After about twelve hours of sleep after getting in from Dublin and another ten hours last night, I finally feel rested. I have not been out in the morning to see what the city has to offer, but as I’ve already learned, Barcelona is a night city. Dinner here starts around nine at night and there are many bars that stay open until sunrise. Needless to say, I gave one of them a run last night… first though, let me show you where I’m staying.
I’m staying in a little apartment right off Las Ramblas, which is one of the main streets in Barcelona. It is very tourist heavy, but has tons of amazing shops and restaurants to take advantage of, though it can be a bit pricy. If you go around all of the side streets just off the main drag however, there are even more options for bars and restaurants that are less pricy and give you a little more of the local flavor.
At the bottom of Las Ramblas sits the beautiful Port Vell and the Columbus Monument, both of which are must see places. I highly recommend going up the Columbus Monument to get an amazing view of the port and city. Again, this is a very tourist heavy area, but absolutely worth checking out. Many lovely walkways line the port, along with restaurants, shops, and an aquarium.
Up at the top of Las Ramblas you’ll find the Placa de Catalunya, which has lovely sculptures and fountains, plus lots of shops all around. The amount of shops and restaurants in the area is definitely overwhelming. There are seemingly infinite choices of what and where to eat. I have not had a bad meal yet, but if I could recommend one place you have to eat, it would be La Boqueria. A large public market that offers everything under the sun, you can find anything from fruit smoothies for as little as a euro, to wonderful restaurants in the back serving the freshest food possible. Markets can be intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the language, but I’ve found that as long as you’re friendly, the people are typically quite lovely.
You have to make sure to look up when you’re wandering around Barcelona. There is fantastic architecture everywhere and you won’t want to miss any of it. Keep an eye out for any Antoni Gaudi buildings. These are unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed and are truly stunning. It can be a little overwhelming because there are seemingly endless amounts of side streets, each unique and worth walking down. It’s easy to forget how gorgeous everything is. I can see how people fall in love with Barcelona and never leave this city. I’m definitely considering staying here an extra week, but I’ll make my final decision soon. Next post I’ll talk about the people and culture here, but for now I’m just going to enjoy the view a bit more.