How to get the most out of a weekend in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city of endless possibilities, with a range of activities to explore from Michelin-starred restaurants to architecture to vibrant street festivals. But how do you fit everything into one weekend? The truth is you can’t. Barcelona is one of those places that you could visit a thousand times and still find something new and exciting to catch your eye. This guide will give you just a taste of what’s on offer. That way, you’ll know what to put on your “must-see” list and what can be postponed for next time…
The beach is one of Barcelona’s biggest attractions, as it’s easily accessible from the city and well-maintained year-round. The council put a lot of effort and manpower into making sure the coastline of Barcelona retains its clean sand and water and provides a high standard of facilities for visitors.
Being able to wander through the city, right down to the shoreline where you can dip your toes in the water or take up residence under one of the many beach umbrellas, is one of the best things.
Vying for a top spot on the list of Barcelona’s best features, however, is the food. Whatever your dietary requirements, the city has something for you. You can sample delicious local dishes such as the wide range of tapas: empanadas (kind of like small pasties with a variety of fillings), cured meats, cheeses and seafood. If you’re a vegetarian, try the simple but surprisingly delicious starter pa amb tomáquet, or if you have a sweet tooth, then you have to order a crema Catalana. This dessert is the Catalonian version of crème brûlèe, and it’s a little piece of heaven.
If it’s your mind that you want to feed, then you are spoiled for choice with cultural and artistic sites to visit. Perhaps Barcelona’s most famous architect is Gaudí, whose work you can spot throughout the city. From his first commissioned piece for Barcelona (the lamp posts in Plaça Reial) to his legacy in the ongoing work on the Sagrada Família, it’s well worth tracking down the most impressive Gaudí buildings for a visit. Make sure you look at the Park Güell as well, up Carmel Hill.
Depending on what time of year you are visiting, check out the festivals that may be happening in the city. April sees La Diada de Sant Jordi, a day celebrating both the region’s patron saint and two global literary heroes: local author Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. Both men died on this day in the year 1616. However, if you’re visiting later in the year, then you might catch the city’s most famous festival, Festa Major de Grácia. This week-long festival sees the whole of the Grácia district transformed into an enormous street party.
Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without a nod to the city’s well-beloved and world-famous football team, FC Barcelona or Barça. Take a tour of their home stadium Camp Nou or catch a match if you’re lucky enough to be there when they’re playing! Either way, you’re in for a treat.