When you are talking about Spain, what’s the first impression of this country? For me, football will be the priority since Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and LaLiga accepted as the best League in the world. Today I am gonna take a tour of Barcelona to get into this ” football” city. This article will show you the most attractive spots and local food that you MUST try!
Capital of Catalonia
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is known for its arts and architecture. Also, most of the fantastic landmarks are embedded with a fabulous design. On the other hand, the football stadium “Camp Nou” is also located here, which is a welcoming spot for tourists.
If you are planning to travel from the United Kingdom, you can choose a budget airline. easyJet would fit yours since the price is relatively low and the duration only takes around 2 hours. If you want to enjoy the long journey, NO WORRIES! Eurostar can provide an incredible experience for you. Furthermore, there is not a direct train from London to Barcelona. Firstly, you need to take the Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord (REMINDER: the transition time probably needs to take over 10 hours or longer). Secondly, you can take Transilien RER D to Paris Gare de Lyon. It only takes around 8 mins for this short journey. Finally, just wait for RenfeSNCF heading to Barcelona Sants. My advice is to take easyJet since the costs are much lower than taking Eurostar.
If you are a big lover of museums or other tourist attractions, why not purchase the Barcelona card to enjoy your trip? There are three different pass can fulfil each types of visitors below:
- Articket Barcelona Museum Pass: It mainly covers six Barcelona museums. Suitable for those who only visit museums. It only takes 35€, which means saving over 50% compared with the original price.
- Go Barcelona Pass: This pass is provided by two types of visitors, which are all-inclusive and Explorer. It is totally controlled by visitors and depends on their travelling window. The big advantage is that we can visit as many attractions as they can, and provide an electronic version.
- Barcelona City Pass: This pass is slightly different from the previous two, added with a hop-on and hop-off bus service and 10% discount on attractions.
If you are family or couples, it is recommended to book a hotel instead of Airbnb based on the security and safety issues. Also, you need to do some research before booking your places as the crime rate has been increasing in the past 3 years. Here I will post some places that locals and visitors are prevented from living in. On the other hand, I will also provide some tips for choosing the locations that visitors can book for.
Raval aims to serve the low-level income class and gather by a group of drug dealers. If it is the necessary path that you need to walk, remember to put your bag in front of yours. Pay more attention or gather with your local friends if you would like to visit.
La Mina, Sant Adrià de Besòs
La Mina is another place that visitors should avoid based on the living environment and neighborhood. Tell me if you are not considering going for a self-driving tour. If YES, you must take extra care about your car and personal belongings. Although there are more police controlling this area, self-protection is needed.
Welcome to Stay
L’Eixample is one of the safest places. The main purposes of this area are high-class residential areas with a nightlife culture. If you wish to enjoy the shopping experience, you could spend a whole day here. Moreover, transportation is really convenient by serving several metro stops. (Bear in Mind! It has been merged by Eixample Left and Right.) If you need a parking service, just check out the map and reserve a place before heading to the parking facility.
Gràcia is another safe area for visitors. Although there are not many major hotels, you can enrich and observe the local culture of Bohemians. Also, you can enjoy the local festival if you arrive in August. Not only the festival, but some cosy cafes and bars are also providing real Mediterranean lifestyles.
The Best Tourist Attractions
Basílica de la Sagrada Família
Basílica de la Sagrada Família, known as Sagrada Família. This giant Basílica has been kept constructed since 1882. The funny thing is that there is not any expected date to finish it. Also, it has been recorded in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is amazing architecture in Barcelona. Based on its reputation, it attracts over 3 million visitors a year. If you wish to get inside, remember to arrive as early as you can. The queue is taking longer than you think although you need to pay €20 per visit.
How to reach Sagrada Família?
- Metro: Line 2 (purple) and Line 5 (blue) metro lines
- Bus: Stop at 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20 and B24
Casa Milà, known as La Pedrera “The quarry house”. The nickname is based on the unusual construction. I will discuss a little background about this architecture. The interior had a natural ventilation system, which meant it was unnecessary to have an air-conditioner.
How to reach Casa Milà?
- Metro: Accessible via Line 3 & 5 station — Diagonal
- Bus: V15, V17, H10, H8, 7, 22, 24, 6, 33, 34
- Train (RENFE): Passeig de Gràcia station
- Hop-on Hop-off tourist Bus: The Blue and Red routes stop at Casa Milà
I guess the majority of you will hear about FC Barcelona? Camp Nou is the home court of this football team. If you are a big FC Barcelona, then you CANNOT miss this chance! I was there last year. The atmosphere was really amazing, especially when Messi scored a goal in the match.
If you cannot buy a ticket and watch a match from the window, it doesn’t matter. Having a tour is really fine since you can visit the stadium deeply.
Barça Stadium Tour & Museum
It is officially held by FC Barcelona and provided with two different packages. If you have got a tight traveling window, just pop up for a Basic Tour at 26€ per adult. If you are a big fan of it, Player Experience Tour fits you. You can visit the changing room, pitch, and get a personalisation shirt. Now they are giving a discount and only 84€ can access it.
How to reach Camp Nou
- Metro: Line 3: Metro stop Palau Reial or Les Corts/ Line 5: Metro stop Collblanc or Badal
- Car: Entrance via access 14 to the Stadium (Carrer Arístides Maillol)
La Barceloneta, known for its sandy beach. It’s really comfortable if you arrive in Summer or Autumn. Also, this beach consists of four beaches, which are Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta, Sant Miquel, and Somorrostro. It is slightly different from other beaches, you can take a cable car tour to observe the view from Barceloneta to Montjuïc. Also, The W Hotel will be the iconic architecture for visitors to take a memorable photo. Just forgot to tell you an important thing! When you walk along the beach, you can find architecture like using four big boxes with windows. It’s called Homenatge a la Barceloneta. Obviously, it is just art and is worked by German artist Rebecca Horn.
How to reach La Barceloneta?
- Metro: Yellow Line L4 to Barceloneta
- Hop-on Hop-off tourist Bus: Nearest stop is Barceloneta
- Bus: Passeig Marítim / Almirall Cervera: 45, 59, D20
Mercado de La Boqueria
Mercado de La Boqueria, known as Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boquería. The Boqueria market was legally recognized as an official market in 1826. Also, it was built on the confiscated land of Sant Josep, which is embedded with a rich history. And now, it is one of the largest and most famous food markets. The colourful atmosphere makes you feel comfortable for the whole stay. Also, they mainly sell Jarmon, livestock, and some fruit. REMEMBER! Please visit in the morning as the stalls will close during lunchtime. The further tips have been attached below.
How to reach La Boqueria?
- Metro: Liceu (Green Line, L3)
- Hop-on Hop-off tourist Bus: Nearest stop for La Boqueria Market “Catedral – Gòtic”
- Bus: La Rambla / La Boqueria 59, 91, V1
Traditional Food Must Try
If I am only discussing with tourist attractions, it is totally not enough to enjoy your journey in Barcelona. Here I will tell you some traditional food and restaurants that visitors and locals love.
Paella, known for the “frying pan” in Valencian, is one of the famous dishes invented in the Valencia region. These traditional dishes have got different types of flavors, such as mixed (seafood), meat (chicken, pork), or the typical one. Each flavor has its unique tastes and everyone totally loved it.
Churros, one of the sides that will never be missed. If we are going to discuss who invented it, there are not any exact answers. Egypt or China are probably the parents of Churros. It is easy to prepare as it is just using simple ingredients such as dough, sugar, water, and oil. Usually eat with a chocolate dip, which is perfectly matched as always.
This dessert originated in Catalonia. One of Europe’s oldest desserts and written in some medieval Catalan recipe books. I think the most attractive part of this dessert is the top of the sugar. Finish with a blowtorch and burn the sugar until caramelized. If you want to try it, just pop into any restaurants.
I have mentioned a lot of food above. Let’s discuss a drink. Sangria means bloodletting in Spanish. The main ingredients are red wine and fruit, which is incredible. Moreover, Sangria is also the first drink that visitors MUST order in the first time.
Restaurant Must Try in Barcelona
Vinitus is a tapas restaurant. Most customers gather and grab different dishes to share and try the new food. Moreover, you can choose the seafood that wants to try near the bar. The portions of all dishes are not large, but the quality is quite good. I will show you some iconic dishes that you MUST try. (Tips: Remember to arrive early to avoid queues)
“Cabreaos” Style Eggs
Beef tenderloin with foie
Address: C. del Consell de Cent, 333, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Restaurant La Barca del Salamanca
This restaurant was found in 1971, with a high reputation for its seafood and fish dishes. The view is amazing as you are just sitting on the Olympic harbor. The iconic food is their seafood paella. It’s really delicious and combined with lobster, prawn, and mussels. Remember to make a reservation before heading to this restaurant.
Address: Moll de Gregal, 17, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
After having a trip to Barcelona, I can get the answer to why visitors loved Barcelona. Not only the food culture or their tourist attractions, but also their embedded culture of history. If you really have an opportunity to travel to Barcelona, staying for half a month would be the best thing to discover. Moreover, enjoying a football match is another thing MUST do.