Have you ever been to a city where you haven’t had high expectations, only to arrive there to be completely blown away? That’s what it was like for me in Barcelona.

Barcelona was my first visit to Spain.  To say I was smitten with this city is an understatement.  It went from being on my “Will go there one day but not in a hurry” list to my “One of my favorites” list!

The stunning architecture is what blew me away.  It was the combination of modernism, gothic and renaissance that impressed me; it worked so well together, complementing each other.

As I walked around the streets, which by the way is the best way to see Barcelona, I actually got a sore neck from continually looking up and around at all the ‘eye candy’ (of the brick and mortar kind, not the two legged kind!).

 

Arc de Triomf in Barcelona Spain

 

But architecture isn’t the only thing to visit Barcelona for (although worth visiting just for that in itself).  The food is to die for!  And every restaurant I ate at served the most delicious cuisine!  I’m so glad I was walking my way around the city otherwise I would have left 2 sizes larger!

And markets, oh how I love a good market!  The outdoor markets are wonderful.  There are food markets; flea markets; flower markets; antique books and art… And did I mention the food markets?

I only had 4 short days in Barcelona but I filled those days to the brim to try and get as much in.  There is so much to do in this beautiful city.

 

Gothic Quarter

Spend a lazy afternoon getting ‘lost’ in this beautiful neighborhood.  As the oldest part of the city, it’s full of history and culture.  The biggest attraction here would be the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. But there is much more to this district… Great architecture, great food, great shops, great people watching, gorgeous narrow streets… Picture perfect!

 

Church of the Sacred Family Barcelona Spain

 

Church of the Sacred Family

This is a world heritage site and one that should not be missed. You don’t have to be an architect nerd to enjoy this gothic masterpiece.  Construction start in 1882 and is still going on today!  “My client,” said Gaudi, meaning God, “is not in a hurry.”  They say when the building is finished, in roughly 2030, it will have 18 towers, with the highest one dedicated to Jesus standing at over 550 feet.

 

El Born

I loved this off-beat and hip neighborhood!  And the tapas bars.. Yum!  But there is more to this distract than just great food.  The beautiful medieval streets to the fascinating museums to the gothic churches and back to the bars and cafes!  And the nightlife is apparently very happening! (I did not get to take part myself but heard from many people the nightlife is great here).  If you go to Barcelona don’t miss out on this charmingly quaint district.

 

Have you been to Barcelona?  What would you recommend next time we are there?

 

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