BARCELONA

PackitUp City Guide

BARCELONA

Looking for a destination which has something interesting for everyone? Look no further and keep reading this blog post about the various options when visiting Barcelona.

1. VISIT GAUDI’S DESIGNS

Antoni Gaudi’s unique architecture characterises Barcelona, and therefore visiting these creations is a kind of must-do thing once in Barcelona.

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA

The gorgeous Roman Catholic church of La Sagrada Familia is possibly the best-known Gaudi design. The process of building the church began in 1882 (137 years ago) and was only quarterly done when Gaudi passed away. The building is expected to be finished in 2026, to respect the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. The unfinished church is a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is visited by more than 5 million tourists annually.

PARK GÜELL

Park Güell is a playful public park consisting of colourful architectural creations and gardens. The park was originally designed to become a residential park for family residences, but due to the project failing, the park became the city’s property. Today the park is open for everyone and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona.

CASA MILÁ

Casa Milá (also known as La Pedrera) was designed to serve as accommodation for Barcelona’s rich people, but today the building hosts exhibitions and concerts. The rooftop with its unique design seen in stairways and chimneys is definitely worth visiting to have a breath-taking view over the city. Casa Milá was Gaudi’s last project before focusing on the construction of the Sagrada Familia.

CASA BATLLÓ

Casa Batlló was also designed to be an apartment building but works as a museum nowadays. The interesting design of the building, seeming as it constructed of skulls and bones, makes it one of the most attractive sights in Barcelona.

2. TRY THE LOCAL FOOD

Food markets are common in Barcelona, and, lately, are attracting many travellers who want to experience the local tastes. The public market of La Boqueria is Barcelona’s first food market opened already in 1840. Today, the market offers fresh local products, such as cheeses and seafood, and welcomes over 45,000 visitors daily. Mercat de Santa Caterina is the second oldest market in Barcelona. To match Gaudi’s designs, the market hall has a mosaic roof, which represents the colours of the fruit and vegetable stands within the hall. There it is possible to find fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and bread.

The bohemian and hipster neighbourhood of Gràcia is recommended for more authentic experience, where the touristic restaurants change into local restaurants serving paella and hidden tapas bars. Despite of being located in Barcelona, dishes from all over Spain and different sides of the globe can be found. The nightlife in Gràcia differs from the typical nightclubs – instead smaller traditional bars can be found.

3. EXPLORE MUSEUMS

Even though Pablo Picasso was from Southern Spain (Málaga), his collections are housed at Museu Picasso, located in Barcelona. The museum exhibits 4,251 works from the painter and presents Picasso’s relationship with the city of Barcelona from his youth until his death. Highlights of the museum’s collection include two of Picasso’s well-known works, The First Communion (1896), and Science and Charity (1897).

In Museu d’Historia de Barcelona, instead of seeing collections displayed, one is able to walk through the archaeological sites and ruins. The museum contains various pieces from the medieval times to the 19th century. P.S. the entrance to the museum is free on Saturday afternoons 😉

Among all the traditional art and history, Museu d’Art Contemporari de Barcelona offers contemporary art from the mid-20th century until today. The museum houses art from both, well-known Spanish artists as well as new emerging artists.

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4. HEAD TO THE BEACH

The coastal area of Port Olímpic attracts both locals and visitors, as it offers a chill environment for a beach day or a stroll at daytime and turns into an Ibiza-like party zone at night. The beaches in Port Olìmpic are said to be the best in Barcelona, due to the different leisure activities to choose from, for example sailing. Some of the well-known night clubs are located right by the beach, making beach parties popular.

Sant Sebastià Beach on the district of La Barceloneta, which used to be a fishermen’s village, is probably the city’s most lively beach, where one can fly kites, ride cable cars, walk along the yachts, and dine at seafood and tapas restaurants.

5. TAKE A DAY TRIP TO NEARBY TOWNS

The ancient town of Girona with Game of Thrones vibes (some of the scenes in the 6th season were filmed here!!) is a beautiful place to escape the big city hustle of Barcelona and take some Instagram-worthy pictures. To explore the gothic style city, climb the stone steps of a medieval staircase, and visit Girona Cathedral, the Jewish Quarter and 11th century Arab Baths. Besides the medieval architecture, the city offers various options, such as colourful riverside apartment buildings, many bridges, and walking on the city wall. Girona is located in the northeast of Barcelona, and it takes less than an hour by train from Barcelona.

Another popular day trip destination from Barcelona is Montserrat. There one can find breath-taking mountainous views. Because of the nature and mountains, Montserrat is a popular hiking and mountain climbing destination. Wearing a pair of walking shoes when visiting is recommended to be able to reach the best views of the valley. Montserrat is located up the mountain, so it is also possible to take a cable car to get there. The town of Montserrat is located in the northwest of Barcelona, and a train ride takes about an hour from Barcelona.

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