Our second day in Barcelona was my favorite of our time spent there. We started the day by touring the Sagrada Familia. It looked so different during the day! We pre-purchased our tickets and were instructed to arrive at the entrance off Carrer de la Marina. This was the one thing I was probably most excited about to see while in Barcelona. However, I made the mistake of not doing the audio tour version of our tickets. Usually I’m not much for audio tours, but I really wish I would have opted to do it this time. We weren’t able to add it on once inside either.
The Basilica is incredible. My neck hurt by the time we left because all I wanted to do was look up! One thing we learned after visiting the Basilica is that we should have gone in the afternoon or early evening. There’s less crowds and the colors from the stained glass window just get richer as the day goes on. Next time, right?
(I’m doing a follow-up post with a bunch of pictures from the Sagrada Familia. Because we have a lot.)
Once we were finished at the Basilica, we headed down to explore the El Born and Gothic Quarter neighborhoods. We signed up for a walking tour of the two neighborhoods through Sandman Tours later that day, so we didn’t want to explore too much beforehand fearing that we would end up covering the same ground. We stuck mostly with the El Born area, grabbing a slice of pizza from Les Dues Sicilies (delicious) and gelato from Heladeria Giovanni. I adored this part of town! I would have preferred to stay in the area vs where we did. I loved just walking around and exploring. Had I been a bottomless pit, I would have stopped into every tapas place I could. We also stopped into Wawas to take a peek at all the neat things.
The Sandmans tour lasted three full hours. I left the tour with mixed feelings. The tour is “free,” but you’re expected to give a nice tip to the guide at the end. We started by walking through the Gothic Quarter and ended near the El Born Centre Cultural i de Memoria, learning about Barcelona’s history the whole time. It would be super easy to get turned around in these neighborhoods because of the winding streets, so it was nice to have a guide. There’s also no way I would have seen everything we did without going on the tour.
By the end of our three hours of walking, we were ready to regroup back at the apartment before the evening. We checked out the Arc de Triomph on our way to the metro. No crazy roundabout like in Paris this time.
We ended the day by heading down to the Barceloneta neighborhood along the water. We quickly figured out that all of the restaurants along the main Passeig de Joan de Borao street were very touristy. To get the good food, walk further into the neighborhood, which is what we did. Our friend Aaron stayed in this area when he had previously visited and recommended the restaurant Rebelot Cocktail and Food. It’s a “0 KM” restaurant so all food is locally sourced. The place is tiny, but it was good. The one standout dish was a grilled seafood platter. We have no idea what was all on it, but the various types of fish was delicious.
There’s a great boardwalk along the beach, so we walked down that after dinner. We couldn’t come all the way to Barcelona without going to the beach and dipping our toes in the sea. It was a great, relaxing way to end the day.