Getting from Rome to Barcelona was the most difficult part about planning my trip. There was no easy way there by train, and no other places for me to stop at a middle point for a few days, so I took a plane. Yes, it was an additional cost and not the most convenient because the Rome airport was quite far from town, but it was what worked best for me on this trip. My flight was so early that it’s possible it was the first departing flight of the day, but that made the flight cheaper to book. The Rome airport was surprisingly easy to navigate and I had no problems getting through security or to my gate, which was a fear of mine, not knowing the Italian language.
I did another hop on/off bus and was able to see the location of the Olympics from 1992 as well as the stadium where the world-famous Barcelona soccer team plays. The bus also went through the Gothic Quarter, which was absolutely fascinating to see because there are so many unusual looking buildings thanks to Gaudi.
After I finished my bus tour, I decided to walk along the ocean to find a place for dinner. I came across a cute little café literally right on the oceanfront; how could I say no? I’m glad I didn’t because I had the most delicious glass of sangria with a fresh salad. The next day was a big day because I had tickets to the Sagrada Familia, which is easily the most popular tourist spot in Barcelona. I’m not a religious person, but I can appreciate what this means to those who are and can definitely appreciate the very detailed, intricate designs carved into the church. Even I spent much longer looking around that I had anticipated. You should allow for at least 2 hours to see and learn about everything; there is an audio guide that takes you around the building and explains the history of the building. In my pictures below, one of the entrances was so ornately carved, there was a map showing you everything that you were seeing. It was all so beautiful and I don’t want you to miss it so, I recommend getting tickets and even then still showing up a little early. You can try to get tickets day-of, but you need to arrive early in the morning to get tickets for sometime that day. It is very unlikely that you will be able to get tickets for entry right then, so be sure to plan ahead.
A note about crime and pickpocketing:
The Gothic Quarter is one of the two main areas of pick-pocketing, with the other being Las Ramblas, which has a great market you shouldn’t miss. If you plan on going to Barcelona, be sure to leave your valuables, like passport, somewhere safe and never wear a backpack or purse that has zippers behind you. If you use their underground train system, when it is full of beach-goers is a prime time for thieves to reach into your pockets. Most will think any nudging they feel is just par for the course because they are all so closely packed together, but it is likely someone attempting to pickpocket you. Don’t underestimate the children or elderly; they also frequently work in teams, so be aware of your belongings when someone is asking for directions or otherwise distracting you.