18 August 2017

A weekend in Barcelona, what to do

Travel bugs with a love of art, culture and architecture will likely have Spain’s second city somewhere on their bucket list. It’s a beautiful, grand and vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage that’s host to millions of tourists every year. Cheap flights and reasonable accommodation make it a popular spot for weekend breaks for visitors from the UK and all across Europe.  

Barcelona enjoyed a certain anonymity up until the early ‘90s. After the boom of beach tourism in the 1960s, most holidaymakers were more interested in Spain’s resort towns like Ibiza, Gran Canaria and Marbella than its cosmopolitan cities. That all changed, however, when Barcelona hosted the 1992 olympics, resulting in a tidal wave of tourism that saw the whole world flock to this gorgeous and fascinating city.

If you’ll be spending a weekend in this fabulous place then it can be difficult to know which of its many activities to cram into your busy itinerary. Whatever your tastes, here are some activities that you shouldn’t even consider leaving without seeing…


Watch the sun rise over city from Parc Guell

If you’re an early riser, (or even if you’re not), you owe it to yourself to see the sun rise over this gorgeous city from the ultimate vantage point, Parc Guell. The brainchild of the brilliant and eccentric architect Antoni Gaudi, the park sits on a breezy hillside that’s perfect for a picnic breakfast before heading into the park proper to see the sun glistening on the beautiful nearby buildings. There’s no better way to start your weekend.

Treat yourself to a slap up brunch

Catalonians like their lie ins over the weekend, meaning that brunch is usually a staple of tourists rather than natives. That said, there are some wonderful brunching spots including the Northern Italian inspired Cecconi’s where you can feast on Italian cured meats, cheeses, pasta and pizza. Trust me, you’ll get enough walking done to justify all those carbs.

Hike through Gracia

A brisk walk through this famous neighbourhood will take you past some more of Gaudi’s architectural ‘Modernista’ masterpieces including La Pedrere, a monument to early 20th century excess. Commissioned in 1905 by Pere Mila and funded exclusively with the money from his new wife Roser Guardiola (a wealthy widow), it’s recognizable by its tall, stylised chimneys that stand over the building like giant chess pieces.

Perk yourself up with a carajillo

After all that walking you’ll need a pick-me-up. How about a carajillo (a shot of alcohol-infused espresso)? These can be found in most of the city’s proliferate coffee shops but the best are found at Bar Quillo in the Born district.


And of course… La Sagrada Familia

While Barcelona has some of the most diverse and fascinating architecture in Europe, Antoni Gaudi’s gothic masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia is a work of art that you really can’t leave the city without seeing. Gaudi died long before its completion (which is still estimated to be some time between 2020 and 2040) but he was obsessed with the project, regarding it as not only his life’s work but a spiritual calling. Attracting 2.8 million tourists a year, its ornate beauty has to be seen to be believed.


1 comment

  1. Great article, love your sharing so much, thank you!



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