La Sagrada Familia
The next tourist hell: ‘The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family’! Since 2011, you can see the spectacular inside of the church. We totally understand the hype about Gaudí.
His unfinished masterpiece is one of the most extraordinary and famous sights in Barcelona. The colourful glasses which are used as windows illuminate the inside in all colours.
The church is located in Eixample. They started building it in 1882; the towers are up to 115 meters high, the cupola is said to be 170m when it’s finished. Every stone is handmade, so finishing Gaudí’s lifetime project will still take a while. They plan to finish it until 2026.
All in all we were really impressed. What we cannot recommend was the visit of the towers. It was a waste of time and money. It was unspectacular and despite a reservation, we had to wait quite a bit of time. The view is ok, but not very convincing.
And: You should book the tickets in advance here as well! You can do this here!
Mercat de la Boqueria
Our favourite place in Barcelona: The Boqueria. It’s actually called Mercant de Sant Josep and is next to the Rambla.
Aside from the delicious tapas and all the other tasty food, everything is a feast for the eyes.
And you also find many locals here. Which is actually quite refreshing in Barcelona!
Barcelona’s boulevard. It begins at Plaça Catalunya and reaches to the port. Or reverse. It’s really crowded and while walking there, we sometimes wished to be far away from the Rambla.
Plaça d’Espanya in front of the Montjuïc
Here you can already see the Font Màgica, the Magic Fountain.
In winter you can see the spectacle at weekends and in summer every evening every thirty minutes. It’s a mixture of music, water, movement and colour that attracts an unhealthy amount of people.
The show begins quite lame and becomes better and better. If you want to sit on the steps or further upstairs, you have to come very early. We were okay sitting on the ground! In total it was worth seeing it!
This was definitely our favourite part in Barcelona. The Gothic Quarter is Barcelona’s oldest city quarter and is located east of the Rambla.
With tons of people from all over the world, we were trying to relax while watching the beautiful courtyard of the cathedral, built in the 15th century. It was really beautiful and actually quite huge. But it was definitely way too crowded.
This also counts for the alley next to the cathedral where you can find the ‘Carrer del Bisbe’ (Bridge of Sighs). I saw pictures at Instagram with no human being around it and thought it was a really romantic place.
Just like the whole quarter was. But this alley must be one of the worst in this world: At least for people suffering a little bit from claustrophobia – like me.
At Plaça Reial, which is also part of Barri Gotic, you’ll find good restaurants for good prices.
The area itself is fantastic: The street lanterns were designed by Gaudí and the fountain in the middle of the Plaza is called Grace Fountain!
It’s Barcelona’s most popular quarter. We had our hostel here and therefore we explored this area, of course.
For examplea Gaudí again: The Casa Batlló in the Passeig de Gracia. A great house. Again the focus is on the details and I think I had no problem to live in such a fantasy house. We haven’t seen the inside – the queue was just too long and the price was too high.
Besides the tourist spectacles, you’ll find a lot of great restaurants and very, very, very delicious tapas. I really could eat them all the time.
Spanish people are very generous when it comes to pouring wine or other drinks in your glass. Jan had a Gin Tonic in the size of what totally could have been a gigantic medieval cup. Well, after that we were quite drunk. Lovely evening!
People here seem to be very proud of their new consumerism temple. Unfortunately, it’s really not spectacular. Our experience is affected by Singapore – a standard shopping centre will not impress us anymore.
But there’s a Starbucks with WiFi here – including a great view over the port. So it wasn’t a waste of time passing the bridge.
Due to a lack of time (for this one weekend is just not enough) we couldn’t see two of other sights: The Montserrat outside the city and the city’s beach Barceloneta. If you have more time, you shouldn’t miss it.
All in all it was a great weekend. Even if it was a short one, I would never want to miss the flash that overwhelms you and the little break of the daily routine. Amen!
Here’s Part 1 of the post. Just in case you got lost!