Barcelona has been on my travel bucket list for years now, and I was thrilled to learn it would be the first stop during our cruise. While we only had about 12 hours in the city, we made the most of it by doing our research ahead of time and making reservations when we could. Keep reading for a full list of where we shopped, ate, and toured!
Knowing we didn’t have much time in this incredible city, we hit the ground running in the Gothic Quarter to start. Between walking along Las Ramblas, viewing Gaudí architecture like Casa Battló, and shopping on Passeig de Gracia, we spent close to 3 hours wandering through this part of Barcelona.
One of my favorite shops that we popped into was called La Manual Alpargatera and was filled with every kind of espadrille you could ever imagine. I easily could have left with 5 pairs, but made myself pick just one (no easy feat!).
After a quick lunch at the beautiful (and healthy!) Flax and Kale, we took an Uber up to one of Gaudí’s true masterpieces, Park Güell. Because we had purchased our tickets in advance, we were able to walk right into the park and up to the infamous scenic mosaic bench. While it was extremely crowded and pretty overwhelming, it was still spectacular and I’d highly recommend making this stop if you’re in Barcelona.
I guess you could say we were on a Gaudí kick because the touring didn’t stop there. Once we had finished taking in all that Park Güell had to offer, we strolled down hill to Sagrada Familia, a massive cathedral designed by Gaudí himself. Though I knew the cathedral would be striking from the outside, I didn’t expect it to be so magical on the inside as well. Hands down, it was one of the most stunning sites I’ve ever visited and am so thankful that we managed to fit it into our tight itinerary.
With only a few hours left in the day, we decided to unwind in Parc de la Ciutadella. It really was the most perfect green oasis and an ideal spot to rest our legs after walking 10+ miles (!!). Finally, we bid the city farewell over tapas and gelato at Bar Cañete and discussed how we would be coming back very soon—though next time for much longer than 12 hours.