I know I already told you Barcelona and I made up, but I feel like I need to say a bit more because I like that city a lot. I really do. In fact, Barcelona is one of the cities that originally got me hooked on Europe some twelve odd years ago. It was a Mediterranean road trip with the fam and a place I was finally able to put all those years of high school Spanish to use. Obviously that didn’t work out considering most people speak Catalan there, but I still grew quite fond of the place and all these years later I still like it for a lot of the same reasons.
1) The food
The first thing I ever want to do once I get to Barcelona is grab a pitcher of sangria and feast on some bomb paella. It makes me feel as if I’ve arrived.
Another new favorite thing to do while in Barcelona is eat tapas. I know it’s not the best place in the country for them but I found this awesome spot the last time I was there called Bilbao Berria. It has the cutest little plates you ever did see at a reasonable price and they are tasty. If you are in Barcelona, please eat there.
2) Las Ramblas
I know, I know – Las Ramblas is a total tourist trap, snake pit, whatever you want to call it. BUT, if you are a fan of people watching like I am, then this is the spot. You can witness all kinds of human spectacles here that range from cute to disturbing.
In and around Las Ramblas there are also tons of good Barcelona apartments, hotels, and hostels which is why I couldn’t avoid it even if I wanted to. It’s usually where I end up staying (except this last time) so in that regard the moment I step foot on it, I feel Barcelonified.
3) The architecture
Barcelona is FULL of incredible architecture. The Gothic Quarter is one of my favorite areas to look at and of course everything Gaudi. Can you believe I have been in Barcelona four times and have yet to see Parc Güell? Big fail as I know I would love it.
Some people may find Antonio Gaudi’s work gaudy, but I think it’s awesome. Have you ever seen anything else like it? I have not and though I’m not a connoisseur of architecture by any means, I like people who are original and go their own way. Like Fleetwood Mac.
4) The beach
Trying to think off of the top of my head in what other major European city you have a sexy beach at your disposal, but I cannot.
5) Its close proximity to Girona
Alright so this isn’t technically “in Barcelona”, but I have to mention it because I really liked Girona when I was there for the TBEX conference. Girona is just a little over an hour from Barcelona making it super easy to spend time in both cities regardless of which airport you fly into. So close, yet so different.
Have you been to Barcelona? What are some of your favorite things that I missed?
ShaunNovember 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm
Haven’t been yet, but I’m starting to ask myself what I’m waiting for.
The food looks amazing! But I’m also trying to figure out why that dude is taking a nap on the side of the stage.
p.s. cute pic of the old couple holding eachother.
LarissaNovember 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm
No, he was awake and pounding the ground. I caught him in a quiet moment. You really should check it – Barcelona is easily one of the greatest cities in Europe.
Stephen S.December 12, 2012 at 5:42 am
Great list. I have never been to Barcelona, and it has been on my list for a long time. I am finally going in June and can’t wait to experience all this things. Never knew about Girona! Sounds amazing, can’t wait to check it out!
LarissaDecember 12, 2012 at 10:39 am
If you have a bit of extra time, I highly recommend spending at least half a day in Girona. Really cute old town, lots of nice restaurants, much cheaper than Barcelona. Hopefully you will see a post on it here before June!
KathleenJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:55 am
Any suggestions for only 2 nights in Barcelona , I’ve already seen the major sights. Looking for Good food like Bilbao B. and interesting day trip close by or something new in Barcelona . Just discovered your blog, your photos and insights are marvelously entertaining.
LarissaJanuary 30, 2013 at 1:20 am
Thank you, Kathleen :) To be honest, Bilbao B. was the only place I can really recommend. The place I got my paella and sangria was definitely nothing to write home about as was one other tapas bar I went to.
Have you been to Figueres or Cadaqués? Both are an easy day trip from Barcelona. Amazing Dali museum in Figueres. His former home that has also been turned into a museum is in Cadaqués, but I never made it in. It’s a really beautiful town to look at though on a sunny day.
If you are not super into art and looking for more variety, I can’t recommend a trip to Girona enough. Even if it is just to have lunch at Boira and gelato at Rocambolesc.
KathleenJanuary 30, 2013 at 2:32 am
What would be the easiest way to get to Girona? I assume Train, but can you recommend a reliable tour Co. or driver? I suppose I can inquire at the hotel in Barcelona if you are not familiar. I do love the arts, but would rather check out the shops and dine this time around.
LarissaJanuary 30, 2013 at 7:31 am
Unfortunately I have no idea about tour companies or private drivers going there even though I know they must exist. Hotel or Google would be the best place to inquire. I got there by train and it was pretty simple – there is a new fast-speed train that only takes 37 minutes. Once in Girona, it’s pretty easy to get around the center and old town by foot.
chrisOctober 17, 2015 at 11:10 pm
There is a High Speed train (AVE) conecting Barcelona – Girona in 35 minutes for 16€. I live in Barcelona but i grew up in Girona. I have to say that Barcelona is the best city to live but Girona is the best city to grow up ;)
LarissaOctober 25, 2015 at 7:13 pm
I can definitely see that :)
SergiMay 30, 2013 at 11:15 am
If you liked tapas you should visit Granada in southern Spain. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants that if you order a beer or a drink they give you a tapa (which are very big) for free and for just 5 € you can enjoy a great meal.
The architecture of the place is also amazing (Alhambra, Albaicín,…) and there’s a lot of places around the city to visit.
LarissaJuly 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm
Granada and its surroundings is definitely the next place I want to visit in Spain. Seems like it’s got a lot of really cool stuff going on and much cheaper than bigger cities like Barcelona and Madrid. 5 € for a meal?! Amazing.