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Barcelona


IN TRAVEL  / 

B A R C E L O N A

Taking a breath away every 0.036 seconds.

It seems like it was yesterday, but it’s been actually three years since I moved to this city, with two suitcases full of clothes and shoes, a few dollars in my savings account, longings for adventure and a lot of that kind of healthy fear that makes you go and seek for wonder. I can tell you, with all words believed and tattooed in my heart, that I love Barcelona. Because of that, and in celebration of my third anniversary, I wanted to create a special post talking about my favorite places.

However, I realise it would be extremely deluded from me to believe I can include every aspect of the city in one post and within it tell about its pleasures, architecture, its sunny days, noise, history and everything you cannot see or smell in photos. For that reason, and taking a bit of advantage of you as my readers, I’ll not create a post but a series in which I’ll tell you all I encounter myself with, from the busiest streets, the most reposted areas, the most beautiful corners and those places no one knows about. Because Barcelona might be small, but its wonders are uncountable.

S A G R A D A F A M Í L I A

Of course, I couldn’t start somewhere else in the map. One of the most visited places in Europe and the busiest by tourists in Spain, the Sagrada Família is not only an architecture gem and a catalan pride by Antoni Gaudí, but it’s also a monument so big it’s hard to take a complete photo of it without the right photography equipment. Once it’s completed on 2026 after almost 150 years of construction and design modifications, it will be the tallest cathedral in Europe. You’ll excuse us, then, that we couldn’t take a proper shot of it as we’d had like it.

I felt like starting from here because this is also the neighbourhood I live on and, while it’s true the summer brings a lot of tourist who block the metro entrances and is a personal nightmare, this area of the Eixample is the ideal balance between movement and tranquility. My recommendation is to walk from Sagrada Família all the way up via Avinguda Gaudí, eat a gelato in a terrace and take the sun (in summer, you can hide from it under the dense and beautiful London plane trees). If you experience real hunger, one of my favorite mexican restaurants is right next to it, La Tortería.

P L A Ç A C A T A L U N Y A

For myself and many people, this is the center of Barcelona. To the northwest of the plaza you can find Passeig de Gràcia, Las Rambla to the southeast, to the northeast the Eixample with some of the most beautiful buildings you’ll encounter in Europe, and to the south the old town of the city. It is the most frequent meeting point within locals (and tourists) for many reasons, within them: the eternal sunlight in summer, the free WIFI from Apple Store and the connectivity to trains and the metro. For me, it’s one of my favorites because it gathers my daily life: the office I work on, the transportation, the quick shopping, my language school and some of my favorite restaurants, such as Flax & Kale y Teresa Carles.

Don’t be afraid of the amount of people or the size of the pigeons (they actually behave rather good), it’s a pretty cosy area to chill by thanks to its dimensions. Besides, if you take the bus from the airport, Plaça Catalunya will be the destination and the first place of Barcelona you’ll step on your feet.

C A R R E R D E L B I S B E

On the opposed side, there’s Carrer del Bisbe. A small street (but highly transited) which hides the architectonic treasure probably most posted on Instagram after the Sagrada Família. To reach it isn’t as easy either, if you deide to take left on the Cathedral of Barcelona, you’re lost already. Here’s how I recommend you to reach it: take the metro to Plaça Catalunya, do some window shopping on Avingunda del Portal de l’Àngel, walk to the Cathedral and look at its front (and take a photo, too), walk to the right side and don’t turn right again, continue a straight path. Passing a few drinking fountains and within a sea of people, turn your head up and enjoy the view accompanied of classical music (probably). It’s small, ephemeral, a sigh in comparison of the whole city, but nevertheless, so charming.

And while you’re there, visit the Cathedral, drink water from the fountains for good luck, take a coffee at Satan’s Coffee Corner and walk towards Plaça Sant Jaume, which is another of my favorite places but we’ll have to leave it for second part.

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Finally, and as a tip for before/during your visit, don’t call it Barça. While it’s similar to Barcelona, the first one is the soccer team and the second is the city. If you wanna look for a short name, Barna is the right one. Well, are you ready to book your trip?

 

To be continued…

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  1. Always awesome Adriana 🙂 excellent post and photos – one day I’ll visit -such a beautiful place + Gaudi’s thee Man 🙂

    1. Hi Ela, thank you so much. You’ll indeed love Barcelona, its weather, architecture and food! I’d love to visit Krakow in full snow, it must be so charming <3 xx

    1. You’ll love the experience of discovering more and more. In three years I’ve seen a lot of it, but I still encounter myself with new plazas, corners, shops and restaurants I’ve never visited (and they’re not new). Enjoy it! xx

  2. OH WOOOOW! Me encantó este post de principio a fin y ahora que lo pienso también es mi aniversario de llegada a Barcelona, llegué a mediados de Octubre hace dos años y al igual que tú sigo enamorado de la ciudad y descubriendo muchas cosas nuevas y a la vez maravillándome con los lugares tan bonitos de siempre! Hasta hace un año todavía me sentía como flotando pero creo que poco a poco me siento más adaptado y ahora me conozco gran parte de la ciudad como la palma de mi mano :p
    Creo que una de las cosas que más valoro y como te he dicho antes es que a diferencia de muchas ciudades en América aquí se puede ir caminando a todos lados y no mueres en el intento, aunque de vez en cuando algunos se infartan cuando les digo que me suelo ir caminando de Ciutat Vella a Sants que es donde vivo ahora jaja, pero a mi me encanta no solo como ejercicio sino como distracción y hay tantas cosas tan bonitas en el camino *_*
    Voy a apuntarme a probar La Tortería y Satan’s Coffee, los otros ya los conozco, y recuerda que si tienes más cosas en mente siempre son bienvenidas 😀 Yo también pensaba hacer una especie de guía con los tips que he encontrado útiles y lugares tanto emblemáticos como otros que a veces los turistas dejan pasar (por cierto por Sagrada Familia has ido a Hospital Sant Pau? Siento que muchas veces a los visitantes se les olvida y es otra joya del modernismo catalán que impresiona y bastante!)
    Me encantaron todas las fotos rodeada de gente, siento que describe perfectamente ese rush constante de vivir en esta ciudad donde todo mundo está desesperado de hacerse una foto o comprar un souvenir con una flamenca (aunque nada que ver! :P)
    Un abrazo y sigue así de inspiradora, siempre te superas!
    PS: Tu foto en Carrer del Bisbe te la tengo que aplaudir porque me he intentado sacar una ahí más de una vez y nunca me sale jaja!
    Pablo

    1. Wow, Pablo! Gracias por escribir tanto! Me encanta leerte en tu blog y que me comentes aquí es siempre un placer.
      Barcelona es que es imposible acabártela en uno o dos años, es más, tengo amigos que han vivido aquí toda su vida y siguen descubriendo cositas y rincones. Al Hospital Sant Pau sí he ido y es uno de los puntos que quise dejar para la próxima guía, porque algunos turistas lo tienen olvidado y es muy, muy bonito.
      Gracias por todo, Pablo 🙂 cada día me toma más tiempo terminar un post pero siento que poco a poco quedan mejor 🙂 Besos y nos vemos pronto! x

  3. Aww what a wonderful post!! I just returned home from Barcelona and already miss it. Thank you again for all you recommendations! You’re the best!
    Btw, I love that trench on you! Also love how relaxed you look in the middle of the sea of people in these photos. So, so, so chic. XO

  4. To be honest, Barcelona has been on my go-to list for quite some time now. Few of my friends went there this summer and their stories heightened my longing for it. I know Macedonia is not that far from Spain, but due to a series of personal life obstacles, I’ve never been able to visit it. I am hoping to do so in the close future. If I can get to meet you, it would be even more awesome. I love the photos, as always. I have to applaud you on taking such awesome photos in crowds because I know how uncomfortable people staring can be. These shots are magazine worthy. I wish a magazine featured this post. ^^

    1. Hi Dilek, you must absolutely visit whenever is doable for you 🙂 please let me know as I’d love to meet you in person as well.
      As for the photos, I have to mentally prepare myself for the challenge, people tend to stare for a few minutes but I have a method that works for me: I stare to a point in a wall, on the floor or far in the horizon and keep focused on it, and not on the people around me 😉 practice is needed, tho.
      Thanks babe! xx

  5. Wow, debo admitir que las fotos son de morir. Me encanta que no quitaron los turistas, me gusta lo que enseña la historia.

  6. Wow !
    “She walks in beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that’s best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
    Which heaven to gaudy day denies…”