The vibrant Spanish city Barcelona and its almost 1.7 million inhabitants welcomed me in winter 2019 to stay 2 weeks there and discover what it has to offer. Here is a summary of all the experiences I made that may help you on your stay in this beautiful city. This is a guide and suggestions on how to spend a week in Barcelona outside of the touristy summer months.
One week in Barcelona
Day 1 – DISCOVER
For the first day I would recommend you get lost. Literally. Spend some time just discovering the city and getting a feel for how it works. This also helps you orientate and in the next days find your accommodation easier.
If you don’t want to wander around without any clue on where to go or what to do, I suggest you visit the cute area Gracia. There you will find a lot of health and environmental focused restaurants and cafés that even offer a wide range of vegan options.
Day 2 – BEACH DAY!
One day is well spent at the beaches of Spain. Enjoy the sun at the city beach Platja de la Barceloneta or go a bit further by bus. There are many beautiful ones along the coastline of the city.
The nightlife at the beaches is diverse so you be able to choose between many interesting bars and clubs if you want to go out.
Day 3 – ARCHITECTURE BY GAUDÍ
Most common accommodations offer a Gaudí walking tour for free or very little money. I suggest you participate as you get a better feel of the city and the beautiful architecture throughout.
Here are the most unique buildings by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí:
✔ La Sagrada Familia
✔ Casa Milà
✔ Casa Battló
✔ Casa Vicens
✔ Park Güell
✔ Torre Bellesguard
Day 4 – MUSEUMS
If the weather is unbearable, why not spend the day in a museum? There are many interesting ones all over the city and my favourite was definitely the National Art Museum, which is free on Saturdays from 3 pm to 6 pm. Infront of the buiding itself you will also have a stunning view over Barcelona and the main square from above.
Another museum I recommend is the Picasso Museum, which is free on Thursdays from 6.30 pm to 9 pm but you have to get an online ticket and pick a time slot beforehand, otherwise you won’t get in.
Day 5 – SHOPPING AND MARKETS
There are generally many food markets all over the city to discover. Some of them are seasonal so just look up which one is open at the time you arrive.
La Rambla ist the perfec place for conventional shopping as most big brands, may it be coffee or fashion, have a store there.
You may consider second hand and vintage shops like Humana or Famingo Vintage Kilo. This helps not only find cheaper items, you will also do something good for the environment.
In the evening the Casino of Barcelona could be of interest for some of you. Personally, I have not been there but I know people who went and enjoyed their time there.
Day 6 – VIEW
There are several viewpoints throughout the city that I want to mention.
✔ Tibidabo Hill – It has an amusement park and two churches on top. You are able to see the sea and the harbour with the hill and the Mountij Castle to the right on the one side and into the countryside on the other.
✔ Fountain show – Located on Plaza Espana the fountain show can be enjoyed on the hill infront of the museum for contemporary art. This also gives you a stunning view over Barcelona.
✔ Castle Montjuic – The castle and and the hill are typical viewpoints over the sea and city.
In the evenings I suggest you watch a Spanish movie in the cinema Cine Verdi because it is a lovely old theater that has its own charm in the middle of the area Garcia.
Day 7 – DAYTRIP TO GIRONA
A day trip by train to towns like the ancient town of Girona is a beautiful way to escape the bustle of Barcelona. It is well known for its stunning architecture and theatre. You will furthermore get a better feel of the country by not staying at the same place for your entire visit.
5 general tips
- Even though I quite enjoyed not having to deal with crowds of tourists, I would still recommend you avoid winter in Barcelona. I suggest you visit the city at the beginning of autumn or end of spring.
- Obviously don’t expect everyone to understand English.
- Try to speak some Spanish whenever you can, the locals greatly appreciate this, even if it is only a few words.
- Be a decent human being. Always take your trash with you, don’t be too loud or in any other way disrespectful to the locals.
- Never forget, that life is an adventure.