After my trip to Madrid, I took a bus ride to Barcelona, a gorgeous city nestled between the sea and the mountains. While Madrid is a city seeped in history, Barcelona is hip and modern. That is not to say Barcelona has abandoned its history. After all, I stayed in a hostel in the Old Town, which features narrow, windy streets and beautiful, old buildings from the Roman times.
Since I was on a bus for most of the day, I didn’t have all the time in the world to explore. I made a quick pass through Plaça Reial. It’s a beautiful plaza and common meeting place. There are plenty of restaurants and night clubs. The stunning lampposts, like most amazing parts of the city, were created by Anton Gaudí. Gaudí is an architectural genius with a wacky, modern style that you’ll come to love.
Speaking of Gaudí, next I went to Palau Güell, a mansion of his design created for an industrial tycoon. The style of this mansion differs from Gaudí’s other work, but that makes it no less amazing. From the intricate ironwork to the ornate ceiling and walls, you will be astounded when you see it. Of course, you need to pay to get inside any of his buildings, but it’s truly worth it. Just look at it.
For lunch, I headed to La Boqueria, a popular market for tourists. You can find all sorts of food, from candied fruit to dried meat and fresh fish. But there aren’t any places to sit down and it’s very crowded. You’ll have to take your food to go.
With an empanada in hand, I walked onward to the next attraction. Along the way, I stumbled upon Palau de la Música Catalana. The exterior is gorgeous, but I didn’t have time to check out the interior. And I certainly didn’t have time to stop for a show, though more than half a million come to see musical performances of all kind.
I was on my way to the Arc de Triomf. No, not the French one. The arch was actually built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. It’s famous for its rich, red hue and the long promenade it looks over. You’ll find many street performers there, as well as people walking their dogs or playing with their children. The promenade also leads to Citadel Park, which holds lots of greenery, a small lake, a stunning fountain, and even a zoo.
Finally, I took a long walk to the beach. It was still too early in the spring to swim. But I haven’t seen the sea in too long. No matter what time of year, the sea is always beautiful.