Barcelona is in charge. No matter what is on your agenda, she seems to dictate what, where and when. Dinner will start and end whenever she tells you. The most direct path to where you want to go will always be subject to her whim. On certain days, you may end up spending more time at the market than La Sagrada Familia.
Here’s a tentative list of what to see and do. May the odds be in your favor.
Stroll La Rambla
The monument of Christopher Columbus points you in the right direction to stroll the tree-lined concourse of Las Rambla with its shops, cafes and pantomime artists. And that’s all the direction you’ll get and need.
Antoni Gaudí’s City
You cannot miss La Sagrada Família (unless you over-indulge at La Rambla and then you just might). It is an icon of the city with its spindle-shaped towers dominating the skyline. Nearby is another famous Gaudí monument, Casa Batlló. Each of these masterpieces has been deemed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Served at bars and cafés pretty much anytime of the day, tapas are meant to be shared. For a true local experience, do as the Spanish do and “tapear,” which means to hop from bar to bar sampling a variety of tasty tapas in the process. Warning: Do not attempt to do this right after checking into your hotel after your flight. If you do, be sure to write down all of your lodging information on your arm with a sharpie.
Wines of Penedés
At the heart of the Penedés region, perched on top of a hill, you can visit the wine cellars of Jean Leon. The view is amazing and the wines are even better. Sample three of the estate’s most famed varietals: Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva.
Inside the National Palace of Catalonia, find a wonderful – and lesser-known – museum dedicated to Gothic and Romanesque art, and features Medieval and Gothic pieces found in Old Barcelona.
Walk in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso. He lived in Barcelona in his youth and you can see his works at Museu Picasso, which shows pieces from his Rose and Blue Periods.