Barcelona and Antoni Gaudi

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Antoni Gaudi's 'Park Güell'
Barcelona was an absolute surprise packet, and provided one of the highlights of my holiday - Antoni Gaudi's Park Güell.  It's a very whimsical, vibrant public space that makes you feel like a big kid.  There is a great sense of fun and fantasy from the moment you walk in the front gate and are greeted by a huge bright salamander statue covered in blue and orange tiles...  There are mosaics everywhere, strange stone structures and a cafe on one of the upper levels amongst the palm trees.  It's hilltop location also provides some great views of Barcelona from the top if you can brave the uphill hike.  Entrance to the park itself is free, but there is a fee to enter the museum (formerly Gaudi's home) and the two gingerbread style houses just inside the front gate.
Market of 'La Boqueria', La Rambla 85-89.
  I'd recommend spending an afternoon here, having a picnic on the terrace (or grab something from the cafe) and enjoying the fantasy and the views.

The iconic 'La Rambla' is a must see street that I would recommend visiting to soak up the vibe.  There's always quirky street performers out to entertain the tourists.  If you are looking for souvenirs there are a miriad of stores to chose from so don't be afraid to haggle a little - the competition here is fierce so don't be surprised if the price drops with some friendly bargaining!  Make sure you stop into the 'Market of la Boqueria' at Rambla, 85-89 in the evening.  I have never seen a market quite like this one before - they get top marks for presentation.  It is worth a stroll through just to see the amazing colours and produce on offer - it's a true feast for the eyes (and stomachs if you decide to part with a few euros) and the photos don't do it justice! There are also some great shops not far from La Rambla - I particularly enjoyed meandering through the streets that branch off Placa Sant Josep Oriol.
'Dona i Ocell' sculpture by Joan Miró
  The fine print: be particularly careful in these areas as petty theft (bag snatching and pickpocketing) are quite common. 

If you are looking for some live traditional music I would highly recommend going to one of the regular performances by prestigious Spanish guitarist Manuel Gonzalez at 'Església de Santa Maria del Pi' (Church of St. Mary of the Pine).  I went one evening and was very impressed - this is some of the best Spanish guitar playing I have heard, and to see him play live is something else!  He performs some of the greatest compositions by the likes of Albéniz, Tárrega and Rodrigo. Currently he plays every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night at 9pm and tickets on the night will set you back 18 euros.
The stage at 'Tarantos', a flamenco venue at Placa Reial 17
  However if you buy your ticket in advance at the church the cost is 15 euros.  Worth every cent in my opinion. 

For a fun night at the Flamenco we went to 'Tarantos' Placa Reial, 17.  I have heard that Barcelona is not the best place to see a flamenco show, but I couldn't really fault this place.  It was certainly value for money at around 6 euros for a 30 minute show, and there was definately some electricity in the room between the performers and the crowd.  It is also quite an intimate venue that would be unlikely to fit more than a hundred patrons so you are pretty well assured a good view of the stage.   Lots of energy and colour.  Worth a look if you have some spare time in the evening.  I believe the first show in the evening is around 8:30pm. 

This was one city where I felt like I had barely scratched the surface after four days - there were many things I missed out on, like the magic fountain of Montjuïc, and the cable car ride over the port.

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Antoni Gaudis Park Güell
Antoni Gaudi's 'Park Güell'
Market of La Boqueria, La Rambla…
Market of 'La Boqueria', La Rambl…
Dona i Ocell sculpture by Joan M…
'Dona i Ocell' sculpture by Joan …
The stage at Tarantos, a flamenc…
The stage at 'Tarantos', a flamen…
Antoni Gaudis Park Güell
Antoni Gaudi's 'Park Güell'
Antoni Gaudis Park Güell
Antoni Gaudi's 'Park Güell'
Antoni Gaudis Casa Bastillo, Pa…
Antoni Gaudi's 'Casa Bastillo', P…
The lobster
The lobster
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photo by: fivepointpalm