Budget Travel: Best of Barcelona

From exploring the city in a vintage car to taking a walking tour specializing in design and architecture, there are many ways to get to know Barcelona.

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    Parc Guell Another attraction to be enjoyed at a slightly higher elevation is Parc Guell, one of Antoni Gaudi's many legacies to Barcelona, along with Sagrada Familia. This urban park is filled with Gaudi structures, including a house where Gaudi lived that looks a bit like a fairy tale castle. Popular among busking musicians, couples in love, tourists, and locals who want to soak up a bit of sun, Parc Guell is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Seat 600 If you're too tired to walk from all the food you've enjoyed, then exploring the city from the driver's side of a SEAT600 isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon. Once ubiquitous in the city, these vintage cars are less common these days; when you're driving one, you'll find that you've become a curious attraction as pedestrians stop to snap photos and marvel at the mini cars. They can be rented from Pumm Urban Adventures.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Sagrada Familia After seeing the somewhat whimsical Parc Guell, you may be interested in seeing more of Gaudi's unusual architecture, and if you have time for no other stop along the Gaudi trail, then Sagrada Familia should be the other Gaudi work you see with your own eyes. It's only standing underneath the soaring spires, still under construction 130 years after the church started being built, that you can appreciate Gaudi's genius, even if you don't like his work aesthetically.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Bar Velodromo Have you worked your appetite up again? That's ok; Barcelona has plenty of places to sate you, and you can hardly feel guilty about munching on small bites at one of the city's many tapas spots. One of the popular spots for favorite foods like pan con tomate, oysters on the half shell, charcuterie plates, and small bowls of olives is Bar Velodromo in the trendy Eixample neighborhood.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Teleferico Barcelona's teleferico is pricey at 10 euros for a one-way ticket at 15 euros for a round-trip ticket, but there's probably no better way to get an aerial view of the city. You can go from sea to mountain on this aerial tram.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Walking Tour The best way to get your bearings in Barcelona is to take a walking tour. A guided walk will help orient you to the city's lay-out and its attractions so that you can feel more confident exploring independently. There are general walking tours as well as a number of specialized tours organized around particular themes: food, architecture and design, history. Walking tours can be contracted through the city's tourism office or through an independent agency like Context.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    La Boqueria Your explorations of Barcelona will inevitably lead you to La Boqueria or one of the city's many markets. Don't dismiss La Boqueria as an overly touristy destination; it's filled with colorful stalls whose vendors sell fruit, nuts, vegetables, meats, candies, spices, and other wares. It's fantastic for taking photos-- and for snacking.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Gambas For a heavier meal, make your way to one of Barcelona's many seafood restaurants and try the fresh-caught fare. Gambas, oysters, and mussels are local specialties; typically prepared simply, they don't need much to dress-up their fresh-from-the-sea flavor.
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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    Barça Even if you're not a sports fan, it's worth the price of a ticket to see a “Barça” game. Considered the world's best soccer team (and, in one sports writer's estimation, perhaps the best sports team in the world), Barça plays home games at Camp Nou, Europe's largest stadium, and the sensation of seeing a game among the team's loyal fans is incomparable. If you can't make it to a game, the team's on-site museum is the second best option. Here, you can see the team's many trophies, including Messi's “Pelota de Oro.”
    Julie Schwietert Collazo
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