Barcelona, located on the Mediterranean coast in the Catalonian region of Spain is famous for art, architecture, food, museums, parks, markets and so much more. It is a vibrant city that will overload your senses with all it has to offer. We visited in October a few years ago which was a perfect time to be there; the crowds had lessened and the weather was sunny and warm.
The influence of Antoni Gaudi is felt throughout the city, including his most famous creation, Sagrada Familia. After almost 100 years since the construction began, it is finally near completion.
Barcelona is filled with narrow streets and alleys that open onto squares and plazas that are filled with a wide variety of activities.
We entered one such plaza after dark one evening and were stopped in our tracks by the dazzling movement and bright lights. There were acrobats, buskers, vendors selling light sticks, police officers on horseback, people dressed up in costumes, tapas bars and cafes; we were amazed at the intensity and the energy level.
That energy and activity kept us out late in the evenings while we were there, which is quite out of character for us. After a few days, our daughter arrived from the US. We all went out that evening and were again caught up in the frenzy of activity late into the evening. At one point she looked at us and said, “who are you and what have you done with my parents?” We just smiled.
You’ll find an abundance of markets in the city with Mercado de la Boqueria being the most popular and well known. It has several hundred vendors offering local as well as international items.
And of course, just wandering through the city and taking photos is always a treat.
Sadly, Barcelona is also known for petty theft and has been experiencing tourist fatigue for several years now. On our first day there, we were surprised when a waiter we were chatting with at lunch told us to be careful. Apparently one of his friends had her cell phone stolen right out of her hand by a passing bicyclist. I’m not suggesting that you don’t visit this amazing city, (when it is safe to travel again) but if you do go, be a considerate guest and use caution in crowded areas.
Wishing you grand adventures, when it’s safe to do so,