After visiting Madrid last summer I had high expectations toward Barcelona. I've heard only good things about the city from my friends and other travellers. However, I didn't find Barcelona as interesting and intriguing as Madrid. Maybe I had built too high expectations towards the city and then got disappointed because of that. Whatever the reason was, I still enjoyed exploring the city even this time we spent only one night there.
I knew we won't have enough time to visit all the things we want so we decided to choose a few ''must-sees'', which were Sagrada Familia church and my friend wanted to visit La Rambla, the lively shopping boulevard in the heart of Barcelona. Our original plan was to visit the Park Güell but we decided to leave that for next time as it is located quite far away from where we stayed the night.
As a history and culture freak, I had to see this church designed by Antoni Gaudi, with my own eyes. Yes, the church was quite a view but I would lie if I didn't feel disappointed inside. Again because of my high expectations perhaps. We didn't go inside but wandered outside of the church for a while. The lake in front of the church was nice and the view to the church was much better from there as the trees and bushes hide the Asian senior group of tourists in front of the church. If you wish to visit this church morning is a good time to do so, apart from this one tourist group it was pretty empty so you have space to see and you'll get nice shots! Sagrada looks dazzling with lights in the evening so if you spend more time in Barcelona, be sure to go nearby by nighttime.
From Sagrada, we continued by metro to Placa de Catalunya (This is where you can catch a bus to the airport). Metro in Barcelona is a convenient way of moving from one place to another. Though tickets can get expensive if you don't buy the day card.
Arriving at Placa de Catalunya we continued to La Rambla and visited the Boqueria Market, which was full of all kinds of colourful sweets and foods! They sold fresh fruit juices for 1€ with very interesting fruit combinations. We enjoyed just looking around and bought some sweets that we later tasted while waiting for our flight to Morocco at the airport.
After the market, we continued by foot all the way to the Port Vell harbour which is considered the end of the La Rambla boulevard. We decided to take a moment of a break from all walking and sit down to sip our drinks from Boqueria.
La Rambla is a great place for taking a walk and stopping by eating. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants, both Spanish and international. (The prices are higher than on side streets) La Rambla is shoppers' paradise, you can find many international clothing stores as well as local souvenir shops along the street.
What I enjoyed most about La Rambla was the beautiful buildings lining the street. You can find Barcelona's opera house ( Gran Teatre de Liceu), the Virreina Palace and other main landmarks of Barcelona there. You can also find interesting pavement mosaic with the colours of black,white,red,yellow and blue made by Joan Miro.
If you have time, make sure to try the Mirador de Colom, a lift that will bring you to the top of the Columbus statue situated at the end of La Rambla. With around 5 € you can see a panorama view from 60 meters high statue.
After spending the day strolling around the streets of Barcelona we decided to see one more thing which was the Casa Bastlló in the neighbourhood of Eixample. This building is handwork of who else than Antoni Gaudi and Josep Maria Jujol. Gaudi's style is very unique and this building reminded me of some kind of bones. The best part of this house were the colourful mosaics.
My overall experience of Barcelona was good. Maybe if I had more time to explore the city and the weather would have been slightly better I would have enjoyed it even more. However, I still dare to say Madrid is even better!