Walk through the streets of Barcelona and “Oh tal bellesa!” would be your response!
An architectural haven, that it is, Barcelona is known for its gorgeous buildings and cathedrals; which is exactly why it’s bound to be on every art lover’s bucket list. September to December is particularity a good time to visit with great whether, lesser tourists and a bunch of festivals for you to enjoy.
Here’s what you can do, see and eat in this city.
La Diada Nacional de Catalunya (September 11)
The La Diada Nacional de Catalunya or the National Day of Catalonia is celebrated to commemorate the siege and fall of Barcelona. Pay your respects to the fallen and head to the main celebrations in Parc de la Ciutadella. As the processions march on, the Catalonian flags hoisted in balconies and buses colour the city red and yellow. The city is packed with events like traditional Catalan music, dance performances, concerts and poetry readings for you to stop by and enjoy.
Festes de la Merc’ (21st – 25th September)
So how long can you party? A week? Festes de la Merce begins with a parade of giant paper-mach’ figures, followed by 600 odd events around the city and ends with the wildest finale on a Saturday night. The La Merce is the largest, brightest, most colorful festival the city has to offer. Spectacular fireworks, free concerts, street theatre, and several other activities for children speckle the city. Be sure to not burn yourself out on day one and run the whole marathon.
Cable Car Ride
For those of you who want to enjoy the city from a different perspective, a cable car ride up to Montju’c Mountain is preferable. Be wary, this 7 minute ride is not for the faint-hearted. While the short trip may be daunting, the stunning views at the end will be well worth it. The cable ride is arguably the most breathtaking way to view Barcelona.Don’t forget to carry your camera!
Baselica de la Sagrada Famelia
One of the major attractions for tourists is admiring the city’s modernist architecture. Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in world and is home to many of Antoni Gaudi’s works. His magnum opus and unfinished swan song – Sagrada Familia is a sight to behold. The structure is often touted as one of the greatest works of architecture to have ever been created. Give yourself some time and take in all the detailing, from the portrayals of the Holy Family to the intricate carvings. The inside is just as breathtaking as the outside with grand stone columns to the intricate stained-glass windows. Another reason for you to say “Oh tal bellesa”!
Camp Nou Stadium
If you’re lucky, then you will get to see the two colossals of Europe – FC barcelona and Real Madrid – go head to head. Whether you are a football fan or not the atmosphere at this stadium during a game is truly electrifying. The thunder of 98,000 fans singing and chanting is an experience of a life time. If it is the ‘big’ match or not, Camp Nou deserves a visit!
September in Barcelona is good time to hit the beach. Put on your shades, grab your swimwear and head to the most popular sandy stretch in the city- La Barceloneta.
Tapas are found literally everywhere across Barcelona. But, as is the case with most tourist destinations, it is easy to get overcharged. Find a place frequented by locals instead of one that targets tourists. These little finger foods will keep you fueled through the day as you strike items off of your itinerary.
Meat lovers must try the Botifarras – a type of sausage. Available in plenty variations, the most popular version is the Botifarra amb seques (stewed white beans with botifarra). La Botifarreria de Santa Maria is the best place to find these.
Barcelona is a city best explored on foot. But that’s a task that can’t be done on an empty stomach! Thankfully, Barcelona has a buzzing street food culture, so you won’t have to look around for grub. You will get whisked away by the sights and scents of waffles sold in stalls.
Try the Barcelona’s essential dessert, the Crema Catalana (bears similarity with Creme Brulee); this dish is an egg pudding topped with crispy layer of caramelized sugar.
All in all, Barcelona lures you with its old and charms you with its new. Throw aside those travel guides, discover Barcelona for yourself and check it off your bucket list.