The best way to explore the Spanish charm is on foot, as you sip a hot chocolate.
I was attending an innovation tour in Barcelona and happened to spend a few days on my own. I am not a hurried kind of a traveller, the kind to travel to 10 places and stay everywhere for just two days! I’d rather spend more time in one city — it gives you the time to explore the city at your own pace. And I spent all my nine days in Barcelona!
If you love architecture, this Spanish city gives you a plethora of options. You can check out the beautiful Gaudi buildings (designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudi). Sagrada Familia, a church in Barcelona is one among his many works.
A walk through the Gothic Quarter will help you explore the city’s oldest buildings that date back to the medieval times and is full of history and stories. The streets are extremely beautiful and romantic — full of stores, restaurants, cafes and bars. I think one can spend a whole week in the Quarter and be inspired for a morning run!
Beaches at Barcelona are awesome and are a must-visit if you are the sun-tanned-six-pack-kind-of-a-person. If you feel touristy, a lot of shopping is in store at La Rambla. Overall, Barcelona is an extremely beautiful, well-preserved city.
If you want to get a 360-degree view of the whole city, you can trek uphill for about 20 to 30 min to Bunkers del Carmel. Let me tell you, the views from the point are spectacular.
Luckily, I happened to be there during the festival of Sant Joan (St. John’s Eve) and it is a very big deal for the locals. The atmosphere was electric and the entire city was at the beach and parties were happening at a lot of city squares. I also happened to met Oscar nominee Javier Mariscal, a multi-talented Spanish artist and had a good time chatting with him.
Barcelona is high on innovation and the entire eco system is built on innovation. The locals are extremely welcoming, honest and humble. There is so much to learn from them. The city is extremely safe for tourists and there is nothing to worry.
The one thing I always do when I travel, is to eat the local cuisine wherever I go. I fell in love with their sangria and paellas. It’s a must-have. The food is great everywhere. The tapas are an absolute delight too.
This city is built to walk all around and the summers can get a bit too hot, as we are not used to walking in our cities. You cannot do Barcelona in two days, and would need to spend more time. So, make sure you find your quaint little cafe at the Gothic Quarter and do nothing while sipping your hot chocolate!
The best time to travel is during April to June and September/October. I have only started enjoying travel over the last three years and my next stop will be Seoul and China.
— As told to Merin James