Barcelona is a foodie destination; ask any chef or anyone who has eaten dinner in this city. Walk off the calories sight-seeing in town or on the beach. It would be easy to just stay here, but for a holiday, check out these ideas.
1. La Sagrada Familia
This may be the biggest tourist draw in Barcelona, designed primarily by Antoni Gaudi from 1883. It is not finished. Gaudi’s designs are Dr. Seuss-like, even though he was working on a cathedral, and they’re fascinating. So much so that visitors must get tickets online or wait for days to get them. The Barcelona City Pass lets visitors by-pass the line, which is considerable. There are quite a few Barcelona vacation rentals near the cathedral.
2. Park Guell
Guardi was not content with a mere cathedral. He also designed this park with two houses at the entrance that look like a combination of the house from The Cat in the Hat and a Gingerbread House. It looks suspiciously familiar. Everyone likes “el drac” at another park entrance, a colourful salamander called “the dragon.” Gaudi seemed to incorporate a lot of s-shaped, winding items and walkways in his designs that remind one of reptilian beings. It’s not spooky in bright daylight. Walking from Park Guell to Sagrada Familia is downhill and takes about 40 minutes. Going uphill the other way is formidable, especially on a hot day.
3. La Rambla
Most people call this street “Las Ramblas” and can walk the 1.2 km in the shade. Shops and cafes line the street all the way from the Placa de Catalunya to Port Vell, where the monument of Christopher Columbus stands. Go in the daytime with the other crowds of tourists; nighttime is iffy. Even in the daytime, watch for pickpockets, and there are sex workers about, mostly on the southern end. There are flower shops and kiosks for souvenirs, naturally, and there is a local feel of the street life here. A mosaic by Joan Miro lies on the pavement somewhere on La Rambla, too. Street artists add a lively touch to an already active area, but sitting at a street-side cafe with a pitcher of sangria is not a bad idea.
4. The Picasso Museum
The only museum dedicated to Picasso’s works established during his lifetime in 1963, it holds 4,251 pieces of his work. It also includes two of his earliest acclaimed works from 1896 and 1897: “The First Communion” and “Science and Charity.” There are 3,500 works in the permanent collection that include the Blue Period, a well-loved era of his admirers. Ceramics, engravings and drawings accompany Picasso’s paintings in this museum.
Barcelona’s location on the Mediterranean make it an excellent place to rent holiday homes for a week or more. It’s a place to relax and amble around. “On the Mediterranean” is the important part, so go and take it easy.