Your 5 Day Guide to the Magnificent Barcelona
Hey, lovelies! Today on the blog we are going to discuss one magnificent destination – Barcelona. This is one of the most popular destinations lately. Me and my boyfriend wanted to go there for a long time and we finally did it.
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Barcelona is a gorgeous place. Its rich history, magnificent buildings, long streets and lively mood can charm you.
We spent 5 days there and I am going to share with you what to visit, where to eat, where to stay and all the good and bad stuff because I want to be 100% honest with you.
I believe 5 days are going to be perfect for you. In 5 days you can see absolutely all of the important landmarks, especially if you use public transport, which by the way is really good there. There are endless options to travel to every part of the city. But we are going to talk about this later.
First Day – Gothic Quarter, Placa de Catalunya, La Rambla, La Boqueria, Barcelona Cathedral, Museo Picasso, Liceu, Columbus Monument
So, the first day was really crazy for us. We arrived early in the morning at the airport. We decided to go first to check in at our hotel. We bought a travel card for public transport. It’s called T-10 and its price is 10.20 euro. You can travel 10 times with this card and it is not only for one person which is great. I believe it is the best option.
Before arriving at the hotel we even had time for breakfast and coffee. There are SO many bakeries in Barcelona, you will be in heaven. And the coffee is heavenly delicious.
We arrived at the hotel before noon and we decided to see if our room is already available and for our surprise it was. We stayed at Sunotel Club Central.
I should say I fell in love with this hotel. The receptionist welcomed us very friendly and explained to us everything. He also gave us valuable travel information. The hotel was really clean and beautiful. The room was amazing – spacious, clean and classy. At the rooftop, they even have a swimming pool and a jacuzzi – the perfect way to relax after a long walk. You can plan your stay at Sunotel Club Central here.
After we relaxed for 10 minutes we were excited to start our big Barcelona journey. We decided to go to the Gothic Quarter and on our way to the Quarter our first stop was Barcelona’s main street – La Rambla. Amazing long and filled with live and shops street where you can take a walk, go shopping or observe the gorgeous architecture of the buildings. The word “Rambla” comes from Arabic and also the term “ramia”, which means sandy riverbed. Here’s located the oldest hotel Oriente. Another interesting fact is that La Ramla is home to the only Erotic museum which has 60 000 visitors every year. La Rambla is home to Europe’s biggest and Barcelona’s only automatic car park.
While walking on La Ramla you can spot the famous Placa de Catalunya. It is a beautiful place where people sit to enjoy their lunch break or meet after work. The place is covered by thousands of doves. Placa de Catalunya is the most well-known plaza in Spain. It is considered to be Barcelona’s city center. This is the third biggest plaza in Spain.
After Plaza de Catalunya and while walking on La Rambla you will see the best ever market La Boqueria. I am in love with this place – so colorful and filled with different tastes. This place was like paradise for me – fresh fruits, juices, vegetables, chocolate, fish and much more. La Boqueria’s meaning is really interesting. It means the meat of the male. It occupies an area of 2583 square meters and it has more than 300 stops. In 2005 it was given an award for the best market in the world. La Boqueria is an incredible place and it is a must visit stop.
If you continue walking on La Rambla you will finally get to the Columbus Monument. Historic people believe Columbus was actually born in Catalonia. The monument was created in 1888 for the Universal Exhibition.
There’s another lovely place you should visit while being on La Rambla – the Liceu. Grand Teatre Liceu was built in 1847. It was created to be a place where high society could go to opera. The building was destroyed by fire in 1994 and reopened in 1999. The auditorium seats are 2292 making the Liceu one of the world’s biggest opera houses.
The last place you should not miss is the Barcelona Cathedral. This place fascinated me. The full name of the cathedral is a Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. It is built between the 13th and 15th century. The construction begins in 1298. There is a secret garden hidden in the cathedral. It is home of 13 white geese because it is believed Saint Eulalia has been just 13 years old when she died. The “Dancing Egg” fates back from the 17th century and it is believed to represent the cycle of life. Don’t miss this stunning cathedral, it will amaze you.
The Gothic Quarter is the historic center of Barcelona. The whole area was at one time surrounded by a wall, and within its boundaries, many majestic buildings were erected.
After this exciting and long walk, we even went shopping for swimsuits because we didn’t want to miss the pool and the jacuzzi. And that’s exactly what we did. It was the best end of the long and tiring day. Sitting in the jacuzzi with the love of my life watching the sunset and witnessing the beauty of Barcelona was magical.
Second Day – Park Guell, Cosmo Caixa, Gaudi Houses
We woke up early and went for coffee and breakfast in an amazing bakery we found.
Our first stop was Park Guell. We love walking but while we were walking to the park we saw the time is passing by really quickly and we decided to leave out something from our plan – Tibidabo. The path to the park was long and hard, most of it was climbing up. In the end, it was all worthy. The park was absolutely gorgeous.
The park was built between 1900 – 1914 by Antoni Gaudi. In 1984 UNESCO declared the park as a World Heritage Site.
As a matter of fact, I expected the park to be much more colorful and filled with the spirit of Gaudi. But it was more natural, filled with nature which wasn’t bad at all. I really liked wandering around the park and see all the lovely views from there.
You can visit different parts of the park that are paid but the price is different for every part. They only let a certain amount of people so you better schedule this long before you go, only this way you won’t miss the whole day there.
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After we finished our Park Guell experience it was already lunch. We decided to go to Cosmo Caixa. We paid in advance through the Internet and we got some little discount. I advise you to pay in advance for everything you want to visit. It is fast, better and sometimes you get discounts. Anyway, We arrived at Cosmo Caixa. The building was beautiful and there was a little pond with birds.
The museum underwent renovation in 1998, a process that took six years. Inside you can see different historical and scientific areas. You can learn so much there. It was an interesting adventure.
The Flooded Forest there contains more than 1000 square meters of exhibit space. It was opened in 1981.
Cosmo Caixa is Spain’s first interactive science museum.
After we finished the whole round we sat in the garden for a cup of coffee. Then we decided to go back to the center and see Gaudi’s houses – Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. They both were gorgeous, typical for Gaudi’s style. We didn’t go inside the houses because the fee was 25 and 30 euro per person and we were having a certain budget to follow. If you decide to go inside both be sure to pay in advance and organize better your time because every time we were walking around there it was FULL with people.
Casa Mila was constructed between 1906 and 1912 by Gaudi. This is one of the last buildings he makes. Not a single right angle can be found.
Casa Batllo was renovated and the building is one of Gaudi’s masterpieces. It is located in the heart of Passeig de Gracia. Built in 1877 with the help of Emilio Sala Cortes. The house was bought by Joseph Batllo in 1900. In 1904 Batllo hired Gaudi to remodel and to divide the house into apartments.
Both Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are close to each other.
And that’s how our second day ended. We left for our hotel tired but really excited for the third day.
Third Day – Arc De Triomf, Sagrada Familia & Montjuic
Our third day started with a gorgeous breakfast and oh-so-amazing coffee. Our first stop was Arc De Triomf. To be honest, we didn’t plan this one but the night before I was searching for something interesting to see and I saw the arc. We decided to go and it was so beautiful.
The triumphal arc in Barcelona was built by Joseph Casanovas in 1888.
After we spent some time there we were on our way to the fabulous Sagrada Familia. We reserved our tickets at around noon. The moment we saw the building we were speechless. It was such majestic beauty. We’ve been here and there but Sagrada Familia was something so beautiful.
We were early so we decided to stop and have lunch in one of the corners so we could have the ability to watch the building.
It was easy to enter because of the staff and the organization of the work. We spent 5 minutes and then we entered inside. Oh, it was breathtaking! So much beauty in one place. I loved it!
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Sagrada Familia is basilica and church of the Holy Family. It is a large unfinished Roman Catholic Church designed by Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi’s work on the building is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The construction started in 1882 by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar.
While 150 years is a long time when the building is ready it will have taken longer to build than the Egyptian Pyramids and only 50 years less than the Great Wall of China.
There will be 18 towers and each of them is going to be significant – 12 towers are going to represent the 12 apostles, 4- evangelists, 1 for Virgin Mary and 1 for Jesus Christ. Right now there are only 8 towers.
Gaudi is buried there on an underground level. When the building is going to be ready it will be the tallest religious building in whole Europe.
There are tons of symbolism in each part of Gaudi’s structure. Aside, from the religious symbols, there are two important you should look out for. First, the interior pillars actually resemble trees, and when you look up at them their shapes constantly change, as real trees appear to do. There is also a tortoise and turtle holding up these pillars, representing both the earth and the sea.
After we finished we had Montjuic on our plans. So we took a bus to there. We saw beautiful gardens and the castle. You should take the teleferic car (cable car)n but when we were there-there was a bus that took us not so close to the castle.
There is a lot to do there – you can see the castle, wander the Olympic ring, visit an art museum or two or wander around Poble Espanyol which is a very interesting place where the whole Spanish culture can be seen. If you are lucky enough (not like us ) you can finish by visiting the Museu Nacional d’Art which holds one of the best city views and a performance at the Majic Fountains.
Happy from our day we went to our hotel and then out for dinner.
Fourth Day – Museum of Chocolate, Barcelona Zoo, Parc de la Ciutadella & Aquarium
The fourth day was really exciting. We started by going to the Museum of Chocolate – our ticket was actually a chocolate bar. There we many interesting figures made of chocolate. When you finish the round you can choose to buy from so many different kinds of chocolate and bonbons. Everything was so delicious.
After the Museum of the Chocolate, we went to the Barcelona Zoo. We love animals so much so it was very nice to be around them. But if we have to be honest we enjoyed more the Rotterdam zoo where we were able to be much closer around the animals. But as I said we love animals so we loved being in Barcelona Zoo. We ordered our ticket earlier and the price was 19.25 Euro per person.
The zoo opened its doors in 1892. Many of the first animals were first owned by a rich Catalan family. The zoo was known for its star resident “Snowflake” who was the only known albino gorilla in captivity. He was in the zoo from 1966 to 2003.
We didn’t go to the Aquarium because we visited the one in Rotterdam so we decided to pass this one because we heard it was almost the same. But here is some interesting information about it – it was open in 1995. That’s Europe’s most important recreational and educational marine center but also the richest in the world for Mediterranean fish species. It is home to over 11 000 animals. The aquarium has 262-foot underwater tunnel where are the sharks.
Parc de la Ciutadella is an amazing place to visit, really beautiful and natural. You should definitely visit. The parc was a large military citadel in 1715. In 1869 General Prim handed over the fortress on the condition that it will be used as a public park. There is also a romantic pond there.
As we were in this region we decided to stop by in the closest mall center for some shopping.
Then you can imagine – dinner and bed.
Fifth Day – Tibidabo & Camp Nou
This was our last day. After the amazing breakfast, we went to Placa de Catalunya from where we had to take a bus to lead us to Tibidabo. After waiting for almost an hour we decided to check again on the Internet and with a huge surprise, we saw that Tibidabo wasn’t working. We really wanted to go there because of the gorgeous view. But sadly there was nothing to do about it.
We took a bus to Camp Nou. There we took a fast tour on the outside because my boyfriend is a fan of a different football club so we decided not to go inside. Although we didn’t go inside there was such an interesting history to link to this place.
Camp Nou means “The New Stadium”. It was built because of the legendary Spanish footballer Ladislao Kubala. This is the largest stadium in Europe. It was built in 3 years (1954-1957). FC Barcelona won its first match at Camp Nou. At one point Camp Nou could seat 120 000 in 1980.
This last day we spent wandering at the places we loved as Plaza Espanya and The Museu Nacional d’Art with its gorgeous view. It was a day well spent for sure. We had enough time to take a long walk and go back to the hotel to make up our luggage.
Let’s talk about food and drinks
When we visit we love trying something new and something traditional for the place we visit. We tried much interesting tapas, paella, patatas bravas, and the famous Sangria. Let me tell you something – eating there was such an adventure for us. From all the things we have tried we only loved the patatas bravas. It was so hard to find a nice place with good food, although I did some research before we went.
The city is filled with many gorgeous bakeries where you can have a wonderful breakfast but that’s it. Yes, there are many places to eat but we weren’t fascinated by the food at all. But of course, that’s just us. You might like it.
We loved their Sangria. We were drinking it every single day. Let me give you a little tip – always pick a place that’s not in the central streets because there the quality of the food and the drinks is very different than the quality in small not so central places. We understood that the hard way. Sangria on the central streets was like a sweet juice but in not so central was absolutely real and we could actually watch what they were putting in it.
We loved our time in Barcelona. Our plan definitely needed some improvements. We are sorry we couldn’t see Tibidabo and the Majic Fountains. If we had one more day we would definitely go to Montserrat because it is a wonderful place filled with so much history and beautiful things to see.
But what is a journey without some mistakes, right?!
If you want more information on how to plan your trip to Barcelona you might find really helpful this Barcelona Travel Guide.
We definitely had a beautiful time there!
Have you been there? What did you like the most and what you didn’t? Tell me more!