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Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a magnificent city surrounded by hills to the north and lapped to the east by the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona has so many churches, museums and public buildings worthy of note that is impossible to do justice to the city in one short break. Be kind to yourself and either extend your stay or promise to return.
Barcelona in eastern Spain has a Mediterranean climate which can be enjoyed at any time of year. It is a very attractive city with its medieval heart, its gothic cathedral and the marvellous art nouveau architecture of Gaudi. A Barcelona city break offers fascinating churches, museums and monuments, verdant parks, outstanding shopping, excellent restaurants and a lively nightlife. In addition, if you tire of the city, Barcelona has seven beaches where you can relax in the sun and bathe in the Mediterranean Sea.
Barcelona has broad appeal attracting both young and older visitors. There are several attractions to entertain children including a zoo, aquarium and parks. It is an exciting city for those with an interest in architecture as Barcelona contains buildings from medieval times through to the ultra modern. It also has a very lively nightlife.
A Barcelona city break can be taken at any time of year. Its Mediterranean climate provides hot summers and pleasant winters. The peak season is of course the summer months but, unless you are a hothouse creature, early and late season is probably a more comfortable time for sightseeing. The beaches offer a pleasant respite during the hottest months.
Barcelona is an awe-inspiring city. The main sightseeing area is compact making much of it possible to explore on foot. Having said that, there is an excellent bus service where you can purchase one or two day passes and you can get on and off as often as you need. There is also a good metro service.
There is so much to see in Barcelona that it is impossible to complete the task in one short visit. The following are just a few of the main attractions of the city.
The old town is dominated by Barcelona’s Cathedral begun in 1298, encompasses many different architectural styles as it was not completed until the nineteenth century. Its interior is a work of art with wonderful carvings and paintings.
The Gaudi church, Sagrada Familia, is a fantastic sight especially at night when it glows in the darkness. The building will not be entirely finished until 2030 at the earliest. There are lifts to the bell towers which afford great views over the city.
Museums to visit include La Pedrera, another of Gaudi’s masterpieces, and the Picasso Museum which is housed in a medieval palace.
There are two excellent parks, Parc de la Cuitadella and the Parc de Montjuic both of which deserve to be explored.
Even if you don’t have tickets for a concert you should visit The Palau de la Musica Catalana with its vast stained glass ceiling and its modernista façade.
The Magic Fountain with its cascades of water and numerous jets of water is best seen when illuminated at night. The jets of water are choreographed in a light and sound show which often culminates in the Freddy Mercury and Monserrat Caballe recording of Barcelona.
Those with a head for heights can take a cable car ride which goes between the port and Montjuic giving stunning views of the city.
A Barcelona city break enthralls visitors with the many wonderful sights and leaves them planning a return visit.
Barcelona nightlife has something for everyone. On the sea front, the Port Olimpic comes to life. It has a large number of bars and clubs providing for every taste in music. Here the dancing continues until dawn.
During the peak season the roof top of Gaudi’s Pedrera is open on Friday and Saturday evenings for live music. Here you can see the mosaic chimneys illuminated in all their splendour against the moonlit sky.
Barcelona is a shopper’s paradise. There are so many shops selling an enormous variety of goods including many unusual gifts and souvenirs. Just north of the old town is Vincon’s which specialises in remarkable designs for every day objects. For fashion and design stores The Passeig de Gracia with its Modernista buildings is the place to be.
There are also a number of good markets including Els Encants a flea market where bargains can be found.
There are many fine restaurants in Barcelona serving a wide range of international cuisine. The Spanish like to eat out and it is easy to see why. You don’t need to pay a fortune in a fancy dining room to enjoy a meal. Small, family-run restaurants often provide the best of food. The spit of land that juts into the sea just below the city centre is renowned for its excellent fish restaurants. If you feel hungry between meals pop into a tapas bar to take the edge off your hunger. Spanish wines are pleasing to the pocket as well as the palate.