Barcelona is a lucky place and everyone who visits the city thinks the same about the locals. Barcelona leaves memories for lifetime and once you have been here you are always drawn to come back! Falling in love with the most enchanting city in Spain is easy…but leaving is not that easy. Barcelona somehow has the perfect combination for a tourist destination and for a living city - sunny and warm weather, Mediterranean beaches, amazing culture, design and art, unique architecture, world renowned gastronomy and many more…
We are sure you don’t need more reasons to decide to come and visit us but you can still read our recommendations and tips:
-DID YOU KNOW THAT...
Probably founded first by the Carthaginians around 230BC, Barcelona became famous when in 1st century AD was settled by the Romans. It was called Barcino and today remains of this ancient city still can be seen around the Gothic Quarter. The center of the Roman city, today Plaça Sant Jaume, is still the spot where the most important buildings related to the Catalan Government are located.
Maybe you have heard about the Catalan independence movement which has been growing in strength lately. Catalans don’t hide their desire to separate from Spain. Despite of the fact that Catalonia already has extensive autonomy in education, health and policing they want to have their own independent state. If the secession process is completed Barcelona will become the official capital of Catalonia and will start a new chapter in its history.
It is not a surprise that 7 of them are built by the architect Antoni Gaudí. His works are easy to recognize, they are simply outstanding: Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Casa Pedrera, Palau Güell, Park Güell, The Crypt of Colonia Güell and Casa Vicens. There are 2 more buildings on the UNESCO list of Barcelona, designed by another leading Catalan architect during the Modernism - Domènech i Montaner. The first one is Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau, the largest Modernist work in the world and the second one is the colorful concert hall Palau de la Música.
Being a densely populated city, locked between mountain hills and sea, Barcelona has adapted a sustainable city model and environmental management. Today 80% of the journeys made within Barcelona are by public transport, on foot or by bicycle. New energy system, waste management, public transportation and innovation programs are some of the examples of how Barcelona is trying to improve people’s life and and make wise investments in future.
-YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
The splendor achieved by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí has no comparison in the world’s scene of Modernism. When Barcelona decided to demolish the City walls and enlarge the city in 19th century, a new urban plan was made and the new neighborhood was called Eixample (in Catalan it means “enlargement”). Due to the economic revival Eixample became a favorite place for living of the wealthy people and a symbol of prestige and luxury. It was also the birthplace of Modernism where Gaudí and other famous architects like Domènech i Montaner and Piug i Cadafalch were commissioned to create homes for the rich Catalan society. Stroll down the elegant Passeig de Gràcia street and marvel at works like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller, Casa Lleó i Morera and many others.
No matter what we say to describe La Sagrada Família it won’t be enough. The feeling when you first stand in front of the church is unforgettable! The project started by Antoni Gaudí in 1883 includes 3 façades where the key moments from Jesus’s life are represented - his birth, death and resurrection and glory; and 18 towers dedicated to the Apostles, the Evangelists, the Virgin and Jesus. No wonder why the architect described by himself La Sagrada Familia as a stone bible. Though work is still in progress, you can visit the Basilica and see how Gaudí wanted to convert the inside into a forest with columns looking like trees and stained glasses filtering the natural light. Seeing nature as the perfect temple, the architect’s vision is now almost a reality!
Football is like a religion in Barcelona!
Going at Camp Nou for a match is an incredible experience for every Barça fan. We can actually say women love it too even if they are not sports-minded! This almost 100 000 seats stadium is where locals and tourists come to see Messi and many others football stars and to feel the unique atmosphere during a game.
The Montjuïc Hill is one of the largest green areas in Barcelona. Often called a mountain, from here you can enjoy great panoramic views over the city and the port. But Montjuïc is much more than just a park. This place always have had an important role in city’s history. The International Fair in 1929 and the Olympic Games in 1992 changed the hill completely. Apart from the Botanical Gardens and green parks you can also visit the Olympic Ring where you will find the Olympic stadium. If you like museums, Montjuïc will surprise you with its cultural offer. Some of them are the National Museum of Art, the Joan Miró Foundation and El Poble Espanyol (The Spanish Village). If you feel in shape you can climb to the Montjuïc Castle on the top of the mountain which can also be reached by cable car.
This spectacular music and light show is one of Barcelona’s top attractions! Once you are at Plaça Espanya you will see the impressive view of the fountains located in front of the imposing palace which is today’s National Museum of Art of Catalunya (MNAC). The performance has different timetable depending whether is summer or winter so it’s good to check the days and the hours when you decide to go. We recommend you to be there before the beginning of the show in order to find a better spot from where you can enjoy the show
This enchanting place is the highest hill around Barcelona almost 520 metres high. There are many reasons why you should visit Tibidabo but maybe the main is to overlook the entire city, the sea and the surrounding area. If you are lucky and the sky is clear you can even spot Montserrat from here. But Tibidabo is also famous with the 100-years-old amusement park where you can spend easily a day even if you are not a child. The combination between old-fashioned and modern rides makes Tibidabo Amusement park so attractive for both locals and tourists. And last but not least is the church of the Sacred Heart perched on the top of the hill. Visible from all over Barcelona this church will remind you of the so famous Rio de Janeiro’s statue of Jesus.
Wandering around the Gothic Quarter will give you a good idea of how Barcelona was back in medieval times or even in Roman times. The cobblestone streets, the charming plaças, the small original shops and historical bars and restaurants.. all these things will captivate you and make you anxious to reveal the secrets of El Barri Gótic! Discover where Columbus reported about the New World to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, see where is the seat of the Catalan Government and find out the surviving columns of the Roman Temple of Augustus.
It’s said that Barcelona has everything… and that’s not far from the truth! Apart from city’s highlights almost 5 km of sandy beaches with palm trees are waiting for you to discover. The most famous and busiest one is Barceloneta beach and you will recognize it as you follow the avant garde building of Hotel W. But don’t imagine the typical beach where people go just for sunbathing... Barcelona’s beaches are much more than this - locals and tourists come here to play volleyball, they love running or skating, rollerblading or windsurfing and why not going to concerts,discos and even open-air cinemas… If you want to find a good seafood restaurant there are plenty of choices here and if you are looking for a place to have a drink, try some of the typical beach bars called “chiringuitos”. However, in summertime the beach area is pretty busy and if you want to escape the crowded places you can just catch a train and go outside of Barcelona. In less than an hour ride along the coast of Costa Brava you can reach pretty small towns with large sandy beaches. Sounds good, isn’t it?
Raval is exciting and is the neighborhood where you will always find something new! Little known by tourists and considered before for one of the most dangerous quarters, today Raval is a colorful place full of history, cultural diversity and life. You will find much to explore in this neighborhood like for example the Museum of Contemporary art of Barcelona (MACBA), or admire the only house by Gaudí in the Old City (Palau Güell), try some local food at La Boquería Market and stroll down La Rambla del Raval where you will find a big cat statue by the Colombian artist Botero.
Barcelona has been at the stage of the innovative and world class gastronomy for a long time and it seems to stay that way. No matter where you choose to go in the city you can have a truly authentic culinary experience but when it comes to tapas, the Spanish way of eating, check out some iconic tapas places in the bohemian neighborhood El Born. This magnificent medieval quarter is the locals' favorite one for nightlife and tasting good food. If you are wondering where you should start from exploring the area you just have to reach the gorgeous Gothic Church of Santa Maria del Mar. Behind the Basilica you will find the famous Passeig del Born the most lively walking street and the heart of the neighborhood. Discover the narrow streets around and let yourself be tempted by the tapas places at every corner here!