From August 3rd to the 6th, I took a mini trip to Barcelona [as a gift to myself for completing my internship :)]. I stayed at a awesome hostel, Amistat Beach Hostel, just a few minutes from the beach. After so many weeks of interning and traveling around family, all I wanted to do was lay down on the beach and never move (jk because I also wanted to explore Barcelona). Although I was traveling alone, I met great people at the hostel and had an awesome time!
Barcelona is a beautiful city with great weather and definitely a place you can spend more than a week in and still find more things to do. With only about three days there, I tried to maximize my time to do everything!
What I did in attempt to experience Barcelona at its best and fullest:
1. Go to the beach – With the beach only 5-10 minutes away, it would have been a shame not to go! Especially such nice weather in Barcelona, I would hit the beach for a bit before touring the city.
2. Do a free walking tour of the Gothic area of Barcelona – Barcelona has several free walking tour groups operating (around 5/6 from what I found) and each group offers different tours at various times. This way, it’s easier to accommodate tours to your schedule. I took a 4:30pm tour (because I was at the beach all day 🙂 ) of the Old City during which the tour guide explained the history of the old Gothic neighborhood.
3. Tour Parc Guell – This beautiful park complex is located at the north of the city and includes the work of a proclaimed Spanish artist/architect, Gaudi. I booked a tour for the Parc so that I get a better understanding of its history and purpose – the park was created as a neighborhood complex for the wealthy, but it was unsuccessful for several reasons and now serves as a tourist attraction. This place is also awesome for pictures! 🙂
4. Visit Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau – I stumbled by the place by chance, as I was walking towards Parc Guell – and I am glad I did. It’s a beautiful complex that used to be a hospital in the early 1900’s. Now, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Center, serves as a museum and houses several NGOs.
5. Get a view of the city from the Castell de Montjuic – The Castle is in Parc de Montjuic: a huge park located at the south-west of Barcelona and houses numerous museums and the Olympic Ring from 1992. The Castle is perched at the top of the Montjuic hill, which you have the option of getting to via foot or cable car, and gives you a fabulous 360 view of the city!
6. Watch the renowned fountain show at the Barcelona Magic Fountain of Montjuic – The fountains located in front of the National Museum of Art of Catalunya (also in Parc de Montjuic), perform beautiful fountain shows from 9:00pm to 11:30pm. The shows combine color, light, motion, music and water acrobatics to create a ‘magical’ show. Hundreds of people gather around to see the fountain shows, but since it sits on the side of the hill, it is easy to get a great view of the spectate!