Barcelona City Guide

The second largest city in Spain, and capital of Catalonia, Barcelona has some of the best architecture in Europe, along with top museums and authentic streets filled with the all the flavours and rhythms of Catalonia. In this seaside metropolis live 2.5 million people. The streets are full of tapas bars and grand squares where you’ll be entertained by traditional dancers and modern music alike. The influence of the modernist architect Antoni Gaudí can be seen everywhere, in the rolling parks, buildings and monuments.

Forget about driving in Barcelona, it is far easier to use the subway system, bus or even a bicycle. Your best bet would be to bring a pair of sturdy shoes. Walking through the city is in fact the best way to explore the many sights, sounds and tastes of Barcelona in your record. It’s a fairly compact city centre, so it’s possible to get pretty much anywhere on foot, and this way you won’t miss anything.

Stroll through Las Ramblas in the heart of the city, the main boulevard running from Plaça de Catalunya in the north all the way to the harbour. The walkways are surrounded by restaurants, flower stalls, souvenir shops and the city’s best bars. During the day, families are entertained by street performers and the evenings fill the watering holes with merry people looking for a good time.

Be sure to explore the Gothic Quarter, which is located just north of Las Ramblas. Here you’ll find the fourteenth-century Cathedral of Barcelona, ​​where the relics of the patron saint of the city, Eulalia of Barcelona, are kept to this day.

Take the cable car to the top of Montjuic, an imposing hill near the centre, and spent the day taking in the attractions and enjoying the view; cool off at the Magic Fountain, which represents the neo-Baroque Palau Nacional and then enjoy the traditional art and cuisine in Pueblo Espanol.

Gaudí's unique buildings are a highlight of Barcelona, and not just for the architecture buffs. You can even check out his work in chronological order, beginning with his first home, Casa Vicens, and finishing up with his last masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. Oh, and don’t miss Park Guell with its mosaic terrace overlooking the city and harbour.

There are more than 50 museums around Barcelona. Discover more about the greatest Spanish artist in the Picasso Museum and then set sail for the Maritime Museum and check out the historic fourteenth century shipyards. Football fans can catch the local team Barça (FC Barcelona) at their home ground, Barcelona Stadium, or simply take a tour and visit its museum.

Barcelona is well-suited for families, with its beautiful beaches and multiple water parks. Spend the day on the beach, among the locals, or explore life beneath the waves at the L'aquarium Barcelona. In the evening you can enjoy Catalan music in the Palau de la Música Catalana, before getting back to the streets and squares to soak up the atmosphere of Barcelona in the evening.

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