Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and with good reason. Walking through the streets of the city is like stepping into a living breathing gallery. Gaudi`s distinctive architecture dominates many of the streets giving the city`s landscape a truly unique experience. The capital of Cataluña – and if you are adventurous enough to learn some Catalan you will receive a warm response from the locals – it is also a vibrant multi-cultural metropolis. Situated on the coast, it has some of the cleanest city beaches you`ll find. Don`t be surprised to see swimmers enjoying the water as early as April and as late as November.
Casa Batlló was designed by Antoni Gaudí for the wealthy Josep Batlló, an aristocrat. It was built in 1877 but then restored by Gaudi and a few others between 1904-1906.
There are so many attractions in Barcelona it is hard to know where to start. It`s important to just spend time walking along the Ramblas or among the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter to soak up the atmosphere of this deeply historical and cultural city.
Where the Ramblas meets the sea the skyline is dominated by a column dedicated to Columbus and two cable cars. One of the car’s destinations is the military fort on Montjuic Hill. The fort and the surrounding area are worth the trip while the cable car ride offers some magnificent views of the city.
The Arc de Triomf was built as the gateway portal to the 1888 Universal Exhibition. It stands at the end of the pedestrian boulevard leading to the entrance to the Parc de la Ciutadella.
For those visiting during the warmer months and would prefer some outdoor sightseeing there are some wonderful alternatives. Ciutadella Park is a fantastic place to relax and soak up the sun or amble peacefully. The fountain is an audacious display so bring your camera. Nearby there is a popular café and nestled quietly behind it is a small boat lake. There are some unusual animal statues lurking amongst the trees so keep an eye out for a surprise or two.
A short trip to the north of the city with a ride on the Blue Tram and a funicular takes you to Tibadabo, an old amusement park that sits on top of a mountain overlooking the entire city. The views are breathtaking and many of the rides are still active. If you are travelling with your family this is a must.
Of course a summary of Barcelona won`t be complete without mentioning its prestigious football stadium. Regular tours are available but consider getting tickets for a game as the prices are much more reasonable than you might think.
Barcelona has so much to offer and if you would prefer to get out of the city for a few days there are some great locations nearby. Transport in and out of the city is quite good and prices for car hire are reasonable, take a look at car rental Barcelona for details. Montserrat is a monastery town situated at the foot of mountains with unusual rock formations. The area is popular with climbers and walkers. If it`s culture you are after a short trip to Figueres is essential, home to the Dali Museum the building and the collection won`t disappoint.