Okay, I’ll be honest with you! Before arriving in Barcelona, I had no expectations at all. I did not know what the city could offer me, I was nervous about the language barrier I may encounter, and I was simply scared to travel alone.
Thankfully, 3 weeks before my flight I spoke to a girl on Facebook who was going to Barcelona the same time as me, by herself. A week later, we decided to book a hotel room (Hotel Praktik Rambla) and plan excursions (Park Guell) together. We flew into Barcelona 3 days prior for a Carnival cruise we were boarding on May 9th.
Barcelona ended up being one of my favorite cities in Europe so far. There is a tremendous amount of activity to do and sights to see. I would recommend Barcelona to anyone of any age. Also, almost everyone spoke English, so it was easy for me to enjoy my time.
Now, let me brag about Barcelona’s must-sees!!
La Rambla and La Boqueria Market:
La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona while La Boqueria is the biggest market in Bracelona. La Rambla is a very wide street, which offers souvenir shops, restaurants, clothing stores, and people watching! The market is connected to La Rambla and offers a great lunch with a variety of seafood, nuts, sangria, gelato, cheese, and meat. It is a must see!! A bit of advice while visiting La Rambla is to watch for the pickpockets and to use common sense.
The Gothic Quarter is the center of old Barcelona and one of the best-preserved medieval areas in Europe. The architecture in this quarter is breathtaking. There are delicious cafes tucked away in the narrow streets where some of the best pastries can be found! One of the centerpieces of Gothic Quarter is the Barcelona Cathedral. Make sure when going into the cathedral, you cover up your body as they will not let you in.
La Sagrada Familia:
The striking appearance of La Sagrada Familia takes your breath away. This church has been under construction for over 100 years, and supposedly will not be finished until 2026! The backside of the church is filled with carvings of religious figures and ornate decoration. Upon going inside, it is safe to say that this is the most unreal site of Barcelona. The pillars look like tree trunks and then the stain glass windows with the sun make it multicolored inside. One of the main attractions of the church is the towers. Upon entering the tower, one must go up an elevator to then get to a very narrow stairwell. Once there, you walk up the tower and go onto the little balconies to get up close with the wonders of Gaudi. The detail and the colors along with the magnitude of the edifice are extraordinary. Once done, one must take a very narrow and circular stairwell that has railings only on one side. Once going down the steps, you are greeted by the main floor and tons of tourists. This is something one must absolutely book in advance as queues can last as long as 2 hours!
Park Guell is one of the most popular photographed sights in all of Barcelona. This park is a masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi and is a series of buildings, gardens, and handmade tiles. For more adventure, I would recommend hopping on the city bus and walking uphill to the park. If one is limited with time, I would recommend taking a taxi directly to the park entrance. When I arrived on a Monday afternoon, the park was already flooded with tourists. I tried to purchase tickets to enter the most popular section of Park Guell with the beautiful views and tiles, but I was too late! Make sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time to guarantee entry. Although, if one cannot purchase tickets the rest of the park is beautiful and still worth seeing.
Nightlife & Food:
I saved the best for last!! The nightlife in Barcelona is AH-MAY-ZING. I live in Miami and we are known for our extravagant nightclubs. BUT, the clubs in Barcelona are right on the beach. All of the clubs have beautiful views, stylish vibes, and multiple styles of music to please everyone.
My favorite clubs:
My favorite foods: