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One of Barcelona’s most raved-about aspects is its incredible architecture, which has attracted a number of great creative minds. The works of Antoní Gaudí are particularly renowned – his various masterpieces are littered throughout the streets of Eixample in the form of benches and buildings, churches and cathedrals.
Walk up to Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracía, which resembles an underwater magical kingdom of incredible proportions both inside and out. Visit the beautifully organic Casa Mila and admire its delicate-looking balcony structure. Be left awestruck by the Sagrada Familia, the soaring scale of which is utterly jaw-dropping.
It’s not all about Gaudí though, and veritable jewels in Barcelona’s crown also comprise landmarks such as Parc de la Ciutadella and its magnificent majestic fountain. Worth checking out is Hospital Sant Pau and its beautifully decorative buildings, each one resembling a brightly coloured, freshly iced cake.
Then there is the mix of architectural styles that you will come across simply by walking through the streets. You never know when you might come across a block of flats with an auditorium that resembles a giant butterfly or something equally as strange.
Gastronomy is where Barcelona most strongly feels the Spanish influence, with tapas proving exceptionally popular with visitors and residents alike. And why not? It’s a highly social way to eat, with each person ordering two of their favourite dishes to share with the table.
Keep in mind that this is no way to dine alone – it’s better to order a plate of fresh fish or even a paella if you’re here without friends. Tapas dishes vary dramatically and depending on your personal taste, you may want to try croquettas of various fillings, calamari with mayonnaise, baby squid with olive oil, octopus sliced and roasted Galician-style and the ever-popular patatas bravas.
Top Barcelona districts
One of the best things about Barcelona is the diversity of its various districts. Below are a few highlights for you to explore during your break in the city.
Eixample – In the heart of the city is Eixample, where you’ll find some of Barcelona’s most famous monuments, including the Sagrada Familia, Esquerra de l’Eixample and Quadrat d’or.
Sants Montjuc – Sants Montjuc boasts some of the best shopping areas in the city, the beautiful Parc Montjuc and the fascinating neighbourhood of Poble-Sec.
Ciutat Vell – Ciutat Vell has an eclectic mix of sights, from the Barri Gotic area where some of Barcelona’s oldest landmarks can be found to Port Vell, which combines historical attractions like the Maritime Museum with modern offerings such as the Barcelona Aquarium and the IMAX Port Vell. Ciutat Vell is also where you’ll find the well-known La Rambla shopping street.
Sant Marti – Located on the coast, San Marti is one of Barcelona’s most modern districts and is home to the ultra-chic waterfront district of Poblenou, as well as cultural facilities that have been developed in the area’s disused factories.
The surrounding area
The city of Barcelona boasts a plethora of attractions, but also makes a great place to base yourself for day trips. Surrounding the sprawling metropolis, mountains pierce the skies at intervals, making for excellent hiking opportunities.
Montserrat is a particularly invigorating place to go to, with its system of locomotives and trains that lead to the summit. Also accessible are the resort towns of Lloret de Mar in Girona with its charismatic coastline, Sitges with its feel-good factor vibe and Tarragona with its enormous Port Aventura theme park.
In short, Barcelona and the surrounding resorts allow for myriad ways to keep you occupied on your holiday, whether you’re stopping for a short city break or planning to spend an entire summer trip here. The city’s remarkably well put-together infrastructure means it’s easy to get from one side of the other quickly and easily, and tourist information can be found everywhere you look.
+ Information about Spain
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