Barcelona, the openair museum of Catalunya

That nice little hotel at the Costa Brava where you are staying has plenty of excursion brochures for you at the reception, but of course you would rather go by yourself to the impressive capital of Catalunya: Barcelona.

The trainrail from Malgrat de Mar till Barcelona (Plaça de Catalunya) lays next to the beach and this gives you a nice view during your train trip for about an hour.
Train tickets in Spain are quite cheap (at least compared to the Netherlands for sure). For a one-way ticket you pay €4,55.
You can also buy a ’10-ways’ ticket at the machine which will cost you €33,95 and might come in handy when you travel with many friends or family together – You actually are allowed to travel with more people with the same card.

Once you have arrived at the Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona you will find yourself staring at all those cute little streets you can walk into. Probably you will not even notice the beautiful square when you arrive, because you are so distracted by La Rambla and the shopping street Passeig de Gràcia.

La Rambla. ThatWanderlust

La Rambla

La Rambla is the most well known street of Barcelona which is located between the Plaça de Catalunya and the Monument of Columbus at the harbor. The nicest thing is to walk to La Rambla and stroll there for a while, then take a left turn somewhere to go and see the nice little streets where the real hidden treasures of Barcelona can be found. If you take a left, you will end up in the magical Barrio Gótico and if you keep on walking it will not take long before you reach El Born, La Ribera or Barceloneta. You can also choose to take a right turn at La Rambla and then you should reach the district El Raval.

In all those districts a lot of medieval architecture can be found and the past of Barcelona is also shown in different museums. A part is shown in the Palau Reial Major and in the Conjunt Monumental de Plaça del Rei. These museums have quite a lot of archeological things to show you. It is even possible to visit the underground ruins of the ancient Roman city.

Plaça del Rei - Barrio Gótico. ThatWanderlust

Plaça del Rei – Barrio Gótico

Did you know that the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona was the location of the world exhibition of 1888? The Arc de Triomf, designed by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas used to be the main entrance during the exhibition. Whenever you walk on the path which goes from the Arc to the park you might enjoy the singing Indian green ring neck parrots who hide themselves in the palm trees.

Arc de Triomf - hoofdingang wereldtentoonstelling 1888. ThatWanderlust

Arc de Triomf – main entrance world exhibition 1888

The Parc la Ciutadella is my favorite place in Barcelona. You will find many local people having a picnic or meditating and there is much art to see. The best thing to see at the park is the monumental waterfall named Cascada. It is a sculpture made by seven different sculptors including the famous Gaudi who designed the dragons at the front during his studies.

Parc de la Ciutadella - El Born. ThatWanderlust

Parc de la Ciutadella – El Born

There is a train station next to the Arc de Triomf where you can also get off the train for a quicker visit to the biggest park of Barcelona.
Though I still recommend you to walk from Plaça de Catalunya to La Rambla and explore the little streets of El Barrio Gótico and El Born until you reach the Arc and then go and relax at the park. The distances are small. You can reach El Born in 15 minutes starting your walk in El Barrio Gótico.

There are plenty of bike tours or walking tours if you would like to explore the city with a guide. I used to be a guide myself in Barcelona, so if you need any help, do not hesitate to contact me.

Are you planning a trip to Barcelona? Want to buy discount tickets and skip the line? Click here!

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.
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