Barcelona was the last city we visited during our Portugal–Spain trip. I was not sure what would excite me more after Lisbon, Lagos, Faro and Madrid. But Barcelona was equally fun and different! We spent two whole days exploring Barcelona. These are few places that one must definitely not miss out while visiting the city.
Sagrada Familia is a must see if visiting Barcelona, just because such a thing exist on this planet. We reached the place by taking a metro train from our hostel. Like Colosseum or Duomo in Italy, a metro station is built closest to the building hence it isn’t difficult to reach the place.
Sagrada Familia is renowned to be the unfinished basilica started by Antoni Gaudi since 1880s. The construction is still in process and you can see the cranes working around it. In fact its difficult to picture it without the cranes. We decided to just visit the basilica and not take the tour from inside for time reasons. I have seen pictures from other friends and it looks super interesting. Here is a link to book your tickets if you fancy a tour https://sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets-individuals
Now I am going to say my honest opinion, actually even though it is kind of surprising to look at this building when you walk out of the metro station, it is kind of disappointing. In real life, it doesn’t look beautiful.. Please don’t kill me for saying it. Its just overbearing and difficult to ignore. 😊
Casa Mila and Casa Batllo
Next on the list were to see the two famous buildings on the same road called Passeig de Gracia – Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. We took a train from La Sagrada Familia till Diagnol metrol station. It is few meters of walk from this station till Passeig de Gracia.
Casa Mila was Antoni Gaudí’s last residential project. It was commissioned by a very wealthy couple who decided to live on one of the floors and rent the other apartments. Building still has three tenants who have been renting apartments for 70 years now. This building is nicknamed La pedrera, because of it’s unusual structure. I would say it is a costly affair to visit this building yet if one is interested , here is a link for rates. Casa Batllo is another iconic creations of Gaudi on the same street. It’s impossible to miss this building as the facade is extremely unique. In fact the house was also renamed as House of bones by the locals due to it’s appearance. Here is a link to tickets of this place.
We saw both these architecture marvels only from outside. Many people prefer to do so and hence the streets around these buildings are sufficiently crowded. It’s a task to capture them successfully. For Casa Mila we stood across the building to get the complete picture while for Casa Batllo it was a fight of space on the street in front of it. Also carry a DSLR wide angle to get better pictures.
Cathedral of Barcelona
After seeing Antonio’s marvels, we kept walking straight on the Passeig de Gracia until we reached Placa de Catalunya. Placa de Catalunya is a huge square with a fountain and considered as the center of the Barcelona city. We clicked pictures outside the fountains of Placa de Catalunya and moved on to walk till Cathedral of Barcelona.
Again we did not enter the Cathedral, this time more out of technical reasons. Apparently, women wearing sleeveless dresses cannot enter the cathedral. Since, I was wearing one and refused to buy the scarves being sold outside the cathedral ,we just clicked the pictures from outside. Here is a link to buy tickets if you wish to see the cathedral from inside. Cathedral has a beautiful facade and my partner managed to click few pictures by reaching till the gates. It is a crowded place and beware in photo bombing few pictures for sure.
Gothic quarter – Bishop’s Bridge
Next we walked through the gothic quarter of the city and took pictures along the Bishop’s Bridge. This bridge is said to be in neo gothic architectural style connecting two buildings. On the lower side of the bridge the architect has hidden a skull (with dagger inside it) to show his disappointment against the government, who denied his other projects for the gothic area.
We roamed through different streets of gothic quarter and explored the narrow lanes and streets having innumerable shops and restaurants. Infact the Barcelona cathedral is a part of Gothic quarter and this quarter is at the border of placa de catalunya.
Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona & Ciutadella Park
After roaming in the gothic quarter we reached the Ciutadella Park. This park was created in 1800s with fountains and a zoo. Though we did not locate the zoo but it was easy to find the fountain called cascada monumental. We spent quality time appreciating this huge monument and the fountain. It really felt like a place meant for both locals and tourists. We loved the vibe – very relaxed and almost cheerful. We strolled along the huge lush lane connecting to the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. Arc de Triomf as it is also called was constructed in 1888 and is almost 100ft tall!
The long walk from a Diagnol metro station till the end of Arch de Triomf left us extremely tired and hungry. We quickly rushed to find a good resturant for dinner. I will write more about Barcelona in one of the next blogs. Till then, Adios!