Sunday, June 8, 2014

Barcelona Spain: Photos, Tourism and Travel Information

It is hard to believe that just a few days ago I was exploring Europe, meeting other travelers from Idaho, Germany and Britain and munching on authentic Italian cuisine in Italy! It is difficult to express the wonders and ambiance of ancient ruins, quaint cobble stone streets and exotic flavors. The life and aura in Spain and Italy are so different from my life here in Toronto.

I began my long, strenuous journey in Barcelona after a 14 hour delay, over bookings, 2 flights, buses, trains, shuttles and almost 48 hours of travel! As I finally rolled my 45 pound suitcase and heavy carry-on up to our apartment I was exhausted but excited.

I stayed in a comfortable, modern suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living/dining area and a full kitchen. The view from the terrace showcased a row of chunky apartment buildings and big fluffy trees lined the streets. An elderly Spanish woman emerged from her balcony to water her plants with experienced hands and I could hear the construction of the nearby basilica. Spain was just as I imagined it to be.

(The apartment I stayed in is called Hispanos Siete Suiza Appartments at Sicilia 255-08025 Barcelona Spain website: I highly recommend these accommodations for the great service and location.)

Two blocks from my stylish apartment towered the famous Sagrada Familia. The basilica began construction in 1882 and is still under construction today! This building is definitely unique; it combines old Gothic architecture on the outside with stunning Art Nouveau on the inside.

As Sagrada loomed above me with its dark gaudy exterior I half expected Dracula to emerge! Although I can appreciate the sinister carvings on the exterior and the astonishingly intricate ceiling inside, the ongoing construction annoyingly obstructs a clear view.

Inside the basilica

Next I headed to La Rambla, one of the most famous tourist streets in Barcelona.

My favorite thing about this street was La Boqueria, a bustling outdoor market that sells fresh fruit juice, chocolate, spices, meat and more.

After sipping strawberry coconut juice and munching on chocolate covered strawberries I leisurely strolled down to the pier taking in the beautiful fountains and small shops before heading into the mall.

The Gothic Quarter is a must see! The streets are brimming with restaurants, stores and bakeries and the architecture is a sight to behold.

On the old narrow streets with their charming shops and patios I stumbled upon the Barcelona Cathedral; a gorgeous church carved with intricate details, high arched ceilings and gargoyles of the Gothic period. I liked the dark and mysterious ambiance of the Gothic era and you can spend hours roaming and discovering art in every corner.

Many of the Spanish menus consisted of a lot of meat, including: beef, seafood, lamb and pork.I found a great restaurant that served Spanish, Mediterranean and Indian food called Taj Mahal Restaurante close to Sagrada Familia at- (C/Rosellon, 400 Barelona). The service, variety and food were good.

I definitely recommend stopping at an outdoor patio or bar to have some refreshing sangria! 

On day two I went to Camp Nou, a famous football (soccer) stadium and home to the futbol club Barcelona. The stadium is impressive with a capacity of 98,787 people! There were interactive exhibits, famous memorabilia and many interesting football highlights from years past. I think the stadium was a great place to gain an appreciation for the impact of sports on the culture and the pride locals have in their team.

Next I made my way to Passeig de Gracia, one of the most popular shopping and business areas in the heart of the city. On this street you will find high-end stores such as: Gucci, Chanel and Dior as well as famous buildings such as Casa Batllo.

Casa Batllo was one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces, a famous Spanish architect responsible for many well known buildings in Barcelona.

Although my feet were beginning to ache from all the walking the next day I moved on to Parc de la Ciutadella, a famous 70 acre park that boasts beautiful landscaping, fruit trees, ponds and a zoo. (Entry is free.)

From the park I walked to nearby Barceloneta Beach. The area around the beach has a nice boardwalk, great for spending a relaxing evening and enjoying a local drink.

There are also many shops and restaurants close to the beach. I highly recommended trying Dinos Italian Gelato in Barceloneta. Even after all the gelato I had in Italy Dinos was by far the best!

My last day in Barcelona was one of my favorites. I took a train an hour outside of the city into Montserrat. If you ever visit Barcelona this is a must! The air is clean, the hustle and bustle of the city is in the distance and lush green mountains surround you.

I will admit to being a bit apprehensive about taking the small yellow cable car that dangles on a line and pulls you high up to the peak but the experience was wonderful! ( Train rides are also available to get up the mountain).

Montserrat has a beautiful church where you can get a glimpse of the Black Madonna; a famous and very rare saintly figure. There are also picnic areas and local farmers selling fresh honey, homemade cheese and other natural foods. I enjoyed the scenic hiking trails and stunning views of the valley below.

In the evening the Magic Fountain show which displays impressive jets of water, lights and music and the Torre Agbar building which is pretty when lit up are also great pastimes. 

Travelers tips for visiting Barcelona:

*Do your research on the kinds of foods and restaurants you prefer to avoid bad meals. There are a variety of cuisines aside from Spanish food and tapas such as: Indian, Turkish and fast food chains such as MacDonals, Starbucks and KFC. Prices vary depending on location and some restaurants include a service charge.

*Grocery stores are a great place to find affordable produce, snacks and drinks including good wine for as little as 2.

*Tapas are traditional in Spain. Tapas are a variety of small appetizers that may be served at bars along with drinks or at restaurants.

*Public washrooms are generally pay as you go and if not it is advisable to bring your own toilet paper. Personally I prefer paying the small fee as these washrooms are generally better maintained.

*The transportation system is excellent in Barcelona. It is easy to get anywhere by metro and costs €10.30 for ten rides and €17.50 for a day pass. Buses and trams also run throughout the city.

*It is also easy to get around by foot. Many of the tourist areas and streets are clean and ideal for a day of strolling.

*As with many tourist cities pick pocketing is a problem in crowded areas, tourist attractions and on public transportation. Make sure to lock all important documents such as passports in a safe if one is provided by your hotel. Never carry important documents and money in backpacks where they are out of sight, and do not leave bags unattended. Walk with purses clutched firmly in front of you and away from the road.

*For longer stays and groups, apartments are a great option but before booking any accommodations make sure to read travelers reviews on websites such as Expedia or Trip Advisor. To see the great apartment I stayed in visit:

*The weather is generally warm in Barcelona and the vegetation is quite tropical. In May the low was about 14 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit) and the high was 26 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit).

*Shops, restaurants and grocery stores tend not to be open very early and often close quite early.

*Before visiting any tourist attractions and churches check the hours of operation. You may be able avoid long lines by booking tickets online. 

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below.

*All photos in this post are copyright of Diray of a Trendaholic and cannot be used, copied or altered in any way.


  1. So many lovely pictures! Happy you had a great time. I am bookmarking this! Thank you for sharing very helpful.

    1. You are very welcome :) Make sure to come back and check out my posts on Venice and Rome!

  2. Great shots!!!
    I would love to be exploring the streets of Barcelona right now!
    xo Holly xo


  3. These pictures are so vivid and breathtaking! I would love to visit spain one day

    1. I'm sure you will one day and when you do I would love to see your photos! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Omg! lovely architecture and beautiful streets of Barcelona. I love it, I wouldn't mind living there! Shabana

    1. Shabzy my dear! I got you some stuff while I was away, next time we meet up I will be sure to give them to you :)

  5. You are so lucky!! ♥ love all the photos! looks like Heaven !

    1. It was very beautiful, I love exploring and traveling! I am looking forward to a couple more trips this year if everything works out!

  6. OH yeah....I've been waiting for this blog post of yours!!! I've been spoiled with some Instagram sneak peeks, but this post takes the cake. Beautiful shots. And so much to see! I've pinned it, so that I can come back and peek at it more later. =0)

  7. Amazing pictures. Looks like such a beautiful place to visit.

  8. Perfect!! My dream is to visit Spain!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, and for leaving your comment on my blog, too! :)

    Stay tuned to my FB page for future updates!

  9. GORGEOUS PICS! I will pin one! :) They made some progress on La Sagrada Familia since I last visited in 2001. I particularly enjoyed this post because my friend and I had 4-5 days planned for Barcelona, but we didn't book our accommodation in advance. We never did all year long and everything worked in our favor. What we didn't know is that during Holy Week, everyone and their brother goes to Barcelona. We ended up having to leave early because we were told that there was absolutely nowhere for us to stay. The only reason we got a hotel for 2 nights is because someone canceled at the last minute and we had to pay extra $$, which was out of our price range. It's nice to see the rest of Barcelona through your pics!

  10. Hey hun, so glad you liked it! I will be posting on Rome and Venice soon so I hope you stop by and check that out...Venice was amazing!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from all of my amazing readers. Have a wonderful day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...