Notwithstanding what your interests are, you may take your trip to Barcelona without any advance research or planning. Arriving there, you will surely find what you are looking for, just because Barcelona is a place where culture, entertainment, history and art not only exist together forming its unique atmosphere, but have created great many opportunities for exceptional experience.
Let’s start a brief sightseeing tour of the most popular places as per interests:
• Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila (La Pedrera), Casa Batllo, Park Guell, etc. The remarkable art nouveau architecture of Antonio Gaudi is the signature of Barcelona, recognizable worldwide. The cathedral in construction – the one of its kind nowadays, the houses, the Park, show in details the unique style of the famous architect, whose pattern can be seen almost everywhere in the city as well as on all souvenirs 🙂
• Barri gotic – the gothic heart of Barcelona, where the history finders, most probably, will feel very comfortable. The narrow old streets with medieval buildings on the one side of the Rambla, whose ground floors are now homes to many boutique shops, will lead you at the end to the impressive Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia also called just Barcelona cathedral. Within Barri gotic you will find lots of landmarks like the Basilica of La Merce, the neogothical bridge on Bishop street (Carrer del Brisbe), the church of Santa Maria del Pi, the City Hall (Casa de la Ciutat) and the Presidential palace (Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya) – both located on Placa Sant Jaume, the famous Placa Reial with its cozy bars and restaurants, and yet many more.Although a recent research proved some of the buildings are not so old as they claim to be, Barri Gotic remains one of the most amazing places in Barcelona.
• Las Ramblas – the famous street begins from Placa Catalunya and goes down to the Monument of Christopher Columbus. You can literally walk on the pavement mosaic by Juan Miro. Many street actors try to entertain the pedestrians in all possible ways – some look funny indeed, some look bizarre or even scary. The artistic spirit is alive along the whole Rambla, and particularly at Liceo Theatre, located on the same street. Just opposite the Theatre is the famous Café de l’Opera. Its Viennese interior is preserved since mid 19th century, and the very existing of the place goes back to the 18th century. The café works without a day off since 1929 even in the period of Spanish Civil war. A few museums could be visited there as the Centre d’Art Santa Monica (the Contemporary art museum), Wax Museum (Museu de Cera), Museu Maritim, housed in medieval shipyards (Drassanes). A place of interest that should not be missed when walking down the Rambla is La Boqueria market.
• Barceloneta, Port vell (old harbor) and the Marina – a seafront part of the city with many bars and restaurants, as well as floating restaurants, exceptionally lively in the evening.
• In the same area is located Barcelona Aquarium – an exciting attraction, especially for those, traveling with children. Families can also find Barcelona Zoo very suitable for them, and adults will certainly be impressed as well by the fantastic natural environment and the variety of species there. Do not miss the snake and crocodile hall..brrrrrrrr ! The Zoo is next to the Parc de la Ciutadella and at walking distance from the Aquarium.
• El Born – the quarter next to Barri gotic, is popular with its Calle Montcada – a medieval street now home to Picasso Museum, as well as with the church of Santa Maria del Mar.
• Camp Nou – the real football fan will not miss the famous stadium and the home of Barcelona Football club.
• Montjuik hill, Palau Nacional and the Magic fountains (Font Magica) lay over the harbor, and are accessible via several ways, one of which – a lift connection from Port Vell, the so called aerial tramway.
• Mediterranean cuisine – the delicious dining in the capital of Catalunya is easy to find. It’s recommended to try different places and to taste as many recipes as possible during your stay. The seafood menu is incredible at the Port Vell restaurants, and not only there, of course. There are so many theme food bars and restaurants in all city regions, so that only a focused mind is able to take the right decision which one to taste.
• Shopping – probably unthinkable, but anyway: if nothing of the above mentioned list seemed to you too exciting, and shopping is the only power that can make you stroll around the streets, you are lucky again. Barcelona offers huge opportunities for shopping experience. Starting from the Barri gotic and the Rambla, up to Placa Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia, Avenida Diagonal, you will see almost any of the world famous fashion stores, some of them twice or more with different collections in each of the stores. You should not miss the El Corte Ingles shopping center as well. The only you have to bear in mind is the extra luggage tax on your way back home, if you return from Barcelona by air 🙂
As you see, everyone may spend at least a week in Barcelona, doing what they prefer, even if not sure what exactly they are looking for.
If you arrive in a lazy mood there, reluctant to run sightseeing, just walk down the Rambla, shop around and have a special gourmet dinner in one of the fancy restaurants next to Port Vell. The next day you will certainly awake full of high spirits willing to explore the incredible city of Barcelona!
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