Summer is upon us and what better time to travel? I’ve decided to dedicate June to sharing some of the the fantastic places in the world that I’ve had the fortune to visit. I’m starting with Barcelona because it’s such an amazing summer holiday spot. I always tell people that if you want to have an amazing trip in Spain- go to Barcelona. It’s got everything- history, architecture, food, beaches, nightlife- all you could ask for. So without further ado, check out my summer guide to Barcelona!
An iconic part of Barcelona, Parc Güell is a truly unique experience. It is a public park system comprised of gardens and architectonic elements featuring works by Antoni Gaudí. Established in 1914, the park was declared a World Heritage site in 1984. There’s lots of really cool historical bits to the park as well, so don’t miss those! The architecture is really interesting and quite stunning. If you make the trek all the way to the top you’ll find a fantastic view of the city itself. It’s a must see in Barcelona!
La Sagrada Familia
Actually called Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, the unfinished cathedral has been in construction since 1882. It is perhaps Gaudí’s most recognizable and stunning work, with heavy Gothic exteriors, juxtaposed with light and airy interiors. It’s probably the most impressive cathedral I’ve been to (and I’ve been to many), and it’s actually quite surprising how open it is inside. It’s fairly massive, with little alcoves and stained glass all around. The best way to see the cathedral is to buy a ticket in advance and show up when it tells you to. They are quite strict about this-so don’t be super late. You can turn up and get a ticket on the door, but the queues are usually enormous.
Mercat de la Boqueria
The Mecat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, simply referred to as La Boqueria is a large public market just off La Rambla, in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona. First mentions of the market date back to 1217! It is basically a massive open market, where you can find all sorts of yummy treats. From meats, to juices, ingredients and ready-to-eat foods, you can find it at La Boqueria. Most mornings we made our way here to pick up breakfasts and snacks for the day. It’s cheap and easy, and actually really fun just to wander around and check out all the different fares offered.
The life is on the beach, and Barcelona has a really fantastic one. Depending on the time of year, it can be really nice to take a day and just chill out. We went in May, and it was hot. Like, really hot. Don’t forget your sunscreen because the sun doesn’t play around in Spain. Word to the wise- open container laws don’t exist here so crack a cold one open on the beach and enjoy the day.
Another impressive Gaudí work, Palau Güell is a mansion designed for industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell, built between 1886-1888. The whole mansion is a work of art, with each room more impressive than the last. It’s a really cool bit of history, and it’s fascinating to walk through and see the intricacies of Gaudí’s design. The showstopper, for me, was the rooftop, which features really interesting spires and mosaic work. You can find Palau Güell on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, in the El Raval neighbourhood. Buy tickets in advanced so you’re guaranteed entry!
La Rambla is a street central to Barcelona, which is super popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches 1.2 km, connecting Placa de Catalunya and the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. I’ve used photos of the start and end points, because it’s really hard to get a photo of La Rambla without a drone, which I didn’t have at the time. The street is lined with shops and kiosks, selling various goods. Notable sites include the Font de Canaletes, The Palace of the Virreina, and the famous Liceu Theatre. Definitely take a stroll down La Rambla whilst in Barcelona, it’s well worth it. ProTip: watch your bags and personal items, as this area is known for pickpockets!
There you have it, friends! Have any of you been to Barcelona? What were your favorite bits or what do you recommend in the city? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading & stay golden!