Travelling solo was a challenging task for me back in 2015 when I took my first ever solo trip. Barcelona was my second destination after Paris on this trip. Barcelona was vibrant, it was electric, and it was full of life. Day 1 in the city and I forgot that I was travelling alone. People were so warm and helpful. After my trip to Barcelona in 2015, the city called me back in 2017 and it was as refreshing as it was on my first trip. Known for wonderful architecture and amazing nightlife, Barcelona offers something for everybody: Gaudi masterpieces, amazing cafes, shopping, vibrant nightlife, and a lot of history. So I thought of documenting my trip as a guide to Barcelona for first-timers.
On my first trip, I was lucky to catch annual Catalan Festival called La Mercè. A week-long festival where streets of Barcelona are decorated and there are festivities and parties all around the city.
My guide to Barcelona
Right from where you can stay to what you can do in the city.
First things first, I landed at the Barcelona airport and reached the city by airport bus which is pretty good. I love to stay in hostels and Barcelona was no different. It has amazing hostels offering a variety of services and some amazing activities – walking tours, club crawls, free breakfasts and dinners. First time I stayed at Backpackers BCN at Casanova which was a very functional hostel for solo travellers with access to the kitchen if you need one. Last year when I visited I stayed at Hostel One Ramblas which is located super close to the famous La Ramblas, where most action takes place. Hostel One offers free dinners which are usually cooked in-house by hostel staff and some guests. Hostel also has some daily activities that you can be part of and they are mentioned on the notice board. A nice youthful vide, a hostel is the best way to stay in Barcelona according to me.
Now I will come to some of my favourite places to visit in Barcelona:
- Amazing buildings across the city: There are many architects who gave Barcelona a wonderful look through their pretty masterpieces. Here are my picks from a whole lot
- Casa Milà (aka La Pedrera) meaning open quarry. It was built in 1906 and 1912 and is the last residential building designed by celebrated Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí who died before completing his most famous building La Sagrada Familia.
- Casa Lleó Morera designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and is located in Passeig de Gràcia.
- Casa Amatller a Modernisme style building designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch
- Casa Batlló is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. This was a residential building which Gaudi redesigned in 1904.
- La Rambla: Its a famous street which is normally full of tourists and houses a famous food market called Mercado de La Boqueria – a must visit place in Barcelona. Another beautiful square on La Rambla is Plaça Reial with a lot of local performance and some amazing restaurant and cafes, this square is buzzing with life all day and all night.
- La Sagrada Familia: It is Antoni Gaudi’s most famous building which he, unfortunately, could now take to completion. La Sagrada Familia is a huge unfinished roman catholic church in Barcelona. Construction of this building started in 1882 and is still under construction.
- Park Güell: Yet another Gaudi’s architectural marvel, it was originally constructed as an amusement park for wealthy but was later opened to the public. Park Güell is now a public park located at Carmel Hill in Barcelona.
- Gothic Quarter: Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city of Barcelona which has remains of the city’s Roman wall and other medieval landmarks. The best place to take a walk into the history of Barcelona. Gateway to gothic quarters is Cathedral of Barcelona which is the Gothic cathedral and seat of Archbishop of Barcelona. The cathedral was built between 13th to 15th centuries.
One of my favourite places in Barcelona is Barceloneta beach which is a must visit place in the city to relax and soak true Barcelona spirit. Oh yes! Don’t forget to try Spanish omelette here, it’s yum!