Admire Gaudi’s Works
We’re not going to go on about this… your guidebook probably has enough info already! But unmissable are La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila and Park Guell. The Catalan architect really was one of a kind.
Indeed his works are so popular that it’s pretty much essential to book your tickets in advance if you don’t want to get stuck in a very long queue. Find out more about Gaudi’s greats and how to book skip the line tickets on Barcelona-things-to-do.com.
Modernisme (the rest of)
But Gaudi wasn’t a one man show… as guests of our tours will find out. Indeed the entire aesthetic of Barcelona was changed by a group of genius architects who wanted to imprint a distinctive Catalan identity on their capital. Together they created a style of architecture which today we refer to as Modernisme.
Domenech i Montaner was arguably the leader of this movement, and a man with more than a few fantastic buildings on his CV, so check out Palau de la Musica and Hospital de Sant Pau for starters (the latter was recently turned into a museum and exhibition space). Most likely we’ll call by his impressive Castle of the Three Dragons on our tour.
There’s a good article here about the best Modernista buildings in Barcelona not designed by Gaudi.
The tradition of tapas allegedly goes back to the time when King Alfonso the X ordered a glass of sherry in the south of Spain and was treated to an accompanying snack. Indeed in much of Spain this is how tapas are still served… as free snacks with drinks. Barcelona, not being the most Spanish of Spanish cities, you’ll have to pay per plate, but discovering the many treats for yourself – from pimientos del Padron to patatas bravas – is about as much fun as you can have with food. (We’re not counting whipped cream as a meal). Our friends at Barcelona Life have a great list of tapas dishes and restaurants in Barcelona!
Beach It Up
Barcelona would be one of the best cities in the world even if it didn’t have the Mediterranean nestling on its shoulder… but it does, and it would be silly not to take advantage. Barceloneta beach can get a bit overcrowded, but there are plenty of other beaches to discover too in the city… Icaria, Bogatell, Marbella for a start. Or you can head out of town Ocata, Castadefells or Sitges to name but a few.
Aqua-fiends might want to try out some water sports, and deep sea fishing on the Mediterranean, kitesurfing on the Costa Brava or sailing trips from Barcelona (you can charter a yacht with or without a skipper!) are all possible, as is a spot of sea kayaking.
Get Drunk… Tastefully
Catalonia is famous in Spain for its wines, especially the Penedes region where so-called ‘Spanish Champagne’ Cava is made. A trip to some of the wineries and vineyards near Barcelona is a fantastic way to spend a day, and if you can’t be bothered to navigate the local trains (and don’t want to designate a driver) then taking a wine tasting tour with transport included is a great option. Winos should check out the excellent Catavino for more info on Iberian vintages.