Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Barcelona: A City Guide

Barcelona is by far my favorite city in Europe. So much so, Keith & I have serious plans to live there. We went to Barcelona twice on our trip, so this guide will comprise of both trips.

We stayed in 2 Airbnb listings (here are some tips to find some great Airbnb listings!) while in Barcelona. Unfortunately the first listing we stayed at, is no longer available but we stayed here our second time around. The photos do not give this listing justice. It is a beautiful place with handmade furniture a very nice host. It also has great air conditioning and special windows to keep the noise out. Which is very important in Barcelona!

La Sagrada Familia arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Barcelona. & there's a reason for it! They started construction on this church in 1882! & it's still under construction! It's absolutely breathtaking and fascinating. (To learn more about it, there is a documentary about the church on Netflix, Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation.) 

When you arrive at the church, tickets can be purchased on the opposite side of the entrance. The tickets have a timeframe of when you can enter the church. We went during lunch time on a weekday so we had about an hour wait before we could get in line. (I'm sure the wait is longer on the weekends & in the summer, so keep that in mind.) Because we went during lunchtime, we bought our tickets and got lunch nearby. (A lot of the food options nearby are touristy, so keep that in mind as well.)
Visiting the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell on the same day worked out perfectly for us. (They are relatively close to each other.) Antoni Gaudí was the architect who designed the Sagrada Familia & Park Güell (& many other buildings in Barcelona!) so it rounds out the day nicely. Park Güell began as a housing development for the affluent but funding ceased after a period of time. What is left is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for us to explore! 

The ticketing for Park Güell is the same as the Sagrada Familia. Purchase your tickets and they provide a time slot of when you can enter the park. We arrived in the late in the day, so once again our wait time was around 45 minutes. The park is large, so while you wait to enter this "neighborhood" part of the park, you can explore the free parts of the park. 
We went to La Boqueria every day we were in Barcelona. La Boqueria is a large outdoor market right off of La Rambla (the main drag in Barcelona). There are A LOT of vegan options (fruits, vegetables, nuts, olives, spices & fruit juices) and A LOT of non vegan options (a lot of cheese, dead farm animals & sea life). I extremely happy with vegan side of the market. Every day we would get fruits and vegetables for the day, along with a daily fruit juice. (There are A LOT of fruit juice options! So shop around!) 
Seeing the best soccer team in the world, with the best soccer player in the world is a once in a lifetime opportunity. That is, FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi. So I would HIGHLY suggest seeing one of their soccer matches. We sat in the nosebleeds but loved every moment of it. We saw Messi score a goal! It's truly an experience so don't pass up the opportunity if you can.

This is 1 of 4 posts about Barcelona. & I'm really excited to share more tips about my favorite European city. So stay tuned for vegan options in the city, local drinks & what to do for FREE in Barcelona.

Feel free to click around the blog for more posts about Europe! 

- Christina

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