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    A Short & Sweet Barcelona Sightseeing and Travel Quick Guide

    A Short Barcelona sightseeing guide - Carlito's Quick Travel Tips (A Brother Abroad)

    Amazing food, hundreds of years of architecture, and never ending nightlife sit sandwiched between the mountains and the sea.  Whether you have a day, a week, or a year, Barcelona sightseeing, food, and nightlife is worth it.

    My Adventurous side says: I could urban hike through the hills and and swim in the until the sun comes up (and have) My Cultured side says: From Gothic architecture to unfinished, massive Gaudi architecture, the entire city is a piece of art on display that doesn’t get old. My Flashpacker side says: The food is amazing, the hostels are top notch, and its hard to not live the good life here.  It will be difficult to leave and I will definitely be back.


    There are plenty of Barcelona sightseeing opportunities, but these spots cover the highlights.  Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia church, Park Guell, or the late night Barceloneta beach front nightlife.

    • Sagrada Familia
    • Montserrat
    • Park Guell
    • Citadella Park
    • Poble Espanyol
    • L’Aquarium
    • Els Encants
    • Liceu Opera
    • Fundacio Miro
    • Museu d’Historia
    • Barceloneta
    • Palau de la Musica
    • Port Aventura
    • Casa Batllo


    • Yeah Hostel (Barcelona):A swanky hostel in a great location with big comfy beds, privacy curtains, a rooftop hangout area, and a great atmosphere.  Sister hostel to Portugal’s Yes! hostel in LisbonYes! hostel in Porto and OK hostel in Madrid (all of which are amazing) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – the hostel team hosts 2 great walking tours on alternating days and a worthwhile “night tour” every night
    • Generator Hostel (Barcelona):Another reliable hostel in the Generator


    • Gola – an amazing Spanish restaurant that combines amazing ingredients to making interesting, yet very Spanish dishes.  I highly recommend the marinated kangaroo, calamari, and pulpo (octopus) if available


    • Barcelona Metro: Runs throughout the city from 5AM to 2AM
    • Taxi’s & Uber: Plentiful and reasonably priced


    • The city is equipped with free WiFi throughout the city at parks and major sites, so get a map to stay connected
    • Or bring an unlocked cell phone and pickup a Vodafone sim card for 10 Euros with 1.5 gigabytes of data at any mini-market


    • Sagrada Familia:The basilica is large Roman Catholic temple designed by Antonio Gaud. The church is incomplete yet still a UNESC world heritage site and was designated a minor basilica by the pope.  The church combines Gothic and Curvillinear Art Nouveau forms
    • Montserrat and Montserrat Monastery: This mountaintop provides amazing views of Barcelona and plenty of art.  60 .  Montserrat means “serrated mountain” in Catalan.  The mountaintop has a monastery bearing art from artists such as El Greco, Caravaggio, Fortuny, Casas, Picasso, and Dali
    • Park Guell:A garden complex on El Carmel hill.  The garden was designed by architect Antonio Gaudi.  The park is one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe
    • Citadella ParkA large greenspace hosting the parliament, a zoo, museums, and a lake
    • Poble EspanyolAn open air museum with buildings and monuments from Spanish villages and towns to showcase the traditions and heritage of Spain
    • L’AquariumThe Barcelona Aquarium has 35 aquariums and 11,000 animals of 450 species making it the largest Mediterranean themed aquarium in the world.  The aquarium has an 80 meter long underwater tunnel allowing you to walk along sharks
    • Els EncantsA flea market that dates back to the 13th century with a mirrored covering.  Open 4 days a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9AM to 8PM
    • Liceu OperaFounded in 1847, the opera theater is the largest horseshoe shaped theater in Europe and second largest in the world and has operated uninterrupted for the last 160 years.
    • Museu d’HistoriaA museum for the history of Catalonia
    • BarcelonetaA neighborhood along the coastline known for its beaches, restaurants, and nightlife
    • Palau de la MusicaA UNESCO World Heritage piece of architecture constructed between 1905 and 1908
    • Casa BatlloGaudi’s masterpiece, originally constructed in 1877 as an apartment complex.  The complex was purchased and Gaudi was allowed to renovate it without limit into its current state.
    • Picasso Museum
    • Gaudi Exhibition Museum and Gaudi House Museum
    • Fundacio Miro:A museum for the works of artist Miro
    • For more things to do and sightseeing in Barcelona, checkout Trip Advisor’s top 15 sights in Barcelona


    The following sites were all of the stops on a great, free (tips only) walking tour that I did from Yeah Hostel Barcelona.  The tour was a great mix of interesting architecture and excellent commentary about the history of the Barcelona, Catalan, and Spain as a whole.  I highly recommend staying Yeah Hostel Barcelona for the comforts and jumping on the tour, but, if you skip Yeah Hostel then absolutely do this 2 hour walking tour on your own

    Barcelona Walking Tour (Gothic Tour)

    1. Start at the Gothic Park
    2. Cathedral
      1. Triangles pointing to the sky
      2. Angels embedded within
    3. Casa de l’Ardiaca Arxiu Historic
      1. Filled with information signs
      2. Building used the old walls around Barcelona
      3. Great place to view Roman, Gothic, and neo-gothic in one place
    4. Plaza de Garriga And Bachs
      1. Statue Dedicated to the 5 heroes that resisted the French ~1908
      2. Made by the best friend of Gaudi
      3. Tiles beside the monument depict how they died
      4. Santa orlanea sits above door to the cathedral across from the statue
    5. Plaza de Sant Felipe
      1. A favored spot of Gaudi
      2. A bomb exploded (second bomb) exploded in the square.  The base level of all the buildings in the square still bear the damage.  The bomb was dropped by the Franco Dictatorship
      3. Pathway to square was the site for the Evanescence video – song tells the story of the kids that were killed
      4. Vicki Cristina Barcelona was filmed at the Restaurant
      5. Perfume was filmed here too
    6. Jewish quarter
      1. During the inquisition, the Jewish community fled and centralized to this neighborhood.  During the period, the Jewish community was restricted from working and the ones that stayed made a living by financing and the banking activities took place in this square.  To this day, the Spaniards use vocubalary (bank, broker, etc.) used with the Jews in this time.  This neighborhood remains the Jewish center.
    7. The oldest synagogue in Barcelona and one of the oldest and biggest in Spain.  Now a museum.
      1. There was a rule that the biggest synagogue couldn’t be bigger than the smallest church – which is why there are many in Barcelona
    8. View of an old city crest depicting directions
      1. Cross represents hospital
      2. Teacup indicates the main teahouse
      3. Spoons indicate the direction of food markets
      4. Lines represent townhall (come from the lines on the flag)
      5. Boob represents that this area was a place for courtesans
    9. Statue to Castselliers, the local sport
      1. Made for the record for castelliers
      2. Set in Time Square for 10 stories tall
      3. A team from China came to this square to do a world record.  The locals called the police.  The people got close to making the world record and were stopped by the police (just short of the record) even though it was legal.  The Chinese were released within 20 minutes and returned the next day.  When they returned, the plaza was filled with new trees and local businesses were allowed to come Setup outdoor restaurants…so the Chinese team couldn’t break the record.  A few months later, the statue as tall as the world record was created.
    10. Barcelona city hall
    11. Pont Gotic
      1. A cool alley with tons of gothic architecture an amazing, but tiny, bridge connecting government buildings adorned with interesting sculpting on the bottom side
    12. Backside of Cathedral
      1. Adorned with animals including an elephant fountain and a unicorn
      1. Roof is original from 17th century
      2. Door of St George
    13. Plaza of the King
      1. “The tallest tower in the world”
      2. Grandfather of Ernanado Aragon killed the “tallest tower in the world” king
    14. Entering the “El Born” Neighborhood
      1. Food, design, and art
    15. Graffiti Alley
    16. Basilica de Santa Marta
      1. A restored 14th century Cathedral with great acoustics.  Home to many concerts and musical events
    17. El Born CCM – Centre de Cultura Memoria
      1. Style of building is where the market used to be
      2. Neighborhood is “La Riviera”
    18. Other spot – Santa caterina market is nearby
      1. 10 minutes to beach
      2. 5 minutes to the city park
      3.  Marvella beach – quiet nude beach
      4. Restaurant – La Tasqueta de Blai

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.