Barcelona: You had me at Hola

I swear to Gaudi, you’re going to love this city. Barcelona is a lively city that does not lack great sangria, great food and great architecture. When you arrive, or preferably before, book a visit at the Basilica Sagrada Familia, a church that has been under construction for over 100 years. This church is as uniquely mesmerizing on the outside as it is colorful on the inside, and is definitely worth a chunk of your time, in between tapas.

Antoni Gaudi, the architect responsible for Sagrada Familia is also responsible for Casa Battlo and Park Guell along with other buildings around Barcelona. Park Guell is somewhere I would not miss. It is known for all of its’ colorful tile and gives you an incredible view of the city. I may recommend taking public transit, we decided to walk there, and on our way we continued to ask locals for directions to which the only reply we received was “up, up, up!”, and turns out their English was impeccable, it was a climb and a half.

As far as food goes, eat ALL the TAPAS. Tapas 24 was my favorite spot we found as far as amazing, you guessed it, tapas. Patatas bravas are everywhere, and they are amazing, I haven’t met one patata I didn’t like, especially in Barcelona.

Another one of my favorite dishes was ‘bombas’, partially because it is fun to say, and partially because it is essentially a fried mashed potato ball and how could that not be awesome? Paella is another classic dish to eat in Barcelona and you can find it almost anywhere, my suggestion which I have mentioned at least once in other posts is to avoid restaurants that are begging you to eat there with pictures of the paella on the outdoor menu, not five star joints, surprise (Have I tested this theory? yes. Am I proud of this fact? no.).

If you are looking for a dessert sent from the heavens, your next stop is La Pallaresa.

IMG_0427This “hot chocolate” is served with churros and would more accurately be described as liquefied gourmet chocolate because this is no  swiss miss,  I would gladly fill my bathtub with this thick gorgeousness and use the churros as a loofa. You can stand the churros up in your “drink” and I promise you, you will be scraping the bottom of your cup before you leave.

After you are sufficiently stuffed on decadent dessert, take a stroll down the animated Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a crowded street filled with restaurants, merchants of all kinds and street performers. The street is booming with people watching and shopping and if nothing else, it will entertain you tremendously. I don’t suggest eating here, but grabbing a laughably large Sangria and Spanish olives doesn’t have to be off the table right?

Off of Las Ramblas stop in to La Boqueria (closed on Sundays), a large market, you can turn a walk through into a meal, or if you’re staying at an airbnb, grab some fresh produce. La Boqueria has stands to grab hot food, fresh fruits, fresh fish, fresh veggies, fresh cheese, say fresh again “fresh”, chocolates, you get the idea.

Something I especially love about Barcelona is that along with a city filled with endless things to do, there is beautiful beach, where you can go to do absolutely nothing. Grab a drink, probably sangria, I mean you’re in Barcelona, and walk down to Playa Barceloneta to lounge.

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