We had been looking forward to our Spain trip for a long time, and Barcelona was at the top of our list of places to visit. We had heard so much about the city’s stunning architecture, rich culture, and beautiful beaches, and we were eager to experience it all.
We had initially planned to explore Spain longer, but due to some personal reasons, we had to cut our Spain trip short. Nonetheless, we were determined to make the most out of our short 4-day stay in Barcelona.
Our family flew to Barcelona from Tbilisi, Georgia. The flight went smoothly, and before we knew it, we had landed at El Prat Airport. As we stepped off the plane, we were greeted by the warm Mediterranean air and the sounds of Spanish being spoken all around us.
Since it was a short trip, we had to be more strategic about our travel arrangements. We forwent our usual long-stay with Airbnb and instead, we decided to treat ourselves and booked a stay at the Regina Hotel, a stylish and centrally located hotel in the heart of the city. It was an excellent choice because it was only a short walk away from many tourist spots, restaurants, and shops.
Since we had just come from a long journey, we spent the first couple of days resting in our hotel room. Nathan focused on his school work and upcoming college applications, while Edith and I caught up on some work. But we made sure to take some time to explore the nearby areas and grab some dinner from a Japanese restaurant.
On our second day in Barcelona, we were thrilled to finally meet Dani, our content creator for our blog, Family Abroad. We had been communicating with Dani remotely for more than a year now, and meeting her in person was a long-awaited event. Dani is in charge of editing our vlogs, creating our monthly newsletters, editing our vlogcast (Family Abroadcast), and managing our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. We had lunch with Dani and her boyfriend at a Chinese restaurant, and we talked about our travels and experiences. It was a great way to get to know each other better.
The following day, we invited Dani to join us on a tour around Barcelona. We booked a local guide named Josep, who took us around the city, giving us a taste of everything Barcelona had to offer in just one day.
The day started off with Josep and the driver picking us up from the hotel lobby. After introductions and a briefing on what to expect, Josep gave each of us an earpiece so we could listen to his commentary on each place we visited.
Our tour guide, Josep, meeting us at our hotel lobby and giving us a short briefing on the tour
Our tour started at the harbor (Port Vell). As we stepped out of the car, we saw the towering Columbus Monument, which was erected to honor the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. We had a few minutes to explore the area and take some pictures before we continued our journey.
In the Barcelona Harbor, with the Columbus Monument towering behind us
Next, we drove up to Montjuic, which is a hill in the heart of the city. We were thrilled to get a panoramic view of the city from the top, and it was truly breathtaking. We could see the iconic landmarks like the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and the Gothic Quarter. We also passed by the Joan Miro Museum, which was named after the famous Spanish artist. It was fascinating to learn about his works and his influence on the art world.
Up in the hills of Montjuic, with a panorama of the city behind us
Our next stop was at the Barcelona Olympic Stadium, where the 1992 Olympics were held. The stadium was massive, and we could only imagine the excitement and energy during the games. We took some pictures and walked around the area before heading down to Plaza Espanya.
At Plaza Espanya, we were greeted by the stunning MNAC, which stands for the National Art Museum of Catalonia. It is a beautiful building that houses an impressive collection of Catalan art from the Romanesque period to the mid-20th century. We also saw, on the opposite side, the famous twin towers that flank the plaza, which were designed by the architect Puig i Cadafalch. We stood in the middle of the pedestrian part of the road and took some photos before we got back in the car to continue our tour.
In Plaza Espanya, with the plaza’s two towers behind us
We then drove to Paseo de Gracia to see Casa Battlo and Casa Mila, two of the most impressive buildings in Barcelona. The buildings were located in one of the most affluent areas of the city, which was evident from the high-end boutiques and restaurants that lined the street. When we arrived, we were in awe of the intricate design and detail of both buildings. The famous architect Antoni Gaudi designed the buildings, and we could see his unique style in every aspect of the architecture.
A family photo in front of Casa Battlo!
After admiring the buildings, we made our way to Las Ramblas, a lively and bustling street in the Gothic Quarter. As soon as we stepped onto the street, we were greeted by vendors and locals going about their day.
Us in the middle of Las Ramblas
We walked down the street and stepped inside the famous Boqueria Market (Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria). We wandered around the market, and it was super crowded that day. Upon entering, we were immediately greeted by a feast for the senses.
Entering the Boqueria Market
The colorful displays of fresh produce, meats, and seafood were truly impressive. The market was filled with fresh produce, seafood, meats, and other local delicacies. We bought some fresh fruit juice and even got some strawberries to snack on.
Despite the crowds, we slowly made our way around the market, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. We couldn’t resist trying some of the freshly squeezed fruit juice, and it was the perfect refreshing drink for a warm day. We also spotted some juicy-looking strawberries, which we quickly snatched up for a snack. It was amazing to see how many different types of food and drink were available in one place.
Exploring the food displays inside the famous Boqueria Market (Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria)
After exploring the bustling Boqueria Market, we continued our journey down a small street of the Gothic Quarter, taking in the sights and sounds of the historic neighborhood. The street was filled with cafes, small boutiques, and ancient architecture. We walked down the street until we arrived at the plaza of the Barcelona Cathedral. We were amazed by the impressive Gothic façade and the grand square in front of it. The plaza was bustling with tourists and locals alike, and street performers were entertaining the crowds with their music and talents.
The Barcelona Cathedral was undergoing construction, but the plaza was lively and full of people
Finally, we made our way to our last but most-awaited stop, the Sagrada Familia. When we arrived, we were blown away by the sheer size of the building. Our guide, Josep, provided us with insightful information about the history and architecture of the church, which was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. He told us about the many symbols and meanings hidden in the intricate designs of the building.
The famous Sagrada Famila (the facade of the Birth of Christ
As we stepped inside, we were struck by the sheer beauty of the interior. The stained-glass windows allowed the sunlight to filter through, creating a kaleidoscope of colors. The way the light played with the shadows and the colorful hues of the windows was simply breathtaking. We couldn’t help but stand there in awe, taking in the beauty of the church.
Stained-glass windows that created a kaleidoscope of colors inside the Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is a true masterpiece, and it was worth the wait to see it in person. The intricate design and attention to detail were truly awe-inspiring, and we felt incredibly lucky to have been able to see it.
The high-ceilings of the Sagrada Familia were an architectural masterpiece
Overall, our trip to Barcelona was a fantastic mix of relaxation, work, and exploration. It was our first time in Spain, and we were excited to explore this beautiful city. Despite the short length of our trip, we were able to make the most out of our time in Barcelona. The tour itself was a whirlwind adventure that took us to some of the most beautiful and iconic landmarks of the city. From the Columbus Monument to the Sagrada Familia, every stop left us in awe of the city’s beauty and grandeur. We hope to return to Barcelona someday to continue exploring all the sights, sounds, and flavors of this amazing city.
Also, if you want to book a tour with Josep, here are his details!
+34 639 351 039
Barcelona, Spain 08013