A palm tree forest in Barcelona: the main and left-side naves of The Sagrada Familia. Photo credit: SBA73/Flickr.
Sophie McGovern wrote this guest post on Barcelona.
Barcelona is best summed up by Gaudi’s architecture.
Convention defying, colorful and quirky, there is a freedom and freshness about this stylish Spanish city that sets it apart from the rest of Europe. If you have the option Barcelona airport transfers are quick and easy, taking about 20 to 30 minutes, making it ideal for city breaks.
From romantic weekends away to backpacking with friends, Barcelona has so much to offer. And the best news? You can enjoy all four of the following attractions for less than 10 euros!
The Sagrada Familia
This never-ending cathedral, considered to be Gaudi’s masterpiece, has been under construction for over one hundred years with work set to continue for at least ten years longer!
Be prepared for a stiff neck after your visit – you could spend hours staring up at the intricate stonework where there are thousands of figures, animals, patterns and flowers in the magical scenes and coving. Saints, turtles and soldiers – what’s the most unlikely thing you can spot up there?
The colonnade “La Ola” in the Park Güell in Barcelona. Photo credit: Dennis Nehrener.
Like stumbling into a children’s fairy tale, the park has all the ingredients of a classic kid’s bedtime story. Two buildings, looking distinctly like the gingerbread and candy houses from Hansel and Gretel, stand at the entrance to the park, their paintwork distinctly reminiscent of melting marzipan encrusted with Smarties.
Elsewhere in the park are the magical mosaic benches that snake and curve, ignoring the standard rules of bench making. Mirrored tiles reflecting the sunlight amidst explosions of color.
Fountains, multi-colored mayhem and extensive park land make this a fabulous day out. Be sure to take your own picnic, and beware of accepting sweeties and gingerbread men from a stooped old lady…
Stroll along La Ramblas
This street in the centre of the city is reminiscent of a Medieval market (but smells a lot better). Flower stalls, street performers, antiques dealers; the whole shebang sprawls along this pedestrianized stretch for your enjoyment. Canaries and brightly colored birds flit about in cages and human statues compete for your attention.
You don’t need to spend anything to enjoy La Ramblas, and it is perfect for a morning stroll. When you’re done, head for a plate of paella in one of the backstreet restaurants off the main drag.
The best things in life are free, and who needs to spend money on mind bending substances or 3D cinema when you can just take a stroll round Eixample?
When the Modernista buildings were being constructed here, the rule book was thrown out of the weirdly shaped window.
Undulating walls, trees growing half way up buildings, dragon scale paintwork…this area of the city really is a feast for the senses. The most stunning couple of buildings here, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, are also Gaudi’s handiwork.
When you’ve explored these four gems, there are no end of boutique shops, cool and contemporary tapas bars and galleries to keep you entertained!