Hello everybody! This week I’m off to Ibiza to enjoy some sunshine, beaches, & fiesta. So instead of my regular posting, I have a couple of guest posts lined up. This one is from freelance writer Harriet Freeman, who lives in the Catalan capital too and shared her favorite things to do in Barcelona. All images are mine. Hope you enjoy!
“Everyone has their own personal favorite city and mine is Barcelona. I fell in love with the Catalan capital so much that in the end I decided to live there. The first thing that you’ll realize when you come here is that there are just too many things to do in one visit, so you better have a plan before you come! In order to get you started, I’ve listed my personal favorite things to do in Barcelona.
1. Visit the Sagrada familia… early!!
This one obviously deserves to be mentioned on its own. It’s by far the most visited tourist attraction in Spain, but there’s good reason. It’s a stunning work of architecture, and your visit to Barcelona will not be complete without at least forming an opinion of it for yourself. Imagine someone asks you what you thought of the main landmark of the city and all you have to say is “I don’t know…”
The problem is there are usually massive queues to get inside, but you can combat this by arriving early, a little before the attraction opens at 9AM.
Masses are usually done in the small underground crypt, and are free to attend. Some of the masses actually take part in the main building. If you don’t mind sitting through a religious ceremony, then this is one way that you can enter the attraction for free. Check the official Sagrada Familia mass schedule for more information.
2. Stroll through Parc Laberint d’Horta.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed with the large crowds of tourists and the hustle and bustle of the city, then hop on the metro to Mundet and visit this tranquil park. This is the oldest garden park in Barcelona, and it’s a real hidden gem. With a maximum limit on visitors at 750 for any one time, this 9.1 hectare park will guarantee you a peaceful time. It’s incredibly romantic, so take note guys!
I love to spend my time here taking photos, and if you’re going with kids, they will enjoy traversing the labyrinth in the centre of the park.
3. Grab a coffee at one of the oldest cafés in Barcelona.
If you’re a fan of coffee then one of the best places to get a traditional top-notch coffee is at Cafés el Magnifico on Argentería, 64. This café has actually introduced certain bean varieties to Spain, and is one of the best places to get coffee.
If you’re looking for more modern and artisanal coffee then you may want to try Satan’s Coffee Corner on Del Peu de la Creu, 25, where they create their unique blends, another of my favorites.
Maybe it’s the inner child within me, but I really like the science museum in Barcelona. CosmoCaixa is full of interactive exhibits, a lovely little mini-rainforest to walk through complete with animals, and a planetarium with shows in English. It’s a bit awkward to reach, but you can grab the bus via links 17, 22, 58, 73, 75, 60, or 196. You can also take the tram to Avinguda del Tibidabo.
5. Visit all of Gaudí’s works in Barcelona.
There’s more to Gaudí than the Sagrada Familia; in fact, in Barcelona there are 9 main projects of his that you should visit. Casa Vicens is one that’s often missed. You can only snap photos from the outside, but it’s well worth the visit as it was his first-ever commercial project.
So apart from the main ones like Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, and Parc Guell, you now know where to find the less-frequented Gaudí attractions.
Harriet Freeman is an expert on northern Spain and Barcelona. If you have any questions about the content of this article, or Barcelona in general, get in touch with Harriet via her Google Plus Profile.”
Let me know what you thought of Harriet’s post! If you’ve visited, what are some of your favorite things to do in Barcelona?
P.S. Have you liked Hola Yessica’s new Facebook page yet? I’ll be eternally grateful if you do. 🙂