Travel Europe

20 Reasons to Visit Barcelona in Photos

April 5, 2016

 

Street scene on Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Las Ramblas, Barcelona

  1. You can start your visit on lively Las Ramblas, the beating heart of the city. A 1.2 km stretch from the port to Plaça Catalunya, this is the spot to come to see the city in every guise, good or bad, and it is the street that will help you to get oriented on a trip to Barcelona. Loved by some and loathed by others, this is most visitors’ introduction to the city.
street scene in plaza real, barcelona

Plaza Real, Barcelona

2. Tired of Las Ramblas? Then, you can soak in the spirit of Barcelona in Plaza Real. Filled with bars, cafes, pedestrians, cyclists: come here to sit down with a good book, don that pair of designer sunglasses and watch the world and his wife go by.

street scene with lost shoes on the ground

Barcelona has great nightlife….

3. Barcelona’s nightlife is legendary. Both famed and notorious, some residents protest that it has really started to get out of hand. Wondering what the link is with this daytime photo? Hint: Find the boots…

barcelona street art with bright colours

Street art with a Cuban twist

4. Uncover some colourful street art with Afro-Caribbean influences. Renowned for its modernist architecture, sometimes just wandering the streets is such an artistic journey in itself that there is no need to spend hours in lines for the big ticket sights. Barcelona’s street art is a creative fusion…

laundry hanging from balconies

Even the laundry lends an artistic touch to the scene

5. But the journey does not stop there because Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is infused with art. Even the clothes hanging out to dry appear as if they were placed by an artist painting an urban ideal.

sunshine on open umbrellas selling art

Sunshine and art

6. Speaking of art, there is no shortage of art on sale in the Gothic Quarter. Just put on your walking shoes and go for a stroll. Fill your suitcase/ backpack or just admire the water colours- the choice is yours…

art being sold in the street in barcelona

The feel of an open air gallery

7. The architecture here is sublime. Tall houses tower over streets and squares and the shade will cool you down, no matter how hot the day may get. If you are not that interested in filling your luggage with art, you can fill your mind with beautiful memories instead.

beautiful detail in a church wall in barcelona

The stones are engraved with history

8. Street art has a history here. Enjoy the paintings, engravings and frescoes on the churches and public buildings. Barcelona is a visual feast…

photo of la sagrada familia in barcelona

La Sagrada Familia is one of the world’s most famous churches

9. See a wonder of the modern world. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is a cathedral of epic proportions and it is still under construction. Building commenced on March 19, 1882 and there is no sign of it finishing anytime soon. Be warned, however, that the lines to enter are long and it is recommended to book tickets online.

Simple things appear artistic here

10. There is always a back alley explore. In Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter hotel awnings, plants and the people themselves combine to create the sense of walking into a stylish painting or film set.

people walking through barcelona acquarium

Barcelona Aquarium

11. There is always somewhere to go for an afternoon walk in Barcelona. If you find yourself in the port area, make sure to check out the aquarium. Although not as spectacular as those of Valencia or Lisbon, it is a stroll that is sure to keep people of all ages quite entertained.

restaurant reflected in giant mirror

Time to reflect after the acquarium

12.You can take time to reflect. After visiting the aquarium take time to sit down, relax and reflect. After all, what is the point of a a vacation but to get away from it all and to recharge the batteries?

photo of barcelona beach

Take a walk on the beach

13. You can go to the beach. How many cities have their own beach within walking distance of the city centre? Barceloneta, as it is called, is only a short hop away from the port area. Fancy a walk or a swim? The choice is yours…

photo of guggenheim in barcelona

The ‘Peix Olimpico’ was designed by Frank Gehry

14. See an Olympic-sized fish. Critics may say that you would do better to take a day trip to Bilbao to see his architecturally stunning Guggenheim, but Frank Gehry’s sculpture is impressive at the very least. The gold finish on the scales glistens in the sun and it is perfectly located in the beach area of the city. A combination of Mediterranean tradition and high art, this is Barcelona, after all…

view to barcelona beach from bar

Have a drink at the beach

15. There are plenty of bars and cafes to keep you refreshed. Barceloneta, the whole beach area, has plenty of bars to satisfy your taste and satiate your thirst. The one in the photo is just one of the many on the seafront. Have a wander and find your own favourite. Icebarcelona is recommended as a great place to chill out…

 

people sitting on steps of barcelona museum

Relax on the steps of the museum

16. You have museums to visit if you tire of the beach, the architecture, the street art and the buzzing nightlife. The National Art Museum of Catalonia is located on the steps leading up Mont Juic to the Olympic Park. Featuring art from the Middle Ages to the Present Day, revel in a treasure chest of art from across the ages.

Climb the hill to Olympic Park

17. Barcelona is an Olympic city. Home to the 1992 Olympics, you can visit the Olympic Park and ‘Poble Espanyol’, a replica of a traditional Spanish village. Walk in the footsteps of champions and go Spanish at the same time!

Visit the Olympic Stadium

18. You can visit the Olympic StadiumBut don’t forgot to stop to take some  photos.

Enjoy the best views of the city…

19. The views across the city allow you to take it all in.  The Olympic Park is not only about sport…this is a place where you will get sweeping views across the city.

It’s a beautiful place, even on a grey day

20. Barcelona has excellent bone structure, so it is as  beautiful under grey skies as it is in black and white or even technicolour…Visit now!

Practicalities

Getting there and away

Barcelona is well connected by air with Europe and North America. Trains from El Prat Airport to the city centre (Sants) run every 30 minutes throughout the day. Fast trains (AVE) connect Madrid and Barcelona (2h30) and there are several daily connections to France.  Bus connections to Madrid take longer (up to 8 hours), but are often considerably cheaper. There are train connections to Seville via Madrid and similar bus connections also exist, but take up to 16 hours.

Accommodation

Mid-range travellers might consider the centrally located and friendly El Puchi. Book in advance because this guesthouse tends to be popular and it is often booked out. Budget travellers may prefer Kabul, which claims to be Barcelona’s ‘most famous hostel’ and is located in the Gothic Quarter. Those who like to travel in style and who also have the money to do so should check out Hotel Arts Barcelona. A work of art in itself, this is THE place for those who want to spend some serious cash.

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply sowers1011 April 6, 2016 at 12:17

    Wow, what a great guide to Barcelona! We are visiting there later this year and will definitely be using this as a guide. Thank you!

    • Reply Unlatinoverde April 6, 2016 at 12:30

      Glad that it was helpful and useful for you. Spain is a fabulous destination. I’m sure you’ll have great time in Barcelona.

  • Reply journalofnomads April 7, 2016 at 17:03

    I spent some time in Barcelona and absolutely loved this colorful city and its vivid vibe! I wish I had your guide back then 🙂

    • Reply Unlatinoverde April 7, 2016 at 17:07

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to receive feedback. Vivid vibe, you put it so beautifully. Spain, in general, breathes life, even if some in Barcelona would rather be a separate state. Have you got a blog where we can read about your travels?

      • Reply journalofnomads April 8, 2016 at 10:27

        I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to separate Barcelona from Spain for all different reasons. But it’s sure is a city different from the rest! That makes it even more special! Our blog is http://www.journalofnomads.com. Happy travels and keep taking beautiful photos!!

  • Reply 2traveldads April 8, 2016 at 12:39

    Thank you for showing a different side of the city. So often I read about Barcelona and all I get is Gaudi and the beach. You’ve sold me on the city now.

    • Reply Unlatinoverde April 8, 2016 at 12:42

      There is much more to Barcelona than just Gaudi and the beach, just like there is far more to Spain than sun and sangria. Glad you enjoyed the slightly different take on the city.

  • Reply Vyjay Rao April 9, 2016 at 07:12

    Barcelona looks so beautiful and inviting. Great photos.

  • Reply John Rogers (@fugueur) April 11, 2016 at 14:18

    I’ve just come back from a few days in Barcelona – had an amazing time, the highlight being climbing to the top of El Carmel Hill with its amazing views of the whole city – here’s a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtRg4I4GMAw

    • Reply Unlatinoverde April 11, 2016 at 14:39

      John,
      Nice. Thank you for sharing. You have a real mix of places here, from grittier parts of the city to Gaudí and the beach. Do you mind if I put the link into the main article? That way it should get more views and shows off your work to more advantage. Needless to say, I will give you full credit for your video. I think it would complement the photos well, providing readers with a mix of photos and film.

      Awaiting your reply,
      Gearoid

  • Reply Ann April 12, 2016 at 00:11

    I went to Barcelona years ago and loved it. Never made it to the beach, though. I love all the art to see around the city. beautiful place.

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