9 Days of Solo Travel in Barcelona – Highlights of my Trip

Following are the highlights of my 9 days of solo travel in Barcelona from May 15th to 24th are just a taste of what makes Barcelona an extraordinary city. I am in LOVE with Barcelona!!!

During the coming weeks I will write in more detail about each of the places featured in my photos below – find out what it’s like to visit the amazing city of Barcelona.

While I’m not sure what took me so long to set foot in Spain, I can tell you my solo travel plans include exploring more of Spain in the near future. The combination of outstanding architecture, rich history, delicious food, amazing art and culture – and the people are so welcoming and kind makes for an unforgettable travel experience. Everyone was so patient whilst I attempted to converse in the Spanish language and find my way around the city.

I booked my accommodation in Barcelona via Airbnb.com – click for a $40 free credit!

Perhaps you prefer to stay in a real hotel in Barcelona – Click here to find the latest rates and hotel deals

Read all about my visit to Gaudi’s Casa Batllo– my favorite of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona. I loved the design features inspired by nature – Casa Batllo is full of curves and color!

 

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi - Casa Batllo in central Barcelona - know as House of Bones

Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batllo also known as Casa dels ossos (House of Bones)

 

Antoni Gaudi's Casa Batllo rooftop dragon in the heart of Barcelona Gracia district

Casa Batllo rooftop – trencadis mosaics – dragon’s back and bulb

 

Read about my visit to Palau de la Musica Catalana– I attended a tour of the concert hall one afternoon and returned in the evening for a Flamenco concert at this incredible venue – check their website for events and ticket info in advance

 

Palau de la Musica Catalana in La Ribera neighborhood of Barcelona Spain - concert hall and extraordinary design with stained glass dome

Palau de la Musica Catalana features an extraordinary stained glass dome in the ceiling

 



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Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia – his most famous work – why didn’t I love it? Sagrada Familia is one of the most popular tourist sites in all of Barcelona.

 

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Eixample district of Barcelona Spain

Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia – under construction since 1882

 

And Montserrat – I enjoyed it so much I returned again to hike to Sant Jeroni

 

Montserrat - Monastery and hiking trails one hour from Barcelona Catalonia Spain

I twice hiked around magical Montserrat – fantastic day trip from Barcelona

 

Hiking and enjoying nature at Montserrat - one hour from Barcelona Spain - great day trip

View on the way back down to the monastery at Montserrat

 

Plus Gaudi’s Park Guell – I spent 5 hours wandering around this beautiful place. I loved the trencadis mosaic bench on the magnificent terrace at Park Guell in Barcelona.

 

Antoni Gaudi's magnificent Park Guell features mosaic bench overlooking gardens in Gracia district of Barcelona

Park Guell – Antoni Gaudi’s design features serpentine mosaic bench overlooking the gardens

 

Gaudi’s Casa Vicens – may be open for public tours soon!

 

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's Casa Vicens in Gracia district of Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Vicens in the Gracia district

 

Arc de Triomf is a favorite piece of Barcelona architecture. It as built as the passageway to the 1888 World’s Fair – that must have been an amazing event! A short stroll down Passeig de Lluis Companys leads to the fabulous Parc de la Ciutadella 

 

Solo Travel Barcelona - Visit the Arc de Triomf in La Ribera district of Barcelona Catalonia Spain - built for the main gate to the 1888 World's Fair in Barcelona

Arc de Triomf in La Ribera district of Barcelona – was built for 1888 World’s Fair

 

Tapas Tapas Tapas – tasty treats! I do love to eat my way through a city and Barcelona is a great place to try out some of the Catalonia foods as well as other foods that have mad their way to the region. I loved the tapas!

 

Tapas at Sagardi Euskal Taberna in El Born district of Barcelona - pintxos tapas

Tapas at Sagardi Euskal Taberna in El Born district of Barcelona

 

Piscines Bernat Picornell – I swam in both the indoor and outdoor swimming pools – the outdoor pool has shorter lanes and it was a little chilly when I swam – perfect way to shake off that sangria hangover! The indoor pool is fantastic – I think there were 19 lanes in total. The lanes are wide, so there is plenty of room to share a lane when it is busy. The price was quite expensive – around 12 Euros – but you can stay all day if you like. You can enjoy a lunch at the cafe, have a siesta on the deck, then go for a swim and you are set!

Tip: you will need to have a swim cap – you can purchase one at their shop or bring your own swim cap.

 

Solo Trip to Barcelona - swim in Piscines Bernat Pickernell - Montjuic Barcelona - open daily

One of my swimming pools in Barcelona – Piscines Bernat Pickernell at Montjuic

 

Also be sure to visit Basilica Santa Maria del Mar for free – this is the church I recommend visiting instead of Sagradi Familia (I can hear people shouting ARE YOU CRAZY! as they read this) – really, if you only have a couple of days in Barcelona you will see a lot more of the city if you stick with La Ribera, El Born, and Barri Gotic neighborhoods. These three neighborhoods are all walking distance of each other and they are part of the old city of Barcelona. If you are visiting for a week or so then you have time to visit both Sagrada Familia and Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. Let me know which you prefer!

 

Basilica Santa Maria del Mar in El Born district of Barcelona - outstanding architecture - beautiful stained glass in Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Basilica Santa Maria del Mar in El Born district of Barcelona

 

Another suggestion for you – why not enjoy a concert at a centuries old church – Guitar concert at Santa Anna church – I love attending concerts at smaller venues. The old churches were built with acoustics in mind – you will love it! I found out about the guitar concert while walking around the neighborhood.

Tip: While you are walking in Barcelona watch for posters advertising events at smaller venues – often they are only posted around the neighborhood.

 

Art de Guitarra Concert at Santa Anna church - Barcelona duo de Guitarra - Ksenia Axelroud and Joan Benejam

Art de Guitarra Concert at Santa Anna church – Ksenia Axelroud and Joan Benejam

 

Cortado or Cafe con Leche and Croissant – every day! I love a good cup of coffee and the coffee in Barcelona is excellent. Europe in general has much better coffee than in USA or Canada.

 

Cortado - espresso with a little warm milk - perfect with a croissant for breakfast in Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Cortado or Cafe con Leche and croissant for breakfast every day in Barcelona

 

As for the markets I visited both La Boqueria and Santa Catarina food markets. La Boqueria is super crowded with tourists. For a more relaxed shopping experience I recommend visiting the smaller markets. Santa Catarina in La Ribera neighborhood is wonderful.

 

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria fish market, fruits, vegetables, sweets, candies, chocolates, breads and pastries and more in central Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria fish market – Las Ramblas

 

Another of Gaudi’s masterpieces – La Padrera

 

Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi's La Padrera or Casa Mila - modernist building on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona Spain

Antoni Gaudi’s La Padrera or Casa Mila – on Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona

 

El Born Centre Cultural

 

El Born Centre Cultural in Barcelona - from Roman ruins to marketplace to musem

El Born Centre Cultural tells the history of the area

 

Montjuic – visit the park and museum during the day and visit at sunset to see the magnificent Font Montjuic (Magic Fountain) lit up along with a music

 

Solo Travel in Barcelona - visit Font Magica of Montjuic in front of Museo Nacional d'art de Catalunya in Barcelona

Font Magica of Montjuic – Barcelona

 

And at Montjuic visit the Museo Nacional d’art de Catalunya – open 10 – 8 Tuesday – Saturday; 10 – 3 Sunday (closed on Mondays)

 

Ceiling of Museo Nacional d'art de Catalunya in Barcelona Catalonia Spain

Ceiling of Museo Nacional d’art de Catalunya

 

I loved my neighborhood in La Ribera district – there are so many places within walking distance you can spend several days exploring La Ribera and the surrounding districts on foot – my favorite way to get around in Barcelona.

 

Barcelona Cathedral - Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Cathedral was just a block from my home in Barcelona

 

I hope you will come back and visit as I write in more detail about each of the places featured and I hope to inspire you to travel to the magnificent city of Barcelona. The history, art, food, culture, and the people combine to make Barcelona a very solo travel friendly city.

 



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Plan your trip to Barcelona with these highlights of what to see and things to do in Barcelona Spain - SoloTripsAndTips.com

What to see in Barcelona!

 

Would you like some tips on how to prepare for solo travel? Read my post Planning and Preparing for my Solo Trip to Barcelona.

In addition, find out what your transportation options are: Getting Around in Barcelona

If you have visited Barcelona what were some of the highlights of your visit?

Planning a solo trip to Barcelona? What are you most excited about seeing or doing?

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter

2 Comments

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  1. Looks awesome! I’m going there mid september as a solo traveler as well! hope I’ll enjoy it

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