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7 Other Things To Do In Barcelona

The first stop on our Eurotrip was Barcelona.  I was told by all of my friends not to miss this city as the culture and history is just so beautiful.  In many ways, they say that it is even more beautiful here than in Madrid (which I hope to see in a future trip).  Now apart from seeing the Sagrada Familia and Barcelona Cathedral, here are 7 other things that one MUST do while in Barcelona.

1.  Walk Down The Las Ramblas

This is what travelling is about!  Full of great shops, cafes, street performers and interesting sights, walking around and getting lost in the various alleys intersecting the main street is such a pleasure.  Stretching on for about a kilometer and a half, this is the main tourist spot in Barcelona, kind of like how Times Square is to New York and Nanjing Road is to Shanghai.  Prepare to get culturally stimulated, just mind the pickpockets! (And there are a LOT of them)


Las Ramblas


2.  Souvenir Shop!!

As you can see below, the souvenir shops are such tourist traps.  Selling everything you want (but don’t need) such as flamenco dresses, colorful fans, dolls and perfume for the ladies and shirts, bullfighting paraphernalia and friggin SWORDS and ARMOR for the guys, prepare to spend quite a bit of time figuring out how to fit all these items in your luggage.

Also, Barcelona is the country of Zara, Mango, Blanco and Bershka which means that ALL these brands are a lot cheaper here than in Manila. How cheap? Let’s just say I will never again buy an article of clothing at our Zara at full price… and that I bought 6 pairs of pants in Zara Barcelona.


Barcelona Souvenir Shopping

3.  Admire the Architecture

Barcelona is just BEAUTIFUL.

You immediately notice a bunch of things when you’re touring the city:

a.  All the buildings are of medium-height which is such a refreshing sight especially if you’re used to cities like Chicago (which does have a great skyline) and Manila (which doesn’t have a great skyline hahaha).  I think I only saw around 4 skyscrapers while on the tour bus, and those were a bit far from the city center.

b.  There are trees and parks, EVERYWHERE.  Heck, even their architecture is NATURE-THEMED.

c.  The Catalans are huge admirers of art, particularly of Modernisme (of which their national artist, Gaudi, is a huge part of) and this reflects in their buildings.  I found myself wishing that we in Manila cared more about how beautifully our buildings blend in with the environment (instead of the generic looks that they have) and I couldn’t resist taking A LOT of pictures, of which include the Casa Batlló (lower left of picture below) and Casa Milà (upper right of picture below).


Barcelona Architecture

4.  Watch a Flamenco Show

Hot Ladies, Spanish Guitars, Paella.  What more can be said about the Flamenco Show?  Prepare to get mesmerized (and borderline traumatized) with all the people screaming Arriba! and Ole! at your face.


Barcelona Flamenco

5.  Check Out Camp Nou: the FC Barcelona Stadium

Being an avid FIFA fan for the PS3 and a fan of the Barcelona Team (Let’s go Messi!), I was excited to see Camp Nou up close. Too bad, I didn’t have time to watch a game or tour the facility.  I cannot for the life of me imagine how an arena can seat 99 thousand people.. that’s just crazy!  One more reason to go back to Barcelona.


FC Barcelona Stadium

6.  Climb To the Peak of Park Guell

Also designed by Gaudi, Park Guell is a hybrid garden complex and art gallery set on a hill. Full of works-of-art celebrating Gaudi’s fascination with nature and awesome posing locations for photos (of which I have a lot of but choose not to display in good company), Park Guell’s premiere attraction is the summit which offers a breathtaking view of the whole city.  Despite all the walking involved, the experience is a very pleasurable one what with all the musical performances, human statues, dessert and gelato stalls along the way.


Park Guell

7.  Comer Tapas y Beber Cerveza

Ahhhh… what would a trip to Espana be without sampling their tapas y sangrias?


Cafe Bisbe

Cafe Bisbe located at the Barcelona Cathedral plaza serves the best Chocolat (please excuse my cultured ways..) and tapas (see pic below) that I have ever had. What’s more, due to the current strength of the peso, each tapa dish ended up costing around Php150.00 which is MUY BIEN (cough..)


Cafe Bisbe tapas

My first meal in Europe, happily catching up with my folks and cousins at Cafe Bisbe.  The sausages and meatballs were EPIC.


4 Cats Restaurant

Medium-cooked steak at the Els Quatre Gats Restaurant (4 Cats Restaurant) where Ramon Casas and Pablo Picasso often dined and drank back in the day.


Estrella Damm

Getting drunk with my dad, uncle and cousins in a foreign land.. PRICELESS.

While I was pleasantly surprised to see San Miguel so well-represented in Spain, we had Estrella Damm and it was very good!


Barcelona Paella

And of course, Paella!!

BONUS

8.  Drink Duff Beer

Yes… that is THE Duff Beer from the Simpsons.  Enough said!
Duff Beer

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