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The Coolest and Quirkiest Things to Do in Barcelona

The Coolest and Quirkiest Things to Do in Barcelona

A bustling city like Barcelona is definitely not short of exciting activities for you to try. Take a break from the cursory and ordinary sightseeing that regular tourists experience. Instead, embark on an adventure that will surely make your trip to Barcelona far more memorable than just visiting landmarks will. From watching a film under the stars to extreme beach sports, here are the top 7 coolest things that you can do while you’re in Barcelona.

 

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Take a class

From cooking classes to dance classes, Barcelona is definitely a place where you can pick up some new skills. With such deep-rooted history and culture, why not pick up a few tricks of the trade? Try taking a traditional flamenco lesson in the heart of Barcelona, or a stand-up paddling lesson on Barcelona’s prized beaches. Better yet, take a cooking class to learn more about the cuisine in Barcelona, while simultaneously treating yourself to some authentic Spanish food. Try the best paella making workshop in all of Barcelona with our host David, or an amazing tapas making workshop with a view to match with our host Nani, and come home with more than just photographs from Barcelona.
 

[BARCELONA-FLAVOURS https://www.bonappetour.com/s/Barcelona–Barcelona–Spain?lat=41.38506389999999&lng=2.1734034999999494]

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Catch a film in the great outdoors

Why watch a movie in a regular cinema like you would at home, when you can watch a movie surrounded by the sights and sounds of Barcelona? Catch a film in one of Barcelona’s multiple outdoor cinemas, from a beach to a fort, there will surely be a setting that you will find yourself completely in love with. Not a fan of big crowds at such events? Our host Nani can provide you with the exact same experience but just for you and your traveling companions. Enjoy your private outdoor cinema in the countryside with mountain views, great open space and refreshments provided.

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Visit the legendary Camp Nou

What is a trip to Barcelona without a paying homage to the world famous football cathedral Camp Nou, home to the current La Liga champion FC Barcelona? Take a tour of this magnificent stadium and travel in time to witness the glorious history of Barca, from the Cruyff ‘Dream Team’ years to the recent reign of Guardiola’s Tiki Taka,  from the likes of past legends like Koeman who brought the team its first European trophy, to the recent legends like Ronaldinho or the record-breaker Lionel Messi. Other than football, do check out the private art collection on display there which exhibits works by local artists as Dalí, Miró, and Tàpies.

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A chocolate museum

Visit Barcelona’s very own chocolate museum, Museu de la Xocolata, to truly know how it feels like to be a kid in a candy store. Learn about the origins of this sweet treat and its influence on Europe’s culinary scene. Tickle your senses as you tour through this small but nonetheless amazing museum that will sure to leave you hungry for some chocolate after. This museum is especially popular among the younger ones as it will surely become their favorite place in all of Barcelona.

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Flyboard

An extreme watersport that has taken the world by storm, flyboarding is a literal high flying and heart pumping sport that will definitely excite all the adrenaline junkies and water sports enthusiasts out there. This almost gravity-defying activity will propel you several feet in the air by the power from water jets, allowing you to feel just like a superhero. With the closest Flyboarding Center being less than half an hour away from the city center, this is certainly an activity to check out if you want to have an electrifying experience while you’re in Barcelona.

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Take a trip back in time and visit an ancient village

Step back in time and visit an old Spanish village, or at least a replica of it. Poble Espanyol is an open-aired museum that promises to bring you back centuries with replicas of characteristic houses from multiple regions across Spain like Aragon, Castile, the Basque Country, and Catalonia. Built in the year 1929, the 117 buildings that remain standing today in the Poble Espanyol represent the architectural achievements from Spain and is now home to several shops, restaurants, and bars. The Poble Espanyol is definitely a place that you have to visit at least once when you are in Barcelona.

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Visit a local’s home

There is no better way to gain deeper insights into Barcelona’s culture and history than to interact with its inhabitants and natives! With BonAppetour, you get to experience first hand how life would be like as a local through a one of a kind home dining experience. Get a taste of the most authentic food straight from a local’s kitchen and immerse yourself in an environment that no guidebook will ever be able to get you. From an amazing Tapas dinner in the heart of Barcelona to a seafood barbecue cookout with a beautiful view of the hills in Barcelona, there will certainly be a BonAppetour experience that you will absolutely fall in love with.

Try something more unconventional and exciting during your next trip to Barcelona and we are sure that you will be able to bring home more than just stereotypical souvenirs and photographs. If you would like to learn more about unique activities to do during your stay in Barcelona, check our other post on the top events that you have to attend while you are in the city!

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24 Hours in Barcelona

24 Hours in Barcelona

Be it a layover or just a day trip to Barcelona, you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed at the thought of trying to finish seeing all that there is to see in this beautiful city within the short time frame given. With so much to do, but so little time, what is truly worth visiting and cannot be missed in just one short day? Though it may seem daunting, but exploring the city in a day can certainly be done. Here is our list of what you must do during your 24 hours in Barcelona.

 

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[BARCELONA-BEST-PAELLA https://www.bonappetour.com/david-rg/best-paella-cooking-class-in-barcelona-delicious-hands-on-cooking-experience]

Park Güell

Going to Barcelona without seeing one of Antoni Gaudi’s work would be the equivalent of going to New York City without seeing Times Square. It would almost be a crime not to. Park Güell is just one of the many marvels that was designed by native architect, Antoni Gaudi. Initially destined to be housing site and later converted into a municipal garden, Park Güell was made in the 20th century and is one of the most highly visited landmarks in Barcelona. In the park, you can find not just trees, but also art and you can even get an amazing view of Barcelona!

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Mercat la Boqueria

When in Barcelona, you should certainly pop by one of Europe’s largest and most well known food markets. Stimulate your senses as you take in all the sights, sounds and tastes that this market has to offer! The variety of food available in the La Boqueria is truly endless and you can spend hours upon hours just walking through every aisle, in awe of the sheer amount of treasures that you can find. Grab a quick bite from the multiple different bars and restaurants that line the aisles, including the famous “Bar Pinotxo”, that serves up what some people swear by as the best Tapas in Barcelona. Travelers should note that the market only opens from Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Sagrada Familia

Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to the world famous “unfinished church”. After 144 years, this beautiful church is still not complete, with it only set to be done in the year 2030. Designed by none other than the iconic Antoni Gaudi, this complex work of architecture is certainly a sight to behold in person. The Sagrada Familia was consecrated in November 2010 as a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI and still remains as one of the biggest tourist attractions in Barcelona. For a small ticket fee, you can enter the church and even visit the top of the eight towers that have been completed. Plus, each ticket purchased will contribute to the funding of building the rest of the church, a cause completely worth supporting in our opinion.

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Magic Fountain of Montjuic

Just minutes away from the Espanya metro station, The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a stunning musical display of colored lights and water acrobatics. Illuminated by over 50 hues of coloured lights, this spectacular fountain is a captivating sight to behold. Whether you are 5 or 82, you are definitely in for a treat as this visual spectacle is also another one of the most visited attractions in all of Barcelona. It should be noted that the fountain only operates on Thursdays to Sundays from 9.30-11.00pm during certain times of the year.

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La Pedrera
 

Also known as Casa Milà, this is another piece of architecture that was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Constructed between 1906 and 1912, the La pedrera has become one of the most iconic buildings that decorates the streets of Barcelona. Due to its unique design and heritage value, it has been recognised and inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the year 1984. The building now houses the headquarters of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation and a cultural centre. There are also different spaces that are used for art exhibitions that is open to the public, with guided tours included. If museums aren’t really your thing, you can opt to just visit the stunning facade and admire the intricate details that Gaudi put into the building for free.

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La Rambla
 

A beautiful 1.2 km walkway that cuts through the heart of Barcelona, La Rambla is yet another must visit attraction. The picturesque avenue is lined with various stalls, restaurants and street performers that never fail to entertain the thousands of people who walk through the La Rambla daily. From the cheesy souvenirs to the intriguing human statues, there is definitely something for everyone in La Rambla. This famous street also serves as a cultural hub with theatres, magnificent architecture and art (including the Pla de l'Os mosaic by Joan Miró) dotted along this central boulevard.

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Plaça Reial
 

Also known as Plaza Real, this is definitely a place to visit to truly experience the vibrancy of Barcelona’s nightlife. Just off La Rambla in the Barri Gotic, this square that was built in the 19th century, is certainly one of the most visited areas in Barcelona. It is also no surprise why. Filled with a myriad of restaurants and bars, this square attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists daily. The Plaça Reial is also home to some of Antoni Gaudi’s earliest work. Try looking out for a set of lamps that Gaudi was commissioned to design for the Barcelona council. Even though every lamp includes a plaque on the floor with his name, it is often overlooked. So do try to find it when you visit the most beautiful square in Barcelona.

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Dine with a local
 

There is no better way to end your trip off than having a meal with a local. Gain deeper insights into the history and origins of all the landmarks you have visited, while simultaneously treating yourself to authentic Catalan or Spanish food. The best part? Have all your questions about Barcelona answered, and get advice on what other hidden gems there is to see for your next trip to Barcelona, straight from a local. Try dining with our host Teresa, a native Spaniard, serving up a delicious Tapas dinner with her own home-made Sangria – certainly a unique experience like no other. Winding down with amazing authentic food, people you love and new friends? We cannot think of a better way to end your short 24 hours in Barcelona with.

24 hours is definitely not enough to explore this beautiful city thoroughly, with hundreds upon hundreds of other things to see, do and eat. However, 24 hours is certainly enough to make you fall in love with the charm that Barcelona has to offer, and get you started on planning your next trip back to this bustling city. Do you think we missed out on any crucial attractions that one must go to during their short stay here? Let us know in the comments below!
 

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The Arts Scene in Barcelona

The Arts Scene in Barcelona

When you think about the art scene in Barcelona, most people would only think of Antoni Gaudi and his great architectural feats, or Picasso and his iconic art. While Gaudi’s work did play a major role in shaping Barcelona’s ever-evolving art scene, and Picasso is an art icon in his own right, there is definitely more to Barcelona’s art scene than these two great artists. Here are some of the best art pieces to look for if you are on the hunt for some iconic art in Barcelona, aside from Gaudi’s buildings and the Picasso museum.

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Fernando Botero’s The Fat Cat Sculpture

Built by famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero, the “El Gato del Raval” or “El Gato de Botero”, is certainly a sculpture that cannot be missed. The iconic oversized cat located in Barcelona’s La Rambla del Raval has been seen around Barcelona since 1987. Initially calling other areas in Barcelona, like the Parc de la Ciutadella its home, the sculpture finally moved to its current location in 2003. Thousands of tourists visit this beautiful masterpiece daily to take pictures or to even climb onto its back!

[BARCELONA-FLAVOURS https://www.bonappetour.com/s/Barcelona–Barcelona–Spain?lat=41.38506389999999&lng=2.1734034999999494]

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Rebecca Horn’s L’estel Ferit

Also known as “Homenatge a la Barceloneta” or “The Wounded Star”, this masterpiece was created in 1992 by German visual artist Rebecca Horn. Located on the Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, a 1.25km promenade from La Barceloneta to Port Olímpic, the 10-meter high sculpture reflects the past developments of the Barceloneta district. From a run down outlier to a bustling metropolitan area, the four steel boxes stacked on top of each other, aids in showcasing just how far the Barceloneta district has come.

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Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Matches

Known locally as “Els mistos”, this oversized sculpture is one of the most iconic pieces of art that decorates the streets of Barcelona. Designed and produced in 1992 by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, a Scandinavian couple, this 22-meter high sculpture was part of the large-scale redevelopment efforts that took the streets of Barcelona, in preparation for the Summer Olympics that was held that year. This sculpture is now located at the former Olympic site of the Vall d'Hebrón, a mere 30 minutes away from the city center.

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Frank Gehry’s “Fish” Sculpture

This 52m long sculpture is one of the most unique landmarks located on Barcelona’s seafront. Also known as “El Peix”, Gehry’s masterpiece is one of the best known and most striking landmarks on Barcelona’s seafront. The gold facade of the sculpture certainly makes a statement, as the sun catches perfectly on its surface, allowing it to glisten and shine during the day. This was another sculpture that was part of the redevelopment efforts in Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Both beautiful and functional, the “Fish” sculpture also serves as a canopy that links the renowned Hotel Arts to the seafront.

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Agbar Tower

A stark contrast from the traditional stonework that Barcelona houses, this 38 storey polished aluminum skyscraper is located at the entrance to Barcelona’s new technological and business district, [email protected] Said to be shaped after a geyser and the hills of Montserrat, the “Torre Agbar” also reflects the architectural legacy left behind by Gaudi, with references made to the bell towers his unfinished church, the Sagrada Familia. The 142-meter building lights up every night, according to a certain schedule (that can found on their official website) with special light shows made available on certain holidays like New Year’s Eve. Aside from being a spectacular piece of architecture in Barcelona, the Agbar Tower is also extremely eco-friendly, with it receiving the green building award from the European Council in 2011.

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Street Performers

Art in Barcelona definitely transcends physical and visual art, with its streets being constantly filled with performers from all walks of life. From human statues to singers, and even dancers, talented individuals can be easily found on every corner of the city. Street performers are especially prominent in La Rambla, a famous walking avenue in the heart of Barcelona. However, with new restrictions put into place, the avenue can only host a maximum of 15 performers at a time.

Art can be easily found in all sorts of shapes and forms in Barcelona. From architecture dating back to the last century, to new modern masterpieces, art is certainly something Barcelona is not short of. As this is just a brief excerpt of what Barcelona has to offer, do check out our other posts to learn more about this beautiful city and how to have the best vacation during your stay there.

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5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

5 Handy tips you must know if you are solo travelling in Barcelona

Home to 9 UNESCO world heritage, it is no surprise that Barcelona welcomes 7.8 million globetrotters from all around the world as of 2014, and proudly acclaims its rank as the top 5 European countries to travel to. For thrill seekers who are planning a solo jaunt, Barcelona promises an adventure of self-discovery and self-indulgence that offers much liberation. To soften any turbulence during your expedition, here are 5 tips that are pulled together to make your trip a smooth sailing one.

1. Be accountable for your own safety

Armed with bulky luggage and disoriented in a foreign land, tourists make easy bait for quick theft. To counteract such unwelcomed guests to your pockets would be to plan well ahead your arrival. It is definitely recommended to schedule your arrival at a new location before the night falls so as to give yourself ample time to navigate your way to the accommodation and deposit your baggage. Also, while it is not uncommon that solo travelers are constantly on the lookout for cheap thrills, never risk your safety while practicing frugality. Flag down a cab if it is pitch dark to make sure that you are safe and sound for exploration the next day. 

[BARCELONA-FLAVOURS https://www.bonappetour.com/s/Barcelona–Barcelona–Spain?lat=41.38506389999999&lng=2.1734034999999494]

2.  Be alert and instinctive

Instead of veering off from famous tourist attractions like La Sagrada Familia or Las Rambles that are hotbed for thieves, read widely on prevalent scams and pickpocketing techniques so that you are regularly in check for your valuables. It is always a wise decision to decentralize your money and place them in different compartments to avoid putting all eggs in a basket. There is no better advice than to listen to your instinct and intuition. If you feel that something is amiss, switch to safer routes and be constantly in the public. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Be solo but open to travel companions

While solo travelling does have its perks, having a travelling companion in your solo trip may be equally rewarding! Finding a travel companion would be a breeze if you are staying in hostels where virtually every person you see is a travel enthusiast and would hop on to any impromptu plan that makes a great addition to their to-do list. Another alternative channel would be to partake in bond activities that bring travelers together, providing a platform for you to mingle and share travel hacks with.

4. Putting on a disguise

Looking fancy is probably something you are not interested in if you are on a solo sojourn, and we suggest you swap those ritzy wallets and Swarovski phone cases to battered ones to lessen it as a target for wallet lifters. In addition, having a phony phone conservation on the cab with ‘somebody’ explaining your location, your estimated time of arrival as well as the car plate license would easily create an illusion that you are accompanied.  Acting as an effective protective measure against ill-intentioned cab drivers, you can be pretty sure that you will arrive at your designated location in one piece.  

5. Worry a little less, enjoy a little more

Perhaps it is your first attempt in embarking on a solo jaunt, and you are in a bundle of nerves. Instead of preoccupying your mind with scenarios and coming up with 101 ways your trip could go wrong, sit back and relax! As much as you have to be cognizant of your surroundings, tap on your identity as a solo traveler and take advantage of solo benefits! One of the luxuries is to be flexible with your itinerary and travel on your own terms, you can even abandon certain sightseeing spots for an afternoon coffee break. It’s your call!

Being a solo traveler is really a privilege that not everyone gets the chance to enjoy, and you certainly do not have to wait for someone to bestow you that entitlement. As the saying goes, ‘Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer’. What are you waiting for? Start packing your bag and take a leap of faith! I promise you that you will not regret it.

 

 

 

 

 

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