- You can start your visit on lively Las Ramblas, the beating heart of the city. A 1.2 km stretch from the port to Plaça Catalunya, this is the spot to come to see the city in every guise, good or bad, and it is the street that will help you to get oriented on a trip to Barcelona. Loved by some and loathed by others, this is most visitors’ introduction to the city.
2. Tired of Las Ramblas? Then, you can soak in the spirit of Barcelona in Plaza Real. Filled with bars, cafes, pedestrians, cyclists: come here to sit down with a good book, don that pair of designer sunglasses and watch the world and his wife go by.
3. Barcelona’s nightlife is legendary. Both famed and notorious, some residents protest that it has really started to get out of hand. Wondering what the link is with this daytime photo? Hint: Find the boots…
4. Uncover some colourful street art with Afro-Caribbean influences. Renowned for its modernist architecture, sometimes just wandering the streets is such an artistic journey in itself that there is no need to spend hours in lines for the big ticket sights. Barcelona’s street art is a creative fusion…
5. But the journey does not stop there because Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is infused with art. Even the clothes hanging out to dry appear as if they were placed by an artist painting an urban ideal.
6. Speaking of art, there is no shortage of art on sale in the Gothic Quarter. Just put on your walking shoes and go for a stroll. Fill your suitcase/ backpack or just admire the watercolours- the choice is yours…
7. The architecture here is sublime. Tall houses tower over streets and squares and the shade will cool you down, no matter how hot the day may get. If you are not that interested in filling your luggage with art, you can fill your mind with beautiful memories instead.
8. Street art has a history here. Enjoy the paintings, engravings, and frescoes on the churches and public buildings. Barcelona is a visual feast…
9. See a wonder of the modern world. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is a cathedral of epic proportions and it is still under construction. Building commenced on March 19, 1882, and there is no sign of it finishing anytime soon. Be warned, however, that the lines to enter are long and it is recommended to book tickets online.
10. There is always a back alley explore. In Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter hotel awnings, plants and the people themselves combine to create the sense of walking into a stylish painting or film set.
11. There is always somewhere to go for an afternoon walk in Barcelona. If you find yourself in the port area, make sure to check out the aquarium. Although not as spectacular as those of Valencia or Lisbon, it is a stroll that is sure to keep people of all ages quite entertained.
12.You can take time to reflect. After visiting the aquarium take time to sit down, relax and reflect. After all, what is the point of a vacation but to get away from it all and to recharge the batteries?
13. You can go to the beach. How many cities have their own beach within walking distance of the city centre? Barceloneta, as it is called, is only a short hop away from the port area. Fancy a walk or a swim? The choice is yours…
14. See an Olympic-sized fish. Critics may say that you would do better to take a day trip to Bilbao to see his architecturally stunning Guggenheim, but Frank Gehry’s sculpture is impressive at the very least. The gold finish on the scales glistens in the sun and it is perfectly located in the beach area of the city. A combination of Mediterranean tradition and high art, this is Barcelona, after all…
15. There are plenty of bars and cafes to keep you refreshed. Barceloneta, the whole beach area, has plenty of bars to satisfy your taste and satiate your thirst. The one in the photo is just one of the many on the seafront. Have a wander and find your own favourite. Icebarcelona is recommended as a great place to chill out…
16. You have museums to visit if you tire of the beach, the architecture, the street art and the buzzing nightlife. The National Art Museum of Catalonia is located on the steps leading up Mont Juic to the Olympic Park. Featuring art from the Middle Ages to the Present Day, revel in a treasure chest of art from across the ages.
17. Barcelona is an Olympic city. Home to the 1992 Olympics, you can visit the Olympic Park and ‘Poble Espanyol’, a replica of a traditional Spanish village. Walk in the footsteps of champions and go Spanish at the same time!
18. You can visit the Olympic Stadium. But don’t forget to stop to take some photos.
19. The views of the city allow you to take it all in. The Olympic Park is not only about sport…this is a place where you will get sweeping views across the city.
20. Barcelona has excellent bone structure, so it is as beautiful under grey skies as it is in black and white or even technicolour…Visit now!
Getting there and away
Barcelona is well connected by air with Europe and North America. Trains from El Prat Airport to the city centre (Sants) run every 30 minutes throughout the day. Fast trains (AVE) connect Madrid and Barcelona (2h30) and there are several daily connections to France. Bus connections to Madrid take longer (up to 8 hours), but are often considerably cheaper. There are train connections to Seville via Madrid and similar bus connections also exist but take up to 16 hours.
Mid-range travellers might consider the centrally located and friendly El Puchi. Book in advance because this guesthouse tends to be popular and it is often booked out. Budget travellers may prefer Kabul, which claims to be Barcelona’s ‘most famous hostel’ and is located in the Gothic Quarter. Those who like to travel in style and who also have the money to do so should check out Hotel Arts Barcelona. A work of art in itself, this is THE place for those who want to spend some serious cash.
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