The neighborhoods of Barcelona – from La Ribera to Torre Agbar

The neighborhoods of Barcelona – from La Ribera to Torre Agbar

Ла Рибера до Торе Агбар / La Ribera to Torre Agbar

Barcelona is a city with its own spirit and unique atmosphere. A city that will fascinate you with its astonishing and strange architecture, arranged transport, always friendly people and the great rhythm of life. I will try to bring you into it and show you a small part of the city and its neighborhoods… We will take a few walks to La Sagrada Familia, Gracia – the former village in the heart of Barcelona, Placa de Catalunya and Placa d’Espanya, the Olympic Village, Camp Nou, Tibidabo, the vibrant La Rambla, the seashore and other interesting places… In the first, from a few posts, I will start with my favorite neighborhood  – La Ribera and end up with Torre Agbar… But first we will go through some basic things about traveling in Barcelona!

The arrival…

In Barcelona, we arrived by plane and then landed on El Prat, the nearest airport. The transportation to the center is very easy and convenient. There is an Aerobus, depending on the terminal. Accordingly A1 – terminal 1, A2 – terminal 2. Move from 05:35 to 01:00 o’clock in 5-10 min, one way ticket is 5.90 euro and the two way ticket – 10.20 euro. More details can be found here.

The sleeping…

The city is very busy and it attracts young people. Which in turn means that the center is more noisy until late at night. It’s good to keep it in mind when choosing a place to sleep… The last bus stop from the airport is Placa de Catalunya and I suggest you to explore the nearby Eixample and La Ribera. I personally chose La Ribera and I can say that this is one of the most comfortable and good places to stay in Barcelona! Very strategically located to all sights, and only 15-20 minutes walking distance from the bus stop, ie. 2 beers off. We arrived late at 22:30 and we definitely needed cold beer! At such times, Indians are a real salvation… they work to late and do not worry about selling alcohol. So, on 2 Estrellas (later I realized this was a great beer, but it still cost 2 euros instead of 50 cents) and a night walk along the lively Via Laietana towards the shore…

Around La Ribera… Santa Maria del Mar

First morning in Barcelona! First lesson… people here do not like getting up early! I was convinced we had to go out eight o’clock, but alas… nothing works, no people on the streets… there’s nowhere to drink a coffee… Somewhere around 8:30 – 9:00 a girl began cleaning and arranging the tables of the establishment called after the basilica Santa Maria del Mar and located right in front of the main entrance. We did not enjoy much, but I needed an invigorating cappuccino and a chocolate croissant… The first item on the agenda was the nearby basilica, a wonderful start for Barcelona – a classic Gothic work! There is no entrance to look inside. Santa Maria del Mar or Santa Maria at the sea is built for a relatively short time – about 50 years! For comparison, most similar basilicas are built 200-300 years! This is also the reason for the rare unity of architectural style. Going inside we find ourselves in a gothic tale. Exquisite columns hang from bottom to top and the lack of ornaments and clean design make you feel miniature… There is no way the look should not turn right into the rosette window… unique beauty! Actually… few people know that the original was destroyed by an earthquake, but in the 15th century its magnificence was restored! The church is considered perhaps the most beautiful in Barcelona! It’s hard to shoot outside, the space in front of the main entrance is limited…

Exiting fromits side entrance, we find ourselves at Plaça Fossar de les Moreres, dedicated to the memory of the siege victims in 1714. The enormous monument occupies almost the entire space between the residential buildings and the basilica…

The Picasso Museum, the Palau de la Musica Catalana and the Santa Caterina Market

Surrounding it, we are on the pretty square Passeig del Born. There are many shops and night bars… we’ll be back in the evening! Shortly after we pass it, we’ll get to the Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso). The ticket is 12 euros and we decided to come in… I don’t have pictures here, I don’t like shooting such places where shooting is prohibited. I’m not a great expert on fine art and maybe I could not appreciate the museum in the best way… Still, there are works worth seeing. The collection has many early works when Picasso was formed as an artist. The “blue” period impressed me most.

Getting out of the museum, we continue to wander around the streets with many shops. This is probably the neighborhood with the most shops. And we reach the Palace of Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana). The facade of the building is mildly impressive… Be careful not to hurt your neck while looking at the lovely blend of red bricks, colored glass and pastel ceramic tiles on the columns… Inside is sure to be even more grandiose, but the entry of 20 euros has pushed us a little… From the first day we met with the expensive tickets in Barcelona…

Spending 20 euros, we are heading to – Santa Caterina (Mercat de Santa Caterina)! I love the markets… they make you immerse in the local culture best… Taking the wide Avingida de Francesc Cambo Boulevard, we find ourselves under the colorful tiles of its winding roof… Once there was a monastery, and today one of the most colorful and racy markets of Barcelona. If you also like markets, but want to avoid the big madhouse in Mercat de la Boqueria, this place will charm you. Here you will find everything! From Mediterranean temptations, through extravagant fruits, to the most interesting and unknown spices. All sellers are very kind, so do not worry about looking. Ideal place for fast lunch or coffee. We stopped only for coffee, having a small and quiet square on its back where you can enjoy the lively way of life in the city.

Citadel Park, Triumphal Arch and Torre Agbar

Being in Barcelona and not walking among palm trees and orange trees is like being in Italy and not eating pizza… it can happen but it is not desirable… Elated by coffee is the time for a long walk ! We return to Passeig del Born and head for the western part of the Citadel Park (Parc de la Ciutadella). To get to its entrance, we have to go through the Born Cultural Center (Born Centre Cultural). You will be impressed by the exquisite building, which is entirely made of metal structures. You can imagine what the Eiffel Tower would look like in the shape of a building… yes, that’s what the Cultural Center looks like… You cut him under his huge tile roof, past the remnants of medieval houses…

And here we are… in the “Citadel” Park! One of the most favorite places of the locals and of the tourists… The park is magnificent! It gets its name, as you suspect, from the former military citadel. It was built here and housed 8,000th Spanish troops… We will come across magnificent palm trees, magnolia and many oranges. Take along the main alley, the Hivernacle and the impressive Castell dells Tres Dragons. From there we continue to the most beautiful part – Cascada! Walk around, relax and enjoy it! Look at it from every possible angle. Try to feed the ducks or go to the larger nearby lake and take a boat with oars. The walk here is more than just charging! Continue to the Parliament of Catalonia (Parlament de Catalunya), where politicians meet. Shortly after is the zoo, which occupies 1/3 of the park. The ticket is about 20 euros and we decided to save it at the expense of the Aquarium, in which we will enter the next days… Now I count this as a mistake… definitely the zoo will be worth more than the Aquarium… We reach the central square of the park and the start of the main alley leading to the Arc de Triomphe… Coming to it, the view is fascinating… the entire park in front of us and the arch in the distance… We have nothing else but to pass the distance slowly, slowly so that we can enjoy as long as possible…

We leave the Park, cross the traffic lights and we are on the driveway to the beautiful Arch… It was built in 1888 as an entrance for the World Exposition. Impresses with its red bricks and the ornaments and figures depicted. On the front there is an inscription: “Barcelona welcomes all nations.” The arch is one of the symbols of the city and a favorite spot for photos.

From here we have two options – to catch the red metro line for two stations to Glories or to walk 30 minutes… In Barcelona, the answer to this question is almost always the second… Walks are so enjoyable that you do not want to stop (or at least the first 4-5 days)… We walk past the imposing arena for  bullfighting – La Monumental. This is the last place where bullfighting took place in Catalunya before the adoption of the banning law in 2012.

We are approaching… on the right we will see the interesting, mirror roofs of the Els Encants market. There are any widgets sold in the evening. Two more direct and we are on the meadow behind DHUB… One of the modern creations in the city was the work of the French architect Jean Nouvel. The building is 142 meters high and is mostly with offices. If you think it’s impressive during the day, you have to see it in the evening… 4500 colored lights surround the tower and make it more magnetic than in the dark hours of the day… It’s worth seeing!

Are you tired…?

The first day in the city ends somewhere here… or at least the tour. From now on, we can go back to Passeig del Born and have a nice cocktail. We swung about 15 km… We made a good start in exploring Barcelona… Take a good break for the next walk… 🙂

2019-02-02T14:45:09+00:00