Barcelona: First Day Round Up

So I made it safely to the bustling city of Barcelona in the heart of Cataluña in Spain. It is hot and sunny which I guess I expected for the middle of June and there’s a lot going on which makes me happy.

First days in most places are lost days. What I mean by that is you travel to the place and are checking in to accommodation so you lose some time even if it is early and then, if you’re like me, you literally allow yourself to get lost. With a map and your address of course! I love the spontaneity of first days in new places and that going where you feel drawn to sometimes really pays off.

So my tip for Barcelona is definitely get a map (the streets seem very similar) and invest in a BCN card. This is an unlimited journey card and you can get it for different lengths of time. I got a 4 day card and will make use of buses and the metro during my stay as well as getting back to the airport. My card cost 23 Euros but other cheaper tickets are available and can be for a certain number of journeys to match your type of travel.

The ticket to seeing as much of Barcelona as possible - the BCN card

The ticket to seeing as much of Barcelona as possible – the BCN card

 

The two places I wanted to see straight away were the Sagrada Familia and then the beach.

There is a metro stop at the Sagrada Familia and I was staying one stop away so it was easy to get there. I strolled through the street and took my first look at the cathedral. It was huge and unfinished from the sight of the cranes hovering over it. I had no idea it would be so modern in its art work and incredibly detailed. Full size human figures adorned the entrance.

 

This shows the entrance to the famous Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi. I couldn't believe how detailed the outside was and how big the statues and decorations were until I saw it.

This shows the entrance to the famous Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi. I couldn’t believe how detailed the outside was and how big the statues and decorations were until I saw it.

 

Walking through the park opposite was a refreshing change to the hustle and bustle across the road. The jacaranda trees were in full bloom and you get glimpses of the cathedral through the trees which is beautiful.

 

This is the view from the park of the Sagrada Familia

This is the view from the park of the Sagrada Familia

 

Sun shining down on the Sagrada Familia

Sun shining down on the Sagrada Familia

 

I found out that the entrance fee is over 20 Euros which is a lot for one site and on a budget. I asked some other travellers if it would be worth going in and was told it was a highlight. So that should be another post soon!

Next I travelled down to La Barceloneta to sample an afternoon on (and around) the beach. This mix of busy city and beaches/coastline is my favourite when I travel. Best of both worlds for your holiday.

 

Narrow streets of apartments, great restaurants and bars in La Barceloneta

Narrow streets of apartments, great restaurants and bars in La Barceloneta

 

Getting off the metro I walked across the street and parallel to the port. I followed a large group with beach towels obviously heading for some sun bathing. I ambled through the narrow streets taking in the small shops and bars. The street opened into a beautiful little square; Placa de Barceloneta. It has a lovely church and two restaurants with outside seating.

The beautiful church in the square in La Barceloneta

The beautiful church in the square in La Barceloneta

 

I decided to sample a paella from the menu del dia. This seems to be the cheapest lunch option with bread, a starter (I picked a salad), main course, desert and drink for around 8-10 Euros. It is filling and a great way to try a few dishes. My whole meal was delicious and the seafood in the paella was particularly great.

 

A delicious paella. Look at the size of the shrimp!

A delicious paella. Look at the size of the shrimp!

 

Then there was a glorious beach! The sun, sea and sand does not disappoint. It is a very busy beach but I found a quieter spot and lay enjoying some sun undisturbed. For quiet beaches with less people, I was given the advice to travel slightly further down the coast but I enjoy being around people and lots of things going on.

 

The beach at La Barceloneta

The beach at La Barceloneta

 

Overall, a great first day exploring a small part of Barcelona! More tips and highlights to come. Stay tuned!

16 Comments

  • I love Barcelona, especially the Gaudi park. I have never seen anything like it before.

  • Hannah says:

    I was in Barcelona in April and loved it! 3 days wasn’t enough to see it all and I ran around like a crazy person trying. Definitly needed the map! Also loved the Sagrada Familia! I booked online in advance so it was a couple euro cheaper but either way, absolutely incredible to see!

  • We haven’t been to Barcelona yet but your photos are amazingly intriguing that makes us want to visit soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lucy says:

    I’ve only visited Barcelona once and did a bit of a whistlestop tour over a couple of days so it’s definitely one to go back to and see a bit more of. Maybe once the Sagrada Familia is finally finished!

  • I love the spirit and lifestyle that Barcelona offers. It’s one of the best cities that suits all type of travellers and offers great attractions to all ages. I have enjoyed Gaudi Architectures at Park Guell and Montjuic Hill.

  • Amy says:

    I’ve never been to Barcelona but am planning to head there next summer with the family – seems like an awesome city! The Sagrada Familia looks amazing. Looking forward to your follow-up post!

  • Paul says:

    I LOVE Barcelona, I have been there several times and still not been to the beach haha! You need to go inside La Sagrada Familia though, the interior is the most spectacular thing I have ever seen, so detailed, intricate and eccentric!

  • Alli says:

    I really like the narrow street shot – very artistic! I’ve been to Barcelona only one time and unfortunately it was very crappy weather and only a short visit. I just need to return!

  • Brianna says:

    Lovely pictures of the Sagrada Familia, I had no ides th exterior was so details!

  • I can’t wait to visit Barcelona one day. It’s hopefully on the cards for the next few years for me as well as visiting the rest of Spain. Looks like your trip is off to a great start!

  • Jessi says:

    Barcelona looks gorgeous. I’m fascinated by Spain, but haven’t had a chance to get over there yet. I can definitely get behind the ‘get lost the first day’ idea, though!

  • Els says:

    Makes me want to go back to BCN!!! It’s a great city indeed and I also love the fact that you can relax at the beach after sight-seeing. Enjoy the rest of your trip, Kate!!

  • Joao Sa says:

    Going to Barcelona this July, and I really liked your post ! I will make sure to keep following the next ones 🙂

  • Muriel says:

    Ah La Sagrada Familia! I would love to visit Barcelona and eat paella 24/7 and see La Sagrada Familia. That’s great tip on the city pass. I’ll keep that in mind. We always try to look into those because most of the time, they are a great deal. Can’t wait for the next post.

  • Lovely pictures! I still cant believe that I have yet to visit Barcalona. This has to be ticked off for next year’s travels.

    Dubai | A Visual Diary

  • I agree that the mix of busy city and beach is a winning one. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time! Thanks for the tip on the BCN card, will remember it for my next visit!

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