Barcelona was our first stop in Spain and we came looking for Gaudi, Jamon and Tapas. We’re happy to report that we found found all the things we’re looking for. Here are the highlights and tips from our 5 day stay in Barcelona.

Things to Do

Gaudi Walking Tour

Seeing  Gaudi architecture was at the top of our list and this free walking tour gives you a great overview of his work. The tour conveniently ends at La Sagrada Familia so you can visit the most famous Gaudi building right after. Make sure you book your tickets in advance for La Sagrada Familia.

Park Güell

This park is located slightly away from the city center but it’s definitely worth the trip as it exemplifies Gaudi’s organic style of architecture. One travel hack we discovered was that you can actually visit the park for free if you get there before it opens or after it closes. Check this site for the current opening/closing times.

La Sagrada Familia

It’s true, one does grow tired of seeing churches in Europe. They are stunning but after seeing your 50th church in 10 days, churches start to blend together. One look at La Sagrada Familia will reset your expectations of what a church can be. It’s visually stunning outside and inside and we highly recommend you make a visit. Their ticketing system is also the most advanced ones we’ve seen in Europe, guaranteeing that there are never long lines as long as you’ve booked a timed ticket in advance. The Gaudi Walking tour we linked to above actually ends at La Sagrada Familia, so it’s easy to time your visit that way.

Parc de Mont Juic

A beautiful park to stroll around in. You can actually get to the park by using the Mont Juic furnicular which is included in your regular metro card. You’ll see beautiful gardens and a spectacular view of Barcelona. It’s a lot of (uphill) walking so make sure you’re hydrated.

See the Magic Fountain Show

Another great free activity. Click on the link above to see the current show times. The fountain show runs about 20 minutes long. We recommend getting there a bit early to snag a good view.

Places to eat

El Quim de la Boqueria

Our favorite meal in Barcelona. It’s situated inside the bustling Mercado de La Boqueria but it’s not hard to find because it’s the one where all the people are. There’s only bar seating and getting a seat is a bit weird. You basically have to walk around the bar, locate someone who you think is about to be done with their meal, and then just hover. If you’re coming from the US this may feel incredibly rude, but it seems like that’s how they do it here, and you probably won’t be able to get a seat any other way.

The Pan’s Club

We stumbled on this vegetarian restaurant by chance and it was a great reprieve from the heavy, meat centric meals we have been eating. Nice salads and quiches and great, friendly people as well.

El Taller

This place was recommended by our Airbnb host. Nice place to have a small bite to eat with a glass of wine.