Beautiful BARCELONA - Easy Travel Guide
by Travel Make.com
Beautiful city of Barcelona, capital of Catalonia (a Spain's
province), is situated on on the shore of the Mediterranean sea
and bordered at either end by 2 river deltas. Barcelona is the
second largest city in Spain after its capital city Madrid. Barcelona
has a population of 1.5 million, over 4 million including suburbs.
The varied, eventful history of the city dates back 4,000
years to the first settlements by ancient farmers. Later it became
a Roman colony, the Visigoth's capital city, then it came under
Moorish rule. It went through sieges, destructions and occupations,
finally to become an autonomous democracy 1975. The city has
always played an important role in political and cultural life
of Spain and it is well reflected in the variety and quality
of historical buildings, museums, many other tourist attractions.
Today Barcelona is one of the most diverse european cities
with unique culture and rich traditions. You can find here a
formidable balance of the traditional things and the avant-garde.
A cosmopolitan metropolis, Barcelona affords visitors a warm
and sincere welcome, being aknowledged worldwide as one of the
best tourist-friendly cities in Europe.Barcelona's organization
of the 1992 Olympics provided regeneration of this dynamic city,
gave a fresh start to its infrastructure development.
WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE:
POINTS OF INTEREST - La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian
boulevard packed with buskers, living statues, mimes and itinerant
salespeople selling everything from lottery tickets to jewelry.
Pavement cafes and stands selling craft work, street performers
surrounded by curious onlookers, a noisy bird market, Palau de
la Virreina, a grand 18th-century rococo mansion, the Gran Teatre
del Liceu, the famous 19th-century opera house- these are all
colorful parts of La Rambla's mosaic. La Rambla ends at the lofty
Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus) and the harbour.
Barri Gotic - also known as Gothic Quarter, it is the
old part of the city. Picasso lived and worked in Barri Gotic
from 1895 to 1904 and Joan Miro was born and lived here during
his youth. Gothic Quarter is situated on the right hand side
of the La Rambla, it contains a concentration of medieval tall
Gothic buildings (14-15th century) on narrow cobbled streets
and now is home to much of the city's nightlife.
La Sagrada Familia - La Sagrada Familia is one of the
most famous and magnificent among Barcelona's landmarks. The
life's work of Barcelona's famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, the
magnificent spires of the unfinished cathedral imprint themselves
boldly against the sky with swelling outlines inspired by the
holy mountain Montserrat. Above each facade there are four towers,
12 in total, which are dedicated to the Apostles. The tower in
the center, the tallest of all at 170 m., is dedicated to Jesus
Christ. Around these there are the towers of the four Evangelists,
and the tower over the apse is dedicated to the Virgin. They
are encrusted with a tangle of sculptures that seem to breathe
life into the stone. Gaudi died in 1926 before his masterwork
was completed, and since then, controversy has continually dogged
the building program. Nevertheless, the southwestern (Passion)
facade, is almost done, and the nave, begun in 1978, is progressing.
La Pedrera - Casa Mila (Mila House) is an apartment
building, the last example of Gaudi's civil architecture.It is
one of his finest and most ambitious creations, extraordinarily
innovative in its functional, constructive, and ornamental aspects.
Visitors can tour the building and go up to the roof, where they
can see spectacular views of Barcelona. One floor below the roof
is a modest museum dedicated to Gaudi's work.
Montjuic - the largest open space in the city, its
main attractions are the Olympic installations, the Spanish Village
and the hilltop fortress. Montjuic, the hill overlooking the
city centre from the southwest, is home to some fine art galleries,
leisure attractions, soothing parks and the main group of 1992
Olympic sites. Montjuic is covered in ornamental gardens with
water features and is the most popular destination in Barcelona
Tibidabo - is the highest hill in the wooded range
that forms the backdrop to Barcelona. It has amazing views of
the whole of Barcelona, a stunning cathedral, and a family fun
park Parc d'Atraccions with old-style rides offering breathtaking
views. A glass lift at the park goes 115m (383 ft) up to a visitors'
observation area at Torre de Collserola telecommunications tower.
Modernisme - spectacular modernista architectural creations
dotted around the city by famous Antoni Gaudi and his contemporaries.
Camp Nou - home of F.C. Barcelona, one of Europe's
leading soccer teams, with capacity of almost 100,000 spectators.
The Seu Cathedral - Built in medieval times on the
site of a Roman temple, La Seu is one of the great Gothic buildings
Parc de la Ciutadella - Barcelona's favourite park
and a Sunday afternoon rendezvous for families, friends and ducks
The Sardana - traditional Catalan dance, performed
outside the cathedral and at national festivals, with everyone
encouraged to join in.
MUSEUMS - The Barbier-Mueller Museum of Pre-Columbian
Art -the only museum in Europe devoted exclusively to Pre-Columbian
cultures. Housed in a gothic palace, its collection is one of
the finest of its kind and gives visitors an insight into the
rich world of the earliest cultures on the American continent.
This tiny museum contains one hundred pieces, including wood
and stone sculptures, ceramics, tapestries, jade, often found
in international exhibitions and prestige publications. The exhibits
represented the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Chavin, Mochica and Inca
Palau de la Musica Catalana - one of the world's most
extraordinary music halls, it is a Barcelona landmark. From its
polychrome ceramic ticket windows on the Carrer de Sant Pere
Mes Alt side to its overhead busts of Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven,
and Wagner, the Palau is the flagship of Barcelona's Moderniste
Museu Picasso - is Barcelona's most visited museum.
3,500 exhibits make up the permanent collection. Picasso spent
several years (1901-06) in Barcelona, and this collection, is
particularly strong on his early work. Displays include childhood
sketches, pictures from the beautiful Rose and Blue periods,
and the famous 1950s Cubist variations on Velazquez's Las Meninas
Gaudi Casa-Museu - Gaudi lived in this pink, Alice-in-Wonderland
house from 1906 to 1926, which now houses a museum of Gaudi-designed
furniture, decorations, drawings, and portraits and busts of
Fundacio Miro - it was a gift from the famous artist
Joan Miro to his native city. The museum opened in 1975, and
now it is one of Barcelona's most exciting showcases of contemporary
BEACHES - One of Barcelona's greatest draws is undeniably
its beautiful beaches. Beside world-famous Costa Brava and Costa
Dorada which are within 1-hr drive time from Barcelona, there
are also several nice beaches over 4 km long within the city
boundaries, we will list just several of them here:
Nova Icaria- Closest to the Olympic marina, always
crowded, this wide swathe of rough golden sand is great for food
goers.There are three perfect beach bars and two very popular
restaurants on the promenade (Mango and Chiringuito de Moncho)
and countless bars and restaurants are just a short stroll away.
Bogatell- This beach is twice the length of adjoining
Nova Icaria and fringed by a stretch of stone walkway perfect
for jogging, roller blading and cycling. Three large informal
restaurants on the promenade.
Mar Bella (Metro Ciutadella Vila Olimpica, plus 20-minute
walk)- Barcelona's only naturist beach close to a peaceful park
- good for a picnic or siesta under the trees. Barceloneta- wide
and long, a traditional and popular stretch with locals, crowded,
noisy and very jolly.
WHEN TO GO, WEATHER: The best times to visit Barcelona
are late spring and early autumn, when the weather is still comfortably
warm, around 21-25°C. Summers are usually hot and humid,
with temperatures averaging +30 (+ 86 Fahrenheit). Especially
avoid the "dead" month of August, when many shops,
bars and restaurants close for the month as many local inhabitants
head out of the city. Winters are cool with average daytime temperatures
around +12 C (+59 Fahrenheit), occasionally rainy.
GETTING THERE AND AROUND: By a direct flight to Barcelona,
or through Madrid or via another large European city from almost
any major airports in the world. The highest fares are from May
to September, the lowest in March-April, October-November and
December to February (excluding Christmas and New Year when prices
are hiked up). Note also that flying on weekends may increase
your ticket cost. If traveling to Barcelona from within Europe
you can also chose train, bus or car, though these take much
longer than a plane and often work out no cheaper. Many Mediterranean
cruises include Barcelona as a port of call.
ACCOMODATIONS: We can offer you a range of choices. You can
choose vacation rentals in Barcelona starting from $ 125 USD
for a double room in a 4-star apartment hotel. Or you can opt
for hotels from $ 65 USD for a double room in a 3-star hotel.
Accomodation prices do not change much throughout the year due
to the steady all-season flow of visitors to this extremely popular
tourist city and surrounding resorts.
DINING: Besides restaurants you can eat at bars where
you would have a succession of tapas (small snacks- three or
four chunks of fish, meat or vegetables, or salad, which traditionally
used to be served up free with a drink) or raciones (larger ones).
The bar option can be a lot more interesting, allowing you to
do the rounds and sample local specialities.
Generally, the average cost for a meal consisting of two dishes
and dessert would come to about 25 Euros. Travellers on an extremely
limited budget can do well for themselves by using the excellent
markets, bakeries and delis and filling up on sandwiches and
snacks. Decent restaurants and cafes are easily found all over
the city, though you'll probably do most of your eating where
you do most of your sightseeing, in the old town, particularly
around La Rambla and in the Barri Gotic.
Look for the best and most authentic seafood restaurants in
Barceloneta, a seaside neighbourhood. Gothic Quarter neighbourhood
is home to some of the oldest and most traditional restaurants
in the city. Gracia is a very popular area among young people
during the weekend, it leads the way in terms of exotic restaurants
(Lebanese, Egyptian, Thai etc.).
TRANSPORT: Barcelona has excellent transport system
comprising the metro (subway), buses, trains and a network of
funiculars and cable cars. You can find a link to transport maps
at the end of our guide. On all the city's public transport you
can buy a single ticket every time you ride, but even over only
a couple of days it's cheaper to buy a targeta - a discount ticket
strip. The T-10 targeta is valid for ten separate journeys on
the metro, buses and trains. These tickets can be used by more
than one person at a time.
The metro is the quickest way of getting around Barcelona.
For black-and-yellow taxis there is a minimum charge of $ 2 euro.
You'll obviously have a great deal more freedom if you rent a
car . Major roads throughout the city are generally good, and
traffic is generally well behaved, though Spain does have one
of the highest incidences of traffic accidents in Europe. It
also has some of the lowest fuel prices on the continent.
SHOPPING: Barcelona, one of the most stylish cities
in Europe offers great shopping, from designer clothes and accessories
to household items. You will find the city to be quite cheap
for a lot of items, especially if you coincide with the annual
sales ( rebaixes in Spanish) lasting from mid-January until the
end of February, and throughout July and August.
The best shopping areas in Barcelona are the old streets off
the upper part of the Ramblas. Souvenirs include ceramics, which
are widely sold in the streets around the cathedral; leather
goods; city's delicatessens, particularly cooked Catalan meats
and sausages; a porron (the long-spouted glass drinking jar);
CDs and tapes of Catalan rock and pop, sardana music, Spanish
rock or flamenco.
If you're looking for original gift ideas, some of the best
hunting can be found in the shops of any of the city's museums,
where you'll find reasonably priced and unique examples of Catalan
disseny (graphic), and other original items ranging from postcards
to replica works of art.
We wish you a nice and safe trip!
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