Travel photography in Barcelona: La Rambla, Gothic Quarter, Waterfront and Placa Lesseps

It’s not often that you feel right at home after stepping in a new city. But that is exactly what I felt in Barcelona. Maybe it was the laid-back atmosphere. Or maybe it was the friendly locals… I can’t say exactly what it was. But I would like to share my wonderful experience with you.

No sooner had we settled in our apartment in Plaça de Lesseps (upper part of the city) that we headed out again. Immediately we were greeted by this wonderful facade. With about an hour for the sun to set, we decided to head north. On our way up, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of Catalan flags hanging from balconies. Later on, I would discover this was not the only artefact which signified Barcelona’s strong Catalan pride.

With no particular place in mind, we continued climbing up the hill until unknowingly, we ended up in a beautiful garden. The views on offer were a sweet treat. Almost every landmark of the city was visible from here. Later on, I would learn that this garden is named Jardins del Turó del Putxet. (a humble thank you, Google maps :) ) If you are around this area, this park is definitely worth a visit. Anyway, having oriented ourselves and with the light fading right in front of our eyes, we headed back to get some well- needed sleep for what lay ahead.

Day two arrived and after a quick ride using the metro, we popped up right in the middle of Barcelona’s famed La Rambla. What immediately hit me was the amount of people strolling down the street. Having read horror stories of pick-pocketing around this area, this did little to ease our paranoia. But as we acclimatized ourselves to all that hustle and bustle, our fears gradually eased away.  And having spent 8 days touring the city, I can now say crime is nowhere as bad as some travel guides make it out to be. Yes, you have to keep an eye out, but at no point did any of us really feel threatened.

A walk through La Rambla is a must if you want to absorb the city’s atmosphere., But other than that, the magic well and truly happens in its side streets. The crowded La Boqueria (market) occupies a whole side street and is worth a visit. The multicultural mix of different cuisines is truly exquisite and gives you a good visual taste of what the city has to offer. 

One place you surely have to visit is the Gothic Quarter. Don’t even think about skipping this part of town. We ended up going twice. Even with hordes of tourists, the gothic atmosphere is unshakeable and keeps you coming back. It’s a photographers playground and I can only imagine how better it would during a winter sunrise. It’s a must visit.

Next up, it was time to head towards the Aquarium. To be honest, my reaction to that place was ‘meh’. But if you are a fish lover, you will probably appreciate the wide variety of fish on display. Personally, I found myself more admiring the Aquarium’s architecture. The sea-front near the aquarium, a landscaped open area also provides a great area to sit back and take in the atmosphere.   

By the time we visited all these places, we were famished and even sun-burnt. Well worth it though. If you are visiting Barcelona in summer, it is wise to stock up on plenty of water. And if you get sunburnt easily, slap that cream on. Here’s one last photo from the day. Next up will be our day in Montserrat. It was amazing and out of all places, it’s the one you shouldn’t leave out from your trip. You will see why in my next post.

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