There’s a saying that goes something like, “Barcelona is a wonderful place if you have a lot of money. Barcelona is also a wonderful place if you are poor.” Nothing speaks more to that more than the sights of the city. World-renowned artists and architects hailed from Catalonia, including Picasso, Joan Miró, Gaudí and Dalí. Many spent time living in Barcelona (how could they not?!), and gave back to the city with their genius and stunning art on display in the city and as public works to stumble upon.
Every corner of the city intrigues, whether with a Catalan gothic church, Roman ruins, or a sunny plaza that emerges from tiny, winding streets. I always recommend to people who ask my advice to spend time just walking and discovering the city. Throw yourself into the heart of a neighborhood — Born, Gracia, Raval and Eixample are all favorites of mine to walk — and discover the distinct personality of each neighborhood. Walk the city; visit the beach, the mountains, the plazas, the parks and everything in between. Visit the beach, the mountains and everything in between. The energy and spirit of the city is palpable and – I warn you – addicting.
La Boqueria: The saving grace of Las Ramblas is La Boqueria, the large, fresh, open air market >
Casa Battló: Designed by Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol to resemble a dragon, the home is both eerie and whimsical >
MACBA: A contemporary art museum in an appropriately edgy Raval square >
Museu Picasso: One of the most extensive collections of the famous Cubist artist’s work >
Palau de la Musica Catalana: Barcelona’s spectacular Catalan modernist style concert hall >
*La Pedrera (Casa Mila): Look for the undulating façade on Passeig de Gràcia for Gaudí’s design >
*Las Ramblas: One street everyone must see — just make sure to get beyond it. (Plus: Plaza Reial) >
Sagrada Família: Forever in progress, this Gothic church is Gaudí‘s great unfinished masterpiece >
*Tibidabo: A nostalgic amusement park, breathtaking views of the city and a chapel that reaches into the clouds >