Over the holidays my friends and I were discussing where we had been in Europe and what places were still on our bucket list of places to see and explore. As it turns out none of us had ever been to Barcelona, mainly due to the press and it’s reporting of how along with Venice and Dubrovnik the city was just overrun with tourists.
After having looked into it in more detail it turns out that the overcrowding is due to the massive cruise ships that pull into port during the summer months and unload their thousands of passengers onto Barcelona’s streets for a day of sightseeing.
Having decided that this should not be a problem in the middle of May, my friends and I decided that Barcelona would be a great place to go for a short trip.
With our tickets in hand, we left work early on Friday and headed straight to Luton Airport for our 17:05 easyJet flight to the Catalonian capital.
OD Hotel Barcelona
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I spend half my time here alone as my partner works away, so of course the most perfect days are when he’s at home to enjoy this beautiful city with me, after all, that is why we moved here, for that “everyday perfect” lifestyle. April and May are my favourite times of year, not too hot but warm enough not to need a coat and not too busy with tourists. Russell makes the morning coffee as he always does and we sit in the living room as the sun streams through the window discussing our plan for the day. Coming from a seaside town, we both love to be near the water so spend a lot of time walking along the beach front and as a keen photographer, Barcelona is a great place for taking photos and today is a gloriously sunny day so I make sure I have my camera all packed up and off we head.
Beautiful Barri Gòtic
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Romans in Barcelona? Really? Yes, Barcelona can be traced back to an ancient Roman settlement from 218 B.C. called Barcino! You might not be aware of this – after all, Barcelona is much better known for its Gothic district or Gaudí and modernism.
But Barcelona has some exciting museums on ancient Roman times to offer too! So, let’s take a tour of the Barcelona museums landscape.
We’ll also cover some more must-see Barcelona museums from other eras, including contemporary art, which can be found all over Barcelona as well – because Barcelona is international, up to date, and always goes with the times!
In Barcelona’s City History Museum, you can experience the city’s past in an unusual way. All seems fairly normal when you enter the palace, but then the adventure begins: You enter an elevator and go from today’s Barcelona down into Roman Barcino – to the underworld, so to speak…
Visitors can explore each dig site by walking along footbridges. Among them are an old wash-house, a wine cellar, and a fishery – the history is so close you can almost feel it.
Want to be close to Columbus as well? Then get ready: the museum exit passes through the old royal palace. Here you can make a quick detour to the “Sala Tinell”, the hall where, according to legend, Columbus presented the first of his bounties from the New World to Queen Isabella I in 1493.
A Roman jug at Museu d’Història de Barcelona
© Céline Mülich, 2013-2016 | Courtesy of Museu d’Història de Barcelona
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Barcelona is a city of perfect days. Among all the cities I’ve visited, I consider it to be among the most liveable and lovable metropolises on Earth. Blessed with warm weather more than six months a year, flanked by the ocean and mountains, great nightlife and culture, dozens of parks, loads of good museums, bike lanes, citywide free wi-fi, and a broad variety of people from all over the world, each day in Barcelona is better than the last.
Which makes it hard to pick a ‘Perfect Day in Barcelona,’ but for the purpose of this article, I will try. In this edition of A Perfect Day in Barcelona I will try to illustrate not only Barcelona’s variety—food, culture, nature and wide open spaces—but its infrastructure as well.
Barcelona’s city planners prioritize pedestrians over cars. You can see this with its sidewalks that are as wide—if not wider—than the roads for vehicles, and there are lanes and parking stands for bikes everywhere. A city not so big, you can get everywhere on foot, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, or scooter, if you are so inclined. But should your feet fail you, there is Barcelona’s public transport system with buses, trams, and metros which are well-run and are relatively cheap.
Barcelona is a city that is centred on life. Tired? Here’s a bench to sit on. Thirsty? There are water fountains everywhere. Bored? Just go to any plaça and you will find buskers and performers so talented you wonder why they aren’t on television or on stage. Libraries and parks are open to the public so that people can exercise their body as well as their minds. Dogs are welcome in many establishments, and those that don’t, provide cute little leash hooks outside their doors so that man’s best friend doesn’t wander away. Read the rest of this article…
Brunch & Cake
My perfect day in Barcelona was always a Sunday. Sundays are fantastic wherever you live; a day that belongs to you and only you, a day consisting of a morning, an afternoon and an evening, with which you can do whatever you bloody well want to do.
Sundays in Barcelona were extra special. Sunday mornings were iced with slightly hazy memories of dancing til 5am in La Fira or Museum with my housemates. And the kitchen was lavished with the gossip from the night before.
But Sundays in Barcelona are not for hangovers. You can’t let your nauseous tummy and delicate temples take over your day of fun. With all the supermarkets closed the first thing you need to do is take yourself out for breakfast. My number one spot for a dose of carb-induced hangover recovery was always Brunch & Cake on c/ d’Enric Granados. Giant turkey bagels with a side of guacamole and a latte (and an orange juice and two waters – you’re on a recovery mission here). A stroll down c/ d’Enric Granados to play with all the dogs and daydream about someday owning a lovely little flat on this street is a must. Read the rest of this article…