On this trip I stayed outside of Barcelona in the lovely little beach town of Sitges, Spain while my friend Molly went to her neuroscience conference. Once her conference was over we headed to Barcelona for a full day of exploring. Here’s a quick list of recommendations for Barcelona:
What to See in Barcelona:
La Sagadra Familia – Related Post: Visiting La Sagadra Familia
Park Guell – Related Post: Visiting Park Guell
Av. Diagonal – The Rodeo Drive of Barcelona
The Block of Discord – La Pedrera/Casa Battlo/Casa Amattler/Casa Lleo Morero
Now onto a little photo tour of my day in Barcelona!Barcelona is a city that’s filled with beautiful architecture (like Basilica de La Sagadra Familia that I posted about), art, history, and LIFE!
Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour in Barcelona
For our day in Barcelona, Molly and I did a hop-on hop-off bus tour which I really like because you get an overview of the whole city and can get off at the stops that interest you to explore further. I know I said I’d do a part 2 for my last day in Sitges, but I decided to skip ahead to Barcelona to show you this beautiful city and hurry up and get to Paris!
Arc de Triomf in Barcelona
The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. It cracks me up how I think of my apartment building in LA as being old when it was built in the 80’s. This baby was built in the 1880’s!
I think the Aduana Building was my favorite that we saw. I love these lions too.
Everywhere you look in Barcelona there is another fountain, sculpture, or work of art!
Most of them were classic and gorgeous, except for this huge sculpture outside the architecture museum which I think was created to haunt your nightmares.
Plaça d’Espanya and the Venetian Towers
Plaça d’Espanya and the Venetian Towers.
Arenas de Barcelona
This is Arenas de Barcelona. It used to be a bull fighting ring, but bull fighting is now illegal and now it’s a mall. The outdoor elevator is pretty awesome.
Gold Headless Angel Sculpture
Av. Diagonal is like the Rodeo Dr. of Barcelona. It has any and every designer you can think of- super upscale and gorgeous! It also has The Block of Discord including the Gaudi designed La Pedrera and Casa Batllo.
The Block of Discord
One recommendation that I kept seeing online and kept getting from people who had been to Spain was to check out both Casa Mila aka La Pedrera and Casa Batllo which are apartments that were designed by Antoni Gaudi the same man that did the incredible La Sagadra Familia, but what these people didn’t mention was that both of these places are on the same street just a few blocks from each other!
Related Post: Visiting La Sagadra Familia
Casa Mila – La Pedrera by Antoni Guadi
Casa Battlo by Antoni Gaudi
Here’s Casa Battlo just down the street from La Pedrera. The balconies remind me of The Nightmare Before Christmas. So definitely check out Av. Diagonal, Casa Battlo, and La Pedrera if you’re ever in Barcelona. There’s also a Missha store which is one of my favorite Korean beauty brands around the corner from these places as well.
Next to Casa Battlo is Casa Amatller and you can see why this is called “The Block of Discord.”
Casa Lleó Morera
Casa Lleó Morera is the last major building of The Block of Discord.
This street is so fancy that the McDonalds has macarons. Is this a thing in the US too? This was the fanciest McDonalds I’ve ever seen.
Back on The Bus Tour of Barcelona
I love all of the apartments in Barcelona. The city reminded me of a cross between NYC and San Francisco.
There’s so much beauty everywhere in Barcelona!
This is the Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic or Barcelona Olympic Stadium. It’s interesting how much the 1992 Olympics changed Barcelona. They didn’t really have a beach before that it was pretty much just a shanty town.
Before the trip I was like “So what who cares if it has great architecture?? Who care about buildings??” Yeah I definitely “got it” pretty quickly.
IDK? Things were pretty political in Barcelona which I wasn’t expecting.
Gothic Quarter – Barri Gotic in Barcelona
One place I would spend time in if I go back to Barcelona is the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic) which has buildings from the Roman and medieval times.
Glories Shopping Center
After a while on the bus Molly and I were starting to lose steam so it was time to get off and find some lunch. We got off at Glories Shopping Center which sort of reminds me of the Grove in Los Angeles- a nice outdoor shopping center with shops and restaurants.
We decided to check out Mussol for some Catalonian food. I have no clue how traditional it was since their menu has 6 different languages on it, but it was delish. We decided to have a variety of tapas because hello, we were in Barcelona!
I feel like the food at Mussol was super reasonably priced too. We had Manchego cheese with truffle oil and breadsticks (€3.60) and Salmon loin slices with pine nut praline (€2.20). We had “patatas bravas” spicy potatoes and ham croquettes which I ate before I photographed I think.
Then we had charcoal grilled asparagus with romesco sauce and a cesar salad and roasted chicken coca. We left without shopping since it was already mid afternoon and we had a lot more to see.
Back on the Bus
And of course we immediately see another cool building. This is Torre Agbar which is a really amazing looking office building. We then went to Park Guell which is getting it’s own picture-heavy post. After that we hopped back on the bus.
Am I in LA?
I felt like I was back in LA when I saw this sign. Most people in Spain either spoke English, or could direct me to someone who spoke English so if you’re like me and no one understands you when you attempt to speak Spanish, don’t worry.
We then walked down Las Ramblas and saw more cool buildings, but were a little stressed about finding our bus. Las Ramblas is a very busy street where people warn you like crazy to watch out for pickpockets and there’s lots of touristy shops selling souvenirs. My friend who has spent a lot of time in Spain told me not to buy anything here because they jack the prices up for tourists.
Mon Bus Stop at Rda. Universitat 33
We FINALLY found the Mon Bus stop at Rda. Universitat 33 which luckily was right next to the CUTEST burger joint called Bacoa. I’m so sad we didn’t eat here since I just found it on this list at #1 for Barcelona’s Top 10 Burger Joints, but we did grab a beer and a seat on the patio while we waited.
We cheers’d to a great day in Barcelona with some local Moritz beers at Bacoa.
I had really wanted to see the Magic Fountains in Barcelona, but the buses weren’t running too late so we decided to save it for next time.
Back to Sitges for Dinner
Bus from Barcelona to Sitges
We survived the bus trip back to Sitges (which was about €70 cheaper then a cab!), but were ready for some dinner.
La Pizzeria del Puerto in Sitges
We stopped at La Pizzeria del Puerto along the marina in Sitges for a late night dinner and it would be really embarrassing if we went to Spain and didn’t have any sangria so we ordered up a pitcher. Yum. Then we had some traditional Catalonian food.
Just kidding I had another pepperoni pizza. It was called Calabraise: Con Chorizo Ibérico, that counts for something, right?
Then we headed home for the night to pack up because we were off to Paris the next morning! Stay tuned for the next post which will be Park Güell in Barcelona (I had so many pics it needed it’s own post), then Paris is coming!