Barcelona is a portal of cultural exchange. For decades, it’s been a tourism favorite because of its rich art history, authenticity and renowned architecture. Passion bleeds in every corner as art in this city is tied to being human. Filled with impressive parks, museums, and alleyways; you’ll never want to stop walking. This is a city that you’ll want to return to for sure. Six years later and Barcelona has the same charm from my first visit.
During my most recent trip to Barcelona, I engaged in some of the best things the city has to offer and even drove outside of Barcelona to admire the beautiful southern coast of Spain. I invite you to witness some of my journey.
Parc de la Cuitadella
Everything about this park is magical. As you pass by the Arc de Triomf to get to the entrance of this park, you’ll be sure to bump into dance crews practicing their competition routines or local fashion bloggers documenting their outfits. What Central Park is to Manhattan, Cuitadella is to Barcelona. Go for a stroll, a picnic, or to wind down from your day’s activities. Every night, local’s dance to different music at the parks gazebo. I visited two different evenings; one-night locals were releasing energy to the sounds of Tango, and the following night they were jamming to Brazilian forró.
Barcelona is no Amsterdam but it’s sure a place where you can enjoy marijuana pleasures a lot more freely than in New York. While cannabis is illegal to posses and consume in public, it is legal at Cannabis clubs. With over 100 of these clubs in the city, and more in the works, recreational smoking is very much a thing. The catch: you have to be a member to enter a cannabis club. If you go with a local you can enter by paying a small fee. You can also contact a Cannabis club before your trip to purchase a membership card or setup your visit. You can find a full list of cannabis clubs here.
Barcelona’s modernista architecture is one of the many remarkable things that you’ll find around the city. The late Antonio Gaudi is the mastermind behind the famous La Sagrada Familia, Parc de Guell, Casa Batllo and many other historical buildings. Gaudi’s creative contribution to Barcelona is still revered today because of its personal and eclectic style.
The Southern Coast of Spain
Venture out to the greater parts of Barcelona and take a day to drive down the Southern coast of Spain. Breathtaking is an understatement. It’s an unforgettable drive filled with views of the Mediterranean Sea, mountain ranges and the magic of a European coast. For an intimate time, head your way to Cubelles. Not frequented by tourists, this beach city is deliciously serene and quiet.
Tarragona is an hour and 15-minute drive from Barcelona, and one of Catalonia’s ancient medieval cities. The Pont del Diable is an ancient aqueduct, and one of the many-preserved Roman Empire remains in Spain. Its impressive arches are worth the drive. Visitors are able to follow a path to see the actual aqueduct up close, as well as cross the bridge. You may visit this national monument on foot, running or cycling.
Drop me a note if you've visited Barcelona and would like to share some of your favorite places to explore in this majestic city!
Ghislaine Leon is a Harlem, NY native with roots in the Dominican Republic, a passion for community and an avid traveler. She is a Integrated Marketing professional by day and runs her art and spirituality website FearlessLeon.com by night.