Wandering around Barcelona

Port Vell

Wandering around Barcelona

What I loved most about my time in Barcelona was that I had no plans, and I was able to let the city take me completely by storm. This is my favorite form of travel – no expectations and no schedules. I knew I’d love the city, but I didn’t want to have a set plan, I just wanted to spend my few days wandering around Barcelona.

Of course, I wanted to see what most people come to the city for, but I wanted to see it my way. Instead of planning a tour, which I occasionally do, I walked out of my GowithOh apartment, located in Gràcia, and headed left with no real plans for my first full day.

It would probably have been wise to use public transportation and make the most of my short stay, but there’s something special about wandering that gives a better depiction of a city. I was able to take in the sights, smells, and sounds, and let them lead me in the direction I wanted to go. I got lost in city streets, and with a few street signs for guidance, found my way to where I wanted to be. It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to take in everything.

I can’t say I missed out by not taking a tour, as I was able to take my time and really soak in the city. I started off shopping on Passeig de Gràcia, also making my way to some of Antoni Gaudí’s famous sites, then found myself in Plaça Catalunya.

La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Plaça Catalunya

 Plaça Catalunya

 Plaça Catalunya

After more shopping in the narrow side streets, I wound up in Las Ramblas, eventually making my way to Port Vell. Even though I was alone, I never felt that way, the city was full of life.

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas.

Port Vell

Port Vell

Port Vell

After walking all the way down to the marina, stopping for a lunch of sangria and tapas along the way, I decided to head back and stop in any other places I had passed earlier in the day; that included a palm tree filled square and a crowded market.

Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

From there, I had originally planned on taking public transport back, but the day was too beautiful to allow it. Instead, I headed back the way I came, occasionally taking a detour to stop in a shop or take a photo. It was the perfect day and at the end of it, I was able to enjoy a glass of Spanish wine on my balcony.

Balcony at my GowithOh apartment

Wandering around Barcelona may not be for everyone, but as far as I’m concerned, the city is perfect for slow travel. I may not have had the time to have experienced it all, but walking around made me fall in love with the city on my own terms, and since there’s still so much for me to see, I’ll have to make a return trip, not that I mind. Considering how I felt about the city, I wouldn’t be surprised if that return is for a permanent stay in the city.

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Comments (18)

  1. SnarkyNomad

    Fun fact: The rooftop of the Pedrera is open during summer evenings, when you can go to the rooftop, listen to jazz, admire the sculptures, look out at the city, and sip cava. It’s every bit as good as it sounds.

    1. The World Wanderer

      This IS a fun fact! Guess I will have to make my way back in the summer months…

  2. Stef

    When getting to know a new city, I always prefer to walk instead of taking public transport cause I love to wander around and discover architecture, markets or squares I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Barcelona seems like the perfect city to wander around and get lost to me.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I’m glad you agree with me. Public transport is good after a few days, but I love getting lost in a city’s streets. To me, it is just perfect.

  3. Traveling Ted

    It sure looks like you did a good job of finding cool things on your own, but you are the World Wanderer, so it is expected. When I was in Barcelona I did a bus tour. It was pretty cool and convenient, but I prefer to just walk around and discover too.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Bus tours are great too, especially when it’s convenient, but walking around is my favorite. It was easy to discover Barcelona this way too. 🙂

  4. Craig Zabransky

    I love this “Wandering in …..” What a great way to see a destination and a great way to let go and be in the moment. Glad you enjoyed Barcelona, I loved the city. I imagine it is an amazing place to live too…

    stay wandering, Craig

  5. @mrsoaroundworld

    Oh how I miss Barcelona – loved seeing the photos of the main landmarks. Seems like you had a bit of winter sun too!

  6. Mary Anne

    I would agree that you need a return trip, but it does look like you had a lovely time “wandering” the streets and exploring on your own time. Great photos

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Mary Anne! I am thinking I should just move there – so in love! Of course, you will ALWAYS be able to visit. xx

  7. Dave

    One of my favorite cities for some wandering and it looks like you found some great spots. I love walking around the narrow streets in Gràcia and popping into random bars. Always a fun and eclectic crowd inside.

  8. Lance | Trips By Lance

    Just wandering the streets, that is exactly why solo travel IS great. I don’t do solo travel much, but when my wife and I travel we try to find times in our day where we do our own thing. While she shops I wander around like this and just see what happens. Looks like a fun day.

  9. lola

    so pretty. i need to get back to BARCA soon.

  10. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    Love those pictures of the marina! Barcelona is quite a city!

  11. James

    I’m heading to Barcelona next month. Wandering around cities is my favorite way of exploring. If there’s no real destination, you can’t get lost. Maybe there’s a couple of things you definitely want to see, but no real plans really helps make a “city vacation” far more relaxing. Perhaps more so than a beach break because you don’t feel the need to be anywhere at any particular time.

  12. Laura Nathalie Travels

    Barceona is a wonderful city, I was there last year in winter but I want to go back sometime when it’s summer! Love your blog, just followed you on Twitter!

  13. Keane

    Wonderful photos! You really captured the essence of the city.

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