I visited Barcelona for the first time at the end of April 2014 with my friend Yaz, we went for 5 nights, personally I think for an active city holiday a minimum of 6-7 days is needed just so you dont have to rush round or feel like you missed out on anything.
The first day involved a leisurely day of finding our bearings by walking round La Rambles and shopping. We visited the Casa Batllo which is one of Gaudi’s most famous works, also known as the ‘House of Bones’. It was an incredible house filled with waves of coloured mosaics. Definately reccommend for anyone to visit. It was €18 for students and €21 for adults.
I highly recommend taking the open top bus tour, they have a hop on hop off system in place which was really good, especially if like us you only have a short time in the city as you can choose from 3 different routes which take you outside the main area of the city.
We took the East route starting in Placa Catalunya, we stopped off at the Barcelonetta beach, headed up to Sagrada Familia which is stunning, although we did not pay to enter as it was incredibly busy and we found it quite pricy and finally finishing off at Parc Guell – I found Parc Guell to be really underwhelming as to enter the parts of the park which show Gaudi’s work you had to pay. Now I don’t mind having to pay for tickets for things but you couldn’t buy just one ticket to enter the park there were different ticket barriers for the different area’s of the park. As you go up to the Park you can see that the locals also disagree with charging as there are numerous pieces of grafiti saying ‘Free Parc Guell’.
All in all the whole bus tour was €28 which I believe to be really good value for money, especially if you only have a few days in the city as you can really see a lot in one day.
Before we went we were warned of it being ‘pick pocket’ central of Spain but I really didn’t witness this, we felt comfortable and safe when walking the streets. The only complaint I have really is the men; we found as two young woman travelling alone it quite daunting how much they would leer and have no sense of over stepping the mark with rude comments – walking down the street you will hear at least a few wolf whistles and ‘hey sexy lady’. Which although obviously complimentary, it wasn’t, it made us feel quite self-conscious and degraded.
Price wise it’s an expensive destination, especially if you are going to do all the museums and tours. The food also was quite expensive with the average meal ranging from 10 – 15 euros but we found an easy way to save money was to stop off at one of the pastry/sandwich shops which are all around and you could get a filling meal for less the €4.
there is much more to Barcelona than just architecture, Guadi and shopping – although these seem to be the main exports of the city. Take a trip down a few side streets and you’ll come across the Hemp and Marajuana Museum like we did or if you’re walking along La Ramblas and you see a Marliyn Monroe waving down at you then you’ll find the entrance to the Erotica Museum below! Both of these were really interesting and factual musuems which we both really enjoyed. Also a lot cheaper than the well known ones with the erotica museum being €9 and the Hemp Museum being €6.