After leaving the charming, beloved Andalusia region, I headed to my last stop in Spain – Barcelona. Barcelona has a different vibe from the other cities I saw, most of all being much more crowded with tourists. However, we had an amazing time exploring and learning about the Catalonia capital. Here are the highlights:
- My favorite part of visiting Barcelona was experiencing Festa Mejor de Gràcia, where the streets of the Gràcia neighborhood decorate in different themes for one week. This was truly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. They put on amazing decorations in themes spanning from Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, haunted house, southwestern U.S., under the sea and SO many more! We walked around drinking caña (draft beer) from street vendors and admiring the hard work and passion of the residents of the neighborhood. I’m having trouble locating most of the pictures from this, which is saddening, but believe me when I say I couldn’t do the creativity and joyful vibe justice anyway.
- We did the Fat Tire bike tour which was a blast! This is a great way to see many different areas of the city, starting from the Gothic Quarter, to La Sagrada Familia, and ending at the beach (with much more in between). The tour guides had some ridiculous anecdotes about the city’s history which I’m still not sure I entirely believe. Note: I highly regret not getting to see the inside of La Sagrada Familia. This is probably obvious, but add it to your list of things to do in Barcelona.
- Again, goes without saying. Go to La Boqueria, the market in Barcelona. The crowds were overwhelming, but once you get past that you can truly appreciate the vendors and samples of fruit, chocolate, marzipan and more. They also have stands that serve full meals. I ordered this “taco” pictured below which ended up being a bowl of the colors-of-the-rainbow and was quite spicy and delicious. I wish I could remember the name of the stand.
- Pintxos are actually from the Basque region of Spain. However, I had no plans to go there this time around, so trying the culinary delight in Barcelona was good enough for me! We tried them at a restaurant called Euskal Etxea. You grab tasty tapas from a buffet bar and are charged for the number of toothpicks you’ve pulled at the end of your meal. I really don’t know what I was eating but it was ALL delicious!