Your Weekend Guide To Barcelona

A city renowned for its architecture, food, and tourism, Barcelona is often near the top of everyone’s travel bucket list. Nearly every building in the city is intended to be a work of art, giving this city a laid back, creative, almost beatnick-esque atmosphere. People everywhere smile and greet on another with kindness, as they spend the afternoon relaxing with a “siesta.” If you plan to visit this top Mediterranean location, here are some awesome places to check out and some important things to know before you go!

weekend guide Barcelona Rakbo

Las Rambla

Las Rambla stretches for almost an entire mile, beginning at Port Vell to Placa de Catalunya. Trees and shops line this famous Catalonian strip, while street performers in incredible make up and outfits stand as still as statues, much to the amazement of passersby. The stores on Las Rambla range from candy shops to clothing boutiques, from gelato stands to tourist souvenir kiosks. Las Rambla provides hours of fun, tons of shopping, incredible food, and a beautiful sample of all that Barcelona has to offer. But always be mindful as a tourist, especially in this area where other tourists are known to gather, so therefore, more prone to pickpockets and undesired accidents.

Gaudi Architecture

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Barcelona is famous for its public art and architecture, created and then inspired, by Antoni Gaudi. Some of the most popular sites in Barcelona, and the world, include La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and Casa Mila. For many, these sites are must-see’s, and the tickets are rather cheap. However, that also means that La Sagrada Familia has a 5-hour wait, before the basilica even opens, so best to be prepared!

Gothic Quarter

While on the subject of architecture, Barcelona does not only boast modernist buildings. The Roman-built walls of the old city still stand! Throughout the city, much of the medieval architecture still remains as well, as is most notably found in The Gothic Quarter.

La Boqueria

weekend guide Barcelona Rakbo food

A foodie’s MUST DO while in Barcelona, La Boqueria is a gigantic food market. Stand after stand of delicious food prepared upon order that stretches as far as the eye can see. Almost any food imaginable, and loads of delicious Spanish food like empanadas, churros, and paella, can be found at La Boqueria, located right at the end of Las Ramblas.

Pro-Tip: the easiest mode of transportation in the city is by way of the Metro. It runs to many of the major tourist spots, and is easy to access, easy to understand, and cheap! Plus, the stations are well kept, quite clean and full of interesting information for tourists.

Things to be Mindful of in Barcelona, Spain

  1. During the afternoon, Spaniards partake in a ‘’siesta,” which is a nap that normally takes place after a midday meal. During this time, it is best to expect most shops, restaurants, and other services to be closed. Because of the siesta, dinner normally occurs later in the evening than in many other cultures may be accustomed to. And because of this, Barcelona is awake into the wee hours of the night, too, far later than many of us are probably used to. Might be why the city is known for its nightlife, too!
  2. The stunning street performers on Las Ramblas may be stunning to look at, and naturally you will want to take pictures. However, these street performers make their income from tourists taking photos with them. Do not snap a shot unless you intend to tip them!
  3. Vegetarians may have a hard time finding completely vegetarian dishes in Barcelona. While a dish may be advertised as such, it may still contain chicken or ham in it, much to your dismay upon consumption. Barcelona is a very seafood heavy city so make sure to find options beforehand if need be.

Barcelona is a must-city, unlike anywhere else in the world, and in Spain for that matter. Amid plates of paella, glasses of sangria, and the medieval walls of the city, there is something for everyone to love while traveling here! Disfrute! (…which means ‘enjoy’ in Spanish).

Have you ever been to Barcelona? What were your favorite sites when visiting? Let us know in the comments below.

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Allyson is a junior at the University of Akron in Ohio, USA. She is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in media production with a minor in anthropology. Allyson kicked off her dream of traveling around the world with Semester at Sea during the Fall 2016 Voyage. She visited 11 countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Some of her life goals include road-tripping the entire length of the Pan-American Highway and living on a kibbutz in Israel. Her dream career is to travel around the world making documentaries. To her, the best parts of traveling are learning new things from other people, and constantly hunting for the best cup of coffee in the entire world.

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