How do you imagine Barcelona? As a busy city, with some crazy art of Güell, sunshine, beach, sea, shopping, skateboarding, tourists, Catalan, party and more? Gonzalo and I went by train from Madrid to Barcelona. (It’s not the cheapest but the fastest way to travel more than 600 km to the east coast. Of course […]
How do you imagine Barcelona? As a busy city, with some crazy art of Güell, sunshine, beach, sea, shopping, skateboarding, tourists, Catalan, party and more?
Gonzalo and I went by train from Madrid to Barcelona. (It’s not the cheapest but the fastest way to travel more than 600 km to the east coast. Of course you could take a plane but then you have to reckon that you pay more than 100€ one way.) After three hours and a bit we arrived in Barcelona and it seemed like another country. Some of them don’t speak Spanish! Catalan is their language, did you know that? But no worries, the people are not as strange as the medias present them – they know Spanish and you even can talk in English without any problems!
We both like to save money on everything we can that’s why we didn’t sleep in a hotel, apartment, hostel or whatever. Fortunately Gonzalo has some friends in Barcelona that hosted us. (In this position, thank you very much for hosting Joan!)
The same day my sister arrived in Spain from Germany for holidays. So we picked her up and welcomed her!
How we love to travel: As I mentioned before we like to safe money on everything and everyone. That means we love to walk! Wandering around in Barcelona, getting lost, asking locals for directions, taking pictures, sitting around and watching people, that’s a short explanation how we spent our time in Barcelona.
One big advantage Barcelona has, is the 4km beach. It’s a bit crowed because there are plenty of people but as soon you’re in the water you don’t feel it anymore. We spent couple of days on the beach, enjoyed the sun and the refreshing water. Unfortunately there are no trees nor palms on the beach, so if you like to burn your right here otherwise we recommend you to buy a sunshade for few euros and you’re gonna be happy to sleep in the shadow without worrying about the strong sun. And of course don’t forget the sun cream 😛
Besides hanging around on the beach we visited the famous MACBA. If you are a fan of skateboarding, cool boys and girls doing amazing tricks and you like the skater look you have to go to the Museum of Contemporary Art. In front of the museum not just skaters even professional ones show up their best ways to skate and they’re gonna make you stop and watch them. The first time we went there a crazy boy made an amazing stunt. He jumped the Macba Gap landing on the other side of the street. He tried it couple of times and everyone cheered on him in MACBA. He got some injuries but at the end he made it and whole MACBA turned into a cheering crowd. Gonzalo likes to skate there because everyday there are some new people and sometimes you meet the best skaters in the world. Not just MACBA is a cool skating place generally you can skate whole Barcelona because as Gonzalo says ‘Barcelona was built from and for skaters’. There’s another insider tip: Don’t forget to wander around in those beautiful small alleys next to MACBA. Everywhere you can find super cosy bars in unique alleys just walk with open eyes and you find that beauty of Barcelona.
Have you ever watched Barcelona from the air? No? So use Google Maps Earth! Amazing how they built a city full of little squares!
One evening our host showed us a gigantic view of Barcelona at night on the Montjuic Hill where that castle out of stone is, called Poble Espanyol de Barcelona. In the past the castle was a military prison at the time of Franco. Nowadays it’s a famous historic military museum. If you don’t have a car there are buses running up or you can use the cable railway which starts at ‘Estació Funicular’ in the street ‘Avenida Miramar’. Whether at daylight or at night the view of the harbour, of the ocean and of the city worth it definitely.
When you’re in Barcelona you shouldn’t miss ‘La Rambla’ a popular 1,3km street that goes from the coast and the ‘Mirador de Colom’ to ‘Plaça de Catalunya’. The street separates the city into Barri Gòtic and Barri Raval. In the street you can find a lot of people walking up and down, musicians, kiosks, living statues and more. I remember one evening when my sister and I hung out at las ramblas and some cute workers from a ship with uniform walked around. We had fun watching them! There’s always something to do. Go there and have fun 🙂
At Plaça de Catalunya you can find an amazing fountain with plenty of doves walking and flying around. If you want to feed them just buy some grains that some sellers offer you and the doves crowd around you. They even get up on your arms and eat out of your hands. In general it’s a good place as a meeting point or just if you want to sit down and enjoy life.
The most attractive church in the world is in Barcelona or better the longest building site ever is ‘La Sagrada Familia’. The architecture is Antoni Gaudi who will celebrate is 100th anniversary of his death in 2026. Yeah, it’s true the architecture of the still building church hasn’t been alive anymore since almost 90 years now. There are voices they say that they want to finish the constructions in 2026 to celebrate Gaudi’s death. But who knows if that’s realistic. Fact is they started to build La Sagrada Familia in 1918. Here a timelapse of the construction ‘La Sagrada Familia’: https://youtu.be/RcDmloG3tXU
Anyway if you want to see the church from inside you have to wait in the unbelievable long queues at anytime in the year. Gonzalo, my sister and I we just went there to visit that spectacle from outside. And the church is huge! You almost can’t take a picture of yourself and the church in the background.
Although it’s an experience to see all the people waiting in that fucking long queue in the sun. We decided not to wait and for that we used that time for other amazing sightseeing-must-do in Barcelona like the ‘Park Güell’ of Gaudi.
Güell was inspired of the English garden that’s why he commissioned Gaudi, the architect, to build ‘Park Güell’. Gaudi started the construction in 1900 and in 1925 he moved into one of the three houses. He lived there exactly one year before he died in 1926. Gaudi was concerned to build the garden economic friendly and in a cheap way, for example for the mosaic art he used trash of the ceramic factory. In general he built three houses. One where the Güell Family lived in and today you find a school in that house. The other one was the house of a friend architect, which is still inhabited nowadays. The house of Gaudi is used as the museum of his artwork. I remember how we arrived at that small hill and a crowded mass of tourists welcomed us at the entrance. It’s such a famous place but at the same time it worth it a lot! That architecture and all the small details, really art! Since 1984 Park Güell belongs to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. An insider tip is to go there almost at sunset time because then the light is perfect to take pictures, the tourists get less and you’re gonna have an amazing view on the ocean when the sky turns red! For entering you should have some time over to wait. Don’t be in a rush when you go there. Take your time. If you don’t mind to plan your trip to the park buy the ticket online and you don’t have to wait in the queue. From May to September they open from 8am-9:30pm. There’s an option to go there without paying. My sister and me we went to that park after opening times and we walked through all the park without paying a cent. It was actually not planned to be there. When we were there we didn’t know it was the Park Güell, we recognized some days later! You just have to accept the darkness and because of that you can not see all those beautiful little things Gaudi made for you.
In Barcelona there are many things to do but what we really enjoyed was the night when we went to that ‘Magic Fountain Show’! That’s something you have to see and it worth it definitely! Can you imagine many fountains where the water is shining in different colours with impressive music? It’s like a theatre but without artists in front, those artists should sit anywhere regulating everything. I mean that show is another really tourist thing so you can expect millions of people sitting, standing, walking, dancing there. You better try to find you own perfect spot where you can enjoy that show without any crush. We walked up along the fountains, stopping now and again for taking pictures or recording videos until we found that amazing view through all the fountains up the little hill. The Magic Fountain Show was built in 1929 as the main tourist attraction in Barcelona and until today everybody loves it as you can see at the visitor every day. In Winter the show is every Friday and Saturday from 7pm until 9pm and in summer you can go there from Thursday-Sunday and hang around there from 9pm-11:30pm.
Before we went to the Magic Fountain Show we visited an old bullring that is nowadays a shopping mall. ‘Arenas de Barcelona’ is from outside and from inside a fashion building. The reason why we went there wasn’t to go shopping! We had our own tourist guide Mark with us who showed us the last floor where you can go to a balcony that goes in circle. So we went up there, walked around and enjoyed the unique and beautiful view of some parts of Barcelona. One view was of the Magic Fountain Show. You can perfectly combine those two attractions because they’re so close to each other.
Barcelona is a really diversity city with lot’s of things to do. We haven’t seen everything and that’s why we would love to go back there one day again. Another cool thing is, if it should happen that it rains a bit in Barcelona no worries instead of freezing water bottles the guys on the street sell you umbrellas! Equipment for every situation 🙂