Travel guide - Barcelona

Barcelona may be the second largest city in Spain, but it is without a doubt the favourite amongst tourists due to the Art Nouveau architecture of the Catalan modernist movement, which can be found throughout the city. But Barcelona is also a favourite among students thanks to its lively night life scene and immense, friendly beaches!

Barcelona’s Art Nouveau heritage

Architect Gaudí and painter Salvador Dalí left indelible marks on the city of Barcelona. The unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral in the Eixample neighbourhood is one of Barcelona’s most popular sites. Its Gothic spires contrast with the Art Nouveau spirit of its facades. Parc Güell showcases the “pique-assiette” mosaic style, in which small pieces of tile are combined to bring to life magnificent mosaics on the park’s benches and the superb salamander at the entrance.
You should also plan to visit Casa Batlló, Casa Amatller, Casa Lleo Morera and Casa Milà (nicknamed La Pedrera). These masterpieces reflect their designer’s bold, avant-garde ideas. Next, take a stroll through the Barri Gòtic, where narrow streets are interspersed with medieval squares. And don’t forget to take a walk along the old port to admire the statue of Christopher Columbus.

Art and culture in their purest forms, found in the city’s museums, parks and foundations

Barcelona is home to numerous museums. Among them, the Picasso Museum is a must during your stay. Next, head to the Joan-Miró Foundation, in the Parc de Montjuïc, which displays 10,000 works by the Catalan artist. The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, for its part, offers superb collections of Romanesque art and works by Vélasquez.
The magical, beautiful Palau de la Música Catalana will help you better understand the music of the region. Finally, stop by the Museum of Catalan History to learn about the independent spirit of this part of Spain, before heading to the botanical garden of the Parc de la Ciutadella, constructed for the 1888 World’s Fair.

Activities for all ages and tastes

Barcelona is an excellent destination for families. Take some time to stroll through Barceloneta. This former fisherman’s quarter today offers a lovely wooden boardwalk along the seaside. The beaches call out to you to take a moment to stretch out and relax. As for visits, head to the modern port and the Maremagnum Centre, where you can explore the Aquarium of Barcelona. The zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella is also popular with children.
Take the Montjuïc cable car to see the 1992 Olympic Games facilities or the Poble Espanyol, which recreates the various provinces of Spain. Football fans will love visiting FC Barcelone’s Camp Nou stadium. If you’re looking for a bit of excitement, take the funicular and the old tramway (tramvia blau) to Tibidabo, an amusement park on top of a mountain. Finally, don’t forget that Barcelona is close to PortAventura, one of Europe’s best amusement parks.

Catalan and Spanish cuisine to satisfy your hunger

In Barcelona, you can eat at any time of the day or night! The local speciality is tapas. These small portions are also available in raciones or pintxos.
You simply must taste this cuisine composed of olive oil, serrano ham, paëlla and Manchego cheese, as well as Catalan mussels, Pan con tomate (tomato on bread), and crema catalana (a sort of crème brulée with orange blossom flavour) and sangria. If you’re craving a little something sweet, try the churros dipped in creamy hot chocolate: a treat for your taste buds!
The best place to buy or sample local foods is the La Boqueria market, found on Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s largest commercial thoroughfare, which leads to Catalonia Square. This large covered market is bursting with stands selling fruit and local specialities.
Barcelona is a perfect destination, whether you’re travelling as a couple, with friends or with family. One bit of advice: learn a few words of Catalan before you go to blend in a little better!

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