Arriving early on Thursday morning we decided to set out on foot to start exploring this beautiful city. We stayed at the Le Meridien located on Las Ramblas, so we were right in the center of many sights, making it easy to see much within walking distance. La Boqueria, or the official name Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, was our first stop. This was a perfect way to start our trip. I had heard about the amazing markets in Spain but wow. If I lived in this area, I would frequent this market often. Meats, fruits, nuts, candies, veggies, spices and so much more creating a visual overload of goodness.
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria
Amazing fruits at La Boqueria
Candy at La Boqueria
Nuts and fudge at La Boqueria
more deliciousness at La Boqueria
Ham at La Boqueria
After visiting La Boqueria, we stopped to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant near the market. Casa Guinart was our first meal in Barcelona. We sat in a bar style area outdoors and were introduced to the food of the city quite nicely. This appetizer was so simple yet so delicious!
Tomato and olive oil over toasted bread introduced my taste buds to Barcelona
First meal in Barcelona near La Boqueria
Recovering from a red eye flight and no sleep, we took it easy for the remainder of the day by exploring Las Ramblas and the surrounding areas.
Street off of Las Ramblas
Al Fresco dining near Las Ramblas
Columbus Monument at the end of Las Ramblas
Kicking off day 2, one of the top sites on our list was La Sagrada Familia and it is a must see. The photos of this cathedral do not do justice to the unbelievable architecture that you see in person. The work on the cathedral began in 1882 and is still not complete. The design is based on the original designs created by Antoni Guadi. He worked on the cathedral until his death in 1926 and architects since then have continued the work based on his original ideas. If we would not have seen anything else during our visit, seeing this cathedral would have been worth the trip to Barcelona alone.
Exterior of La Sagrada Familia
Exterior detail of La Sagrada Familia
Stained glass inside La Sagrada Familia
Stained glass inside La Sagrada Familia
Unbelievable architecture inside Sagrada La Familia
Ceiling in La Sagrada Familia
Architects working on La Sagrada
After visiting La Sagrada Familia, we ventured through the Gothic Quarter. This neighborhood has such a medieval feel to it and we wandered around for hours.
Street shot in Gothic Quarter
Bridge of Sighs in the Gothic Quarter
Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona
Exterior details of Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Barcelona
Gothic Quarter street in Barcelona
Visiting Spain dictated that we must see a Flamenco show. I had read about Palau de la Música Catalana prior to our trip and had hoped we would be able to see the inside of this theatre. When looking for a Flamenco show to see for the night, we got lucky that there happened to be an true Flamenco experience showing in the theatre that night. The dancers were extremely talented and we were not disappointed. If ever buying tickets for a show at Palau de La Musica, opt for the floor seating or top of the balcony for the best views. The lower balcony seating was not ideal. We got one of the first few rows in the balcony but could not see the dancers on stage due to how the seats were set. It turned out that we could see much better at the very top row of the balcony.
Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona
Exterior shot of Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona
Our last day we decided to walk down to the water to check out the beach and Port Vell. This was an excellent decision and a great way to spend our final day in Barcelona. It’s amazing what a different feel this part of Barcelona has in comparison to that of the center of the city near Las Ramblas and other areas. We could not have asked for better weather. We visited the port area, walked through some local markets, strolled down the beach and enjoyed a delicious lunch by the ocean. I’m officially in love with the Mediterranean and counting the days until I can get back.
Port Authority building at Port Vell
Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain
View from Rambla del Mar at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona Beach on the Mediterranean
Walking along Barcelona Beach
Our final adventure in Barcelona included seeing FC Barcelona play at Camp Nou. This was a major bucket list item and we were stoked to have the opportunity to watch them play during our brief stay.
Panoramic shot from our seats at Camp Nou
Messi and Neymar with FC Barcelona
Watching Futbol’s finest dominate the field
Barcelona was an amazing trip. Three days was plenty of time to get a taste of such an incredible city and see much of what it has to offer. There were a few high points we were unable to squeeze into our trip but that just gives us more reason to visit again soon. Finding out I am fully capable of traveling to and from Europe in just 5 days is probably not the best for my bank account. I plan to hit Spain and Europe again in the very near future.