Thursday, December 8, 2011

Barcelona, Spain: A Travel Recommendation

Let me just start by saying, Barcelona is NOT my favorite city. I went in college for SB one year and it just did not live up to the high expectations I had for it. It is ALWAYS on the list of places to see in the upcoming here, top destinations in Europe, etc etc. Why?! There are SO many other nicer cities in Europe - cleaner, with more to do, and more to see. Yes, it was a GREAT vacation for Winter - trading 35F and raining for 65F and sunny is an obvious win. But NEVER would I go in the summer and never would I recommend or choose to visit Barcelona out of ALL the other glorious cities in Europe. That being said, my travel recommendation is probably a bit skewed.

We stayed at Villa Emilia which was great. It was near Plaza Espanya, right by a metro, with lots of restaurants in the near. The hotel itself was very nice and not expensive. It was a metro to the main sights, but the metro system in Barcelona is easy, efficient, and great, so that was absolutely no problem.

Again, I would visit only in the Fall, early Winter, or Spring. NOT in the major heat. Visiting a big city in the heat is miserable. While Barcelona has a 'beach,' you do not want to go to that 'beach.' It is small, dirty, and crowded. No one goes to Barcelona for the beach.

Things to see in Barcelona include Parc Guell (a walk from green line stop Lesseps), Gaudi House, Olympic Hill, walk around the Port, Picasso Museum, La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, eat tapas (although you can do this in most Spanish cities), eat Iberian ham, and see an FCB game if in season. There is also an IMAX and Aquarium, but I don't travel to see those sorts of things, so I have not been! The Football Club Barcelona game was fun. The stadium is HUGE and the players are great. However, the fans were not what we were expecting. After going to an FCK game, who's talent pales in comparison and seeing HOW INTO the game the fans were, I expected more out of the FCB fans. They did not scream, chant, cheer, hold scarves, or light fires like the fans of FCK. I'm glad we went, but one game was enough. Las Ramblas is also not all that the Spanish claim it is. We have visited so many other cities with nice walking area/strips/walking platz etc lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia are definitely my favorite two things there. Everything else, I could skip.

So, from the above information it sounds like I HATE Barcelona. And I don't. But I definitely think it gets WAY more recognition than it deserves. I have been to many other cities in Europe, or even Spain, that I would recommend in a SECOND over Barcelona. That being said, we did have a great weekend there. The weather was ABSOLUTELY perfect, a great break from freezing cold Germany. A had the 'best day of his life.' We ate some fabulous food, lounged around, and soaked up the sun. It was not busy with sight seeing since there aren't that many sights - just a relaxing quick weekend getaway.

As for upcoming trips, we are sticking around this weekend, maybe heading up to Landstuhl to babysit my three favorite girls. Jesse and Shannon come to vist on MONDAY! WIth them, we are heading to St. Anton to ski, Brussels to sight see, Burgundy to wine tasting, and of course all the local hot spots we love :)

Football Club Barcelona!

FCB game!

Plaza near Las Ramblas


A at the Port

The Port at Sunset

La Sagrada Familia - Gaudi's masterpiece, still being constructed

La Sagrada Familia - Gaudi's working masterpiece

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

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