(Plus practical tips that will help you maximize your visit)
Barcelona is a city that’s perfect for Millennials. It has an amazing food scene and a bustling nightlife. Combined with a rich history and exceptional architectural gems and you have a perfect blend. There really is a lot to do and see in Barcelona but I picked five things that I enjoyed. I’m also including tips I learned when I visited the city recently.
The city of Barcelona is famous for Antoni Gaudi’s Modernisme masterpieces. Gaudi’s unique architecture designs really define the character of this city. I don’t think you can ever visit Barcelona without being touched by one of Gaudi’s amazing works of art. From the truly stunning yet still incomplete (after 133 years of construction!!) Sagrada Familia to the vast gardens of Park Guell, there are plenty of spots to choose from and I was fortunate enough to visit a few of them.
Pro tip: Book your tickets online in advance to avoid the long lines especially if you go during the high season. This is true for all the attractions designed by Gaudi particularly the Sagrada Familia. You’ll also be able to choose your admittance time so you can plan your day better.
Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. I passed by this area almost every day because I couldn’t get enough of this unique neighbourhood. Walking along the narrow alleyways of the Gothic Quarter and admiring the historic buildings has to be one of the highlights of my trip.
Pro tip: Just let yourself get lost and immerse yourself in the alleyways of the Gothic Quarter. That’s how I discovered hidden gems like unique boutiques, café’s and small courtyards. However, be wary when you’re exploring this area - pickpocketing is quite rampant here.
Barcelona’s thriving food scene is perfect for Millennials who love food. Besides going to trendy restaurants (I highly recommend Arume in the El Raval neighbourhood), don’t forget to try their famous jamon iberico, which you can find in a lot of places in the city. You must also visit the famous La Boqueria market.
Pro tip: When you go to pintxo/tapas bars, don’t wait for anyone to offer you a plate; most likely no one will. Ask for a plate and start taking what you want from the bar. Keep the toothpicks because that’s how they know how much to charge you at the end.
Barcelona’s beaches can get really crowded during the high season but it’s part of the charm (that is if you don’t mind the crowd). Barceloneta beach is the main beach that a lot of visitors go to. I suggest you enjoy the sun at one of the restaurants/bars along the beach and people watch from there. You can also rent out a lounge chair from one of the bars, order a drink and relax!
Pro tip: If you’d rather avoid the crowd, just walk along the beach towards the north side and you’ll see that there are less tourists there and more relaxed.
La Rambla and the and streets of the city
Barcelona is a great city for walking, so I pretty much walked everywhere, from Placa Catalunya to the Gothic Quarter and ending in Port Vell and Barceloneta beach. That’s a lot of walking, but I enjoyed exploring the different street scenes along the way.
Embrace your inner tourist and stroll down La Rambla at least once during the day, and another time at night just to see how the character of the street changes. This famous tree-lined central pedestrian boulevard is often the first attraction that tourists visit.
Pro tip: If you’d rather save your energy or time, buy a T10 transit pass. It allows you to use the metro/buses/trams in the city centre for 10 entries. Much more convenient than buying a single metro ticket each time you take the subway. I love walking and exploring but to get to some places, you just need to take the metro; luckily, Barcelona’s transit system is very easy to navigate.