Barcelona has a wealth of delights for visitors. One could get a good taste in a couple of days or spend an entire week or more enjoying the city and surrounding area.
Hop on hop off
Barcelona hosts two Hop on Hop off companies. BusTuristic and City Tour. Currently, they are the same price. Bus Turistic has 3 routes and 44 stops; City Tour has two routes and 35 stops. City Tour gave us the stops we wanted but had the additional benefit of free WiFi on the buses. That was enough to win us! If that’s not a win for you, Bus Turistic may be the better choice because it separates out the beaches onto one short route. City Tour includes the beaches on one of the two routes and I thought it was a waste of time to ride a HO HO past several beaches. (City Tour replaces them with other stops in the cooler months.)
Watching Picasso’s artistry develop as I traversed the Museo Picasso with my audio guide was especially enjoyable. Students get in free but we bought audio guides for all and were glad to have them. Also, entry for all is free on Sundays. You can purchase your tickets online but we didn’t want to commit to a timeframe, since we were using the Hop on Hop Off, but the line wasn’t bad on our June weekday. The museum loosely traverses a timeline, allowing us to see the various phases of his painting. He made pottery!
The visit to the museum would be incomplete without walking around the surrounding neighborhoods. We found a plethora of cafes, restaurants, shops, culture and style on numerous narrow streets and walk-ways. Given my preference for the older areas of the cities, this was my favorite section of Barcelona.
Gaudi, Gaudi, Gaudi. I was left wondering what Barcelona tourism would be without Gaudi! I doubted that I would tire of it and while I found his artistic architecture fascinating and curious, I did find myself tiring of references to him during our tours.
It would just be wrong to visit Barcelona without visiting the Sagrada Familia! I questioned buying tickets to see the inside but I was not disappointed. It’s a stunning interior! I was told by a friend not to bother with the additional cost of seeing Gaudi’s living quarters. Don’t miss the museum underneath the church! It comes with your ticket. We bought our tickets online for this one and were able to just show them the QRC codes on the phone. They were clearly used to that.
Barcelona offers several beaches within the city limits and easily reachable both by city bus or the tourist buses (Hop On Hop Off buses). They are wide sand beaches, several with long sidewalks, numerous businesses and restaurants nearby.
Traveling in June
June seemed like a great time to visit Barcelona. Had we been interested, the weather was sufficient for time on the beaches. But the crowds were still steady and were not a problem for us at any point.