Barcelona is a city that is alive and full of energy. It is hard to narrow down all of the must-see sites and activities when one’s time is so limited. For anyone with a full itinerary or a more of on-the-whim traveler, here are five of the most memorable sites I’ve discovered in my first two weeks in Barcelona.
Búnkers Del Carmel
The view, the view, the view! Búnkers Del Carmel also known simply as “The Bunkers” is a 360 degree, breath-taking viewpoint of Barcelona. These bunkers were used for anti-aircraft defence during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. They have now become a popular attraction in Barcelona and a great place to take memorable photos. The best way to get there is by walking up through Park Guinardó. You could then set down a blanket and open up some beers or a bottle of wine with friends as you enjoy the view.
La Tasqueta de Blai (Carrer de Blai, 17)
You have to try the tapas, right? This highly recommended tapas and pintxos restaurant is just minutes away from Parallel metro station. La Tasqueta de Blai is located in Barcelona’s Poble Sec neighbourhood. The pintxos are large and only 1-1.50€ each. A pintxo, a Basque word that refers to a small snack on a toothpick as pictured to the right. The selection includes stacked choices with meat, seafood, vegetables, dessert – and of course plenty of sangria to wash it down. Try to get a table on the outside terrace and watch the world go by from the heart of Poble Sec, a popular street for tapas bar hopping. Make sure to keep your toothpicks because they are counted up when it’s time to pay.
Platja Vila Olímpica, Barcelona
Vila Olímpica beach is easy to reach, and an ideal place to recharge from a fun-filled night out in Barcelona. It is located next to Barceloneta which is a very popular tourist area. The beach is about a five-minute walk from the Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica metro stop. This beach gets busy on any warm day in Barcelona. You’ll often see people selling souvenirs and fresh mojitos along the beach. So, when you arrive: lay out a towel, and soak up the sun!
George Payne’s Irish Pub (Placa d’ Urquinaona, 5)
George Payne’s Irish Pub is an internationally known pub with a very lively atmosphere. It is located at Plaça Urquinaona, 5 in the city centre. Almost every evening it gets packed with people who want to party. It is very similar to a college bar back in the United States. For example, every Monday there is a beer pong tournament which is fun to watch, especially if your friends are playing. The music is loud and filled with hits to keep the good vibes rolling. Lines get long, so best to arrive early to avoid waiting. This bar brings together people from all over the world – in just one evening I met people from Spain, Romania, America, France, Libya, and England. It’s a memorable bar!
Parc de La Ciutadella
Parc de La Ciutadella, Barcelona’s largest park, is meant for strolling in and savouring. It is easy to get to by metro, take L1 to Arc de Triomf. As you walk toward the actual arch, you will see people snapping photos of this iconic landmark. After walking down the pathway to the park entrance, you will see vendors and large floating bubbles being chased by both children and adults.
Once you cross Avinguda Meridiana and pass the tall gates, you have entered the park and you may see couples laying out on the grass or a family having a picnic. The majestic Cascada fountain in the centre of the park offers a perfect photo-op with it’s picturesque structure. If you’re in the mood to be more active, there is a lake with paddle boats for rent. If not, there are dozens of benches to sit, relax, or read a book. This park is a perfect spot for a Sunday afternoon stroll and to remenisce over the week gone by.
There are so many beautiful sites and unique places to choose from in Barcelona. Whatever you decide to get into will be a memorable experience and hopefully one of these options will help you get started!