“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” (John Steinbeck)

Barcelona was high on my list of places to visit, especially after having had quite a bit of time travelling Spain and exploring the diversity between cities vs country life

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People always say you are either Madrid or Barcelona and I guess I am more in the Barcelona team. As Carlos Ruiz Zafon put it perfectly, “Barcelona is a very old city in which you can feel the weight of history; it is haunted by history. You cannot walk around it without perceiving it”. In Barcelona I had the feeling of coming home – there were parts of what I loved about London, what I loved about Berlin and everything that I loved about Spain – the perfect combination. The area we stayed in – the Gràcia quarter – very much reminded me of our times at Prenzlauer Berg, and the vast amount of markets fulfilled all my food dreams I have when travelling to Spain.

Here are my top 4 things to do when in Barcelona:

Have Breakfast at one of the many Plazas in Gràcia

One of my favourites – La plaça de la Vila de Gràcia. A charming, lively little square framed with restaurants and cafes with its clock tower as centre piece. It has the feel of a traditional village within in the city and it surprisingly not over-run by tourists.

Have lunch in Mercado de la Boqueria

Don’t take the Metro when in Barcelona – walk the streets. When heading to la Boqueria from Gràcia, you pass many of the tourist attractions on the side line and also pass through the famous Gothic Quarter with its little winding side streets.

La Boqueria is the dream of every foodie – it’s big, it’s busy and it’s full of fresh produce, tapas, Pinchos, Jamón and local wines. I always have a problem when I go to these places that I cannot make my mind up and come out a lot fuller and heavier than anticipated.

Take a walk for a view

Put your comfy shoes on and make your way up the winding streets to Park Güell, located on Carmel Hill and home of the famous Antonio Gaudí. This is slightly more over-run and if you want to get away from the crowds and watch the sun set over the city, walk a little further to the hill of Turó de la Rovira for the Bunker del Carmel. This spot is slowly in the coming but still a little secret amongst travellers – perfect spot to enjoy a few drinks in the twilight hours.

Park Life with a Picnic

Barcelona is a very green city, so stock up with some fresh goodies, grab a blanket and settle down in one of the many parks

Some of my favourites

Park de la Ciutadella

Park de l’Espanya industrial

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