|The Gothic Quarter
The Gothic Quarter, once the center
of the city during Roman times, is surprisingly well preserved within this
modern-day community. Narrow streets lined with Gothic buildings dating
from the 14th and 15th century wind about in a maze-like fashion. Of special
interest is the huge Cathedral, one of the greatest gothic buildings in
all of Spain. In addition, a number of pretty squares offer a relaxing
place to soak it all in while you note how old and new architecture seem
to thrive in each others company.
There is no lack of choice when it
comes to bars and restaurants in the Gothic Quarter. Take time to enjoy
authentic tapas and a glass of sangria to renew your strength. For the
more energetic, the Quarter offers up some tempting night-life. The Placa
Reial and Calle Ferran are excellent spots to find a variety of cafes and
bars where the action never stops.
through Las Ramblas
Only a few blocks southeast of the
Gothic Quarter is an area known as Las Ramblas, or La Rambla. The lovely
tree-lined streets, five in all, are brimming with busy bodies and afford
plenty of people watching. Street shows are plentiful and include such
exotic offerings as sword swallowing while eager vendors pay no mind as
they busily push their wares.
A lively bird market one street over
is worth a peek as is the Modernist Boqueria Market. The market is found
next to the famous 19th century opera house, Gran Teatre del Liceu. The
area does end on a seedy note and becomes seedier at night with peep shows
and the like as you make way towards the monument of Christopher Columbus
and the outlying harbor.
In regards to eating and shopping,
prices tend to be elevated in Las Ramblas due to its high volume of tourists.
Better choices and prices can be found outside of the area, although there
is something to be said for sipping a glass of sangria while watching the
live theater play out on the street before you.
Gaudi is beloved to all in Barcelona
and his unfinished cathedral, the truly magnificent Sagrada Familia, is
said to be the number one visited attraction in the city. If time allows
for nothing else, be sure to see this most famous building. The breathtaking
spires are intertwined with sculptures and make a bold statement against
the backdrop of blue sky. The museum is housed inside and requires a fee
to enter. If short on time, simply gazing at Sagrada Familia from the outside
is rewarding enough.
Gaudi's home can be found in the
wildly intriguing Park Guell along with amazing sculptures, buildings and
tile work designed by the man himself. Gaudi's style has been admired by
architects around the world and his work can be found all over the city.
If Gaudi's architecture is your thing, it might be worth investing in one
of the many tours offered.
More to do in Barcelona
Barcelona has an impressive aquarium,
L'Aquarium de Barcelona, located in the Port area. It boasts an underwater
tunnel measuring at 80 meters long with six million liters of water and
an immense Oceanarium, the only one found in Europe.
The Spanish Village, or Espanyol
de Montjuic, is another famous attraction that depicts different types
of architecture from all over Spain. There are a number of craft shops
that highlight traditionally made Spanish goods found throughout the village.
It is also the venue for the famous Flamenco show Tableo de Carmen, a traditional
Spanish music and dance experience.
There are over 50 museums in Barcelona,
but a few of the most popular are the Picasso Museum, the History of Catalunya
Museum, the Maritime Museum and the FC Barcelona Football Club Museum.
It is always best to check in advance for museum operating hours and fees.
Travel is always an adventure and
unique Barcelona is a big city deserving of exploration. With so many options,
a must-see-and-do list can be helpful. Pick your favorites, make your list
and get ready to enjoy Barcelona, a prime European destination.
top - Barcelona
Hotels - Barcelona Self-Catering
/ Vacation Rentals