Hello everyone! While you’re reading this, I will be en route to Honolulu. As you can see, I’ve been trying to hold onto summer as long as I could and now just escaping it altogether to feel the warmth and sun on me again. Be sure to follow my instagram and snapchat (mslabellemel) for fun travels ahead. And now my travel diary of Europe continues with Barcelona below.
Funny thing about Barcelona. Six years ago, we flew to Barcelona for one day to catch a Mediterranean cruise the next morning but never left the hotel to explore. Why? Because hubs at the time read many stories on pickpocketing crimes in Barcelona and how prevalent it was in the city. And because of that, we missed out on exploring this beautiful city. Moral of the story? Read what you can but take it with a grain of salt. I had such FOMO after returning from the cruise and seeing many gorgeous photos of the Sagrada Familia that I vowed one day to return to the city and do it justice.
We allotted three days to get the most out of our trip and the first stop was heading up to the tippy top of Tibidabo. When I saw that there was an actual location called Tibidabo–the very same one that was mentioned in my favorite TV show, FRIENDS, I had to visit. It was fairly easy to get there by metro and walk up the hill to catch the tram up to the top. However, during the winter seasons, the city closed off the tram but luckily, we found a taxi just waiting for us and he took us the rest of the way up.
I highly recommend visiting Tibidabo because not only was the church magnificent, the view of Barcelona from the top was just as breathtaking.
Then it was back down to the city to explore Gothic Quarter and checking out the cathedral and right outside the cathedral, they had a flea market set up in the square. KL loved exploring the market and we must have spent a good 30 minutes there before leaving to stroll along Las Ramblas and checking out La Boqueria market.
We made a quick stop over to the colorful tower of Torre Agbar, grabbed some photos before making our way to Arc de Triomf. Even at night, the area around the arc was still lively with groups of ladies dancing and saw plenty of skateboarders, runners and bikers.
The next morning, it was straight to Sagrada Familia. This cathedral has been under constructions for many many years and set to complete in year 2030, I believe. It has mainly been funded by the people and donations come in every year to see the vision of Gaudi come alive. I will definitely make it a point to come back once the cathedral has been completed.
Upon walking into the cathedral, being awestruck could not completely describe the overwhelming feeling as I gazed up at the beautiful colors and arches inside. Never had a structure moved me to tears as did the Sagrada Familia and we spent a good hour just taking in the surrounding and taking as many photos as we could possibly muster. I’d highly highly recommend visiting this cathedral when visiting Barcelona.
After Sagrada Familia, we headed over to Gaudi’s famous buildings to admire his handiwork and unique structures of Casa Milà and Casa Battlo. If there was one building we would want to go in, that would be Casa Battlo although the rooftops of Casa Milà should not be missed either. Unfortunately due to our limited time and even in winter, the line was too long for us to do a quick visit inside.
We went back on the metro to head over to the art museum just to explore the city some more and then made Park Güell our last stop of the day. If you wait till after the park closes, they allow you to roam the grounds freely and most active runners take advantage of that time to run through the park. However, parts of the museum that were for paid ticketers were closed off. Unfortunately, we did not want to spend the ticket and get a few minutes to explore the park, so decided to save this for another time but first, not without taking some photos before leaving. Luckily, we were able to catch the beautiful sunset over Barcelona and with Sagrada Familia standing tall in the distance.
The next day, we had an option of going back to Park Guell for the morning before heading to the airport. Since the park was the furthest from us and would have taken most of the morning, we opted to stay closer to the hotel and took our time getting ready. We went back to the gothic quarter and then visited Port Olimpic which was closest to our hotel before we grabbed our bags, had our last tapas meal then straight to the airport to fly back to Paris.
Overall, we had a great time in Barcelona but we did run into four separate occasions where men and women both attempted to pickpocket us while we were touring around. Luckily, we were alert and able to catch them in the act and they just walked away. Like most cities, just be aware of your surroundings and keep your personal belongings close.
I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading! Next up on travel diary, we will be exploring Munich so stay tuned for that. If you missed my Florence post, feel free to check that out until next time.