One of the most visited cities in Europe due to its culture, history, fashion, conventions and large number of International exhibitions. Barcelona has also grown to be the 2nd largest cruise port worldwide which brings a lot of new visitors to the city. Visitors are normally seduced by the “personality” of the city and want to come back again. The city can be reached by car or train within 60 minutes.
1. Lively La Rambla
One of the most famous boulevards in the world, La Rambla is worth a stroll down even if you only have one day in Barcelona. A gateway to rural Catalunya, the mile-long road bustles with tourists, artists, human statues, fortune-tellers, dancers and musicians. Vibrant flower stalls, a cultural and exhibition center, the superb La Boqueria market, a Joan Miró mosaic, newspaper kiosks and cafés line the street.
2. Gaudí’s grand designs
In Barcelona, you can gaze in wonder at Gaudí’s fairytale architecture. The Sagrada Familia is breathtaking and gotesque by turns. At first glance, it seems as though a careless giant has dripped melting wax over a Gothic cathedral, but a closer look reveals that the protuberances create a stone tapestry of Christ’s life. Take the lift to the top for a breathtaking view. Park Güell is a magical place that emulates an English garden city. After seeing the gatehouses, based on designs for the opera Hansel and Gretel, you can walk up a splendid staircase, past a mosaic lizard to what once was a marketplace. Outside, climb to the heights of the park to gaze down at the magnificent panorama. And right in the center of the city you can take a break from shopping and gaze at La Pedrera, a work of art in its own right, which also houses three exhibition spaces. Even the rooftop chimneys are something to marvel at.
3. The city of Picasso’s youth
Picasso remembered Barcelona as beautiful and bright, a city where he spent his early years. Follow in the footsteps of the artistic genius by visiting the landmarks that shaped his youth. Stroll along the Calle Reina Cristina and then cross over to 3 Carrer de la Mercè to see where his family lived, though the building was later destroyed. For a break, stop by the Els Quatre Gats, a café frequented by Catalunya’s fin-de-siècle avant-garde. Then, head straight to the Museu Picasso, a gallery that records Picasso’s formative years.
4. Tapas at a pintxo bar
Picking on pintxos, platters of bite-sized food served on bread (a Basque version of tapas), is a popular culinary trend in Barcelona. Tradition calls for you to pick at the food with toothpicks, and at the end of the night you will be charged for the number of toothpicks that you have used. The Old Town Basque house Euskal Etxea
invites you to savour dainty little croissants filled with jamón serrano, chicken tempura with saffron mayonnaise, melted provolone with mango and ham, or a mini-brochette of pork.
5. Climb up the magical Montjuïic
Montjuïic is perfect for a leafy stroll with great views, but hard to reach so is less populated by tourists. Scattered across the landward side are buildings from the 1992 Olympic Games, including Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic needle, while facing the sea is the lighthouse and vast cemetery. Energetic visitors can climb to the top of the hill, which is just a short distance from the Olympic stadium and Jardi Botànic. The Plaça Espanya provides the most popular access to the park. Here, you can visit the Pavelló Mies van der Rohe and cultural center CaixaForum.
6. Walk on the arty side
In Barcelona, a walk in the park is not just a relaxing experience but an artistic journey as well. Stroll round the leafy gardens of the Teatre Grec and then head to the Fundació Joan Miró , one of the greatest museums in the world. It’s home to a collection of over 225 paintings, 150 sculptures and graphic pieces by the Spanish surrealist artist, along with a number of works by his contemporaries. Wander over to the Jardins Laribal, meticulously designed by the French landscape artist Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier. Don’t miss the Tres Pins nursery, where plants are grown for the city’s municipal parks and gardens, or forget to tip your hat to the bronze statue of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in the Plaça Dante Alighieri.