Think about Barcelona and what exactly would pop in your head? Hands down Gaudi grabs the headlines when it comes to attractions in Barcelona for me! And that is what made me make a trip to this colorful and quirky city. The kind of sophistication this city is filed with will immerse you into its near-limitless cultural choices. A city easy to explore on foot I decided to explore the Gothic Culture on the very first day. The Gothic Cathedral was on my top list to visit! Located in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the views of the surrounding historic area is a sight to catch! The moment you enter the streets of this area you know you are in for a treat!
While making a visit to this beautiful structure do not miss out on the picturesque walk through the momentous streets from the complete other end of the Barri Gotic to the Parc de la Ciutadella. I became a huge fan of this park the moment I lay my eyes on it.
The Cascada Fountain and artwork here is the highlight designed by Gaudi. The best way to enjoy the fountain on a warm sunny day is to just sit and stare at the fountain take a bottle of wine, grab some sandwiches, and enjoy the site.
And that was just the start. Known to be as Barcelona’s most famous architect, Gaudi indisputably is considered the father of the Modernista architecture movement. His unique style, use of nature, and catalog of work is what draws so much attention and visitors to this city everyday. His work is spread throughout the city and I wanted to catch a glimpse of each one of them.
Etched on UNESCO World Heritage List, for its exceptional universal value Casa Mila is a must visit for some more Gothic culture. Because of its rough outer appearance, reminiscent of an open quarry this facade is famous for its uniqueness, artistic and heritage value.
And the pictures say it all. The further I explored it, every capture along the way gave the feel of being in a live sized sand castle. Its amazing to know that it is now converted into the headquarters of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation and houses a cultural center that is an orientation point in Barcelona for the range of activities.
Just few blocks away from Casa Milà is Casa Batlló where I started my next endeavour brushing past its roof.
Resembling the back of a dragon its vibrant exterior displays colourful mosaic made from broken ceramic tiles, while bone-like prettifications surround its windows. For obvious reasons, it is commonly called The House of Bones.
The more I began to discover the Gaudi Culture as I name it, the more I had a spurge towards these colorful architect and buildings. After visiting these two vistas my heart was pumped up for some more spectacles and more surprises.
And Park Güell came across as an off-the-beaten-track marvel, but totally worth the effort to get there!
The climb to get up the parc is quite uphill but the views along the way itself are beautiful. Wandering through the gardens looking at all of the unusual and colorful sculptures and mosaics throughout the park truly makes me wish we had more such architects everywhere around us even today.
Finally heading to the main attraction I came to this city for ‘La Sagrada Familia’ I was flabbergasted by the marvelous structure already.
In 1883, using nature as his guiding aesthetic, Gaudí redesigned this gargantuan structure to appear like a forest. Though still not complete it already is a world wonder by itself. 150 years of ongoing building of this structure, La Sagrada Familia will be finally completed in 2026.
With 65% work complete, builders still need 13 more years to finish what Gaudi started! Packed with symbolism, La Sagrada Familia will eventually have 18 spires – one for every evangelist, one for every apostle and two, towering above the rest, representing the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Any amount of pictures you take does very little justice to this structure, as so much of details and intricate designs cannot be captured in one frame.
Every beam, every pillar, every corner is an artwork of its own. After having a Gaudi filled day the next few days were much more of indulging and living the city culture.
Strolling the city street I arrived by the Plaça Reial a lively square full of cafés and surrounded by neo-classical buildings.
The area is a maze of tiny streets that turn around on each other and open into lovely squares and plazas. And one such street leads you to ‘La Rambla’, one of the most quintessential things to do in Barcelona. The city’s most famous street is also its most exuberant. The boulevard runs along the edge of the old part of the city, reaching from the lively Plaça de Catalunya down to the harbour.
It is the heartbeat of the city! You simply can’t visit Barcelona without making a visit to this popular bustling city street. And prepare to be surprised by the treats this street offers.
And if you are wondering where to get the best city view, take the 1450-meter long harbour aerial tramway all the way to top that connects Montjuïc and Barceloneta.
It starts near the beach on top of the 78-meter tower and when you arrive on the hill from the cable car, you’ll be able to enjoy a good view of the city and visit the Castell de Montjuïc too.
A large 18th-century fortress, will give you a feel of the beautiful gardens, Spanish villages and lots of fun things to do around.
For the football fans Camp Nou is another must visit in Barcelona. After all where else do you get to come across an iconic Barca home stadium like that?
Even with little knowledge about the game and team, a person like me would be opened to the world of football with the amount of rich history this stadium holds. From a colonnade of trophies to the player collectibles this stadium houses it all. How lucky when you get to witness a match there too!
Before leaving the city I wanted to sink in the life and Zen of this country one last time and what better way to do it at Port Vell. Yes a lesser-known area of Barcelona where you can unwind amidst the sea waves by the port at any one of the serene cafes.
A place that was once city’s old obsolete harbor is now an entertainment center, opening the city up to the sea. A midnight saunter along the wide pedestrian promenade was all I needed to complete my trip to this beautiful city.
Over all yes I fell in love with the city: the colorful architect, buzzing party scenes, serene lifestyle, history, people, and plethora of activities. But finally Gaudi had my heart! If I can sum one this city experience in one word it would be Gaudi-ful!
- Visit the various Gaudi artworks across the city
- Spend time exploring La Sagrada Familia
- Walk around the Gothic city to sink in the culture
- A must have dinner at TapaTapa by Port Vell
GlobeTrotting365Days: Barcelona 2nd July 2011.