15 April 2017 | Day 1 – Barcelona City
Walk the streets of Barcelona like a pro
We spent our first day walking all over Barcelona city covering Passeig de Gracia, Gothic Quarters and El Raval areas. We walked randomly, using our pre-downloaded offline Google Maps as reference and covering shops, streets and sights we wanted to see.
Gone are the days where you hold a paper map and look lost. That’s the number one thing NOT to do when you’re a tourist or you’ll be the target of pickpockets. While on our trip, I still saw people using paper maps. With the map on your smart phone, you’ll be guided by the inbuilt GPS so you will know exactly how to walk to get to your destination. And you’ll certainly not look as lost as a tourist holding a map!
Do some homework: download offline Google maps of the places you plan to visit so you can use Google maps on your smart phone when you explore the city without wifi.
We covered a lot of grounds just by walking and it was tiring because shops were all stretched along the street. Unfortunately there weren’t many good deals while shopping during our trip. If you’re into shopping, your best bet is going during the summer sale in July or winter sale in December. However we did enjoy shopping at La Roca Village Outlet Mall on Day 3, which I would cover in another post.
There aren’t many malls in Barcelona though we did find a few on our last day (when we ran out of places to go). Coming from a densely populated city, we felt like we literally had to walk a distance to pass by one shop. My fitbit was very happy for I covered around 25,000 steps that day. On hindsight, we could have taken a couple of metro rides since transport was rather affordable – using the T10 (see post on Day 1).
Conserved historical shops in Barcelona
We also discovered that there were many historical shops that were conserved in Barcelona. Apparently there are 228 of them! In front of the entrance, you will see a metal ‘plaque’ on the floor stating the year the shop was open, along with some Catalan / Spanish words. I first spotted it when I stumbled upon a very beautiful candle store (and I thought they sold candies) called Subirà. I did not walk in but I secretly took photos from outside. It looked like a beautiful little museum and dated all the way back to 1761! I am still not sure if Subirà is the original store back when it first started. If you know more, feel free to comment below.
After sunset (8.00pm to be precise), we had dinner at a random family restaurant. We had our first taste of seafood paella in Spain. It was a set dinner so it seemed like a good deal and the seafood was very fresh. Taste-wise, nothing to shout out about but I did post up some photos that earned some bragging rights on Facebook.
Featured Photo: Pont dels Sospirs (Bridge of Sighs) in Gothic Quarter