Guide for visiting Barcelona

Simple Guidance For You In Visiting Barcelona

Barcelona is incredible. Is fresh, crazy, young and free!

Barcelona was the first destination I have ever gotten on a plane to visit and it sure did the trick, since I came back some years later to revisit the vibrant city and I would go back anytime. But why now is the time to visit it and not wait any longer? I’ll tell you why. Because the city is taking serious measures in order to decrease the number of tourists or at least just limit their number. Just recently, the city has banned the opening of new hotels in the city center (even in the case old one close down) and has launched a program aiming to return the city to its citizens by 2020. Even though tourism is one of the main revenue suppliers for the city, Barcelona is the sixth most densely populated city in Europe, making the measures a necessity for the people living here.

Are 3 days in Barcelona enough? Read this and create the best Barcelona 3 day itinerary

What are the main issues that come along with high levels of tourists flooding the Catalan city? Well, for one the city is suffocated by a large number of people using transportation. Moreover, the prices for rent and property in the center area have soared, mostly because of the high demand from tourists. What measures will be taken in this regard? Well, the mayor wants to increase taxes for apartments used for touristic purposes only, which will most certainly be felt also in the accommodation prices to be paid by tourists.
Amongst other measures: raising parking prices for tourist buses with a direct impact on the ticket price; limiting traffic in certain parts of the city; cutting down on the space that restaurant’s terraces occupy on the sidewalks.

So if you still want to enjoy the city as a tourist at reasonable prices, this is about time to plan your visit. And if we’re at it, here are 10 things to do in Barcelona:

1. Enjoy Gaudi’s genius

Personally I never really liked Sagrada Familia, but I think is something that needs to be seen at least once because, like it or not, it definitely is spectacular. On the other hand, the cathedral is not the only creation of Gaudi in Barcelona, the other being so much more interesting. Casa Calvet, Palau Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila (La Pedrera) are only a few of the unique examples of incredible architecture creation signed by Gaudi. While the first one is now a restaurant where you can enjoy Catalan cuisine, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera) are in my opinion “must stops” in Barcelona.Barcelona Spain travel

Casa Battlo is incredibly romantic, one really needs to take a walk inside and admire the wide windows with magnificent colorful mosaic. A ticket to visit the house which entered the UNESCO World Heritage in 2005 costs 23.5 EUR and the opening hours are from 9 h to 21 h. They also have specific activities for which prices vary:
– you can book your ticket for a visit amongst the first 20 people of the day, start at 8:30, getting to enjoy the view without worrying about agglomeration, this at a price of 36 EUR
– for the same price, you can book a theatrical visit, including a dramatized family tour of the house, entrance to the whole house and a smart guide
– if you’re in a hurry and you want to skip the line, you can also opt for the FastPass at the price of 28.5 EUR
– and last but not least, from Fall 2017, you will be able to enjoy an evening cava toast on the terrace of Casa BattloBarcelona Spain travel

Casa Mila (La Pedrera) is another Gaudi’s creations which have been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1984. I liked it very much, especially the roof top with its very specific towers and from where you can admire Barcelona from above. Inside the house, be prepared to find all sorts of exhibitions. The opening hours are from Monday to Sunday, 9 am to 8.30pm and 9 pm to 11 pm and the price of a ticket is 22 EUR for an adult, with an audio guide included.

2. Take a stroll through Park Guell

Simple guide for visiting Barcelona

Breathtaking. This is how Park Guell felt at the first visit. And at the second. The gingerbread looking houses at the entrance, with the multicolor mosaic, the white Dragon stairway with the fountain guarded by a colorful lizard leading to a covered terrace with inclined russet walls, and the best of all: the Greek Theatre. With its unique shape and colors, the terrace offers the perfect place for a photo session.
Trust me, the park is one not to miss and the 7 EUR entry price should not stop you.

3. Barceloneta Beach

The best sandy beach, not far from the city center. Easy to get to, filled with terraces where you can just sit back and enjoy sangria and the cool breeze caressing your hair and skin. Just make sure to use some sunscreen protection, because I got sunburned in April. You can rent a bicycle and stroll along the shore or engage in a volleyball match with some of the locals or tourists getting entertained on the golden sandy beach. Expect it to be rather crowded no matter the season.My first cruise experience

4. Barri Gotic

It’s in this place that I fell in love with Barcelona some many years ago. Staying in a small hostel in the middle of Barri Gotic, close to the harbor. Looking outside of the window I could see the narrow street and imagine I was in Hans Christian Andersen’s “Snow Queen” where the two children living across the street from one another had built a bridge to pass from one to the other. I would sit on the terrace and imagine those kids could have lived in one of those buildings.
What stroke me the most was the difference between day and night. During the day everything was dull, while as soon as night came, the streets just turned to live, becoming colorful, filled with music, laughter, incredible food and joyful people. It was the best place to stay in the town, from where I could admire both the Catala architecture and the Catalan spirit.Barcelona Spain travel

Barcelona Spain travel

5. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, National Museum of Art of Catalunya and Las Arenas de Barcelona

Getting off at the Plaça d’Espanya metro stop, you will get the chance to do this 3 in 1 combo. Visit the Las Arenas de Barcelona, an old bullring, turned into a shopping center with an elevator taking you to the top, to the viewpoint from where you can admire the 360 view and have dinner or a drink at one of the many restaurants, while enjoying the magnificent view of the fountains and the museum on the hill.

Simple guide for visiting Barcelona

Next stop, just cross the street to get to the singing fountains, dating from 1929 which offer music sessions in the Summertime (May to September) at 9:30 PM 10:00 PM 10:30 PM 11:00 PM and in the Winter time (October to April) 7:00 PM 7:30 PM 8:00 PM 8:30 PM. Unfortunately, I have never managed to catch the show, even though I have tried drudgingly, but I have heard it is a show that should not be missed.
Moving up, on the white stairs, you will get to the National Museu of Art of Catalunya, from where even if you are not particularly a fan of art, you can admire the view of the city. If you choose to visit the museum, the opening hours and prices can be found here.

6. Poble Espanyol

Not such a popular attraction of Barcelona, but I enjoyed it a lot. Getting to stroll around streets with houses dating from different periods throughout Spain’s history, from different regions it is a unique experience, one that offers you interesting insights in the country’s history and culture. It is located near to the Montjuïc Fountains and is easy to get to. The museum hosts 117 full-scale buildings that have been built after the creators have visited 1600 town and villages in Spain. The entrance ticket is 12.6 EUR but you can spend half a day admiring unique architecture and diving into the Spanish culture.

Simple guide for visiting Barcelona

7. Take the gondola (Montjuic cable car) to Montjuïc Castle

Standing above the port, Montjuïc Castle dates from 1640 and it is owned now by the citizens of Barcelona, hosting a weapons museum. Getting to or from the castle you can take the Montjuic cable car, which allows you to admire the city from above. The gondola has 3 stops from which to choose: Castell Monjuic, Mirador, and Parc de Montjuic; and the price for an adult is of 12.5 EUR.

8. Feast on Catalan food

Dominated by seafood, Catalan cuisine is indulging, fresh and filling. Whether you choose a fancy restaurant, a low-key Cucina or choose your own ingredients from La Boqueria (this gastronomic mecca of Barcelona), you sure won’t be disappointed.

Eat at one of the best tapas restaurants in town: Tickets

Barcelona Spain travel

9. La Rambla

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a stroll through the crowded and colorful main street La Rambla. This pedestrian street, flanked by trees, connects Placa de Catalunya with Port Vell, leading you directly to the sea and to Christopher Columbus Monument and Museum. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy the vivid atmosphere and be careful with your belongings.

My first cruise experience

10. Go to Tibidabo amusement park

Take the bus from Placa de Catalunya and enjoy a thrilling day at the amusement park placed on the hill overlooking Barcelona. A single ticket for the bus costs 3EUR, while entrance to the park is 28.5 EUR for all the rides. Just check out here all the cool rides they have.

Barcelona Spain travel

Barcelona Spain travel

Ingrid is the author of IngridZenMoments, blending in travel, reading and loving in the life of a full time mutinational worker and encouraging people to live and love life to the fullest.
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30 thoughts on “Simple Guidance For You In Visiting Barcelona

  1. This post was major throwback for me! I lived in Barcelona for 3 months and loved discovering the city. I especially remember spending the day on Mount Tibidabo with my best friend. Did you see the creepy room full of old slot machine theatres? Or the really scary haunted house with the Chuckie Doll that chases you out? Haha!

    Eb x

  2. Great list of things to see and do in Barcelona! I’d really love to go there once to check out all the beautiful architecture—it reflects so much of the history and culture. Those structures by Gaudi are beautiful! That food looks really good, too…

  3. I was just here a few weeks ago! Just relived the whole experience lol my blog wont be ready for a while yet! So behind lol great blog though! Hope I can get mine to be just as informative as this! x

  4. It’s great to see some of the amazing things you can do in Barcelona. Albeit at quite a hefty cost! I myself have yet to visit, but I think it’s a great initiative by the city to restrict tourist numbers if they’re having a negative impact on the citizens. After all, they’re the ones who live there!

    1. True, everyone should be free to enjoy the city they live in without too much hustle and I can say that Barcelona (like Paris or London as well) is crazy in its the city center areas.

  5. Great post, I’ve been to Barcelona twice and still haven’t been to half these places! I really loved Park Guell and Casa Mila, your pictures took me right back 🙂

  6. I loved my quick visit to Barcelona and I am dying to go back. I want to see more of Gaudi’s works and also spend some time on the beach. It really is such a great city.

  7. Omg! I wanted to visit Barcelona ever since and your blog-post makes me want to go right now! I would love to go to Barcelona and then to Andorra. By the way: your pictures are beautiful!

  8. Great article! Im hoping to move to Spain soon and this is super helpful! Part of the reason I want to visit is because of the weather and the architecture but I had no idea about #6 – putting it on my list now. Beautiful photos!

  9. apart from all these things you mentioned here in the blog , I think why I should visit barcelona right now is because I have fallen in love with this place after reading your piece. the places the architecture is such a lovely.

  10. Barcelona is such an amazing city. I think I have been three or four times, and I would go back any day! Such a shame to see its struggles with tourism though..

  11. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities!! I’ve done everything on your list except #8 &10, all the more reason to go back. This is an informative guide.

  12. I kick myself each time I see a post on Barca! I still haven’t been and I am dying to visit. I think it will happen next year to be realistic as this year’s travel budget has been swallowed up by the wedding even though I couldn’t resist and booked a few.

  13. I absolutely love Barcelona!! Going back for the third time in a couple of months. I have never really been able to explore Montjuic, but am going to make that a priority this trip. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I love Barcelona so so much! I lived here for a year during my year abroad and want to go back so badly. I miss it all the time. I love the parque ciutadella and beaches and parc guell and ugh just everything about this city is perfect. I completely get what you mean about returning the city to its citizens. The Catalan neighbours are fed up with so many tourists! At the same time, tourists are a main influx of revenue for the city.

  15. This is a brilliant blog post! I was in Barcelona last week and am trying to start a blog about travelling also so much practice is needed. Really enjoy the way you write. X

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