We take our Road Warrior travel adapters everywhere! Our most recent adventure took us to Spain and to the wonderful city of Barcelona. This vibrant city is one of our favourites, with its eclectic mix of culture and urban conveniences.
It’s hard to pick, but here are five things that we love about Barcelona, Spain:
1. Sagrada Familia
A visit to Barcelona is not complete without a visit to the world-famous Sagrada Familia. Located in the Gothic district of the city, it is a masterpiece that, believe it or not, is still a “work in progress”! The original design was conceived by world-renowned architect, Antoni Gaudi. Although the church was not finished when Gaudi died in 1926, and parts of the building and plans were destroyed over the years, work continues to this day to complete the structure. The magnificent church is expected to be completed by 2026, 100 years after Gaudi’s death!
Road Warrior Tip: Since this is one of the main tourist attractions of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia becomes extremely crowded and there are long queues to enter the building, which can be hours in duration. To avoid the lines, pre-purchasing tickets online or through the local bank ‘La Caixa’ (there is an option to purchase tickets through the bank’s ATM machines) is a good idea.
The interior of the church is breathtaking. An informative self-guided tour is available with headphones that provide information in several languages (highly recommended!). The genius of Gaudi is visible in all parts of the church. The ceiling vaults are impressive- engineering acoustical masterpieces, as well as aesthetically beautiful structures.
If you are lucky enough to tour this amazing structure, be sure not to pass up the opportunity to view the towers. A separate ticket is required to access the elevators that take visitors up, but you are asked to walk down the stairs. We toured the Nativity Towers, and walked down the incredibly unique and impressive spiral staircase (which is definitely not for the faint at heart…or those who are afraid of heights!)
2. The Food!
As we have mentioned in other posts, we at Road Warrior L-O-V-E to eat. Barcelona boasts some of the most delicious food in the world. Having said that, there are also a lot of tourist traps serving unappetizing frozen food, so do be careful when choosing places in which to eat. We found some great recommendations online…our favourites were fresh seafood and sumptuous tapas. One of the popular options for dinner in Barcelona is a seafood paella.
Also, don’t miss Barcelona’s famous tomato bread (a chewy bread that is made with a puree of vine-ripened tomatoes), and grilled octopus!
3. The Beach!
How many cities have amazing culture, great attractions, world-class shopping, AND a beach? Since Barcelona is a coastal city, there are several beaches to choose from. Barceloneta Beach is a great option as it a short subway ride or walk from most of the city’s best attractions. Although very touristy (it was packed with tourists and it wasn’t even high season!), the beach is beautiful with countless seafood eateries along the strip leading to the beach and along the Boardwalk that follows the waterfront.
4. La Rambla (Street for Shopping) and La Boqueria (Market)
For world-class shopping, we enjoyed strolling the streets of La Rambla. La Rambla is a pedestrian only street (yes, there are no automotive vehicles allowed on this “road”) and either side of the street has wonderful boutiques and brand-name stores from which to choose. Beware: Pickpockets are a big problem in this area since it is always highly populated by tourists, but if you are vigilant, you should not have any issues. In recent years, there has been an increasing police presence in an attempt to lower petty crime.
Halfway down La Ramba lies the incredible La Boqueria market. This market is known as one of the best in the world…it is bustling with people and is truly a feast for the senses with fresh produce and prepared foods displayed in colourful lit stands. Believe it or not, this market has been in business since the early 1200s, so it is also a historic “must-see” during your Barcelona travels.
5. Amazing Architecture
Everywhere you look in Barcelona, you’ll see examples of amazing architecture and buildings. We fell in love with the narrow alleyways, cobblestone pathways and beautiful buildings everywhere.
Barcelona is a city that we at Road Warrior, without hesitation, will return to! The mix of culture, architecture, modern amenities, amazing food, sun, sand and sea made it a fantastic trip with incredible diversity and never a dull moment.
We hope that you, too, will have the chance to experience this very cosmopolitan, yet historic, metropolis in your travels! Until next time, safe and Happy Travels!