Bon Voyage: Travel Tips to Barcelona
Text & Photos by Amanda Deltuvia —
BARCELONA, SPAIN is the place to go if you’re craving to relax, let loose and take in a bit of culture all at the same time. With its breathtaking beaches, fascinating architecture and colorful nightlife, this city is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Antoni Gaudi should be synonymous with Barcelona. Gaudi was one of the forefathers in the Modernisme movement in Barcelona, pushing expression through architecture throughout the city. Walking around in Barcelona, visitors will see the standout colored mosaics and whimsical pointed peaks that Gaudi designed. All of the major sites are within walking distance, so you can spend an entire day wandering and admiring this architect’s unique designs, shapes and colors that you won’t be able to see anywhere else in Europe.
Take a walk through Parc Güell, a garden that travels up a hill decorated with Gaudi’s designs. This park offers breathtaking views of the city. Here you may also be able to enjoy entertainment from street performers as well as take a look at trinkets from traveling vendors.
The Sagrada Familia is not your regular cathedral. It is a world unto itself, which is still in progress. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a Roman Catholic Church that began its construction in 1882. Gaudi stepped in in 1883, overhauling the design and implementing his Modernisme flair with touches of Gothic and Art Nouveau styling. This masterpiece is expected to be completed on the centennial of Gaudi’s death in 2026.
The stunning outside features four peaks that jut up into the sky. Every inch of the cathedral is oozing with detail. Visitors hold their breath as they open the heavy doors engraved with words from the Bible to be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. This whimsical world hardly seems like a church, but a stunning and indescribable building that can only be found in dreams.
After seeing Gaudi’s best works, head to Plaça de Catalunya in the center of the city. Beautiful statues and fountains make it a great place for picture taking and relaxing. These all connect to infamous roads that each lead to its own adventure.
To satisfy your fashion bug, head to Rambla de Catalunya or Portla de l’Àngel. These streets boast the best high-end shopping. The Passeig de Gràcia has shopping, business building and more architecture to marvel at. This is considered the most expensive road in Barcelona. La Rambla is the place for people watching and to head to the harbor. Check out the kiosks, street performers and pavement mosaics. This street is always crowded and you can truly immerse yourself in the culture.
A trip to Spain wouldn’t be complete without some dinner, drinks and dancing. Make sure you take a siesta after a day of sightseeing, because dinner does not start till about 10pm. Fill up on paella, tapas and Sangria to get a taste of Spain. Then head to a club on the beach for all-night dancing! One of the hottest clubs is Opium Mar. Located in the Port Olympic complex; this club impresses anyone who enters, with young people from all over getting their groove on. These clubs are also a great place to grab lunch and lounge on the beach during the day!
But at night, leave your inhibitions at the door. The great thing about European clubs is that dancers don’t care how you look on the dance floor, as long as you feel the music and go all out! Dress well before heading to the club and be sure your pockets are empty and your purses have zippers. Pickpockets are still around! The Port Olympic complex provides various clubs all on one strip, so this is a great place to get a sampling of multiple clubs all in one night.
If large crowds and dancing aren’t your style, head to Espit Chupito, a shot bar that is sure to impress. It is located right on Las Ramblas. With over 500 shots at the price of just 2 Euros each, the options are endless. The best part is that each shot comes with its own mini-show. Many of the shots involve fire, colors, whipped cream and countless surprises that the bartender will show you. Not only that, but the staff is super friendly and sure to show you a great time.
This city is truly an experience unlike any other. If you’re simply lounging on the beach, taking in the nightlife till the dawn, or simply wandering the streets in search of surprises, Barcelona is bound to charm you and hypnotize you.