Top 10 activities to do as an au pair in Barcelona when you are free
When you work as an au pair, you have the right to have free days. These days are mostly in the weekends. Barcelona has amazing activities to offer. From Gaudí to Frenkie de Jong, towering architecture to towers built of people, visiting the sea to gorging on produce, Barcelona’s to-do list is as plentiful as its sunny days. It’s a city that seamlessly melds the medievally old with the most modern spectacles. You’ll find fine art, iconic parks, performing arts spaces, and so much more. Below, a list of the very best things to do in Barcelona for when you have free time.
- Sagrada Familia
It’s practically illegal to go to Barcelona and not visit La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s extraordinary temple dedicated to the Holy Family, also known as the world’s largest unfinished church. The illusive end date remains a mystery, local theorists speculate it will never be done in order to preserve its in-process cachet.
2. Park Guell
Park Güell is an almost make-believe landscape: home to Barcelona’s famous mosaic lizard—the image on a thousand postcards—plus spiral towers that look like fairground slides. The city’s grandest park began life as a collaboration between entrepreneur Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí.
The bunkers of Carmel is a viewpoint from which you can see the whole city of Barcelona (360º city view). It is located at the top of Turó de la Rovira in the Carmel neighbourhood with a height of 262 meters. During the Spanish Civil War there was an antiaircraft warfare. And later one of the last shanty towns was established. Despite being popularly known as Bunkers, there has never been any bunker at the top of the Turó de la Rovira, only an antiaircraft warfare and its facilities.
While Tibidabo mountain is a fairground, it’s also so much more. You’ll first notice it from the city centre: high on a summit, the silhouette of a majestic temple makes you curious to go. And then you suddenly see the charm of the amusement park next to it—like its retro-styled attractions, built for the views as much as the screams. Adults love the views; kids love the rides. Finish with a gin and tonic on the terrace of Mirablau Bar, near where the blue tram stops.
Barceloneta is one of the ‘cooler’ parts of Barcelona. There is the majestic W hotel, which is impossible to miss, and at the other, the blinding gold sculpture of a fish by architect Frank Gehry. When you’ve arrived at Barceloneta, you know it. If you’re looking for the whitest sand and the most azure waters, you won’t find them at Barceloneta. But it is convenient, chaotic, and a must-see carnival.
6. Picasso Museum
A museum spread over five palaces, we’d expect nothing less for Picasso, who moved to Barcelona as a 14-year-old boy and made frequent trips back throughout his life. Downstairs, a courtyard and Gothic archways lead into white studios that illuminate his works. Upstairs, the rooms are lavish: epic painted ceilings that almost drip crystal chandeliers. Visitors flock here to see Picasso’s work, but the special setting is why they come back again and again.
7. La Rambla
Barcelona’s most famous street, a nearly one-mile pedestrianized boulevard from Plaça Cataluyna to Port Vells, is still the strolling route for the city’s visitors, even if selfie-stick vendors can’t match the charm of the old-school florists, gelaterías, and candy stalls offering bites of crema catalana along the way.
8. Shopping Passeig de Gracia
Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Massimo Dutti, you name the brand and the store is there at Passeig de Gracia. The most beautiful and known brands from the world have located a store in Barcelona, in the most famous shopping street ‘Passeig de Gracia’. But also if you have a little bit less to spend, you can also find the Zara and H&M here.
9. Parc de la Ciutadella
Barcelona’s vast city park houses a zoo, regional parliament, and plenty of sites and spots for lounging. Cascada Monumental, built with input from a young Gaudí, is a stunning golden waterfall that both wows and relaxes you. Ditto the serene boating lake beside it. Enter through the Arc de Triomf and the elaborate Modernist building to your right is Castell dels Tres Dragons, built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
10. Camp Nou
Camp Nou. At 99,354, it’s the biggest in Europe—and there’s an expansion plan in place to push it to 105,000. All seats are actually owned by season-ticket holders, who then release them to the public if they can’t go. Don’t worry: it means there’s usually a good chunk available, especially against lower league teams, and 72 to 48 hours before a match. While Barcelona’s home matches in La Liga—the Spanish soccer league, which usually runs from mid-August to the end of May—are currently taking place behind closed doors, tours of the stadium and the FC Barcelona museum are still kicking off.