After spending time on the coast of Spain, we hopped to Barcelona, where we stayed at a lovely Airbnb right in the city! We specifically stayed in Eixample, which is a hip and trendy section in Barcelona, with many phenomenal restaurants closeby. Our Airbnb hosts were incredibly warm and gracious, so if you are going to Barcelona and looking for a place to stay, shoot me a message and I can refer you to them!
Barcelona is much different than some of the other cities we have visited in Europe. It is much more modern compared to the castle towns we visited in the south of France, or Florence in the heart of Tuscany. Barcelona reminded me of a European New York City because it is partitioned into different sections- for example, the Gothic Quarter, which is where you can find the famous shopping in La Rambla, Eixample is where you’ll find the trendy restaurants, Grácia is where Gaudí’s famous Park Güell was built, and this is just to name a few.
We only had two days in Barcelona, which really isn’t enough to cover it all, so we had to prioritize! We chose to visit quite a few of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, ate like a local in a gentrified neighborhood that specializes in tapas, toured La Rambla, and experienced a huge indoor fresh food market.
Built between 1904-1906, Gaudí incorporated elements of nature throughout: skulls and irredescent scales on the front of the facade, shells and other elements of the sea inside. What amazes me about Gaudí’s work is that he incorporated unique artwork into his architecture! He was truly a genius and now one of my favorite architects!
Gaudí’s most impressive work of art. Trying to dodge a million tourists, these pictures don’t do Segrada Família justice. This beautiful church is immense! Construction began in 1882 (Gaudí starting on the job in 1883 after the first architect resigned) and won’t be completed for another 10 years. Segrada Família incorporates aspects of nature, like the ocean, rainbows, trees, and even bones. It would be impossible to count the number of sculptures on the outside of this church! Each sculpture is grouped together with others to tell a passage from the Bible.
Some of the most iconic pictures you will see of Barcelona were taken at Park Güell. The gardens surround the architectural structures at this park. Colorful mosaics adorn every piece of architecture!
Mercat de La Boqueria
A large market full of fresh and unique foods. Anywhere that offers fresh oysters on the half and champagne is at the top of my list!
Tapas on Carrer Blai
The tapas experience on Carrer Blai was one of Barry’s favorite parts of our trip (I agree!) Our gracious hosts told us to go here for the best tapas in Barcelona. This street was a trek away from our Airbnb (it took us a train and a long walk to get there!) But it was completely worth it!
Carrer Blai is lined with tons of tapas restaurants, all of which open their doors for people to enjoy food and drink inside and outside. Carrer Blai only permits foot traffic, since there are tables in the middle of the street. Tapas time is the Spanish happy hour! Tapas selections were both sweet and savory. You can pick platefulls of delightful finger foods, and the server keeps count of what you owe. What’s best is that you can go back for more, as many times as you want!
Well, that is our trip in a nutshell! I love to talk travel, so if you are thinking of going to Barcelona or the Costa Brava region, and want recommendations on where to visit, I would love to chat with you and give you some suggestions! Thanks for stopping by!