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Highlights Around Barcelona for The 20-something Solo Explorer

Highlights Around Barcelona for

The 20-something Solo Explorer

 Barcelona Bus Turístic, MNAC and La Sagrada Famalia plus many hidden gems!

On my second day in Barcelona I got a private little tour around the Barcelona’s World Trade Centre where my cousin works. I was astonished how his offices overlook the harbour where some of the world’s most famous superyachts including Limitless and Eclipse frequently dock in the summer months! I was introduced to some of John’s colleagues and he and I stood on the balcony enjoying a coffee as the morning rain began to clear.


John then put me on Barcelona Bus Turístic which I joined at the World Trade Centres. For €29 I spent the day on the self-guided audio tour around Barcelona, getting on and off at points of interest to me. The tour provides headphones with 16 languages available providing detailed descriptions at each of the stops and landmarks. They offer three routes – blue, green, and red- I did the Red Route, which takes about 2 hours from the starting point you choose, plus any time you take to get off at stops.

My favourite place was the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) which John highly recommended I make one of my stops to get off, and conveniently it was right when I needed to go to the toilet (there are little cafe truck shops with restrooms at this stop). I did not go inside the MNAC itself, however I spent almost an hour exploring the grounds of the Palau Nacional where the gorgeous architecture, parks, and fountains offered many opportunities for “sugar shots”.

 Sugar Shot: A photograph taken to post on social media intentionally to show the rest of the world how ‘sweet’ your life is (Lala invented this term in 2015)

A fellow step-jogger and I posing for pictures

As you can see, there are plenty of steps leading up to the building itself, with options for modern escalators built beside the steps. When I explored the grounds there were many hidden gems amongst the trees and steps leading to quaint little places. I took on the challenge to run up and down every staircase I encountered, wearing my new Prsrvnce sports bra to rep Toronto’s new Sports Apparel Company with pride!

Because the MNAC is situated at a high elevation point, the views down to the city of Barcelona were astonishing. The scenery offered panoramic vistas of colourful European architecture and luscious mountains overlooking the coast.

MNAC is certainly a stop worth exploring. Be cautious though, as their are plenty of hustlers trying to sell you anything from overpriced cold water bottles, to colourful fruit baskets, to selfie-sticks.

I actually almost went postal at a guy who repeatedly tried to hustle me a selfie stick when he saw he taking photos of myself. I did not care for his pushy salesperson attitude shouting “Hello! Hello!” and the worst, “Mam!” – umm don’t you dare call me Mam, especially if you want money out of me.

I didn’t need his stupid selfie-stick

So instead I found construction workers who were delighted to take my photo for me in front of him, proving a point, I don’t need his stupid selfie-stick.


Clearly I need to work on not making these blog articles too long-winded, and if you’ve managed to make it this far, Gold Stars for you Glen Coco. You go Glen Coco.

Barcelona is a beautiful city with two much for me to waffle on about in a single post, but I need to mention La Sagrada Familia, as a MUST SEE on your list. If you take Barcelona Bus Turístic, you can visit this on the Blue Route, as it’s quite a ways out of the city.

I got a private nighttime tour with John that evening, as we had dinner on that side of town. He showed me the astonishing The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família – a large Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926)

Construction  began on March 19th 1882 and is not scheduled to be compete until 2026 . John will explain a little bit here. If the facts are wrong, blame him. 😉


When we approached the masterpiece, I went “Ho-ly-G——-ahhh”, as my jaw literally dropped in amazement at what I saw. This building is NOT something which you can truly appreciate through pictures or videos, and one which you have to visit when you go to Barcelona.

They allow self-guided audio-tours of La Sagrada Famalia, however, the lines are massive to queue up to enter, so it’s best to book your spot ahead of time. I didn’t do this, as to be honest, I’m too cheap to spend money on attractions most of the time, but mainly because I was running short on time. According to John (who has a very trustworthy opinion on interior decor), the inside of the cathedral is spectacular.

There’s a lot more I could explain about sights in the city, but I’ll let you come discover these for yourselves, or continue reading the blogs as I reveal more hidden gems around Barcelona!


Love from Lala.

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