BARCELONA IN COLORS
Barcelona is a designer's dream come true! As a uni student, I've read and studied all about Antoni Gaudí's amazing whimsical creations of Park Güell and Casa Batlló. And to be able to see these Catalonian Modernism buildings in real life, are one of my highlights in Spain.
My partner-in-crime, Leon Korobacz of @hungrysydneysiders and I were invited by Barcelona Turisme to explore the city and capture the beautiful buildings of Antoni Gaudí. He is the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism.
BARCELONA IN 3 DAYS
Honestly, exploring the city of Barcelona in 3 days is not enough. I wish I stayed longer, for at least a week! There is so much to see.
In 3 days, I dedicated one day exploring the Gothic Quarter, or Barri Gòtic as it is known to locals, and 2 days to see all Antoni Gaudí's beautiful, sculptural buildings.
There are two Spanish legends to the origin of Barcelona, which have been heavily disputed for centuries. One legend says that it was founded by Hercules, 400 years before the building of Rome. The other legend mentions Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca (father of Hannibal) as the founding father. He founded the city in the 3rd century BC and named the city Barcino after his family, the Barca family of Carthage.
Seven of Antoni Gaudí works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Can you believe? The Sagrada Familia has taken longer to build than the Great Pyramids. The building project began in 1882. A quarter of the basilica was completed when Gaudí passed away in 1926. The great news is we are nearing to witness the completion in 2026.
There were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992. The city went through a makeover for the Olympic Games. Today, Discovery Beach has voted Barceloneta Beach as the best urban beach in the world.
You would think the Barcelona City History Museum or even Museu Picasso to be the most visited museum of Barcelona. I was surprised to find out that the FC Barcelona Museum is the one. It has over 1.5 million visitors!
I SMILE EVERYTIME...
Whenever I'm on a rooftop in Barcelona, it's always a 'wow' moment. There's so much character and history in the Catalonian city, that every rooftop view is magical.
You can read all about my favourite spots, in my blog. For the best swimming pool in town, it has got to be the one and only Grand Hotel Central. Located in the heart of Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, it was so central and it is certainly grand. This, I must say, the best roof top pool in Spain! I kid you not. You have to see it to believe it.
All in all, Barcelona has one of the best city views in Europe.
One thing for sure, the folks in Barcelona love eating! Restaurants here are open till late at night and there's always time for tapas. On our first night here, we were surprised to see the locals having dinner at 8 or 9 pm. And before you know it, we were having late lunch and dinner too (because siesta was much needed in between).
Tapas are my favourite thing. I've never eaten that much tapas in my life! These pretty cute bite size pieces, eaten hot or cold, are jampacked with flavours. Now, one of Barcelona’s most iconic tapas dishes is literally called 'la bomba.' You would have guessed it right, 'the bomb.' This tennis size ball potato croquette is served with aioli and spicy sauce. Delicioso!
CITY BAR & RESTAURANT
We spent our last night at City Bar & Restaurant, with a romantic dinner date for two. The cuisines here are more of traditional Mediterranean bistro-style cooking, which we love. And my goodness, the Sangria served was delicious and did I mentioned how pretty it was?
More on the blog, link here.
City Bar & Restaurant Via Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Cecconi's in Barcelona is an intimate Italian restaurant, serving one of the city's best Italian food. We popped in for a beautiful lunch for two.
Dessert was a real treat we ended up ordering three! The gelatis and the pistachio profiteroles with chocolate sauce, they all delivered in quality and flavour. Nothing was left behind.
Passeig de Colom, 20, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
DOING THE GAUDI TRAIL...
If you love colours, you will definitely love the work of Gaudí. Typical Gaudí, it's his philosophy to avoid straight lines wherever possible. They were all built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Park Guëll has got to be the dreamiest parks I've been to. The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. It felt like I was on a Star Wars planet, typically Naboo, with Doric columns and bird nests built by Gaudí in the terrace walls. The walls imitate the trees planted on them. I'm obsessed with the the colourful serpentine benches and the pavilion (which I kept telling Leon of @hungrysydneysiders I wanted a photo with the gingerbread house, hehe).
Like everything Gaudí designed, Casa Batlloó is an organic building with more curves to boast than straight lines. The Art Nouveau period home has irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work. My favourite has got to be the iconic facade made of colourful mosaic. The dreamy facade was embellished with broken ceramic tiles called trencadís. The arched roof reminds me of dragon scales.
AUTUMN IN BARCELONA
We were just catching the early autumn season in Barcelona. The Mediterranean weather was mild and just nice. My #instagramhusband and I, had the best time exploring the street and little alleyways, weaving in and out from ancient sites in Gothic Quarter. We were also looking for gelatos and tapas, and I must say, they were not too hard to find at all.
Thank you for having us again, Barcelona Turisme. You've made my Gaudí dreams come true!