Culturally unique and historically fascinating, Barcelona, Spain easily eclipses the rest of the country with its vibrant showcase of art, culture and music. Eclectic architecture, a 24/7 nightlife and the great Barcelona weather make it Europe’s 4th most popular tourist destination. Particularly famous for Antoni Gaudí’s fairy-tale architecture, the city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The city’s 10 administrative districts have distinct historical character. The Barri Gòtic or the Gothic Quarter represents the old city of Barcelona and houses the two prominent gothic churches of Santa Maria del Mar and Santa Maria del Pi. Of particular significance is Antoni Gaudí’s work, sprinkled throughout the city – each with its own unique and fascinating character. His most popular creation is the iconic Sagrada Família – a surreal church, started in 1882 and estimated to be completed in 2026. Gaudi’s other creations include the famous Park Guell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and Palau Güell to name a few. Popular works of architecture include the Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau. For art lovers, the National Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art are the two most popular Barcelona museums.
Looking for things to do in Barcelona? Take the cable car up to Montjuïc, the city’s largest park to get a panoramic view of the city. Barcelona offers exclusive Gaudi walking tours educating awestruck tourists on the significance and history of each of his masterpieces. Cradled between the Mediterranean Sea and Spanish inland, the city boasts seven gorgeous beaches. Spend a day in the sands of Somorrostro, Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta – the city’s three most popular beaches also hosting some of the best nighclubs. Take a stroll down the La Ramblas – quite possibly Barcelona’s busiest thoroughfare, teeming with activity at all times. Pick on a platter of pintxos, stop to see a street performer or have your hand read by a fortune-teller. Visit Europe’s largest aquarium located in Port Vell – Aquarium Barcelona.
You can rent a bike and tour Barcelona along its well laid out and dedicated bike paths. But for those looking for faster, easier ways to get around, don’t worry, you have plenty of options – the city is well connected via buses, trams and metros. Barcelona’s splendid Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall are two significant contributions to its music and theater scene. The Primavera Sound Festival and the Sónar Festival attract throngs of people each year.
Barcelona is prominent in the world of sports as well – home to FC Barcelona, one of the most popular football teams in the world, the city offers tours of the club’s museum. Hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics has particularly contributed to the city’s growing popularity. Additionally, the Circuit de Barcelona is known to host the Formula One World Championship.
If you’re traveling from Europe, look for cheap flights to Barcelona flying into Barcelona-El Prat Airport, biggest of the Barcelona airports. Looking for that perfect Barcelona accommodation? Hotels in Barcelona may seem suitable options for some, but the best way to experience the true Catalan culture is to immerse yourself in it – start with a Barcelona vacation rental instead of a Barcelona hostel or hotel. Barcelona apartments and rentals offer the true local experience in this city, also home to Picasso’s youth. But if you still want to live it up in style, Spanish villas make the perfect option. It’s time to travel to Spain and plan that perfect Barcelona weekend!
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