Barcelona in twenty-four hours? Could it be done? Well, we did our best to discover what the city has to offer...and it's a lot.
1) The architecture. In addition to Gaudi (wonderful and wacky) I particularly loved how some of the buildings had gorgeous (and very ornate) patterns on their facades as if they were covered in brocade fabrics.
2) The palm lined streets and bicycles paths.
3) Gaudi! Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, and La Perdrera.
4) Walking the winding streets in the Barri Gotic – Barcelona's Gothic District – filled with mansions, palazzos, and churches.
5) The amazing graffiti. Seriously good. And seriously cool.
Samantha's Barcelona in Twenty-four-hours Travel Tips:
1) Always keep an eye on your possessions. Always. Do not make me repeat myself. Apparently, the bastard thieves like to hang out at Starbuck's. Forget about your latte – go local and have an eXpresso (note the x) somewhere else.
2) Take a double decker bus tour. You'll be able to hop and off at any of the sites you want to visit and see the city too. At 29 euro a person for a two day pass it's really worth the expense – especially if you don't know your way around. Bus tours- they're not just for gray hairs anymore.
3) Try the cured jamon – Catalan ham. Eat Tapas. Drink Sangria. All at once.
4) Do not eat dinner until at least nine-thirty or ten.
5) Into shopping? There are two great areas: La Rambla and on Avenue Diagonal.
6) We stayed at the Hotel Balmoral, a three star resort in close proximity (walking distance) to some of the best attractions.
7) Forget about expensive taxi rides. Take the Metro. It's easy.
8) When on La Rambla, do not gamble with thieving bastards. No, I didn't get suckered into the trap. I just observed.
9) Get lost. No, really, get lost. You'll see a lot!
10) Eat lunch at a small place you discovered. A place where the menu isn't written in English. Get away from the tourist traps.
For Next Time, seeing that Barcelona is only four hours away:
1) The Picasso and Miro Museums
2) The Zoo
3) The Telerific (cable cars) which give a bird's eye view of the city.
4) The Ice Bar
5) And more...
Good to know:
1) People in Barcelona do NOT refer to themselves as being Spanish, but Catalan.
2) Late October is a great time to visit. The sites are busy, but not too crowded and the temperature is mild. We lucked out with the high 60s and lower 70s, no rain.
3) Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for over 100 years. I wonder if it will ever be finished. You'd think at 14 euro admission per person coupled with the endless lines of tourists waiting to get in would supply a nice construction budget...
4) Wear good walking shoes, especially if you visit Park Guell. The street is so steep there are escalators in some places! I'm still panting. Pant. Pant.
Where are you off to visit in the near future?