There is no doubt that Spain is a country so full of magic and so unique, that will surely steal your heart.
Barcelona is Spain’s second city – but don’t tell the inhabitants that. To them, Barcelona is the most fabulous city on earth. And they may just be right.
Barcelona, the cradle of Catalan culture has it all: endless sunshine, relaxed pace, gorgeous food and spectacular architecture. In every corner of the city, there’s always something to see: jewels of Catalan and contemporary architecture, markets that are a treat for the senses, ancient Roman and medieval treasures, parks and oases of green.
Barcelona is one of the few great European cities by the sea. While Madrid withers in the summer sun, Barcelona chills out on its beach. Its main thoroughfare, Las Ramblas, runs all the way from the quayside through the heart of the city and it is here that you should start your tour of one of Europe’s most exciting cities.
Barcelona is busy all day but really comes into its own at night when Spanish and foreign visitors come out to parade up and down the streets and relax in the hundreds of bars and restaurants on offer. The Catalan capital is widely known as a party city and you will inevitably get carried along with the spirit. But don’t stay out too late – there is plenty to see by day.
You particularly don’t want to miss the fabulous architecture of Gaudí, Barcelona’s favourite son. His work litters the city, but his greatest monument is the Sagrada Familia – an unfinished cathedral that looks like something between a vast Gothic church and a spaceship from a sci-fi movie. Other Gaudí highlights include La Pedrera – a brilliantly weird converted terrace block in the heart of the city – and le Parc Guell, a surreal haven on a hill high above the bustle of the city.
The Gothic Quarter and Montjuic are also well worth exploring, with ancient and ornate architecture everywhere you look. Amidst all this stands Barcelona’s other cathedral, the imposing edifice of La Seu. Sports fans won’t want to miss the Olympic area or the museum at the Nou Camp, FC Barcelona’s famous stadium, where the hundreds of trophies the illustrious club has won are on display.
And as soon as the sun goes down on all this, it’s time to party once more. You certainly won’t have too much spare time on your hands…
Suggestions for optional tours:
FC Barcelona football stadium tour and museum tickets
Barcelona Card with Guidebook
Skip the Line: Best of Barcelona Tour including Sagrada Familia
Flamenco Night at Tablao Cordobes