I have been to Barcelona for one week during my summer holidays and liked the city so much so I wanted to blog about it. Enjoy reading!
El Parque Güell
Gaudí was a famous architect in Barcelona and has designed a lot of buildings there.
Gaudí was asked to design a park and a house inside it for Eusebi Güell. The architect built a house for himself which is a museum today, a house for the Güell family and a house for a befriended architect. There is a main area and from there you have an awesome view of Barcelona. You can walk around in the rest of the park but the main feature of it is the big viewing area and the famous dragon. It is really pretty and you have to come early so that you can take pictures of the park without a hundred people in the photo.
This is a house which was built and designed by Gaudí and is on the famous Paseo de Gracia with lots and lots of shops nearby. We hadn’t bought tickets for Casa Battló in advance but we came in the early evening and we didn’t have to wait too long to get into the house. The house is AMAZING. I think of all the buildings which Gaudí has designed Casa Battló is by far my favourite. You can walk around the whole house and explore it. Every single part of it has an interesting idea behind it. On top of the building there is a roof terrace and from there you have a nice view of Barcelona.
La Pedrera is another house which was designed by Gaudí. Again, we hadn’t bought tickets and we came in the early evening which worked fine. This house is furnished like it used to be back in the old days and you get the feeling that the owners have just left their home and might be back any minute. There are still the old door handles everywhere which are extraordinary and you are allowed to touch them. You have a great view from the roof terrace and you can walk around.
El Palau de Música
This is a house of music. Concerts, dances and operas take place here. Famous singers like Montserrat Caballé have already sung there. The building is built in the typical style of the Spanish Modernisme. From the auditorium you have a great view onto the stage. The stage itself is impressive. I think it has to be a great feeling performing on it. There are two storeys of seats and you visit both of them if you take a tour. If you take a tour like we did you get to see the inside of the building and the stage and sit in the audience. The pipe organ of the music house is impressive as well.
Hospital Saint Pau
Last year a woman at the concert house which I mentioned earlier actually recommended Hospital Saint Pau to us. It is also built in the Spanish Modernisme style. Until a few years ago the hospital was still in use. It has a huge compound with beautiful plants and trees and there are a lot of old buildings and every single one had a department of its own. You can visit almost every building and in the rest of them are rented out to companies and institutions. The best thing about it is that Hospital Saint Pau is not very well known so there aren’t a lot of tourists.
La Sagrada Família
The well known church with its famous basilica is just breathtaking. There are a lot of tourists so I’d recommend getting tickets before you go there. That way we got inside quite fast. Gaudí was working on it for 43 years until he died and till this day the construction of the building is not finished. Before I went inside Sagrada Família for the first time I thought that the inside would be dark and just boring which turned out not to be. The windows are made out of stained glass in lots of colours and because of the light shining through all the colours glow.
The basilica has towers and the entry includes the visit to one tower. From there you can see Barcelona from top of Sagrada Família. I did this last year but not this year because I had felt kind of claustrophobic in the staircase the last time because it’s very narrow.
We took a train to visit the famous convent in Montserrat which is about 1 hour away from Barcelona. Inside the convent there is the famous statue of a black Madonna and very religious catholic people touch the hand of it. We were there very early and we were even lucky to stand 5 minutes in front of it all on our own and not just passing by with the crowds pushing from behind in a rush. But for me the highlight of Montserrat was the view of the landscape from the top of the mountain. The hills look so weird and pretty at the same time.
I loved having tapas for lunch or dinner. Tapas are just a whole bunch of plates with small portions of food. Common tapas are „pan con tomate“ (toasted bread with tomato), „tortilla de patatas“ (cold or hot potato omelette) cheese platters and olives.
When you go into a restaurant in Spain it’s common that there is the normal menu and „el menu del día“ which comes with „dos platos“ (two plates). You can order a first and a second course with a dessert and a drink. Usually this is cheaper than ordering dishes separately from the normal menu. If you feel like you won’t be able to eat so much food then you take the „half menu“ which is offered at many places. Here you pick a first or a second course with a dessert and drink. That’s what I did mostly.
All in all
All in all I really enjoyed our stay in Barcelona. The city has a lot of sights, culture, shopping opportunities and very good food. Getting around by subway, bus, taxi and train is easy. Every single sight is packed with tourists so I would go there early, no matter what!