Barcelona – A Journey for all the Senses

Barcelona is a fascinating city with numerous hotels, restaurants, attractions, and a plethora of other items to keep tourists busy for days, weeks, or months.  We recommend that you consider staying at the magnificent W Barcelona, which is located on the beach by the infamous Barceloneta boardwalk.  The views of the Mediterranean and the city are phenomenal, and you may be tempted to sit in your room all day and stare out the windows at your surroundings.  

The W Barcelona is located at water’s edge and offers spectacular views of the city and sea.

The rooms in this fabulous hotel are quite wonderful and while you will be comfortable in them, you will find that you will not be in them for too long.  There are too many other things to do, including spending time at the wet pool and terrace with a live DJ.  The sun deck is another option with its infinity pool and exclusive cabanas for hotel guests like yourself.  

Jet lag is always a possibility during travel, so we recommend taking advantage of the hotel’s spa and the multiple treatments that they offer.  You can relax while the staff takes care of all your needs, and you readjust to your new time zone.  Of course, the best way to complete your re-energizing is to order room service and enjoy your meal while sitting in your room looking out at the water.  

If your travels take you to Barcelona in the summer, make sure to build in at least one beach day. The W Barcelona is located at the Barceloneta Boardwalk Beach.

The next day, you will awaken refreshed and ready to venture out to see the sights.  There are numerous ways to get around the city of Barcelona, but we recommend the Hop On/Hop Off Bus for sightseeing.  It will make it much easier as you go from one attraction to the next and they are very easy to find amongst all the traffic and people in the city. Barcelona is also an extremely pedestrian friendly city, so bring your walking shoes. 

There are literally hundreds of places that you could see while in Barcelona, but here are the 5 that we recommend:

  1. Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família is the largest unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world, but that should never discourage you from visiting this phenomenal place.  The construction of this church began in 1882 under the guidance of Francisco Paula de VIllar, but Villar resigned shortly thereafter, and that is when Antoni Gaudí stepped in and dedicated the rest of his life to this masterpiece.  The church was only less than a quarter finished when he died in 1926, and it is believed that it may be completed in time to celebrate the centenary of his death in 2026.  The parts that are currently finished are quite extraordinary, so we cannot wait to see the finished building once everything has been completed.  

The majestic Sagrada Familia is still under construction after more than 130 years. It’s a must-see in Barcelona.

      2. Park Güell

Park Güell is on Carmen Hill in Barcelona and it is a public park that Antoni Gaudí designed with both architecture masterpieces and gardens.  It took him from 1900 to 1914 to create this space, and then the park was not opened to the public until 1926.  While at this park, we recommend that you take one of the numerous guided tours that are offered in multiple languages.  

Perched atop Carmen Hill in Barcelona, you’ll find Parc Guell – A and wacky and fun space designed by Gaudí.

     3. Gothic Quarter

Everyone needs to visit the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.  This area is within the center of the old city, from La Rambla to Via Laietana, as well as from the Mediterranean to the Ronda de Sant Pere.  While you are in the Gothic Quarter, we recommend that you see the city’s Roman Wall and the medieval landmarks that include the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia, Church of Santa Maria del Pi, Basilica of La Mercè, and Casa de la Ciutat.  

The gothic architecture of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona.

    4. Montjuïc

For spectacular panoramic views of the city of Barcelona, you simply must climb to the top of Montjuïc!  You can reach the top of the hill by the Funicular de Montjuïc, which is a funicular railway, and then a gondola lift.  Besides the views, we also saw the most recent of the fortifications that graced the top of the hill over the years.  The Castle of Montjuïc dates to the 17th century, and it served numerous purposes over the years.  For a time, it shelled parts of the city, then it held prisoners and executions were performed there.  It is easy to spend on entire day on top of this hill, as there is the Fundacío Joan Miró, the Montjuïc Cemetery, botanical gardens, a museum of ethnology, a Catalan museum of archaeology, and an Olympic museum.  

After a panoramic cable-car trip to the top, one can enjoy breathtaking views, museums, and botanical gardens.

     5. Gaudí Museum

The Gaudí Museum is in the building where Gaudí resided from 1906 until 1925, and it is where objects and documents linked to his life are displayed.  All the furniture on display inside the home are original pieces that he created as are the ones that are placed out in the garden.  The garden is such a peaceful place to wander around and it is the perfect place for a picnic lunch.  

The Gaudí Museum is in the building where Gaudí resided from 1906 until 1925, and it is where objects and documents linked to his life are displayed.

Everyone will get hungry as they venture through Barcelona, and while there are many restaurants that they can enjoy at any hour of the day, there are two that are perfect for the evening meal.  

The first one is Llamber, which is a Spanish gastronomical food lover’s dream paradise!  Their menu offers seasonal dishes that combine local ingredients with delectable flavors that erupt in your mouth with every bite that you take.  Once you add a glass of wine or one of their signature cocktails, your meal is going to be complete.  

Every dish at this restaurant is meant to be shared, so it is possible to order multiple meals and try a bit of everything.  For a starter, we recommend a plate of artisanal cured meats and sausages from Cal Tomàs or the parmesan fondue with king prawns and green asparagus.  For a main dish, there are choices that include aged beef dices with cabrales cheese sauce, potato gnocchi and ecological Vare cheese with seasonal truffle, or the grilled vegetables with rawmesco sauce.  When it comes to dessert, everyone will want to try either the Crema Catalana with pineapple sorbet or the traditional Asturian rice pudding.  

The other restaurant that we recommend is Martínez, and you will be able to sit inside, or out on the balcony or the terrace.  The menu is quite extensive, and the prawns sautéed in garlic and chili or the folgueroles flat pastry with tomatoes are both popular choices for starters.  As for the main course, we recommend the Spanish blue lobster served with seasonal vegetables or the veal sweetbreads with citrus fruit butter.  They even have a large wine and cocktail list, and their servers know which drinks pair well with each dish.  

No matter how long you are in Barcelona, you will find that it is never long enough!  There is so much to see and do all over the city, and you will quickly run out of time before you have finished everything on your list.  That is okay though, because you can easily plan another trip to this fascinating city in the future, so that you can explore it some more and find even more amazing attractions that you didn’t know about this time around.  

Poble Espanyol was built for the world-Expo in 1929. It’s a recreation of a colonial Iberian town and today houses many shops and restaurants and is great fun for locals and tourists alike.

 

Plaza Real is in the Gothic Quarter, near the Rambla, and is a great place to hang out, especially at night.

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