1. Gaudi. If you've ever seen pictures of Barcelona, chances are, a good chunk of them are probably of Gaudi's works. There's a reason for that. The architecture is unbelievable and makes you feel like you've just walked out of some whimsical book. Pretty sure if you combined Alice and Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings, Pan's Labyrinth, and Dr. Suess, you'd have a fairly accurate description of Gaudi's works. My favorite was walking around Park Güell which had beautiful views over Barcelona, gardens, and incredibly intricate mosaic-embedded buildings.
We also walked by La Sagrada Familia one of the days but unfortunately didn't have time to go in. Even though it was under construction, the details were absolutely breath-taking. It was right next to some Christmas markets, as well.
2. Which brings me to: Christmas markets. When it comes to miniature nativity scenes, the Spanish don't mess around. Go to any Christmas market and you will find virtually any small nativity figure imaginable. Tiny baskets of eggs? Got 'em. Little vases of olive oil? Yep. Dwarf sized camels and barrels of hay? More than you can count. We were walking down Las Ramblas and decided to explore a side street that had a bunch of lights. Turns out, we stumbled across the Christmas market in front of the Cathedral which had everything from Christmas trees to ornaments and nativity figures to crepes and hot drinks.
3. Lights. Everywhere. Las Ramblas is beautiful at night, and Plaça d'Espanya is definitely a sight to see with the fountain and surrounding buildings. Plaça Catalunya is no doubt amazing with light-filled trees and a skating rink in the center.
4. Chupitos Bar. Need I say more? For my U.S. friends - I'll get you up to speed real quick. Chupitos are shots. That said, let me paint a picture for you. €1 or €2 shots. 570 to choose from. Take a few of these chupitos bars, stick them in the middle of Barcelona, and you've got a ruta de chupitos. Think bar crawl but just with shots. Yeah...
5. Music on the way to...wherever. If you're looking for a good concert, just take a ride on the local metro. We were riding on the metro to the airport when one of the guys down the way started clapping, busted out a trumpet, and for the rest of the ride we had a live jazz show. Not a bad way to end the trip!
6. Surf. Okay, so maybe I miss getting out in the water a bit. But it was fun to watch a crew of Barça surfers do their thang.
7. And of course... Food!! Paella goes without saying. But if you take away nothing else from this post, remember this: The eggs benedict on waffle at the cafe/restaurant, "Brunch and Cake." The place is in L'Eixample and it was definitely one of the best (if not the best) things we ate. I can't even describe it, but it was a sweet waffle with some kind of brown sugar something on top with creamy eggs benedict on top. Absolutely incredible.
8. Speaking of food, La Boqueria, aka foodie heaven. From fresh smoothies and juices to fresh fish, meats, eggs, veggies and fruit, breads, pastries, chocolates, anything you can imagine, they have it. Go to a few places and taste at least a few items they have to offer.
9. It's Barcelona. Quite simply, it has a beat and a vibrancy of its own. The dramatic architecture, the city life combined with the wide stretches of beaches, good bars, good food...needless to say, you will no doubt eat good food and see some cool shit here!