Day 1. Walk along Las Ramblas.
The city of Barcelona has several bus stations, a high speed train and an airport. After arriving to the city, spend the afternoon exploring the city’s many cultural landmarks. Walk along the Las Ramblas, a set of main boulevards that connect the Plaça Catalunya to the seaside, near the famous Barceloneta urban beach. These boulevards have many flower stalls and street performers.
Day 2. Explore the city center and the Gothic Quarter.
Spend the second day exploring the city center. Ciutat Vella is the historical city center, with cobblestone streets and ancient buildings. The nearby Gothic Quarter is one of the city’s most famous areas. This district is known for its Gothic architecture, the Santa Eulalia Cathedral and the nearby cloister, which is filled with geese. Another postcard-worthy landmark in this district is the Pont dels sospirs, a bridge that connects two Gothic buildings. Many nearby streets are narrow, cobblestone streets filled with bars, lounges and boutique stores. Some of the city’s famous party hostels and chic hotels are located in the area.
Day 3. Dedicate an afternoon to Gaudí.
The city of Barcelona cannot be explored without visiting any of the landmarks that were designed by the architect Gaudí. The symbol of this Catalonian city is the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, an unfinished cathedral located near L’Eixample district. Visitors can explore the interior of the cathedral, which has thick columns branching towards the high, vaulted ceiling. The outside of the cathedral has several facades decorated with carved statues. Climb up one of the two towers that have observation decks to enjoy views towards the city center. Two of Gaudí’s other famous buildings are located in the area, the Casa Batlló and Casa Milá. Casa Batlló has a sandstone facade covered in trencadis, small mosaic pieces that are used for decoration in Catalonia. The nearby Casa Milá is a larger house with a wavy façade. This house has a courtyard and the top floor is a gallery where the miniature versions of many of Gaudí’s designs are exhibited.
Day 4. Stock up with local products and spend an afternoon in a park.
In the morning, explore the Boquería market, a market located off Las Ramblas. This Spanish market is the ideal place for foodies. There are plenty of stalls selling dried fruit, fresh fruit juices, a selection of hams and seafood. Visit one of the market’s café bars for a pan tumaca, traditional breakfast toast drizzled in olive oil and fresh tomato. El Quim is a traditional tapas bar, one of the most famous in the area, where visitors will be able to taste fried eggs with calamari and pepper. Pick up some jamón ham, fresh bread, a bag of dried fruits and some pastries and enjoy a picnic in one of the city parks.
The Ciutadella park is a large park located close to the city center and like everything else in Spain, it is unforgettable. The park grounds are filled with historical buildings. Many of these buildings have been transformed into museums. The Laboratory of Nature museum is filled with exhibits from the Natural History Museum and is located in one building, and the Martorell Museum is in another, nearby building. The park grounds are decorated with spread out lawns and many fountains, including an artificial waterfall flowing from an arch that was designed by Gaudí. The park has a zoo and many other attractions. Another famous park, this one located on a hill, is Gaudí’s Parc Güell. The park is decorated with fountains and sculptures, most of which are covered in pieces of trencadis. There is a large observation deck with a semicircular bench for those who want to enjoy views towards the city and the sea. Under the observation deck there is a cavernous porch held up by thin, bony columns.