AAA Travel Tips / It's Hard to Beat Barcelona

It's Hard to Beat Barcelona
By Samantha Brown , Host of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”
March 21, 2022
Looking for your dream trip? The answer might just be Barcelona. With several beaches, museums, history, architecture, amazing cuisine and a picturesque view of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is really hard to beat. You can tour the extensive works of Antoni Gaudí, visit the Picasso Museum, go shopping, eat some terrific seafood or just head to the beach to relax in the perfect climate. The beaches are some of the best in Europe, and you won’t be disappointed by the nightlife either.
If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, here are some spots to explore:

Güell Park

This is one of those places that gets a “wow” from just about any visitor. One of the city’s top attractions, Gaudí’s famous park and all of its color and whimsy should not be missed. You will find the whole thing full of energy, uplifting and extravagant. The park is on a hill, so wear good walking shoes, and you’ll need a few euros for tickets to the monuments. The view of Barcelona from the top of the hill is one of the best, so make sure your camera or smartphone is fully charged!

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is a lively and very busy neighborhood in central Barcelona. There always seems to be something going on throughout the area, day or night. The beautiful cobblestone streets are great for a leisurely stroll, and you can check out local performing artists or grab some tapas at one of the bars along the way. Make sure you leave time to check out the Monument a Colom, which is a huge statue (200+ feet tall) of Christopher Columbus that appears to be looking down on the city. It is definitely a touristy neighborhood, but you will find yourself falling in love with this bustling area of the city.

La Sagrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family)

Another of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces is La Sagrada Familia. The architect spent quite a few years of his life dedicated to the construction of this amazing Gothic-style church, which has spires that shoot 558 feet into the air. While it seems that the church is always under construction, the experience is really one of the best in Barcelona. While it’s very busy and lines can get long, you have to plan a morning or afternoon to see it. You can book your tickets online to save some waiting time, and it’s a good idea to take the guided headphone tour.
Shutterstock/Dejan Gileski

Casa Batlló

While it looks like something out of a weird sci-fi movie, the Casa Batlló shows Gaudí at his finest. I marvel at the detail in the skeleton windows and terraces and find the dragon legend to be pretty captivating. The roof is thought to illustrate the dragon’s back. This is one of only a few houses by Gaudí that can be toured in Barcelona, so make sure you go. A morning visit will help you avoid the bigger crowds, and they do sell tickets online if you want to save time. It’s a truly fascinating place to visit and one you won’t soon forget.

Barceloneta Beach

It’s always a treat to visit an urban area that has culture, history, shopping and unique things to do and see AND there are numerous beaches nearby. It doesn’t happen often, so enjoy it in Barcelona. Make sure you visit Barceloneta Beach. It is one of the most iconic and popular beaches and gets very busy during the summer months. You’ll feel like you’re part of a European vacation postcard as you sit on the beach, relaxing in style. It’s also a great place to run, ride your bike or take a leisurely stroll. You can be on the beach in 20 minutes or so from Las Ramblas. You can either pick up a picnic lunch or let the local eateries spoil you with seafood, paella and sangria.