Exploring Barcelona – Open bus tour & Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia ♡

 In Barcelona, Europe, Spain

After Day 1 of exploring Barcelona on foot (read the post here) we were all up for exploring in any way that did require walking.
Prior to Barcelona many people had recommended us do the open bus tour of Barcelona. It operates over 2 routes and covers all the major tourist spots (football stadium, sagrada familia etc).
The sun was beaming yet again and warming us with a 24 degree heat so the open top bus seemed like the perfect option.
You can either buy a day ticket which costs 27 euros, or a 2 day (consecutive) ticket which costs 35 euros.
We chose the 1 day ticket and begun the tour from near our hotel and just opted for the Sagrada Familia route.
The contrasting architecture and changing scenery continued to amaze me as we whizzed through the back streets of the city. I am probably not into architecture enough to appreciate the buildings fully, but I was still astounded by their beauty.
One minute you are in the cold shadows of the Spanish back streets and minutes later you are in Palm tree laden open pathways hugging the coastline.
There are many stops along the bus route and you can hop on and off the bus as many times as you like along the way.
Buses then continue to arrive every 15 minutes (ish).
Below you can see the Casa Batlló – a building designed by Gaudi.
The bus stops just outside the building so that you can opt to view it or go inside and see his work.

Unfortunately we were limited for time, and we knew on this occasion we weren’t going to have time to hop of everywhere so we had to be brutal in our priorities.
Of course, top of that priority list was the Sagrada Familia.
(Ashamedly i didn’t actually know what it was, so i’m with you if you’re thinking the same. I won’t tell anyone.)
So we hopped off at the S.Familia stop and were greeted with a MASSIVE queue to buy tickets (you can observe free outside, but apparently the inside is the golden ticket – for which you need a ticket).
It was tourist CENTRAL.
It wasn’t even the summer holidays or the weekend.
LUCKILY, the helpful receptionist at our hotel had advised we book tickets online before we go. So we had already secured our slot at 12pm. Phew.
(I’d advise you do the same!)
Less queuing – more eating…

We sat and ate breakfast in one of the open european walkways that branched off from the S.Familia (you can see it’s beautiful self in the background above).
It was one of those moments filled with pure happiness.
Food (obviously), family and friends, fresh air and a beautiful view.
For those of you who, like I, had no idea what the Sagrada Familia even was, let me show you…
What you waiting for? Look up!

The most incredibly intricate, intelligent, purposeful creation I’ve ever set eyes on.
Honestly, an honour to be stood before something so insanely cool.
I’ll leave the details and descriptions to when you visit, because the photos just cannot do it justice!
When purchasing your tour you can opt for a tour guide, or an audio guide. We went for the audio guide because you can completely shut off from the world and indulge in the details…
I genuinelly find it hard to believe there are people clever enough to have designed something like this.
Down to the tiniest details or name carved into the stained glass windows – it all had a purpose, a piece of the puzzle.
I highly recommend venturing into the Sagrada Familia, it costs just under 20 euros and allows you to appreciate it up close and personal. An experience no where near the same as gazing from the road side or through your iPhone screen.
After a couple of hours gazing and gaping, we headed to a local stall selling fresh frozen juice lollies.
As usual i opted for the coconut lolly because i love coconut ANYTHING! The girls had, passion fruit, coconut and strawberry.
Conclusion – YUMMY.

 

By this time it was about 3pm and we needed to head back to the hotel to get changed as we had evening plans already in place. Unfortunately this meant we could only observe the rest of the route from the tour bus. But my legs certainly didn’t mind.
If you do choose to opt for the open top bus, I would suggest starting it as early as you can get up and making it a full day thing so that you can utilise the ticket price. And of course not rush or miss out on Barcelona’s beauty.
If you’d like to do both routes then the extra 8 euro for an extended 2 day pass is well worth the money!
The bus took us back in a loop to where we started (The square, see above) and we hopped off into the afternoon sunshine and back to our hotel.
Now i bet you wanna know what we had planned for the evening that was worth aborting the bus tour for?
Stay tuned for the next post…
… It’s a gooden, promise 🙂
Mollie xxxx
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