I remember how nervous and excited I was to go on my first adventure solo abroad: a 5-month Erasmus study exchange in Barcelona. The experience exceeded every expectation I had beforehand. Hereby I share some of the highlights and insider tips. Besides the metro, which gets you almost everywhere, a cool way to explore the city is to rent a bike and cycle along the beach or to rent a scooter to drive all the way up to Tibidabo mountain.
To visit the magnificent Sagrada Familia designed by modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, book your tickets online in advance to circumvent the long queues. Also, if you can, visit during a bright, sunny day as the light will then shine through the beautifully coloured stained-glass windows all the brighter.
It’s best to book tickets in advance (online) to visit Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell and I recommend going there around sunset.
Antoni Gaudí’s got inspired by dragons and other mythological creatures for the design of Casa Batlló, situated at the Passeig de Gràcia. At night, the spot lights give the building an extra magical touch.
Make sure to visit the spectacular Hospital de Sant Pau, just one diagonal street (Carrer Antoni Gaudí) away from the Sagrada Familia. The hostpital was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was next to Antoni Gaudí the most important key architect for the development of the Catalan Modernism (Modernisme català) style in architecture.
Another emblematic building designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner is the concert hall Palau de la Música Catalana. Even better than just to pay an entrance ticket to see the impressive inside of the building, is to book a concert and enjoy the music while admiring the ceiling.
Take your picnic for a sunset at Els Bunkers del Carmel and enjoy the best view over the entire city and the sea for free. My good friend Manuel from Peru, who had been studying in Barcelona for longer, showed me the view from the bunkers at sunset, which is the perfect time to bring your picnic and enjoy this spectacular view!
By metro to “Guinardo” (L4, yellow) + 30 min walk uphill
By bus 22 to last stop “Pl Mitja Lluna” + 8 min walk
Walk around the Mercat el Born to get the view of the archeological site of the city of Barcelona in 1700 from all sides. The guided tour in English is scheduled at 16h30. It only costs 4 EUR and lasts 1h30 min.
A little challenge for you: discover yourself where these landmarks are in Barcelona…
…while I keep looking for the exact location of this inventor’s studio, as the inventor asked me to send this photos as a postcard to him 5 years after they were taken… In case you know where exactly this studio is (in the area of Sant Pere – Santa Caterina)., do let me know 🙂
I hope you make friends along the way and enjoy your visit!