Barcelona: Travel Tips



A quick summary:
Places to go: 
Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, Casa Milà , Gothic Quarter
Bonus (That I didn't manage to go to, but if you have the chance goo!): 
Casa Batlló, Camp Nou, Barcelona Beach, Monjuic
Time of the year to go:
They say Barcelona is amazing in summer - if you don't mind some crowds, queues and a little bit pricier accommodations. I went in September: slightly cheaper, with good weather even though summer was ending.
Transportation: 
The city has a great underground system. The metro and buses are all connected to the main terminal and from El Prat Barcelona Airport. 
Accommodation:
I stayed in a backpacker's hostel called Yellow Nest Hostel which is just near the metro station. 
Halal Food: 
Plenty of delicious seafood and paella, as well as kebab shops :) 
Min number of days in Barcelona:
 3 days :) 

One my favourite solo trips was Barcelona. I grew up studying and being fascinated with architect Antoni Gaudi's works - and to see the Sagrada Familia was a dream come true!. I was in Spain for about 4 days - 3 in Barca, 1 in Valencia (and I'm definitely coming back for the rest!). It was easy for me to navigate as a single female traveller because I had internet access, so Citymapper app saved me a lot of hassle hehe. Barca is notorious for being a scam city so I made sure my belongings were intact, didn't wander around quiet areas too much, and alhamdulillah it was all good. 

Due to my limited number of days and slightly limited funds - I had to pick and choose which attractions I wanted to go to. The end list is this: Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, Casa Mila, and the Gothic Quarter. Staying in a backpacker's hostel, a lot of the guests invited me out for late night parties (it's a great socialising city!) but I'm a big old grandma haha so I prefered staying back, reading, eating maggi and planning my next day (kiranya I didn't keluar time malam, so I can't really recommend good night spots hehe sorry!). I just walked around and tried to get a good city vibe most of the time :) 



1. Park Güell

A large and beautiful park full of fun and candy-like sculptures! I'm sure you've seen photos of this beautiful park. The park is free to enter - except the Monumenal Area (the part where you get that famous view), is when you'll have to pay. It's 8 euros if I'm not mistaken. They have time slots for the tickets so make sure you are there during your slot! I entered the park from the east side through Av Coll del Portel, but the main entrance is from Carr d'Olot. I had a full afternoon to wander the park -  so managed to climb up a lot of hills, sit at some balconies, and enjoy great views of the city! This is the perfect place to feel like Alice in Wonderland hehe. 







2.  Sagrada Familia

Important note: You NEED to BOOK tickets BEFORE the day of your visit. This is really important as it gets full so easily. A quick google search will lead you to the site for bookings. They have time slots for this as well - so please don't miss. Try and buy tickets that includes one where you can go up the tower as well (I bought mine, but the elevator was broken that day so they refunded haih nasib haha). Once you're there - enjoy every single piece of detail of this building that is so amazing it's not even finished yet! Read up on the symbolims, on the patterns, on the design and just be awed :D Sagrada Familia is a church - and all the design and sculptures is made to reflect different parts of Christian beliefs. From the statues, to the spaces, and the biblical carvings on the walls :) 





I bumped into a couple who were practicing architects (they were from UK, coincidentally) who saw me taking selfies alone and offered to help take this photo. We shared a conversation admiring Gaudi. 

3. La Rambla

A super touristy place but still super fun to walk through. Here's where all the shops are - souvenirs, convenience stores, restaurants, and it's just some way from the Gothic Quarter. I wouldn't suggest eating around this area as the food is pretty expensive - a lot more seafood paella restaurants around and cheaper! The area also leads to Mercado de la Boqueria - a cool flower and food market (it's open 8am-8pm).



4. Gothic Quarter

Barcelona is rich in history - especially in relation to Christian and Gothic influences. The Gothic Quarter is a network of alleyways and streets that look as if they come form a different time (and they do!). The area is filled with singing buskers playing those cool spanish guitar tunes. And if you want, you can even visit some of the churches in the area - they're very beautiful. 






5. Casa Milà

I had a hard time chosing between Casa Milà and Batlló  - but ended up with Casa Milà  because the rooftop park seems so much more interesting to visit. Make your life easier and pre-book entrance tickets! I bought mine online for the earliest morning time slot, just so that there would be less crowds to deal with hehe. Casa Mila is basically a private house that was designed by Antoni Gaudi - so funky and pretty (through organic influences and again, religious symbolism) - and is now open to the public managed by the La Pedrera foundation. There's a pretty nice view of Sagrada de Familia from the roof as well! 






6.  Casa Batlló

Without doubt, Casa Batllo's facade is beautiful - you could just stand and stare at the colourful walls and tiles, and dragon scale roof for a long time (a lot of people did!). It's just off a main road adn you can tell that's where the crowds are haha. I didn't go in - but if you have a chance, I'm sure it's a delight to walk through! 

For it's cultural heritage and it's position as Spain's second most populated city, Barcelona is definitely a must do :D Just be wary of pick pockets.



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