One Day Tour in Barcelona (Part II)
As I mentioned in my last Barcelona post... it's impossible to limit recommendations for Barcelona... so here is part 2 of my favorites! More walking, more admiring indoor / outdoor art, and more eating.
Total walking: 6 miles / 9.6 km / 2 hours
Total walking excluding from Park Guell: 3 miles / 4.8 km / 1 hour
(The above estimates do not include walking in the park or museum)
(A) Park Guell is one of the most famous parks in the world. While you most certainly can walk there and walk back, I'd highly recommend you take public transportation there and back from the city center. There's plenty of other walking you can do at the park itself and back when you're in the city center. Get some coffee or hot chocolate, and take a leisurely stroll around the park while taking in the incredible architecture and views of the city.
(B) After a walk around the park, you deserve a nice Spanish tapas lunch. El Zampanyet is an old-school tapas place. I could tell you what to order... or you can just ask the waiters. You can't go wrong. Keep in mind, it's only open from 12-3:30 pm, so make sure you time it properly.
(C) Barcelona has plenty of churches, statues, basilica, and other architecture masterpieces scattered all around the city. You really don't need a plan or map to see plenty of them. The Basilica de Santa Maria is one of them and it's right around the corner from El Zampanyet.
(D) Also right around there is the Picasso Museum. There are over 4,000 pieces in its permanent collection. "The Picasso museum is very rich in regard to work from the formative years in the life of the artist; it is practically exhaustive up to the Blue Period. The Museum also houses an important representation of works from 1917, and the series Las Meninas (1957) as well as a comprehensive print collection." It's a smaller museum, so capacity is limited and you may want to buy tickets in advance (though last time, we were able to just get tickets there and enter immediately).
(E) La Rambla is the main street in Barcelona. If you're into shopping (as I am), you can probably skip everything else I've mentioned above and spend your day here. Even if you're not into shopping, the street itself is a beautiful one to walk down. There are plenty of coffee or tapas places along the street (or in a neighboring smaller street) if you want to sit down for a bit.
(F) Quimet & Quimet is perhaps the most well-known tapas place in Barcelona - partially thanks to Anthony Bourdain's recommendation. It is standing room only. The place is SMALL. It's probably meant for 15 people max... but it's always packed with 25-30 people. You have to be aggressive and efficient. Order all at once. Get more than you need (you won't regret it). Make sure you get the salmon atop Greek yogurt and with truffle honey. I know it sounds weird, but it's delicious. One last thought... just please be a decent human being. Order, enjoy it, and GET OUT!
(G) After a delicious, but stressful life-changing experience at Quimet & Quimet, you can't possibly go to bed just yet. The bar at The Cotton House Hotel offers a beautiful place to wind down. The bar itself is not very "Barcelona"... but it's a damn good bar. Like many places in Barcelona, they're known for their variety of gin & tonics. If that's not your thing, chat up the bartender and have them recommend something for you (last time, we ordered something with fresh fruit juices). Regardless of what your drink of choice is... just sit down, sip a gin & tonic, and reflect on your day in Barcelona!