Barcelona, Spain Travel Guide

barcelona

Barcelona, Spain is full of a rich history of its people and buildings. Barcelona has been home to many notable artists, including Antoni Gaudí, Salvador Dalí, and for a few years, Pablo Picasso.

We visited Barcelona over a three day weekend, to get full advantage of the short time we had there. Over the corse of three days, we only took the metro twice and ended up walking nearly 40 miles. It is truly a walking city if you so with, but has great public transport as well.

Read on for our Barcelona travel guide.

Read our other posts about Barcelona for a complete travel guide experience:

Montjuïc

 Plaça d’Espanya

At the base of Montjuïc is the Plaça d’Espanya. It is the juncture of many major roads, and now servers as a massive public square. Around the square there are many things to photograph and do.

We started our morning here, and slowly went up the mountain, to view the many options on its side.

  • Arenas de Barcelona: formerly a bullring, but now serves as a shopping mall.
  • Venetian Towers: A pair of 47m high towers that were built for the International Exposition, and serve no purpose other than ornamental.
  • Parc de Joan Miró

Font Màgica de Montjuïc

The Font Màgica de Montjuïc was built, along with Plaça d’Espanya, for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The fountain features a light, color, water and music show during the weekends.

The half an hour show will be happening from 30 October 2015 to 27 March 2016, on Fridays and Saturdays, from 7 pm to 9 pm, starting at 7 pm, 7.30 pm, 8 pm and 8.30 pm. Make sure to check out their website for the most recent scheduling information.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is the national museum of Catalan visual art, displaying art covering the 17th century to today, with a collection of nearly 300,000 pieces.

It is a long walk up the stairs to the museum from the fountain, but you can resort to the always running escalator if you must.

Tickets cost €12/person, but is valid for two days. Additional tickets for the temporary exhibition are €4 and entry to a rooftop viewpoint are €2. The hours of the museum are as follows, it is open every day except Monday:

  • Winter: October to April
    • Tuesday to Saturday: 10AM to 6PM
    • Sundays and public holidays: 10AM to 3PM
  • Summer: May to September
    • Tuesday to Saturday: 10AM to 8PM
    • Sundays and public holidays: 10AM to 3PM

Anella Olímpica

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics, and many of the Olympic facilities are located on the slopes of Montjuïc. The Olympic Park is home to the Olympic Stadium, the Palau Sant Jordi sports hall, the Picornell swimming pools, and the Joan Antoni Samarach Olympic and Sports Museum.

Montjuïc Communications Tower

barcelona-913763

The Montjuïc Communications Tower was built to handle the influx of television coverage during the 1992 Olympics. This Olympic flame inspired tower is only a photo opportunity. From here we caught the public bus to the top of Montjuïc.

Castell de Montjuïc

The Montjuïc Castle is at the top of the mountain, and served as a military fortress in one way or another from 1640 to 1963, when it became a military museum. Right outside of the castle is a beautiful panoramic view of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. We took the public bus right to the top, but took advantage of gravity to walk down to the Columbus Column.

The castle is open with the following schedule:

  • November to March: 10AM to 6PM
  • April to October: 10AM. to 8PM

Tickets are €5/person, with guided tours available in English daily at 1PM for an additional €5/person.


Columbus Monument

Columbus MonumentThis 40m tall Corinthian column is a monument to the one and only Christopher Columbus! The monument is a reminder of when Columbus reported back to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V in Barcelona after visiting the new world for the first time.

We spent some time walking around the area of the column, where they have a beautiful harbor and waterfront. Our next stop was the Park Güell, which I talk about further in the Must See Gaudí Houses post. After that we walked onward to l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

l'Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

The Hospital of Santa Creu and Sant Pau was missing from the travel guides we looked at before going to Barcelona, but was suggested to us by our tour guide. Now located in the same area as the major hospital by the same name. We accidentally walked around the entire hospital complex looking for the entrance to the museum.

The old hospital was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and it is the hospital that Antoni Gaudí died. This fact made many people who told us to visit the hospital to mistaken that it was in fact designed by Gaudí.

The grounds remind you of a small city square, surrounded by many beautifully designed Art Nouveau buildings. Going through the main building, you must make sure to look up, as the ceilings are some of the best parts of the design.

Tickets to the compound and museum are €8/person, the hours of the museum are as follows:

  • Winter: October to March
    • Monday to Saturday: 10AM to 4:30PM
    • Sundays and public holidays: 10AM to 2:30PM
  • Summer: April to September
    • Monday to Saturday: 10AM to 6:30PM
    • Sundays and public holidays: 10AM to 2:30PM

As the sun was beginning to go down at this point in the afternoon, we decided to head onwards to an indoors attraction, so the Chocolate Museum it was!

Museu de la Xocolata

Museu de la XocolataThe small Museum of Chocolate provides a brief history of the cocoa bean and chocolate consumption around the world as well as in Barcelona itself. It is not much but very informative.

The reason we suggest this museum is what comes next. There are dozens of sculptures and scenes built completely out of chocolate! There are many greats: including Batman, TinTin, Smirfs and Astrix.

Tickets are €5/person and include a small chocolate bar. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 7PM, and Sunday from 10AM to 3PM.

Parc de la Ciutadella

The Parc de la Ciutadella is a massive park near downtown Barcelona. It includes the Parliament of Catalonia, a small lake, museums, and a large fountain.

The main attraction of the park is the zoo of Barcelona. The zoo has the following hours:

  • October 25 to March 15: 10AM to 5:30PM
  • March 16 to May: 10AM to 7PM
  • June to September: 10AM to 8PM
  • October 1–14: 10AM to 7PM

park-481838

La Boqueria

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria
La Boqueria

The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is a large public market that dates back to the 1200s. The stalls mostly focus on fruits, vegetables, meat, and cheese, with a few places to grab a prepared bite to eat.

The market stalls take pride in the representation and layout of their food items. If you are looking for some beautiful food photos, you must visit la Boqueria.

The market is open Monday to Saturday from 8AM to 8PM.

Güell Pavilions

The Güell Pavilions are a complex of buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí. They are the former gatehouses of the Güell Estates. It is well known for the gates themselves, including a giant mythological dragon.

gaudi-1160382

Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf was built as the main entrance gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. At its base you will see many tourists, roller-bladers, balloons and bubbles.

We visited the arc many times at different times of day, and the place was always bustling with locals and tourists alike.

La Diada de Sant Jordi

The 23rd of April, also known as The Day of the Rose or The Day of the Book, is the day of love in Barcelona.

The story of St George is that on this day he saved the princess from a dragon. When he killed the dragon, a rose came out where the blood should have been. Give roses to beautiful girls.

If they think the boy is beautiful they must give back a book, specifically a book about history, while a dictionary is the highest regarded book to receive from a woman.

If we are missing any places to visit on our Barcelona Travel Guide, please let us know in the comments.

Related Posts

6 thoughts on “Barcelona, Spain Travel Guide

  1. Barcelona is on my list of places I want to visit… so basically I am really jealous reading this post Lol. It looks so amazing !!

  2. Great photos here and a nice guide! Spain is one on my lists but going there would take a lot of patience for me. Bookmarking this for that future adventure. :D

Leave a Reply

Top