This is probably less a travel guide and more a Antoni Gaudí love story. I knew about Gaudí’s work before going to Barcelona, but I wasn’t prepared to turn into such a mega fan girl by seeing it in person. It happened and I fell hard.
Gaudí spent most of his life in Barcelona and the city boasts the largest concentration of his works in the world. His style is unique, often imitated but never matched. If you were to list the most visited attractions in Barcelona – most of them would (rightfully) be Gaudí buildings.
What to see:
Everything Gaudí – not kidding.
Our first stop in Barcelona was Casa Batlló, the local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral skeletal quality. Walking around in the house is like walking around the inside of a beautifully crafted sea creature. The tour aspect of this house was also quite fun. They give you a cellphone like pad with headphones and as you go through the house you listen about the various rooms, but you can also interact with the room in a virtual reality setting. Up next on my Gaudí hit list and his most famous work – La Sagrada Familia.
Photos will never do this place justice – it is breathtaking. The light, the lines, the beauty. The design and layout of the entire cathedral is astoundingly ambitious. Gaudí’s original design called for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the Virgin Mary, the four Evangelists and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Upon the completion of the spires it will make Sagrada Familia the tallest church building in the world. I feel like all of my photos of this place are garbage compared to the experience in person. Sadly I didn’t see anymore Gaudí architecture while in Barcelona. I did check out the Picasso Museum. Which if you are any sort of Picasso fan it is worth a visit. It has a lot of his early works and it is nice to see the progression of his work throughout his life.
While you are in the neighborhood of the Picasso Museum be sure to wander around the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, it is enchanting. I found one of my favorite stores there – Casa Gispert. It is a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs.Where to eat:
Some wonderful meals can be found in Barcelona. Also the bakeries are legit…which you will see below.
A great place to eat come tapas and enjoy some black vermouth is Vinitus. What is black vermouth you ask? It is amazing and you should try it every chance you get. It is my obanyaki of Spain. Here is a nice write up about vermouth if you are interested.
You will hear a lot about paella in Barcelona and one of the best meals we had was duck paella at Arume. They also make those amazing gin and tonics that you will remember from Madrid, good times for everyone. Ok Barcelona bakeries – there are so many good ones! Here are some of my favorites!
Hofmann Pastisseria – try the mascarpone croissant. I didn’t even get a photo of it…that good.
Of course you will also need to visit the Boqueria while in Barcelona – beautiful market.
Barcelona is a great city and has a very different vibe than Madrid. It was great to see them both back to back to be able to compare the experiences and absorb each city separately.
Which city is at the top of your travel list?