Barcelona is vast and beautiful, there’s so much to see, and I’m impressed at those who manage to cram everything in to only a couple of days!
But it can be done – I was there for almost a week, mixing spending a little time at the hotel to relax with exploring. However most of the sights I saw could be covered in just two or three days.
Barcelona is incredibly easy to get around for those travelling solo, or just a bit unsure. The transport system is easy to figure out, and usually costs €2.20 a ride (Google maps helps a lot)! Most of the main city sights are also within walking distance!
1. The Parc de la Ciutadella and Fountain
This was by far my favourite place in Barcelona. The park itself is stunning and very popular with locals and tourists alike. It was built in mid-19th century, and used to be Barcelona’s only green space! The fountain, being the main attraction, was first inaugurated in 1881 without any sculptures (these came later). The man who erected it, Josep Fontsére, wanted to make it look vaguely like the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Within the park you’ll also find a zoo (which I didn’t visit) and also the Museum of Natural Sciences.
As a bonus, you’ll also find a mammoth statue in the park that is equally fun to take photos with!
2. Sagrada Familia
This is a must see obviously. Designed by Gaudí, its construction began in March 1882, and it is still unfinished to this day! It’s anticipated that the building will be completed in 2026, 100 years after Gaudí’s death.
Riley and I didn’t go inside, however we have been told it’s equally as beautiful as the exterior. Just one of those attractions you must tick off the list if you’re coming to Barcelona. You can find out more about the Sagrada Familia and its history here.
You’ll find other buildings of Gaudí’s throughout the city, and a selection of tours to take you round. If you’re keen on architecture or art in general, these will be worth going on to dive deeper into the history of some of the more famous sights of the city.
3. Arc de Triomf
This impressive work of architecture was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. It’s only a short walk across the road from the The Parc de la Ciutadella so a must see on your way in or out of the park.
4. The Kiss of Freedom Wall
This wall is quite incredible. It’s a mosaic made up of thousands of little ceramic tiles to symbolise love and liberty. On each tile there is a photo of a person or a place that in some way expresses freedom, and this makes up a beautiful, larger image of two people locking lips. Photographer Joan Fontcuberta asked local people to send in their moments of freedom, and together with ceramicist Toni Cumella, printed around 4,000 of these photos onto mosaics. Pretty cool concept for a wall mural.
You’ll find the kiss of freedom at Plaça d’Isidre Nonell in the city’s gothic quarter.
5. Barcelona Cathedral
This Gothic cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, and was constructed from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Its architecture is stunning, and it’s located in a bustling square often heaving with tourists. Still a very worthwhile stop, just watch your valuables as pickpockets can be rife in these areas!
While I was there, I also took a yoga class on the beach (you can find the link to my post on this here) and a photoshoot tour of the city to capture some moments with a professional photographer. The photoshoot tour was a great way to get to know the city better, and fantastic for solo travellers who still want to get great snaps of themselves enjoying the trip!
I’d highly recommend checking out the Airbnb experiences in any area you’re going to. They offer a very unique local perspective of your destination and often provide something a little different to try on your travels!