Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona! How to enjoy it in a smart and funny way!

Reading time: 10 minutes. Enjoy!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

Barcelona has been amazing from the very first touch. We were landing and it was sunset time. The beautiful panoramic view from my plane window prepared me for one exciting week in Barcelona! Can’t wait to share with you!

Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona Fountain

The food, the music, the street dance, bikes around me, the breeze, the whole spirit is something I fell in love with! But let’s start from the beginning.

We used Airbnb to reserve our apartment Habitat ApartmentsIt is suitable for 2 couples/ 4 people. It is close to the city center and close to some of the most popular Gaudi’s houses. The restaurants around are one of the bests.

Smart Tip 1: It is much better to be outside of the city center during your stay. You can walk to the central areas. The reason is the main street is not the best choice to eat and to rest.

Colorful Barcelona
Barcelona is so colorful!

Smart Tip 2: If you use Airbnb, check what is the cleaning fee and the fee if you arrive later than the arranged hour – sometimes these fees can be unexpectedly huge.

Smart Tip 3: Plan in advance what you will visit during your stay in Barcelona! The city is so charming, there are plenty of architectural and historical places, some of them are far away from each other. Organizing what you will see during the day, will save your time and energy and you will have an enjoyable experience!

Not to be missed. Sharing my list 🙂

  1. Casa Batlló and La Pedrera

Casa Battlló can be seen from the outside, there are benches you can sit on and admire the building just in front of it. Inside, there is no furniture and taking into consideration all the entrances you’ll pay during the next days, you can save money from this entrance. Of course, it is up to you and Gaudi is always charming, no matter which masterpiece you are visiting.

La Pedrera is one of my favorite attractions. They have one of the best audioguides. It’s like you are in a fairy tale. The house is one of a kind and the symbolism is everywhere. You will see the four vital elements as parts of the house and many more… I strongly recommend this house to be visited even the entrance is 20 EUR. I will write my fairy tale in La Pedrera in a separate post soon! The house is so vital and inspiring!

2. The main street Las Ramblas and the most famous market La Boqueria

The main street is full of tourists, emotions, different languages and offers unexpectedly little streets you can take to escape from the crowd. In the past, it has been a flowing river here and that’s why you can notice the waves on the mosaic of Las Ramblas (representing the water element). The market La Boqueria is on Las Ramblas. Only Sunday is not working day for it. There you can find yourself exploding because of the delicious food you have tasted.

Las Ramblas
The waves on the mosaic of Las Ramblas
Gothic Square
Gothic Square

Patatas Bravas, Paellas, Gazpacho, Jamon Iberico, Calamari and seafood, Tortilla Espanola, Crema Catalana, Chorizo, and much more typical Spanish delicacy will make your day one of the best! The wines, of course, are the cherry on the cake! Saludos! Cheers!

3. All Squares has their own charm. Gotic Quarter. Columbus Monument.

Columbus monuments have to be observed by all 4 sides as the figures are quite nice. If you decide to go on the top of it, the panoramic view well worth it. The monument is on the first line of the sea. Another option is to enjoy this view from a cable car, which I did.

Columbus Monument
Columbus Monument

Smart Tip 4: Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, and The Columbus monument plus some nice squares around (The biggest Square is Plaza Catalunya at the beginning of Las Ramblas) can be good combination on your planning list as they are close to each other and basically you will follow the main street and will reach the seaside where is the Monument at the end.

Plaza Catalunya
Plaza Catalunya
La Boqueria
La Boqueria

4. Biking on the seaside + Ciutadella Park and Monument

Actually, this was one of the best choices we’ve been taken. Amazing way to discover the whole seaside, to refresh yourself, to visit the sightseeing around and to do some sport before the next portion of TAPAS and WINES. I truly enjoy this biking tour that we’ve organized for ourselves. I felt like Shakira who actually did her clip of “Loca Loca” song on the main seaside street. In the city center, you can easily rent bikes. It is cheap and saves your time.

The Aquarium is on the seaside as well and it is quite nice!

Smart Tip 5: If you don’t have much time to spend in Barcelona, definitely this is the way how you should explore the city.

Biking in Barcelona
Biking in Barcelona

5. Sagrada Familia – Gaudi’s masterpiece!

Definitely, a must on your list. It is a symbol of the city, one of the most significant works of Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia has been building for many years and it is expected in 2021 to be finished. It represents an amazing symbolism and an unbelievable architecture. Gaudi has been a genius!

Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia

Smart Tip 6: Book your ticket in advance to skip the queue. Saving slot for a certain hour of entering the building will give you 15 minutes to walk around and then you will need to follow your second slot on the ticket for one of the 2 Towers. Don’t be late for this second slot! After observing the Tower, you will have time to walk around the whole Basilica.

NB: The hours after lunchtime are better because the sunlight is going inside the Cathedral in a unique way! The photos will be better as well if taken during this time.

Smart Tip 7: When booking your ticket for Sagrada Familia, you will be requested to choose which of the 2 Towers you want to visit – the Passion or Nativity Tower. The choice is yours. The Passion tower is the new one, built after the Gaudi’s dead. It is without much ornamentation. The Nativity Tower is the older tower and the ornaments and symbolism are everywhere. Both towers are quite nice, but you need to choose one of them. There are no tickets that include both.

Smart Tip 8: Take an audio guide for Sagrada Familia. Definitely worth it! Otherwise, you will skip most of the little details which are so interesting and hide history behind.

6. Park Guell

Nice park with lots of opportunities for fun, walks and relax. Nice alleys and you can spend 2 or more hours walking here. There is only one paid part of Park Guell, where you can see the famous mosaic of Gaudi and the famous Gaudi’s lizard.

Smart Tip 9: To be honest, you can save around 17 EUR for this paid part if you plan to visit other Gaudi’s things like houses, Sagrada Familia. Because this paid part is nothing really distinctive from his work done at La Pedrera or Sagrada Familia for example. It is nice of course and totally your choice.

Park Guell
Park Guell

7. Camp Nou

If you are a big football fan, then it totally worths to visit Camp Nou. For all the rest, the entrance is expensive – around 30 EUR and you can save some money for tapas and wines.

Camp Nou
Camp Nou
Camp Nou handball
Did you know Barcelona has quite a good handball team!?

8. Olympic Park and Montjuic Castle

The Olympic Park will be more interesting for people who like sports. Montjuic Castle is more related to local history. It is with nice architecture and beautiful view. Olympic Park and Montjuic Castle are close to each and should be considered to be visited together.

9. Tibidabo – the translation of the name means

” I am giving to you”,

taken from The Bible. It represents the episode where the evil enchants.

Tibidabo is a hill with a beautiful church and an amusement park. The perfect place if you are with kids. In the church, you can see one of the Black Madonnas. There are 400-500 Black Madonnas in Europe depending on how they are classified.

The Black Madonna at Tibidabo
The Black Madonna at Tibidabo
Tibidabo Amusement Park
Tibidabo Amusement Park

What I missed was the Montserrat tour but I heard it is hot! Next time I am there and if you have time, don’t miss it!

This seems like the end of my Barsa experience. For now! I will definitely visit this city again! Maybe next summer!

Kisses from Barcelona!
Kisses from Barcelona!

 

 

When in Merida with messy hair

Merida is the capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. The city sits proudly on the Iberian Peninsula just 174 miles (280 km) southwest of Madrid.

Destination Merida

Merida can be reached by plane to Madrid and from there rent-a-car/ train or bus. Merida is also very close to Portugal and the trip can be combined with some places in Portugal.  Check my amazing experience in Lisbon here.

Unique region with strong Roman influence. Over time, the Extremadura region was held under Christian, Moorish and Portuguese control – marvelous mix of cultures and spirits in Spain!

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When I was there sometimes I had the feeling I am in Rome but the Spanish language always turned me back in the reality.

Let me start with the most visited part of Merida, Spain – Mérida Theatre – one of the oldest archaeological sites in Spain. The ticket is less than 10 EUR, so it is a must to go there when you visit Merida, Spain.

20150204_112615Roman Theatre is one of the most Roman places in Merida. It is built in Emerita Augusta (the old name of Merida, it means the Army of Augustus), located in the archaeological ensemble of Merida, one of the largest and most extensive archaeological sites in Spain. It is World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Beautiful wide stage and so much Roman spirit around. Behind the stage is a garden area surrounded by columns. It makes me feel a part of the past. I had so much fun around!

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While trying to find some place to eat, I found The Temple of Diana – Perfect Roman style under the Extremadura sun.

20150204_121600.jpgAn old couple joined our group for a walk around the Roman ruins and they gave us more information about Merida.

10690184_880889398600702_6043211934728796442_nAcueducto de los Milagros, another extraordinary example of Roman masterwork, is the ruins of the Roman aqueduct bridge – great place to sit and relax with a drink.

Another bridge which connects Merida with small village area around is the Roman Bridge of Merida – Puente de Lusitania. It is nice to crossed it and have amazing view from there. Perfect time to take some photos.

I spent some time in the village area around Merida and the nature was so beautiful!

Something I missed to visit because I did’t have enough time – National Museum of Roman Art – Museo Nacional de Arte Romano. My friends strongly recommend it as a very arty place.

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Do you like circus? If yes, then Roman Circus (Circo romano) in Merida, Spain is waiting for you!

anfiteatro-romano-meridaIt is ruined Roman circus used for Chariot racing – so exciting and very dangerous for the racers in the past, spectacular for watching.

Tip: don’t miss the local Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) in Merida, Spain. The food is delicious! Taste sangria!

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Spent at least one whole day walking around the city Merida to feel the energy. Enjoj Spain!

Take the road!