Artful Spanish metropolis of my dreams

Oh Barcelona, I still dream of living with you. Your sunny disposition and friendly residents, your cheap beers and tasty food, your sidewalk-to-rooftop sculptural homes, I love you so!

Lauren and I started our day with a walk and reservations at Sagrada Familia, a 137-year-old gothic cathedral designed by Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi.

We booked our tickets online a week in advance ( and I strongly recommend doing this. Last time I was in Barcelona I just showed up at the cathedral when I was ready to explore but I had to make reservations and wait two days because they were booked solid.

We booked a guided tour, but I goofed up and it was in Catalan. So instead we got the recorded audio guide. It’s pretty lame but helps give context to all the art you’ll see.

And woah, there is art!

Floor-to-ceiling sculptures and architectural wonders! Not only in the cathedral, but these beauties are all over the city!

Gaudi left his stamp throughout Barcelona. Designing and building his own homes, plus many commissioned by his patrons.

He even designed an entire park, full of structures with his iconic tile work and curved- line sculptures.

After about 2 hours in Sagrada Familia, we spent 30 euros on a hop-on/hop-off tour bus.

Touristy busses are usually not my thing, but a friend recommended it specifically for Barcelona and I completely agree! Because the city is big and full of multi-story buildings and gorgeous architecture, riding on the top of a double-decker bus was an excellent way to get another perspective. The bus also has free WiFi, which made it easy to plot our next area to stop and explore.

Barcelona is a sprawling metropolis.

Be prepared to walk, take busses, the subway, rent city bikes, and walk more. We walked nearly everywhere, it seemed. On our subway ride home, Lauren checked her fitness app and we walked 6.5 miles today, and I’m not surprised.

Delicious, healthy food was easy to find.

But it doesn’t seem to be the norm. There are tons of little bars that serve food, but everything is fried and not especially fresh. We used our downloaded Google Maps to find an amazing vegan macrobiotic restaurant where we ate delicious vegetable soup and a veggie platter full of savory flavors. 2Y Restaurante Macrobiotico was the bomb!

We hopped on the touristy bus again for an hour, visited a market, walked La Rambla (a shopping district) and eventually ended up taking the subway back to our Airbnb.

It was a busy and long day and I am exhausted. Wiped out. Drained. Ready to collapse. Tomorrow we get up early and fly from Barcelona to Cagliari, Sardinia. Mmmm beachy Mediterranean island, here we come!

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