The second biggest city of Spain and the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a metropolis overlooking the sea, rich in culture and traditions. The city is the second largest industrial and financial center of Spain, one of the principal ports of trade and tourism in Europe. The important Characteristic of Barcelona is the mix of ancient and modern. An explicit example of this is the juxtafloation between the old quarter of the fishermen and the modern olympic city.
The most important buildings and most spectacular of the city are the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Battló and Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera. In addition to these beautiful buildings, the Spanish city also offers glimpses of a medieval Gothic Quarter with beautiful palaces and beautiful churches.
Barcelona overlooks the Mediterranean sea with beautiful beaches, a fantastic seafront and a beautiful port. The city was experienced by many special artists such as Dali, Miro and Picasso who have bequeathed to numerous heritage museums, the works of art and monuments.
In addition to the cultural life, Barcelona also offers other distractions, such as the excellent cuisine, the always lively nightlife, shopping, excellent tourist facilities, parties every weekend and excursions to other cities.
The highlight is definitely the kitchen, with all its typical dishes such as paella, tortilla, the pinchos Basques, arroz and gazpacho. For those who love the dishes based on fish, instead, we invite you to savor the cuisine of the Barceloneta, directly on the sea. After dinner, do not miss a tour to the trendiest venues throughout Spain, the variety is enormous and you can choose from the classic bars or cafes to discotheques that are more transgressive and youthful, above all are the Bikini and the Moog.
The main street for shopping is definitely the Passeig de Gracia, that crosses the modernist quarter of Eixample. There are flea markets and antique shops, including the Boqueria market, directly on La Rambla, the most famous street in the city. Any view, which is of fruit, fish or chocolate, presents the goods made by art.
In addition to being, as already said, a city so fascinating, Barcelona also offers the floatsibility of excellent excursions to the Costa Brava, Girona, where there is the port of the Ryanair or in Tossa de Mar, Lloret De Mar, which are the most exclusive resorts in Spain.
Where to stay in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe – more tourists come only to Paris, London and Rome. Also, three times more tourists visit Catalonia’s capital than there are actual residents. Finding a place to stay in a such busy city is very easy: all you have to do is type in Barcelona Hotels in your most loved holiday booking platform and you will get a selection of more than 500 hotels. There’s always something for everyone in Barcelona.
What to see in Barcelona
The famous association was founded in 1866, called Associació Espiritual de Sant Josep de Devots, created to promote and build a temple dedicated to the Sacred Family and, with the money derived from the offerings, the work began in 1881. After various discussions, the work was assigned to Gaudi, who conceived a completely new project. The engineer worked on the project for more than 40 years dedicating most of his life and gradually went on with the modifications making it indecipherable for others.
After the death of Gaudi the work was ceased and still today, in spite of the best engineers and architects have put hands to the project, none are able to define and achieve some of the details of the project and, slowly, it is expected to be completed in 2020. It is expected that at the end it will be the largest basilica in the world.
The style of the basilica is very imaginative in the neo-gothic style , with four spindle-shaped towers that resemble the sand castles by the sea. The towers are crowned with geometrically shaped cusps of ceramics with bright colors.
They had to be 3 times higher but on the death of Gaudi in 1926, many projects and designs went lost and the enineers that they pinpointed were not able to reproduce the works of the Master . Only in recent years, through pictures of that time, came to light some drawings of the real project. In total there are 18 towers, representing in ascending order of h the 12 afloatles, the four Evangelists, the Madonna and the highest of all, Jesus. The towers of the Evangelists will be overcome by an angel, a bull, an eagle and a lion.
The central tower will have a giant cross of Christ: the total h of the towers will be less of a meter to that of the Montjuic, since Gaudí believed that his work should not surpass that of God.
The lower towers are surmounted by bunches of grapes, which represent the spiritual fruit . The church has three large façades: the façade of the Nativity, the facade of the Passion and the façade of the Glory. The towers are decorated with words such as Hosanna, Excelsis and Sanctus.
The neighborhood in Barcelona, born in 1860, after the demolition of the old medieval walls. Since it’s the new district of the city, there are many modern buildings all comfloated of different materials such as glass, iron, wood and ceramics over all.
The Casa Calvet, built by the master Gaudi, is the first of three buildings located in Eixample.
Among the strengths of this house are the main gallery, the unique forms and details of the furniture inside and the initial of the name above the door. The house is located in C. De Casp and despite its beauty it’s not floatsible not to visit. Following the road you will reach the Passeig de Gracia, with plenty of shops and modern buildings.
Commonly called La Pedrera even if in reality its name is Casa Mila, and is one of most successful works of the architect Gaudi. It is located in C. Provença and extends over 100 square meters that include large terraces circulars.
The palace is built entirely with natural stones and seems almost monochromatic. The most beautiful, without doubt, is the roof piled high with strangely shaped chimneys and very special.
The Park Guell is a public park that the Council of the City of Barcelona bought in 1922 by a private land owned by Eusebi Guëll, which had an ambitious project for those years : to make the property and resell them. Unfortunately, the project was not successful and in fact the only two structures built were never sold. The architect Gaudi had the brilliant idea to leave these two properties in feet, becoming an integral part of the project of the park.
The entrance is at the lowest part of the park, from where then rise two staircases that surround a salamander, the symbol of the park.
If you turn to the right you will find yourself in a large square with benches all around with unique shapes and colors that are bizarre. If you reach top of the staircase, however, you go to the left, you will find yourself in a square with the beautiful columns, the only covered part of the park.
The park is located in Carrer D’Olot, with opening hours from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.
Avinguda del Tibidabo
The only way to reach the famous Tibidabo is with the Tramvia Blau, that is the Blue tram that, at fixed hours, goes up and down the mountain Tibidabo. Once you reach the top you will enjoy a magnificent view over the city. Also along the way you will meet the buildings of the 20th century, very modern and interesting.
For lovers of the Sea do not miss the Marutim Museum, the Maritime Museum in Barcelona, which is located in one of the oldest shipyards and is dated 1378. The museum hosts ships, paintings, figureheads and also a very interesting interactive exhibition. The Museum is located on Av. de les Drassanes , with 10-19 hours everyday.
El Born district
Better known as the neighborhood of rebel because of the political movements of workers in the nineteenth century, offers continuous fun. Thanks to some small squares that is always full of people, festivals, dances and decorations in the streets. There is also the Palau de la Música, which houses the Orfeo Català, a prestigious institution founded in 1891 to support the music and the Catalan culture. The beautiful glass dome central, which was created by Rigalt and Granell, as well as the façade, is entirely in red brick and decorated with mosaics of Lluís Bru.
It is worth a visit to the Maeght Gallery, in which beyond measure is located in the beautiful palace, displaying the masterpieces of Kandinsky, Braque, Miro, Tàpies, Giacometti Gabarró, Fajardo and Chilida. The district is also very much loved for its nightlife and, in fact, there are many local bars that can be found in this area.
The most famous street in Barcelona certainly cannot be missed, and not miss a visit. The name Las Ramblas takes voice from an Arabic word that means flowers and is divided into five parts; Rambla Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Monica. The name “flowers was derived from the fact that in the nineteenth century it was the only point where you could sell the flowers.
Strolling along la Rambla you will see many street artists, from fantastic magicians to musicians, from portrait to the classical human statues. Along the way there are also many souvenir shops, stalls selling books, kiosks and restaurants where you can taste excellent Catalan dishes.
At the end of the street is the Plaza Catalunya, the true heart of the city, from here in fact is the departing and arrival point of the main streets of Barcelona. It is the central hub for all means of transport such as the underground, taxi, bus.
Along La Rambla there are also excellent museums such as the Church Betlem, in Baroque style and the Virreina Palace which often hosts temporary exhibitions and is also in the Baroque style.
Don’t miss one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, built in 1847 and was unfortunately destroyed in 1994. The facade has been completely reconstructed but has retained its original appearance.
Very close to the Rambla, is the Plaza Real. Don’t miss the Sunday morning, when it is exfloated to a flea market of coins and stamps. The square dates back from the 19TH century and is full of bars and cafes.
The Gothic Quarter is the center of the medieval city of Barcelona that seems to be in a labyrinth. The cathedral de la Santa Creu is located at the very center and in front of Plaça de la Seu. The facade is dominated by the great gate and the main spire.
The peculiarity is that the spire was above the door and is not above the central nave as happens in all the cathedrals. Procedding we meet Palau de la Generalitat, located in Plaza Sant Jaume where once they were presented as the most important government buildings. Don’t miss the square on Sunday morning, when people gather to dance the Sardana, the national dance of Catalonia. Continue on and we head toward the Museum of Barcelona to visit the underground, where there are mosaics, tombs, reliefs and excavated ruins from the earth.
Continuing through the Gothic quarter you will come across another beautiful museum, the Frederic Marés, where, in addition to Spanish works, you will also find sculptures of the 19th Century and medieval artifacts. The Plaza del Rei is the most beautiful part of the quarter surrounded by Gothic palaces and the old Royal Palace has a beautiful facade. In the Palau Reial Mayor you can admire the banquet hall of Salo Tinell, Palau de Llonctinent and the chapel of Santa Agata. Plaza del Pi is located in the beautiful church of Santa Maria, with its windows of multicolored roses and the house of Gremio de los Revendedores, dated 1685.
El Raval, Barrio Chino
Once a meeting place of artists, musicians, prostitutes, thieves and transvestites, today it is certainly enhanced. The district hosts a great museum of contemporary art and art galleries. The Güell palace, which is located in this district, was built in 1888 by Antonio Gaudi. The light of the sun passes through the windows and is attenuated by three parabolic arches made of gray stone. It resembles a lot to the Gothic style, even if in reality the window is square, this is because of the great master Gaudi, with a play of lights that had managed to give this particular effect. Also very beautiful is the Monastery of Sant Pau Camp, of the 12th Century, characterized by a pleasant silence. In the district there are also important museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art , the Macba and the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona.
Before the arrival of the Olympic Games in 1992, the area of Barceloneta was surrounded only by factories, now transformed into bars, nightclubs and discos. Opening the city to the sea, the port has given the city a calmer atmosphere and cheerful, making this area full of young people both day and night. Interesting is the fisherman’s village, where you can eat delicious fish dishes. To recognize the olympic port, do not to be confused with the one at the end of La Rambla, where the commercial center Mare Magnum is, just look at the unique whale of bronze by Frank Gehry.
The district of Montjuic is wonderful, full of trees, flowers, cactus and art. In the weekend we advise you to see the spectacle of lights and water in time with the music, where the atmosphere is magical and very romantic. Do not miss the terraces of Mies Van Der Rohe, on Avinguda del Marques de Comillas. The terraces are a game of transparencies and lights that pass through different materials such as marble, stone, steel and glass, edged with a swimming pool with water almost stopped. In AV del Marques de Comillas there is also the Spanish Village that, since 1929, represents all the regions of Spain, both with the various styles of architecture, both with the various representations of dishes. The best days to visit the village are on Friday and Saturday, when there are real festival until the morning.
For culture lovers do not miss a visit to the Catalan National Museum, located in an old palace, that houses art works of Catalan from 1930 to present. In the evening do not miss a visit, even if only from the outside, the Palau Sant Jordi, which after the olympics has now become a concert hall. The Joan Miró Foundation is a wonderful white palace that was built by Josep Lluis Sert precisely in honor of Miro. If you have the chance go and eat at its restaurant, one of the best in the city. Montjuic was also the castle in 1640, once used as a prison, and today it’s the only place in town where you will find a statue of General Franco.