La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous buildings in the word. I was quite taken by the beauty of the building as nothing I had seen can compare to the beauty of Gaudi’s masterpiece. It is an incredible structure with meticulous attention to detail. From the outside it is worth checking the Nativity Facade and the Passion Facade.If you want to go in, I recommend you book your tickets in advance as the queues on the day were long . Take comfortable shoes and expect loads of tourists around you .
LA BOQUERIA MARKET
Grab one of the many fresh juices for under 2 Euros and discover the scents and aromas of Catalonian gastronomy at the Boqueria market in Las Ramblas. This is one of the largest indoor food markets in Europe and it showcases a profusion of fresh and cured meats, cheeses, seafood, tapas, confectionery. You name it! .As we all know tourism can sometimes take away the original essence of a place and even though this market used to be very much a local market , the amount of people that visits every day is huge ,so many stalls that before used to sell organic local produce are now turning into take away juice bars, salads, sandwiches. I guess they have to move with the times. My suggestion is to visit in the less crowded hours of the day.
If you wish to bypass this bustling tourist hub for a more relaxing spot, veer off Las Ramblas to the “Placa Reial”, a historic square bordered by palm trees and Gaudi lanterns. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy a glass of wine, sangria or just to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. “Mindfulness”? , “Hygge”? The Spaniards have been doing it for a long time.
THE GOTHIC QUARTER
Again off Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter with its rustic cobbled streets will charm you. The architecture is beautiful and full of history. Jewels include the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. There is also the intriguing Museu d’Historia de Barcelona. This area is perfect for shopping as there is a variety of one-off fashion boutiques, art shops and artisan markets. The Placa de Sant Joseph Oriol offers a variety of places to sit down and enjoy a drink, in the shade of the majestic Santa maria del Pi church
A trendy area with loads of quirky boutiques, bars and eateries. It is also home to the purest example of Gothic architecture in Catalunya, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.
Alternatively, you can take in the beauty of the world heritage listed “Palau de la Musica Catalana” or the “Picasso Museum”. Indulge in churros and chocolate at La Xocolateria by Oriol Balaguer, a master chocolatier who has won numerous awards for all things chocolate.
Park Guell is one of the most impressive public parks in the world and it is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona.It was designed by Antonio Gaudi. Gaudí was strongly influenced by natural shapes and used them in his work a lot and IN this park they feature prominently.
At the top of Güell park is a terraced area where you get a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City. Due to park Güell’s location and size you’ll need to schedule at least half a day for a visit but it will be well worth it.
If you walk down las Ramblas towards Plaza de Colón, you get to Barcelona port. On a sunny day it is a beautiful place to relax, walk and have lunch at one of the many restaurants in the area.
I was staying at Le Meridien Barcelona and through their unlock art programme I was offered complimentary tickets to Palau Guell . I loved this building and it is definitely worth a visit as it is a magnificent example of the early days of Gaudí’s incredible architectural imagination. It is a neo-Gothic palace that Gaudí built just off La Ramblas in the late 1880s for the industrialist Eusebi Güell who lived there with his 10 children.
RELAX YOU ARE IN SPAIN
And finally, relax! If you are a new mum or a mum with strict schedules and sleep times, maybe it is time to go a bit European and put the kids schedule aside. If you fancy dinner at 9pm go for it, make sure you feed the baby first so you can enjoy an alfresco dinner without baby crying for food. No one will blink an eye just because you are out with your baby “late” . In fact you will see many parents out with their kids as well.