Barcelona is rich in culture, cuisine, and history. Thanks to the Architect, Antoni Gaudi, it has one of the most amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world: the Sagrada Familia. You will also find a monument for the infamous, Christopher Columbus who reported to the Queen and King after discovering the Americas. Barcelona is truly a city of culture and history and a walking tour in this city will take you to some truly breathtaking sites. I was amazed at the history this city had to offer and 24 hours will leave you dazzled and speechless.
Breakfast with a View
Wake up early and head to the beach to beat the crowds! Start your day at the Placa del Mar and stroll alongside the pristine beach. From here you can see the Ocean and find yourself a cozy place for breakfast after a quick swim. The usual crowds on the beach (especially if you happen to be there on a weekend) can swarm quickly so be sure to catch the waves nice and early. Be warned, going topless is optional but you will see it fairly commonly among the local women sunbathing. On this beach, you’ll find several places to have breakfast with a view, but I love the bohemian vibe at Moma Beach Bar, which reminds me of my childhood days back in California, and is the perfect place to relax and start the day.
Go Medieval in the Gothic City
After breakfast, walk for about 20 minutes to the Mirador de Colom. This is an ornate monument and is the start of La Rambla Street. Follow La Rambla, this street has countless shops and restaurants, but you’ll detour and head to the Medieval City also known as the “Barrio Gotico.” This is the Gothic city and you will notice many alleys and historical sites. Walk to the Cathedral known as Catedral de Barcelona and take lots of photos here. From the monument it is about a 15 minute walk. Enjoy wandering in the labyrinth, check out the many shops and select your favourite place to sit for Spanish Tapas. This traditional Spanish Cuisine is essentially small plates so be sure to pick several different varieties! You can order a complete ration or a half ration depending on if you are dining solo or with friends.
Find yourself engrossed in architectural wonders
Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. There are countless Gaudi buildings peppered throughout the city and it is possible to walk and see each of them, but in 24 hours my best advice is to be sure not to miss the Sagrada Familia. From the Gothic city, it is about a 30-minute walk so I recommend hiring a bicycle and go at a leisurely pace. There are several bicycle companies in the Gothic city where you can rent bikes; I suggest Green Bikes. Before heading to Sagrada Familia, however, be sure to book your tickets online in advanced so you can skip the line! Seeing the Sagrada Familia from the outside doesn’t do justice to what lies inside and I highly recommend spending at least an hour at this beautiful architectural wonder.
After the Sagrada Familia, head to the “Museu Picasso” back in the Gothic Quarter. This museum has some of Picasso’s original art pieces. I admit it, I’m not a big fan of abstract art, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing many of these art pieces with my own eyes. Many of the paintings I grew up seeing in books or on television (after all who hasn’t heard of Picasso?) didn’t do justice to what my eyes feasted on in the museum. The vivid colours and paintings truly captured me and I found myself sitting on the various benches places throughout the museum just for people to sit and gaze at the canvases. I found myself struck by several of the paintings the more I sat and looked at them and in my short visit to the museum I realised why he was considered by many a timeless artist. I also suggest booking in advanced the “skip the line” tickets! Worth it!
Flamenco dancing finale
After your trip to the museum you will want to spend your evening wisely. Take yourself on a date and watch the Flamenco Dancing. Check out Los Tarantos Flamenco and book your seat in advanced! The Flamenco dancing is only 30 minutes (perfect for those of us with limited time!) and it was an impressive performance. The times are at: 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 with different performers both male and female dancers and singers each week! Not only were the costumes to die for but the theatre itself was cozy and quaint. It was the perfect setting to sit after a day out in the sun and have a drink while watching the dancers rapture the audience.
A final drink from the fountain…
24 Hours in Barcelona will undoubtedly leave you feeling hungry for more! With so many places to dance, shop, sunbathe, explore and learn you will inevitably find yourself wanting to come back as soon as possible. So on your final walk down la Rambla back to where it all started, stop at the Font de Canaletes - the La Rambla Drinking Fountain. Folklore says that drinking from this fountain will make you fall in love with the city and guarantee your return! Take a cheeky sip knowing that you will be back once again.
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