Park Güell. Part of the park is free and open to the public and part of it requires a ticket. Since it is located on the side of a mountain, there are incredible views all around, and some great paths to explore. We ate lunch just outside the park entrance to kill some time (food was average) and bought our tickets to visit the Gaudi Monumental Zone (the entrance is scheduled and you will be assigned a time). We think it’s worth it to purchase these tickets if you do not have to wait too long to enter. However, we enjoyed the free area just as much as the ticketed area.
Montserrat. We took the R5 train here and the cable car buckets up the mountain to the monastery. It honestly couldn’t be any easier and I would highly recommend this option out of Barcelona. It took about an hour from Plaça Espanya and we chose Aeri de Montserrat (cable car). You have to choose either the cable car or funicular train while at the train station, so be prepared ahead of time with your decision. There are ticket agents who are there to help.
Barceloneta. The area next to the water is definitely worth a visit for some good dining, shopping, and people watching. The beaches are nice, have public restrooms, and plenty of cute little snack shacks. But be warned, you will see plenty of people in their birthday suits (people you wish you would have never seen naked, camera=off).
Hospital de Sant Pau. Our first day we went exploring aimlessly and we stumbled into this hospital. It is hard to believe that this was built as a hospital. It was one of the first hospitals to have outdoor space where patients could walk outside during their stay, rather than being cooped up inside all day. The architecture is gorgeous and there are various exhibits to learn about. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was a great place for the girls to roam freely and explore while Chris and I took in some Spanish architecture.
Sagrada Familia. This church, which began construction in 1882, is not scheduled to be completed until 2026. The gothic architecture is astounding and like nothing else. We did not visit the interior (line was over an hour and more crowded than we enjoy), but if you wish to do so, I recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Across the street from the front entrance of the church is a large pedestrian avenue with many shops and restaurants. There is also a small playground near the back entrance of the church.
Several things we disliked:
We were warned by many people about the pickpockets in Barcelona. Unfortunately, it is as bad as we were told. We heard several people throughout the week yelling at someone for stealing their wallets or purses. Chris wore the back pack in front while walking around most areas. Even at restaurants, the staff would tell us to put it in front or under our tables and buckle it to our legs. Having to constantly think about our stuff being stolen was annoying.
When we arrived it took us 3 hours to get through customs and that was only because an extremely kind couple let us cut in front of them. It was by far the worst airport experience for us. It felt very unsafe. There had to be at least 1000 people and Chris counted 4 security officers. People were passing out and it looked like a mosh pit with older people and babies. Hopefully, it was a one time mishap, but we will most likely never fly into Barcelona in the future.
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