Thanks for clicking on the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. There are 10 chapters total, listed at the end of this post. Check out the introduction for more information.
Barcelona is filthy with interesting architecture. Random apartment buildings are decked out with flamboyant patterns and colors, and of course, there is Antoni GaudÃ. Gaudi’s buildings are fascinatingly unique, featuring a distinct use of colors and shapes. You could go to Barcelona and not visit any of Gaudi’s landmarks, but, then, you’d be kind of worthless.
Passeig de Gracia is a street north of Plaza Catalunya featuring 2 of Gaudi’s buildings. Passeig de Gracia is a wide, charmingly European boulevard with high-end retail on either side. After a short walk you’ll come to Casa BatllÃ³ on your left (but be sure to notice the buildings leading up to it, as well, interesting in their own right). We weren’t sure how much Gaudi we needed in one day, so after seeing it was 16 Euros to enter, we took some pictures from the street and skipped it. Further down on the right is Casa MilÃ taking up about half a block. Seemingly more interesting, and half as expensive than BatllÃ³, we decided to give it a shot. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes before walking in to the oval shaped courtyard. There are 3 areas to check out at Casa Mila, the apartment furnished as it would have been when the building opened, the attic with its weight bearing brick arches, and most interesting of all, the roof. The roof features several oddly shaped chimneys on multiple levels and a 360 degree view of the city. I could have spent 2 hours on the roof just taking in all of the views.
Instead we journeyed on to La Sagrada Familia. We should have figured out a better way to get there than walking because, by that time in the day, we were drained and it’s about 15 blocks or so, more when you get a bit lost. We got to Sagrada Familia and saw a sign announcing a 60 minute wait for the lift. That did it for us and instead of going in, we looked up at it from a couple different angles and then walked all the way back to our hotel. Again, not that far, but far enough at that point of the day.
And then the eating started. We had plans to meet Crystal and Dan later that evening at, “Her favorite wine bar in Barcelona” – which happened to be right in, “my favorite placa in Barcelona” – at Placa Santa Maria del Mar. We skipped the wine bar and instead went to Heladerias Tomo II for some gellato before dinner, I had brilliant chocolate in a mini tulip cone. The plan was to go to Tapas 24, but it was closed Sundays so we went to the Irish Pub next door for a drink and to figure out what to do next. We decided to head to Port Vell to Luz de Gas for waterfront tapas on a boat. To get there, we took the Metro, getting our first look at Barcelona’s mass transit. And like just every mass transit system I’ve ever been on, it was faster, cleaner, and more convenient than the T.
Now Luz de Gas may play some of the most “lame-ass, jive, pseudo bluesy, out-of-tune, noodling, wimped out, f*cked up playing” you’ll ever hear, but it’s an incredibly lovely spot and the food is delicious. We had the octopus, patatas bravas, pan y tomate, chorizo, and some great cava. And now I never have to eat octopus again. Which is nice.
After stuffing our faces with tapas, we decided to head back into The Born for dinner at Origen 99’9%. Dinner after so much tapas? Yes. Origen serves traditional Catalonian dishes with an eclectic flair. Unfortunately, and likely due to the truckers’ strike, many of our first choices were unavailable. We’ll have to try rabbit with chocolate another time. The cheese plate was great, as was the stuffed onion, as was the Crema Catalan. The fish we could have done without. Awesome atmosphere, too. After dinner we went back to Tomo II for more gellato, but they were closed. Sad.
There are 10 chapters in the Free Barcelona Travel Guide. I hope you find them useful.
Day 1: Barcelona to Boston: PlaÃ§a de Catalunya
Day 2: More Walking: Santa Maria del Mar, Picasso Museum, Ciutadella, Euskal Etxea
Day 3: Gaudi and Eating: Casa MilÃ
Day 4: More Gaudi: Parc Guell, Sagrada FamÃlia
Day 5: Sitges and Birthdays: Barcelona Cathedral, Parrots Hotel, The Beach House
Day 6: Sitges and Beach
Day 7: Sitges and Montserrat: Montserrat
Day 8: Sitges
Day 9: Too Hot to Shop: Aparthotel Calabria, La Boqueria, TapaÃ§ 24
Day 10: Montjuic: Montjuic
Map of where we went or wished we had.