We often read United Hemisphere magazine’s three perfect days series and thought we would do our own version for our visit to Barcelona. But to be honest, our definition of two perfect days in Barcelona requires a third day for recovery. It’s a recovery from a multitude of things, the great food, the wine, the partying and especially the walking.
What to see:
Barcelona has a great deal of history and while two days of touring would only scratch the surface, we recommend starting with the four sights below.
Gaudí Casa Batlló
Located in the heart of Passeig de Gràcia, which is one of Barcelona’s most famous streets for shopping, you won’t want to miss a visit to the Casa Batlló. As you pass by, you’ll discover the façade decorated in broken ceramic tiles and mosaic pieces. Discover hidden treasures as you navigate the interior and see light peering through the Stained-glass windows of the noble floor, skylights and tiles with shades of blue. Make sure to see the famous dragon back design of the roof and consider an early arrival for the best photos.
La Sagrada Familia
Gaudi worked for 43 years on the temple that is known for its towering spires. While it is still considered a “work in progress,” the unfinished La Sagrada Familia is an ever-changing work of artistic architectural greatness. Before his death, Gaudi left all other work to concentrate exclusively on this sole project and left a unique Art Noveau styles that captivates over 3 million visitors per year.
One of Guadis masterpieces and a UNESCO world heritage site. This park was designed with nature serving as a source of inspiration. Gaudi’s famous mosaics are visible throughout and hidden walkways lead to the perfect place for a relaxing nature walk. As you walk to the summit of the park, you’ll have a panoramic view of the city. For a small fee, you can also visit the Gaudi house, where the artist sat and created so many works of art.
This area is as much “what to see” as “what to do.” Stroll down La Rambla and see the street artists and costume performers. Visit the market called “La Boqeuira” and enjoy the delicious food and beautiful colors of the area. Then head to the waterfront for a relaxing walk by the port.
How to get around:
Hop on Hop off Bus
In Barcelona, there are two major hop on/hop off touring companies and we found that Bus turistica had more buses than the other tour line and we felt that they were the superior bus company. When you go, please note that an online ticket purchase is about 10% cheaper but you might have to go specific stops to redeem the online purchase.
When going to dinner, our concierge provided index cards with the names of the restaurants in Spanish and the cab drivers navigated with speedy rides that almost always cost less than 10 euros.
Tim and I asked each other how in the world we managed to get 20,000 steps on our fitbit, while spending so much time on Bus Turistica. We started to reflect on how we did a great deal of walking in this expansive city. When you arrive in the parks, and some of the sites that are further out from downtown, make sure to bring your walking shoes.
Next up, Tim will give you a recap of our quick stop in Paris.
L & T