm(except when there is a special mass, Christmas and New Year)
So we dropped the plan of entering as we had only one day to explore and thought of making most of it,than regretting and getting stuck up.We kept walking straight as we passed lot of little cafes,tapas bars,little chapels,civil building and realized -We were a little off track,So we boosted our energy at a nearby patisserie and continued the right way.
We reached Passeig de Gràcia, it had grand ancient looking buildings and huge streets with expensive Tapas bars spread about.This street not only has businesses and shopping but also some of the most famous architectural pieces -one of them being Casa-batllo another Antoni Gaudi marvellous creation.It looked like a modern castle of a princess with a dragon on top.It was so different from anything I have seen so far even in Modern age. The Pictures would speak for itself!! The others I saw was Casa Amatller(left of Casa batllo) and Casa Mila(La Pedrera).There are many more notable building on the way if you enjoy architecture you will catch a glimpse of them as well.
- Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera) is open to tourist.If your sure of visiting these places you can buy the tickets online from their website.
- Casa Batllo is expensive but if your keen on seeing the beauty live,then it’s worth the visit.Otherwise just take a virtual tour on the screen outside.
- If your not sure,then there is internet facility outside Casa Batllo to buy tickets online.
- Or Join the line
The smell of seafood and olives all around took craving to a new level called hunger! Yes, it’s that time of the day when I have another excuse to indulge in food, Lunch time…. :)!!! We went to a tapas bar called Tapa-Tapa, it is one of the most well known around- When we enquired (Daigonally opp Casa Battlo). Though We would never go back there for the bad service and rude waiters, the ttapas was fine. But if you want to have something other than tapas don’t visit the place(I hated the paella there).
- Not all tapas bars have traditional Spanish food.
- There are lots and lots of them you need to find out which suits you the best. Expensive to cheap but even in that you have a wide variety make sure you research before going.
- Tapas Bars don’t serve good Paellas (From my experience). So if you want to have traditional Spanish food, its not the place to be.
- Lunch time goes on till late in Spain (around 3pm to 4pm)
Next was Rambla de Catalunya, Now We were heading towards the fashionable side- with international brands on either side, of the straight wide road with long trees. The street looked more modern with branded shops in ancient designed building. Zara,channel …etc (see the huge store of Spain born-Zara behind the Fountain). So if you want to indulge in some expensive branded shopping you can stop by here.
We were moving towards Plaça de Catalunya. It’s like a huge square in the centre of Barcelona, Where the 3 important streets meet –Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and La Rambla.The square is designed with fountains and benches. You can sit relax have an ice cream and feed the pegions. There are so many pigeons all the time that they sell pigeon food there !! 😛
We exited Placa catalunya, the sun was about to set and We were heading towards the most celebrated and popular streets of Barcelona, at last La Rambla. The street has shops and cafes on either side plus a Pavement in-between where you have tapas bars, souvenir shops and kiosks. It usually very crowded by tourists, especially in the peak season.The Menus are displayed outside most café and they are available in English as well. Both tourist and locals flock together here.
We kept exploring the street until we came across a very interesting place called the “Jamon experience”.Spanish Ham tour just like wine tours in France. It was like museum of its own so many types of jamon cured, dried and hanging. Each of different variety. You can pick up an audio-guide and taste variety of Hams. Jamons are exclusive products of Spanish Gastronomy. They are treated as delicacies in Spain. Offering a good Jamon is like a trend in the meal.
They are made naturally, dried from 10 to 15 days in cold temperature salted and then kept for curing which can range from 12 to 48 months. They are hung from the cellars and once they are ready, they are sliced into thin layers for famished jamon souls 😛
So after you finish your tour, there is café offering you different types of Jamon dishes and drinks.
As we headed towards the beach it started raining heavily.So we took a chance to shelter ourselves in a souvenir shop and buy some souvenirs, found some interesting stuff there :).
The rain dint stop until it was completely dark,So we decided to pack up for the day taking the last bite of our favorite Spanish delicacies on our last night in Spain. Some Wine,Tapas and Paella and it was a perfect pack up :).
- We missed the beach due to the rain. But you can walk straight upto the beach side and end your day.
- Do Not miss the night life of Barcelona.The action usually starts around La Ramblas and extends towards the Beach side towards Port Vell.
- Most places are open till the early morning /very late on Saturday’s and most places are closed on Mondays.
- The metro runs all night on Saturday and Friday till 2 AM.
- If your only going to travel by metro then opt for the metro cards for one,two or three days available at a reasonable prices.
- There is no metro to/from the airport, Only Buses/Taxis.
- Other places worth visiting (and not covered here) are Camp Nou, Park guell and Montjuïc
- The distance covered here is about 5 kms – But if you walk like I did – visiting places, grabbing food, shopping and chilling (sometimes getting lost),It will take you all day.
This was one days walk through the city of Barcelona. My Camp Nou experience and Spanish gastronomy doesn’t count here, it will be up very soooon ! 🙂
I am waiting to catch my train here, go catch yours before the summer ends. À bientôt! ❤ !