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First Timer's Guide To Barcelona, Spain

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Noelle Ong

Klook Travel Curator

The first timer guide to Barcelona


Barcelona is the capital and the largest city of Catalonia, Spain. We all know the Spanish are famous for a bright and vibrant passion and you can see that translated through the architecture, the food and of course the Spanish hospitality.

Antoni Gaudi is a name you’ll be seeing very often in Barcelona and for good reason. He’s the Spanish architect responsible for most of the designs of the buildings in Barcelona! Characterized by whimsical motifs and otherworldly designs, his style continues to dominate Spanish architecture even after his death.

If you’re a first-time traveller to this charming seaside town, read on to find out some of the must see sights plus insider tips on how to skip the long queues!

Klook activities to check out


1. Park Guell

Park Guell is definitely the number one must visit in Barcelona! For fans of Gaudi, you’d know that this place was claimed to be his masterpiece! But even if you have never heard of Gaudi or his style of art, this Catalan style of vibrant colored mosaic tiles is so pleasing to the eye that it might just convert you into a Gaudi fan.

Walk through the Sala Hipostila - comprising of 86 towering Doric columns that resemble trees, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a garden paradise. This is truly a work of grandeur!

Since the queues can get pretty long, we’d suggest you Klook a Park Guell fast track guided walking tour to skip the line. Plus, you’ll even have an expert guide explaining to you the inspiration behind Gaudi’s works! Meet your Klook guide at the Souvenirs Shop located in Carrer d'Olot no.12, in front of the main entrance of the Park Güell.

Address: 08024 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 8.30am- 6.30pm daily

Nearest station: Park Guell

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2. Casa Batllo

Walk into Gaudi’s interpretation of a fairytale world at Casa Batllo! With a dragon’s back on the roof and a princess’ flower shaped balcony on the top floor, this place is more than just a colorful house. Marvel at the whimsical chimneys and grand stair wells as you make your way up to the top.

As with all Gaudi masterpieces, you can expect a long line at Casa Batllo. If you hate queuing up, Klook yourselves a Casa Batllo skip the line ticket and it even comes with a free audio guide for you to listen to the stories behind each room. There are even interactive virtual realities for you to discover in each room.

Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 9am to 9pm daily

Getting there: Take bus number 7/ 22/ 24/ N4/ N5/ V15 to Pg. de Gràcia-Aragó stop and walk for 1 minute

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3. La Sagrada Familia

Probably Barcelona’s most famous landmark, La Sagrada Familia has been in construction for about 1300 years now. The beautiful stained glass windows and majestic geometrical shapes is a must visit for all Gaudi fans.

We also recommend going up to the basilica’s towers where you can admire the city’s astonishing views atop this architectural masterpiece.

As with all famous landmarks, the queues to get in can be pretty insane. Klook your fast track guided tour and skip those long lines! Let your guide share with you the stories of the basilica and take you up the tower.

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 9am to 8pm

Nearest station: Sagrada Familia station

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4. Casa Vicens

This UNESCO world heritage site - Casa Vicens is one of Barcelona’s architectural gems. This vibrantly colored house is the first masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi. Witness the beginning of the vast career of the artist and discover the extensive liberties taken by Gaudi in his designs. With Arabic, oriental and neoclassical influences, these paved the way for his artistic hallmarks later on.

Klook your ticket to Casa Vicens and skip the line! Just present your Klook mobile voucher and exchange it for a physical ticket and you’re all set.

Address: Carrer de les Carolines, 20, 08012 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 10am to 8pm daily

Getting there: Take Metro L3, stop at Fontana station and walk for about 300m

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5. Casa Mila

Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera) was the last private residence designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. This UNESCO world heritage site resembles a quarry and is considered one of the artist’s most ambitious works. Depending on your date of visit, there might even be performances and special exhibits in the galleries.

Klook your tickets to Casa Mila to skip the lines and get a free audio guide!

Address: Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 9am to 8.30pm | 9pm - 11pm daily

Getting there: Take bus number N4/ N5 to Pg. de Gràcia - Diagonal stop and walk for 2 minutes

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6. Montserrat

Experience the majestic views at Montserrat, a multi-peaked rock range in Barcelona. As you step into the monastery, the hauntingly beautiful voices of the choir echo through the hallways and you’ll get transported into a whole new world. Many flock to the Basilica de Montserrat to see the famous La Moneta, also known as the black virgin.

After that, head on out to to the mountains and depending on how much time you have, take a short hike to the edges for pictures you won’t regret. You might even spot wildlife like falcons, woodpeckers and even mountain goats.

Klook your Montserrat tour for a hassle free experience up the mountain! Meet your guide at the Julia Travel Gray Line Spain Office at Carrer de Balmes nº 5, Barcelona.

Getting to the meeting point: Take the train to Ronda Universitat - Pl. Universitat and walk for 2 minutes.

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7. F.C. Barcelona Museum

Fans of the football club F.C. Barcelona will definitely not want to miss this experience. Head to the homeground of the F.C. Barcelona team and relieve its finest victories. Go through the trophies and the histories of your favorite players in the museum before heading out onto the pitch where legends stood.

Klook your tickets and be sure to visit on a sunny day since tickets are open-dated! Afterall, you wouldn’t want gloomy skies when you’re on the pitch. Don’t forget to pick up your tickets from Julia Travel before heading over.

Getting to the redemption counter: Take the train to Ronda Universitat - Pl. Universitat and walk for 2 minutes.

Address: C. d'Aristides Maillol, 12, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Getting there: Take the BCTO bus to Camp Nou station.

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8. Gothic Quarter

If you’ve gotten tired of looking at all the bright colors of the city and want something off the beaten track, head to the Gothic Quarter! With architecture and facades that date back to as far as 2000 years ago, these emblematic buildings are a real treat for history buffs. The highlight is definitely Guell Palace, a very clever play of light and space by the famed Antoni Gaudi.

Klook your Gothic Quarter tour share with you the local customs and the history behind the buildings. You’ll just need to meet your tour guide at Palau Guell, La Rambla Street number 5 at 3.45pm.

Getting there: Take bus number 59/N9/N12/N15 to La Rambla - Pl del Teatre Stop and walk for 1 minute

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Other things to do in the city


9. La Rambla

The famous Las Ramblas street is often one of the first few landmarks that tourists identify with the city. Grab a bite at the La Boqueria market where you can find anything from freshly cut fruit to grilled seafood.

La Boqueria Address: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 8am - 8.30pm daily | closed on Sunday

Nearest station: Liceu

photo credit : Facebook

10. Barceloneta Beach

If you’re visiting in the summer, you wouldn’t want to miss laying on the sands of the Barceloneta Beach. Located in the traditional fishing district, we’d recommend packing a picnic basket of fresh seafood and tapas and just spending the day relaxing.

Barcelona’s most popular beach is located in the most bustling part of Barcelona, this also means that you won’t have to travel far for some beach bumming about!

Address: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 16, 08003 Barcelona

Getting there: Alight at Barceloneta station and the beach is a short walk away!

photo credit : Barcelonatursime

Must-try foods


Paella

Paella is one of the most popular dishes in Barcelona, even though it is traditionally a Valencian dish the modern from we eat today originates from a coastal part of Spain. The Spanish version is darker, richer and arguably more satisfying to the tastebuds. For the uninitiated, Paella is a rice dish with toppings that can range from lobster to chorizo sausages.

Head to 7 Portes Restaurant in El Born for one of the most traditional and authentic Paellas!

Address: Passeig d'Isabel II, 14, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 1pm to 1am

Nearest station: Pla de Palau - Av Marques de l’Argenetera

Photo credit : Facebook

Tapas

Having tapas is a quintessential when in Barcelona, best enjoyed with a glass of wine of course. Tapas are snacks or appetizers that come in small portions as a starter or you can choose to have a main course version which are bigger in size and these can be served hot or cold. Some of the most popular dishes are Gambas al Ajillo (grilled garlic shrimp), Patatas Bravas ( Bravas Potatoes) and Calamares a la Romana (Fried Squid Rings). Head to Cervecería Catalana for some delicious tapas and drinks!

Address: Carrer de Mallorca, 236, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Opening hours: 8am to 1.30am daily

Getting there: From Catalunya station, it is a 10 minute walk.

Churros

This fried dough pastry snack is extremely popular in Spain! Usually eaten with a chocolate dipping sauce or some powdered sugar, this makes a great afternoon tea snack. We’d recommend going to Granja M Viader, an old school cafe that serves fuss free delicious churros. Best paired with a cup of their signature Cacaolat (hot chocolate), if you’re near La Boqueria market, don’t forget to give this a try.

Address : Carrer d’en Xuclà 608001 Barcelona

Nearest station: Liceu