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.
Not much is open in Barcelona on Sundays, so we decided to complete the Gaudi tour by going up to Park Guell. There’s a bus you can get in Plaza Catalunya that goes all the way to the entrance of the Parc. I’d suggest you take this because the Metro stop is almost a mile away and up a steep hill to boot. On the street leading into the Parc, there is a grocery with a crazy old man in it. I tried to buy a bottle of water from him, but as I was counting out the change, he snatched the bottle and put it back in the cooler. There wasn’t anyone in line and he wasn’t doing anything besides sitting behind the cash register. I’d like to blame this on my USA elitist sense of entitlement, but I literally hadn’t done anything. JR asked him “En serio?” “En SERIO” was his curt reply. I’m not sure what I did to piss him off, but hopefully he goes out of business soon.
Parc Guell is lovely and filled with Gaudi’s signature mosaics. There is a wide open terrace with a tiled bench all the way around, and a great view of the city. About a 10 minute hike further up brings you to the top of the parc and an even better view. We decided to take the metro back, but I wish we had taken the bus. Parc Guell is nice, but maybe skipable if you’re short on time?
We took the Metro to Sagrada Familia and decided to walk around for a bit before going in. We walked around the corner to Alkimia to see about lunch, but along with being woefully underdressed, there is only one seating for lunch and we had missed it by about 2 hours. Walking down the block, you’d never guess that one of the 3 best restaurants in Barcelona was behind one of the doors. We’ll have to check it out the next time we’re in town. We instead lunched at a chain bageteria, which was fine if not twice as expensive as every other bageteria in the city.
Sagrada FamÃlia is an amazing site, steeples rising high above the neighboring buildings, it’s visible from every somewhat elevated area of the city. We paid the 8 Euros entrance, admired the large carvings that adorn the outer walls, and went into what is essentially an empty shell of a cathedral with a hole in one entire side. The wait that everyone talks about is to ride an elevator to the top, which costs another 2 Euros. If you’re not going to wait the 30-60 minutes to get to the top, it’s probably not worth going in at all. Wait we did, though, and the view is amazing, both of the city, and the close ups of the different statues, designs, etc on the steeples and outer walls. It’s difficult to explain, so maybe you ought to see it. There’s a museum underneath the Cathedral which we skimmed, but it likely had something interesting. At least I hope so.
We took the Metro back to our hotel but stopped in La Colmena in Placa Angel for a delicious strawberry tort. I would have liked to have tried 7 other items, but that would have been imprudent.
We got back to the hotel and rested for a while before arguing about where to go for dinner. The dilemma was that very few restaurants in Barcelona are open on Sundays, and none that we were super excited to check out. We finally settled on Cuines de Santa Caterina which had the added benefit of being close to our hotel. The restaurant is in one of the much bigger buildings we were in in Spain and the menu was an eclectic mix of 4 different styles – Asian, Mediterranean, Italian and vegetarian. I had a fried rice that was tasty, though I couldn’t tell if the crispy rice texture was on purpose or not and J’s tofu curry was delicious. We had about 7 waiters who were constantly asking if everything was OK, but never returning with requested items (water, dessert, the bill…). A big open kitchen adds to the atmosphere.
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.