Summer 2018 | June 2- July 28
I spent two months exploring most of what Barcelona had to offer as I was there on a study abroad internship program in my final year in college. I wanted to share with you some of the most memorable places I’ve been. It was a wonderful two months under the sun as it very much reminded me of the tropical climate of Jamaica.
If you ever go there, be sure to wear flats comfortable sneakers/shoes as Barcelona is very hilly and most of the older streets are made of cobblestone. That is unless you wished to look cute in your photos, then ladies bring your heels in ya handbag. Also, there is no need for a car as the metro is reliable and has a stop at or near almost every site listed here.
Check out some of the places I visited below and follow along using this map of my travels here:
La Sagrada Familia/ L’Eixample District: While I was in Barcelona, I lived in L’Eixample District on Carrer de Provença with a balcony that blessed me with a view of La Sagrada Familia all day and night. I finally got to explore the building on my second to last day and it was a grand experience for a fee of 7 Euros. To see the Church for free, attend one of their sermon on any Sunday when the building is open to the public. The inside of the church is very colorful with very high ceilings carefully carved with intricate details.
The Gothic Quarter/ El Born: The Gothic Quarters is my second favorite place right after L’Eixample District. The famous Las Ramblas, Placa Reial– which has some of the best restaurants, El Born, and beautiful Medieval looking streets can be found here. La Boqueria Mercat is the largest market in Barna and every foodies dream. Jamon, fruits, seafood, freshly squeezed fruit juices, organic produce, candy and everything else can be found here and this is a must-see site if you ever visit Barna.
Parc De La Ciutadella: This is a magnificent place to take photos and have a good hang with friends or by yourself. It was built by Gaudi and there is sand, waterfalls, golden statues, photogenic stairs and gives a great view of the city at the top of the Castle. There is also a pond where people are able to go rowing with the ducks on the water. The Arc, El Born Museum, and some amazing street art are also nearby so a day can be made of it.
Montjuïc Magic Fountain/ Poble Espanyol: If you’re in Spain and can only visit Barcelona on your trip this is a great place to visit. Poble Espanyol is a museum in Barcelona that shows off some of the best of Spain. In the “mini Spain” there are a lot of Spanish villages with some of their major attractions up for display. Sites from cities such as Madrid, Andalusia, and Valencia can be seen here. Major attractions: There is a slide going down the hillside to release your inner child, and there are a bunch of restaurants, theaters, and even a contemporary museum that may be found here. I was able to have dinner and watch a flamenco show at Tablao de Carmenin Poble Espanyol. The way the dancers moved their feet and bodies was absolutely brilliant. Yes, I am a little jealous…
Barceloneta Beach: This is probably the most popular beach in Barcelona. This was my hang spot on my days off. I went people watching while drinking and eating ‘til I was pleased with myself. Real lazy days I tell you. There are bars and restaurants on the beach and on the way to the beach so I was never hungry or short of options.
It was always hot on the beach, so I brought my towel to avoid being burned by the sand. Usually, I get food from the bars and stay until the music started so I could dance. The other option was to walk further down to Port Olimpic which hosts many bars and nightclubs on the beach. It’s a good place for a great hang! The W Hotel is also on the beach, so that’s a place to stay or just see as if it is made of all glass.
Street Art + Interesting Places To See:
Street Artis very legal in Barcelona, and could be seen as I traveled around the city is very evident. The streets are also very colorful and photogenic so you are bound to look good in your pictures, especially if you’re trying to up your Instagram game.
The Barcelona Cathedral is in this city of the city, and many other notable sites such as museums and eateries can be found near there.
The Kiss of Freedom Mural is a few yards away from the Cathedral. It is made from hundreds of tiles, and upon closer inspection, there are pictures of people in their happy moments printed on the tile all combined to show a kiss between two people. The concept is brilliant really.
The Arc de Triomf (the spelling varies based on whether it is spelled in Spanish or Catalan). There are palm trees on both sides of the square leading to the Arc.
Bars + NightLife: Going to bars and nightclubs were the highlight of my social life during this trip. My new friends and I would venture out almost every weekend to dance, drink, and have fun until we’re drained and need to go home. I am most definitely a night person, so this worked out well for me as I got to sleep during the day and party all night long. We’d make our way to the clubs around 1 AM in the morning (because this is when the clubs come to life in Barcelona), and then leave when w felt like it. Port Olimpic hosts some of the most American-like bars, and some are listed below.
The drinks are expensive, as they usually are in bars and nightclubs, and most of them have a cover charge on some nights. I want to note that should you ever decide to go to a bar or club while in Barcelona, especially if there is an event, prepared to be smushed to no ends. The clubs are packed like sardine tins and there is no care for building occupancy limit. Point is… if you’re claustrophobic, avoid all clubs.
Bar recommendations: Opium, The Coconut Club, Shōko, Pacha, and Catwalk– all on Port Olimpic.
CocoVail BeerHall (best wings and beer hall IMO),Razzmatazz, Michael Collins Irish Pub, George Payne, El Quinto Mono (this is a nice hole in the wall joint), and Jamboree (which is in Placa Reial located in the Gothic Quarters).
Parc Güell: This is another alluring place created by the respected Spanish Architect, Guaudi. It was apparently a home built for Count Eusebi Güell, but was later turned into a park. I was able to see all of the sites on this property from the houses to the rooftop-which has a magnificent view of the beach by the way-, trees and the stone columns around the site. The ceilings for mosaics. They had a few places where I was able to sit, eat, and enjoy multiple Popsicle Ice Pops on very hot days. It is very colorful, so if you like see and visit colorful places, this place should definitely be on your itinerary when visiting Barcelona. Parc Guell aslo offers one of the best views of the city from the top of the building. If you sit atop the main house in the garden, you get a beautiful view of the city, and you see how it appears that water touches the skies. Magnificent really!!
Bunkers del Carmel: This is one of my absolute favorite places that I have seen in my travels. At any given time, this location is always full of people because of the divine views of Barcelona it gives, especially during sunrise and sunset. This is a hilltop location, so it takes quite a hike to get there or to make it easier you can ride the bus or take a taxi. I was able to see how some buildings tower over others and how the city streets were perfectly designed and the lines are so straight. It’s amazing really if you really observe it. THIS IS A MUST SEE!!
Shopping: Las Ramblas (clothing, food, markets)
Food + Snacks: La Granja (sweets shop in Placa Reial), La Pallaresa Chocolate Restaurant, Tablao de Carmen (often includes a Flamenco show)
Summer Festivals:Barcelona Beach Fest, San Juan/ San Joan Festival
Takeaway: Barcelona is probably one of the cleanest, most beautiful cities that I’ve ever visited, and somehow it reminded me of home. It is definitely my intention to visit again, soon, to explore some of the places I didn’t get to see. There is something for everyone even if you travel with children. Barcelona is a must see!!
Until Next Time…
– Tiffany ♥