Barcelona: The Magic and Mystery of a Captivating City


Nothing inspires me more than traveling, especially when it involves visiting a city as beautiful as Barcelona. I was six years old when I was officially bitten by the travel bug and since have gladly taken any opportunity to experience a new destination. Upon my arrival to Barcelona I was immediately struck by the eclectic mix of architecture, style and cuisine. The city is truly unique and finds a harmonious balance between the demands of the modern era and traditions of the past. Should you find yourself in Barcelona, be sure to check out my top five must-sees for one of Europe’s most alluring cities.

1 – The Works of Antoni Gaudi – I promise, seeing anything Gaudi will be unlike anything you have ever experienced. The Sagrada Familia is of course his most impressive and still ongoing work but be sure to take time to visit Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Park Guell and others. Advance reservations are highly recommended as these are among the most popular historical sites in Barcelona. My travel group used Context Tours for Sagrada Familia and it was worth every penny.

2 – Gothic Quarter – In this part of town you will find City Hall loads unique shops, stunning cathedrals and delicious restaurants. Caelum, a charming little tea room with the added bonus of having retail, was a highlight for me in this area. The shop had a large selection of baked goods, coffee and other items which made wonderful gifts.

3 – El Born District – Adjacent to the Gothic Quarter, El Born also has a fantastic blend of shops and restaurants. A must see is the Picasso Museum which has an impressive selection of the artist’s early work along with his more contemporary pieces. Should you desire a truly authentic evening meal I highly recommend the quaint restaurant, La Tinaja. Hands down, it was our best dinner in Barcelona.

4 – Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau – Officially open to the public as a museum and cultural center in 2014, this masterpiece by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner will take your breath away. Being that the site was built and used as a hospital until 2009 I thought, how interesting can this place really be? Well, to my surprise, extremely interesting. The courtyards are filled with fragrant plants and never have I ever seen such beautifully tiled rooftops. It is certainly worth a visit.

5 – A Concert at The Palau de la Música Catalana – This is another beautiful example from the Modernism era by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and the perfect venue for catching a traditional Spanish concert. Our group had the pleasure of seeing a guitar trio that featured the addition two flamenco dancers. It was certainly entertaining and really did give us a much deeper look into such an intriguing culture.

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