By Madeleine Guiard, Illinois Wesleyan University
I know, this entry sounds sad, but in reality, it’s an empowering way to get to know a new city! If you have a weekend free, I have some tips and tricks to help you spend your time efficiently and cost-friendly in Barcelona!
To begin, you first must do some research. Find some places you’re interested in, explore Google Maps to find the most efficient way to hit all of your stops, and lastly, make sure the things you want to see is open on the days you want to see them! If you can plan for your chosen stops, or some of them, to be within walking distance, you can save some serious cash on transportation.
In my opinion, places most easily visited alone are museums, anywhere with guided tours, and spots with views. Most of the time, there is a discount for visitors under the age of 29, so don’t forget to take advantage of that. Also, when places say that they’re bilingual, keep in mind that you’re visiting Barcelona and that bilingual means Spanish and Catalan: don’t forget your pocket dictionary!
Some museums I would recommend include: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Fundació de Joan Miró, Caixa Forum Museum, Museo Picasso, Palau Nacional, and Mueso Marítim de Barcelona.
Guided tour locations I would recommend include: Palau Guell, Sagrada Familia, Cathedral of Barcelona, and most any museum will have an audio guide.
Good view locations I would recommend include: Transbordador Aeri, Parque del Laberinto de Horta, Collserola National Park hiking trails, Piscina Municipal de Montjuïc, Castell de Montjuïc, and Parc Güell.
While spending the day out and about, you will want to take maximize your time. The Spanish eat their lunch very slowly as it is their biggest meal of the day, but as a tourist, I don’t have time for that. I would recommend bringing a pack lunch to eat in transit or while enjoying a view. If that isn’t possible, another cheap lunch recommendation would be stopping by a grocery store or bakery: there are some pretty cheap and delicious sandwiches sold on every street!
If you are feeling really ambitious on your day out, my biggest recommendation would be to start your day on Montjuic to see the sunrise over the Mediterranean: it’s worth the trip, and it’s the best way to begin a day of solo sightseeing.