Barcelona, a Catalonian masterpiece
From the stunning depths of art nouveau and gothic architecture to the contemporary heights of Catalan gastronomy, the city of Barcelona emerges a limitless victor. Read more.
Barcelona, a Catalonian masterpiece
From the stunning depths of art nouveau and gothic architecture to the contemporary heights of Catalan gastronomy, the city of Barcelona emerges a limitless victor. Its cultural heritage remains ripe in the rambling alleys and striking edifices of the Ciutat Vella. In complete harmony is the city’s enduring drive for innovation and creativity, evident in sites like its symbolic Sagrada Família. A 5km stretch of coastline provides the crowning glory to the Catalonian capital, making it possible for travellers to experience that rare opportunity of being able to pack cultural exploration and beach holiday into one, exciting city.
Luxury city centre accommodation and beach side stays
City slickers on a budget should head to the Barri Gotic area for a range of accommodation including 3-star options, boutique hotels and pensions. Those with deeper pockets should check out the Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample where converted palaces and mansions permit you to live it up for the duration of your stay and the call of designer shops is irresistible. For a room with a view, try Port Vell or Port Olimpic, where waterfront views can be found at a number of hotels.
Beach bound travellers are okay to stay central as the metro and trains provide good access to city and outskirt beaches, but can also consider hotels closer to the Barceloneta and Nova Icaria beaches. Some hotels in the newer, urban area of Diagonal Mar are located next to the La Mar Bella and La Nova Mar Bella beaches which tend to be less busy, though be aware these are in close proximity to the city’s nudist beaches.
Gaudi, Las Ramblas and other unmissable sights
Walking the streets of Barcelona is comparable to walking through a museum of the arts and a perusal of the Block of Discord on Passeig de Gràcia will take you past Gaudi’s wonderfully weird Casa Battlo and La Pedrera buildings as well as works of other notable architects. Gaudi’s influence can also be seen in the fantasyland features of Pärc Guell, Barcelona’s extraordinary park on high that’s definitely worth a visit. Art fans can subsequently take their journey indoors to the celebrated Museu Picasso, host to some of Picasso’s most important work. On a clear day, the cross-harbour cable car provides great views of the city from above as does Mount Tibidabo and its accompanying amusement park. Below, the vibrant La Boqueria market’s fresh produce and mouth-watering stalls provide a fantastic preamble to the city’s passion for food. A visit to Barcelona would no doubt be incomplete without a stroll down the city’s famous thoroughfare, Las Ramblas and away from the center, those with a love for football should pay homage at Camp Nou, home ground of FC Barcelona. Try the BCN Paistage app whilst in the city which gives you information on the city’s hidden spots and shows you the before and after of party walls. Spotted by locals is another app useful for navigating the city like a resident, to find those areas and places you might not be able to as a tourist.
Food is a pastime in this city where lunches last for hours and late dining is an event. For the finest Catalan and Spanish fare and service, it’s best to explore backstreets away from tourist areas and touts. Peruse neighborhoods such as La Ribera, El Ravel and Sant Pere to discover traditional taverns or on-trend restaurants and cafes and don’t miss out on trying the staple ‘pa amb tomaquet’, whether for breakfast, lunch, tapas or dinner.For seafood, aim for harbour-side eateries in Port Olimpic or Barceloneta and mind that restaurant hours are usually between 1-4pm for lunch and 8.30-11pm for dinner with most closed on Sundays and some on Mondays too. The A prop d’aquí app is helpful for providing information on local surroundings, displaying restaurants, pharmacies and taxis within proximity of your location.
Landmarks in Barcelona
- Las Ramblas (1421)
- Plaça de Catalunya (1660)
- Port of Barcelona (776)
- Cruise Line Terminal (822)
- Gothic Quarter (1276)
- Passeig de Gràcia (1299)
- Barri Gotic (1493)
- La Sagrada Familia (841)
- Montjuic Mountain (349)
- Cathedral (1446)
- Plaça Reial (1315)
- Barcelona Convention Ctr (78)
- Barceloneta Beach (474)
- Teatre Lliure (477)