Guest Post || 8 Things to do in Barcelona – By Daniyal

When traveling, one of the objectives is to make the most of the time and to return home with the feeling of not having lost anything in the newly discovered city. It’s a complicated task, I know, so I’ll give you a hand with this selection of the 8 things you can do in Barcelona. If you have many on the list you can always come a second time.

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Walk to discover the city:
Barcelona is a big city, but it is perfect to witness beauty while walking. Forget about a day of the subway or the tourist bus and re-cross it by giving nice walks and wandering around the roads. You can choose to visit the most important buildings and parks of the city such as Citadels, Joan Miro Park or Montjuic castle, but there is also a Barcelona that does not come in the guides. We encourage you to go up to Horta, to know the charm of the Saint Andreu neighborhood, to see a side of the lesser known Example and enjoy unique panoramas.

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Go to concerts:
Barcelona has plenty of live music venues such as Razzmatazz or Sala Apollo, but it also has wonderful concert halls. The Gran Theatre Del Liceu is a splendid survivor decorated with gold leaf, luxurious red carpets and lots of ornamentation. Check the schedule since the tickets are not always as expensive as it may seem and is a place worth a visit.

On the other hand is L’Auditori, an elegant space with capacity for 2,400 spectators that not only program concerts of classical music but also jazz or world music. The Palau de la Musical Catalonia’s is famous for its modernist architecture and the number of activities it hosts. Barcelona also hosts various festivals from Primavera Sound to Barcelona International Jazz Festival, Sonar and Cruilla, and others.

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Gaudi and Modernism:
Undoubtedly, one of the tourist attractions (and also for those who live here) is to admire the modernist architecture and the works of Gaudi in particular. You can find several examples of his work throughout the city, whether civil or religious buildings. The most famous is the Sagrada Familia, impressive on the outside and inside; The Park Guell, a place almost of the story that emulates an English garden or the Pedrera, but do not miss the opportunity to visit other buildings of Gaudi that sometimes occupy a smaller place in the guides.

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Discover the Barcelona of the young Picasso:
Picasso remembered Barcelona as beautiful and brilliant, a city where he spent his first years. Follow the steps of the genius by visiting the regions that marked his youth. Walk along the street of The Queen Cristina and then cross to street number 3 (street of Merce) where his family lived, although the building was destroyed. If you need to stop on the way, get closer to Ells 4 Gats, a place where artists of the time met for dinner parties, dinners, and art meetings. Finally, visit the Picasso Museum, a gallery that houses
the works of Picasso’s formative years.

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Try the seafood cuisine:
Nobody should leave Barcelona without trying their seafood cuisine. The city offers Rias de Galicia, in Poble-sec and Cachitos which is famous for its fantastic variety of fish and seafood. Cal Pep, in La Born, is known for its three-phase, a mixture of fried chanquetes, squid and shrimp and exquisite noodles. In La Barcelonnette, you will find La Mar Salada and Can Sole with fresh fish and seafood every day.

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Climb the mountain of Montjuic:
The Montjuic Mountain is perfect for strolling through trees and having a great view, but it very costly to access… There are facilities that were built for the 1992 Olympic Games, including the Palau Saint Jordi or the telecommunications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava. Those who have more energy and climb to the top of the hill will find the Olympic Stadium and the Jardi Botanic at its feet, Plaza de Espanya is the most popular entrance to the mountain, and you can also take advantage of the Pavello Mie’s van der Rohe and the Caxias forum cultural center.

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Bath in the Mediterranean:
Barcelona has a little more than 4 kilometers of beaches in which to stretch the towel, plant the umbrella smeared with cream and put the backpack to a good collection is a good choice. With just a few minutes by train or a short drive, you can visit other coastal towns with dream beaches. The Mediterranean is a gift!

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Approach the sky:
Even if you are not a loyal believer, you should visit the magnificent churches of Barcelona for pure artistic and architectural pleasure. Saint Pau del Camp is a rare example of Romanesque architecture with a fantastic cover-up and superb pathway and the elegant Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is perhaps the best example of the survived Catalan Gothic architecture and is a place of peace up to the atheists. The Gothic religious building par excellence is the Cathedral of Barcelona, dedicated to Santa Eulalia, the
patron saint of the city. The majestic Gothic with a monastery is famous for its 13 white hollows.

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About the author in his own words: This article has been written by Daniyal Buksh a Dan.jpgprofessional content strategist and digital marketer at flights to Stockholm from London. You can catch him on Facebook.

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

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Hawa Mahal- An Architectural Marvel

When we visited Jaipur Pink City last time, our schedule didn’t allow us to visit Hawa Mahal, but this time we made sure it is on our list.

Hawa Mahal is an architectural marvel, you will be in awe after witnessing the beauty and engineering of the palace.

The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god.

Its unique five-story exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas

The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen since they had to obey strict “purdah” (face cover).LRM_EXPORT_20171214_114431

Windows (Jharokha) has colorful panes so it will light the hallways with different colors.

Stay tuned for our upcoming story on Garadia Mahadev – Grand Canyon of Rajasthan

Story & Pictures by Utkarsh

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Guest Post || Melbourne by Pablo

If you are looking for the definition of cool transformed into a city, then you are looking for Melbourne. The capital of Victoria, and Australia´s second biggest city (after Sydney), is one of the trendiest cities in the world (even being 20+ flight hours away from London, Berlin or NYC). Of course, if a city is cool, trendy and far away, it is a flashpacker’s paradise!

Melbourne has been appearing as the world´s most livable city in many rankings during the past few years, and this is just a way to say it is full of cultural spots such as libraries, museums and theatres, good transport, amazing parks, top universities and sport venues plus a vibe that transmits the sensation that there is always something happening in the city.

After almost a year and a half living in Australia (in Perth, to be specific), we decided it was about time we travelled to Victoria to see the city with the world´s largest urban tram network…and guess what? We loved it!

We started by taking an awful overnight 3.5hs flight that arrived at 6am, so with close to zero hours of sleep, we decided to start exploring the marvelous Melbourne.

We decided to stay in an AirBnB apartment in the CBD, so it would be easy (and free) to move around mostly all important places in a first visit. The apartment was located in the Chinatown area, which as you can imagine is full of great places to eat. Also, as Chinese influence in Australia is huge these days, it is a great place to see that influence.

As mentioned, Melbourne has a Free Tram Zone, so you can just jump on and off the tram without paying as long as you stay within that area. It is well signaled in the stations and also, in case the tram you are on gets to the end of the FTZ, it will be announced on the speakers.

 

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Day 1 – Melbourne 101

So, as said above, we arrived in Melbourne early in the morning, and we took the Skybus from the Melbourne Tullamarine airport to the city. Skybus costs 19 AUD per person, so normally taking Uber would be cheaper when 2 or more people are going to the CBD. However, when requesting from the Airport, you can only request Uber deluxe service, so it is more expensive than taking the Skybus. This being said, we took the bus to the Southern Cross Station, and from there, the free tram to get to the apartment.

After leaving the apartment, we did one of the Melbournians favorite things: meeting with a friend for coffee.  In our case, we went to one located in Centre Place. One of the cafes, close to Flinders Lane, has a great deal of coffee + muffin for 5 AUD. And coffee is really good.

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Centre Place: coffee, coffee, coffee

Once coffee was running through our veins, we decided it was time to start the real walk. We took the tram on Swanston St and went all the way up north of the Hoodle Grid (name for Melbourne´s CBD), to see the State Library of Victoria on La Trobe St. Beautiful building, the gem there is the La Trobe reading room. Amazing place to enjoy quietly, the views from the higher balconies are really nice. Also, right in front of the Library on La Trobe St nice Victorian buildings that are part of the RMIT University campus can be seen. Good place for photographs.

From there, we took La Trobe St to the east, towards the Carlton Gardens. The Royal Exhibition Building is located within the gardens. This Building was constructed for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880, and is currently used for diverse events closely related to the Melbourne Museum located right behind.

After walking through the gardens, we went to see St. Patrick´s Cathedral, on Albert Street. A Victorian Era building, it is Melbourne´s Roman Catholic Cathedral, and considered the biggest church in Australia. We kept onto MacArthur St., to see The Old Treasury building (to our left) and the Parliament House. Both nice buildings, what we enjoyed the most was the view of Imperial Hotel with the Old 35 Tram coming by on Spring St.

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The Melbourne Tram

By that time we entered into the “Huddle” again, especially to start discovering Melbourne´s famous lanes. The city is so full of those alleys full of urban art and hidden bars and cafes you can never get tired of exploring them. Some of our favorites during the visit were Hosier lane, AC/DC lane, and Tattersalls lane. One tip: go really early in the morning, so you can find them as desert as possible. We came back on Sunday morning to have the chance to find them that way 🙂

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Hosier Lane

Within the CBD, we also visited Federation Square, which is the heart of Melbourne´s city, right in front of Flinders Train station and St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. On peak times, the spectacle of people crossing the street after the lights change can be pretty intimidating if you are not used to huge cities. At Melbourne Visitor´s centre, located on Federation Square, you can get maps as well as lots of discounts for different attractions. Good to have a look there.

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Federation Square

After walking through that area (and having lunch), we headed to see two of Melbourne most famous Arcades: Block Arcade and Royal Arcade. The first one was built in the late 1800s inspired in Milan´s galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and is a classic of Victorian architecture. The second one, the Royal Arcade (Main entrance on Bourke st., but also can enter opposite to Block Arcade on Little Collins St.), is the Oldest Surviving Arcade in Australia, having been open since 1870.  In the same area, corner of Bourke and Elizabeth St., the former General Post Office can be found. Nowadays a flagship store for Swedish fashion brand H&M, the building is very nice and worth a visit.

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Royal Arcade

After that, we took the tram on Bourke Street to head south west to visit the new development known as “the Docklands”. It is full of super modern buildings, a multiuse stadium and the Melbourne Star, Southern hemisphere biggest Ferris wheel.

As you can imagine, it was almost 5 pm, Friday, in Australia, so it was beer time! We met friends at the Southbank area, in a Pub named Munich Brauhaus with 5 AUD pints from 4PM to 7PM (great deal!). We enjoyed a few of those and walked over the Southbank, passing through Melbourne´s tallest building, the Eureka tower, as well as enjoying a lovely skyline lit up.

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Night City Skyline from Southbank

As already mentioned a million times in this blog, Australia is possibly the most multi-cultural country in the world. And one of the biggest influences is Chinese, so we decided it was a good opportunity to have Chinese food. We took the tram and went back to Chinatown to have dinner at a place on Little Bourke St and Celestial Ave. The place has Mao´s face in the logo, and is right in front of Vintage Cellars. This last thing is an important tip for Australia. Many restaurants, mainly Asian ones, have the BYO policy, meaning you can bring your own beer or wine from outside and you can drink them there. Eventually, they might charge you a corkage fee, but it is still cheaper than buying it at the restaurant (if they sell it).

After dining dumplings and sweet and sour pork, it was time to call it a day. We were too tired to continue so we went to bed. Next day, new adventure: the Great Ocean Road!

Day 2 – The Great Ocean Road

One of Australia´s must visit, the Great Ocean Road disserves more than one day to enjoy it fully. As our first visit to the state of Victoria was just for three days, we decided to struggle it in just one. It is doable, yes. But if possible, it is good to have an overnight stop in the area (we will go for it again!). Read about our visit here.

Day 3 – Market, Parks and Sunday life.

Day number three in Melbourne started with a photo tour of the lanes we had seen on Day one. Yes, as mentioned we wanted to see them empty, so we went there 7.30am. And it was a good decision that can be seen in our picturesJ.

After enjoying the lanes, we took the train south to see the Brighton Beach Boxes. One of Melbourne classics, it is possibly more enjoyable in Summer than in July, however, we could see them all, have a nice walk on beach and take the glimpse of one of Melbourne´s nicest suburbs. The boxes, particularly, are used by their owners to change when they go to the beach, to keep some belongings and to provide shade. Sadly, it is impossible to rent one, as they are only allowed to be used by owners approved by the city council. To get there to see them, take the train to Sandringham and get off at Middle Brighton Station and walk towards the beach.

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Brighton Beach Boxes

The train took us back to Flinders, from where we took the tram to the Shrine of Remembrance located within the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Shrine, erected as a memorial for all Victorians who served in World War 1, is now a memorial for all Australians who have served in War. While the building itself is impressive, our favorite thing was the view of the city from the balcony.

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View from the “Shrine of Rememberance”

To return to the city, we took the tram again. It left us close to the Queen Victoria Markets, which we visited with friends. The Market has been there since late XIX century, and currently is an experience itself with different stores from fresh markets to deli and clothes shops, as well as some food trucks and food stalls. One funny story, the name is not directly after Queen Victoria, but instead it gets the name from the location on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets.

When it was about lunchtime, we headed to Fitzroy. This former working class neighborhood is currently one of Australia´s most trendy and bohemian areas, with lots of bars and eateries on the Brunswick street area. We ate at Vintage, which had a great deal of a Chicken Parma + Pot for 12 AUD (meaning Chicken Schnitzel with Cheese, tomato and fries, and half pint of good beer!). Highly recommended.

After lunch, we walked all the way to the Fitz Roy Gardens. James Cook´s family house, brought from England, is located there. Captain Cook was the first European to make contact with Eastern Australia, making him very important for Oceania´s history, but as per the house, we don´t think it is worth to visit. The park is nice.

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Fitz Roy

Our next to final stop in Melbourne was the Sports and Entertainment Precinct. Containing the Olympic Park – where 1956 Olympic games took place- as well as the Melbourne Park -where the Australian Tennis Open is played-, and the Yarra Park – where one of the world’s biggest stadiums, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is located- this is a central part in Melbournians life, and a must for any sports fan.

Finally, last stop was one more coffee in the lovely lanes, before heading back to the airport. While we still have so much more to visit in Melbourne, these three days have given us a great first glimpse of this amazing city.

Have you been to Melbourne? Are you planning to go? What are your impressions? Tell us!

 

About the authors in their own words: We are a young Argentinean couple who have been enjoying traveling for a while. We have visited several destinations on our own (or with friends and family), and in the past few years, a lot of destinations together.

   Flor.jpgFlor: Born & raised in Buenos Aires, my first backpacking experience was with friends in Argentina’s Northwest, followed by a couple other trips around South America. As I grew older I was more than happy to switch backpack for wheels, considering I could afford a more “comfortable” style of travel. Now I realize that traveling light (no more than 8kilos) is part of “comfortable” if you are planning to travel a lot! An amateur photographer, I enjoy capturing moments in the places I visit.

Currently living in Perth, Australia.

Instagram: @life.through.my.lens

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Born in La Plata, Argentina the same year Back to the Future was released (don’t look online, it was 1985). First travelled at the age of 6 to Rio, Brasil. At 12 took my first ‘long’ flight to Florida, US, and since 21, travelling has been one of my top priorities, mixed with work and study. Visited 30+ countries in 4 continents, and always plan to add more. Besides travelling, huge fan of association football (soccer), history and long discussions about “what is your favorite city”.

They share there travel tales on Flashpackermemories

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

* All pictures by flashpackermemories.com

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

 

Cheers !!