7 days in Barcelona
Barcelona is entirely visible in the space of 7 days, both moving on foot and by metro. There is also the possibility of having the Barcelona Card.However, it is convenient only if you intend to use public transportation and get even smaller museums (the larger ones are excluded from the circuit).
To fully enjoy the holiday, it is better to sleep in hotels in Barrio Gotico or in El Born, in central areas so that it would be easier to reach places and restaurants / pubs / local.
The first day you can start with the attractions that most characterize Barcelona around the world, some of Gaudi's masterpieces: the Sagrada Familia is an excellent example. The church, which construction began in 1881 is without doubt the (incomplete) work is most impressive of Antoni Gaudi, which putted him to work over the last 40 years of his life.
Between neo-Gothic style and zoomorphic forms, ceramics and glass, it is assumed that the church will be completed in 2020, presenting 18 towers of different heights, representing the 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Though still a construction site, it's worth to visit the inside, and there's a chance to reach spires.
Nearby, and reachable by a walk along Av Gaudi, there is also the splendid Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau by Montaner, the other great Spanish modernist architect.
After the Sagrada Familia and the Hospital, you can visit Casa Batlló: Another wonderful work of Gaudi, which unites trimming coming from Gothic age to Art Nouveau ones, mixing sand, glass and decorated majolica.
Last but not least, Casa Milà (or La Pedrera), provided the Catalan genius, declared in 1984 Unesco World Heritage Site, whose curves recall the waves of the sea.
In the vicinity of Casa Milà, Casa Llera Morena by Montaner and Casa Ametler. To see everything you will need a full day. At dinner, you can opt for the tasty delicacies of Taller de Tapas or for Txapela, a real surprise of colors and flavors, where to eat tapas and pinchos.
The second day we suggest a visit to the Monastery of St. Mary of Pedralbes, a fantastic and mystical place, outside the main “tourist routes” but absolutely worth to be seen: its main peculiarities are a church in medieval style and the splendid cloister.
From there you can return to center walking down Av De Pedralbes, and arriving at Camp Nou, to visit the Club del Barça, the stadium and the Museum of Football. If not interested, you can proceed to visit the Museum Marutim (the Maritime Museum of Barcelona) on Avenue de les Drassanes, located in one of the oldest shipyards, dated 1378.
From there you can take a quiet stroll along the promenade admiring the Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus), 60 meters high, shop to Mare Magnum, visit the amazing gothic church of Santa Maria del Mar, whose first stone was laid by King Alfonso of Aragon in that place because it was believed there had been buried Santa Eulalia, patroness of the city.
To eat, it is strongly recommended El Suquet de l'Almirall, which is one of the most famous chiringuitos in Barcelona, or Can Majo a restaurant offering tapas, paella and lots of fish dishes.
On the third day you can visit the famous Barrio Gòtico, the center of the old city of Barcelona, which is part of the Ciutat Vella district, and is like a maze because of the numerous and intricate alleys that make it up.
This quarter historically represented the political and religious center of the city since its origins; in fact Barcino, the original Roman core, stood in this area, as evidenced by the the city walls, almost entirely preserved: inside there are the magnificent Gothic cathedral Santa Eulalia, Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Maria del Pi, dating from the fourteenth century, and the Palacio del Obispo.
Also in the Barrio Gotico is the visited Museu Picasso, which is divided into five buildings of medieval times, collecting one of the largest collections of the Spanish artist, with a permanent collection consisting of approximately 3,500 works.
And more: the Plaça Reial, known for its lively nightlife and its many pubs, the Plaça de Sant Jaume, where you will find the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya (seat of the Presidency and the Catalan Parliament) and the Casa de la Ciutat, seat of the municipality of Barcelona.
A must-see (and you can also eat) is Els Quatre Gats, now used as restaurant, where Picasso usually met many other artists to discuss art and exhibit their works. Today in the restaurant, you can admire decorations, photos and drawings of the time.
If you'll still have time (half a day is sufficient), it is recommended a visit to Parc Güell by Gaudi, originally designed to accommodate 60 houses, housing, studies, a chapel and a park, but only 2 houses and the park were built. It is clear how Gaudi has tried to maintain the natural relief, creating a unique composition of mosaics, concrete and glass, achieving a fantastic result.
Easily reachable from the Parc Güell is Casa Vicens (or Vicenç), the first work by Gaudi, where are combined in the Mudejar and Gothic style, using at the same time azulejos (typical coloured and glazed ceramic tiles ) the brick and rough stone. For dinner, try the Tapa-Tapa (on the Passeig de Gracia) to enjoy the delicious tapas, or even the bar Tapac 24, which in addition to snacks offers also high quality dishes.
The Montjuïc is a promontory located south of Barcelona, near the industrial port. Here attractions are not lacking too; although a modern zone, the area hosts the Poble Espanyol, which is the reconstruction of a medieval Spanish village, where are shown craftsman shops, and a square is used for live concerts and hosts restaurants.
A must-to see is the Castell de Montjuïc, built on the highest part of the mountain and from where you can enjoy a splendid panorama, the Palau Sant Jordi, used for concerts and sporting events, the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys, built for the Olympics Games in 1992, the Torre de Telecomunicaciones, the Botanical Garden and the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) that is inside the Palau Nacional, on the Plaça d'Espanya, one of the most significant of the Catalan capital, where you can also admire the Font Màgica, and his performances of water at night .
Many local pubs and restaurants in the area offer quality courses: examples are Agua, in Passeig Maritim, Can Mano and Can Solé.
The fifth day may be used to visit La Rambla, the famous boulevard located between Plaça Catalunya (where concentrate the finance, trade, and tourism of the Catalan Capital), the centre of the modern city, and the Port Vell. Both day and night, La Rambla bustles with people, and you can find stalls, street artists, newsagents, florists, cafes, restaurants and shops. Towards the port, in addition, the stalls are frequently replaced by artists and designers.
La Rambla has also a large number of tourist attractions including the Palace of Virreina, the colorful Boqueria Market, one of the oldest in Europe (dates back to the thirteenth century) which offers mainly food, the beautiful Gran Teatre del Liceu (it is also the oldest and prestigious active theater in Barcelona and one of the leading opera houses of the world) that still hosts ballets and operas. One of the roads that intersect La Rambla reaches Plaça Reial, with palms and many clubs, and in which square meet in the weekend collectors of stamps and coins, and where is celebrated the festival of mariachi music.
The afternoon and evening, including dinner, can be spent in one of El Born premises, the most liberal and rebellious district of the city, and that was the economic center of the city between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. To see, the Parc de La Ciutadella and Castell dels Tre Dragons, by Montaner made on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1888. Nearby the Palau de la Musica Catalana, another magnificent work by Montaner, who was unanimously considered the symbol of Catalan modernist, once completed in 1908, thanks to unusual and innovative architecture.
The penultimate day can be spent to visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat, outside Barcelona, which is an important site of pilgrimage and to visit for tourists. The complex consists of two blocks of buildings: on the one hand, the basilica with the dependencies of the monks, the other buildings to accommodate the pilgrims and visitors: restaurants, shops and a hotel.
The Monastery also has a museum divided between sections: a prehistoric one, where are shown finds from this period found in the surrounding mountains, one about the Biblic East, with archaeological material on the Bible and, finally, the Pinacoteca, with works going from 1500 to the present day, among them works by Dali, Picasso and El Greco.
In addition, externally there are several places: the main is Piazza Santa Maria. After spending a day in Montserrat, maybe you feel the need to return to "traditional" life in Barcelona: it is therefore recommended further "immersion" in La Rambla.
The last day of vacation is designed for relaxation. So what's better than a swim in La Barceloneta before returning home? Built in the eighteenth century to give accommodation to the inhabitants of the district of Ribera who had lost their homes ( demolished by order of Philip V to construct the Ciutadella), the quarter is built from the land earned from the sea, absorbing the Isle of Maians.
In Barcelona, the Catalan cream is also a liquor that you can both drink and take away as souvenirs.
If you can, taste also Cava, a typical Prosecco.
In El Xampanyet on Carrer Montcada great tasting of namesake wine and anchovies.
In addition to fruit juices and fruit salad at Boqueria, you can taste different types of local ham, from the serrano to the pata negra.
The Patatas bravas are potatoes with spicy pink sauce.