After the beach, Barcelona’s architecture is one of its greatest draws. Nowhere else in Western Europe can buildings and sculptures quite like those of Antoní Gaudí be found, with myriad landmarks scattered throughout the city influenced by his dreamlike, psychedelic artwork.
Take Parc Güell, for instance, found atop one of Barcelona’s highest points. Feeling almost like some kind of whimsical theme park sans the rides and cotton candy stands, this spot is peaceful and invigorating. Take note of its abundant greenery and undulating mosaics. If this isn’t enough, check out the surreal and globally recognized Sagrada Familia. Add to your Gaudi knowledge by visiting Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, two more architectural successes of his that are sure to impress.
In a deviation from Gaudi, continue with the Parc de la Ciutadella, smaller than but just as wonderful as Parc Güell. Find the Cascada at its center, a massively resplendent waterfall-fountain combination that’s been around for over a hundred years. Visit the zoo within the park, or at least admire the various animal sculptures positioned amongst the foliage where clusters of tiny monk parakeets fly. This is the essential spot for spending a quiet afternoon in Barcelona before hitting the beachfront lounges (much, much) later on in the night, so bring a book or a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.
An urban traveler's delight, the Zipper Backpack will keep everything you need for traversing Barcelona.
- Liz Silvia