Barcelona … even the name rolls off the tongue. I love to hear the way the Spaniards pronounce it. It’s so beautiful. It’s amazing how one word can sound so differently in a different language. The city of Barcelona is full of culture, delicious food, and unique architecture. I was only able to spend two days there and yet the magic of Barcelona still tugs at my heartstrings. There are many things you can enjoy while visiting this beautiful Spanish city and I would like to share a few ‘must see’ attractions.
1. Barcelona FC (Soccer) Stadium/Museum—
You may not be a sports fan or perhaps you don’t really enjoy soccer. When the guys said they wanted to see the soccer stadium I wasn’t overly thrilled by the idea. I decided to go along anyway, and I am glad I did. Soccer, known as Futbol, is an integral part of Spanish culture. During soccer matches the whole city lights up with team spirit.
We were in Barcelona on a night of a game, and the boys attended. I decided to venture around the city on my own and explore. I was amazed at the crowds of cheering, highly ‘spirited’, enthusiastic soccer fans marching through the city streets singing the soccer anthem in the evening air. It’s an event that brings people of all ages together.
While touring the Soccer museum we were able to learn about the history of Soccer in Barcelona and the history of the stadium itself. Learning how intrinsic soccer is in Spanish culture and seeing how it grew and developed throughout history was enthralling. I think the best part was walking out into the stadium and viewing it from all angles. We were able to climb the many stairs to the top and sit in the press boxes, explore the locker rooms (complete with jacuzzi’s for the team), walk through the press room, and walk on the freshly cut grass of the field. It left me yearning to sit in the stands and be surrounded by the experience of fans singing the ‘Cant del Barça’, the Catalan Anthem of Barcelona Football Club.
2. The Work of Gaudi –
Guadi was an amazing Catalan architect. You can not visit Barcelona without taking in at least one of his creations. People have definite opinions on the art that they love and that they hate. Gaudi’s work was so innovative and religiously infused that he was actually nicknamed, “God’s Architect”. His work can be seen in parks, buildings, benches, floors, ceilings, and even lampposts.
–Park Güell– This beautiful park was actually a failed commercial housing project Gaudi was commissioned to help with. Though the original plan was unsuccessful the city park that remains is still truly unique. It is used by many locals as a jogging and walking path. Tourists can come here and enjoy a unique panorama city and bay view. There are plenty of street entertainers ready to enthrall the passerby. There are also vendors there selling their wares, but this is illegal. We actually saw an undercover cop appear, and watched all the vendors grab their items and run up the mountain. It was pretty entertaining in itself. The many sculptures and beautiful plants as well as the local monk parakeets nesting in the trees make this park a beautiful way to spend some downtime.
–Sagrada Familia- This creative temple building is one of Gaudi’s most famous designs. It’s unique style has people either in awe of his creativity, or shaking their head in disgust and disbelief wondering who would build such an ugly thing. Regardless of how you may feel this building is a must see. The Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and it could still up to another 80 years until it’s finished!
–La Pedrera (Casa Milá) – This interesting building truly displays Gaudi style with its colorful tiles and wavy brickwork. An interesting fact about this buildings design is that Gaudi only put an elevator on every second floor so that the residents of other floors were forced to get to know each other.
–Casa Batlló – This building known locally as “House of Bones” is very unique to look at. It is covered with colorful ceramic tiles and looks as though he tried to avoid using any straight lines at all!
3. L’ Aquarium de Barcelona (Barcelona Aquarium) – Who doesn’t love an aquarium? This is a great place to take the kids. We decided to take a few hours and check out the local sea life. It is good to note that the information signs are not in English. I would say that we had a lot of fun! 🙂
4. Magic Fountain of Montjuic – This beautiful fountain reminded me a lot of the Bellagio in Vegas. It has beautiful water shows on a regular schedule complete with lighting and music. It was a captivating experience.
5. Las Ramblas– This is by far the most famous street in Barcelona. This street is lined with delicious local food, art, crafts, culture, people, and hotels. You can notcome to Barcelona without visiting Las Ramblas. I believe that is an unwritten rule. Like any tourist area, however, you must be especially careful on this street as the pickpockets are hard at work trying to steal your tourist funds. They love their Sangria as well. 🙂
These are only a few of the many things you can enjoy while visiting beautiful Barcelona. If you take a trip there yourself I am sure you will find that the discoveries are endless!