Bustling and cultural, Barcelona offers terrific art, equally fine food and a fun music scene. As a medieval city, the city also has plenty of history to its name. Then there are the stretches of beautiful warm beaches you can throw into the mix. It all combines for a magical Spanish break. Here are some recommendations for enjoying some fantastic city breaks to Barcelona.
Soaking up the arts
Barcelona’s modern architecture and the buildings of the architect Antoni Gaudí are legendary. His work gives the city its distinctive character. Architectural masterpieces include the Pedrera, the Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Take the chance, too, to stroll around the Gothic Quarter with its cathedral, quaint streets and plazas.
Culture vultures (and theatre fans!) shouldn’t miss a trip to Gran Teatre del Liceu. Here we have a theatre as it should be —with gold leaf décor and red plush interiors. Art lovers will delight in exploring the Fundació Joan Miró, which has a huge collection of more than 14,000 pieces of work by Miró himself and by other artists.
Exploring every day culture
Poble Nou is a nice place to shop for authentic hand-crafted Spanish goods, but if food is more your thing you’ll want to visit the Boqueria. This famous market sells amazing fresh fruit, veg and seafood. At the higher end of the scale, foodwise, is a marvelous restaurant called Els 4 Gats, which the artist Pablo Picasso used to frequent. The menu here is delicious but pricey. If you want something more affordable, go to the adjacent café and watch the world go by.
Enjoying the splendid outdoors
Adventurers will love a trek to Montjuïc Mountain, which boasts commanding views of the city. While there, you can visit the Olympic Stadium, Jardi Botànic and see the telecommunications tower by Santiago Calatrava.
If marine life and nautical things interest you, L’Aquarium de Barcelona is a must-see, especially for the kids. Equally fascinating if not always obviously touristy are the royal shipyards at Museu Marítim. With multimedia displays, maps and ships, this is a great way to see how navigation has evolved over the years.
And last but not least, no city break to Barcelona is complete without a beach visit. Barceloneta beach is closest to the city, but families will also enjoy Bogatell beach with outdoor climbing frames for kids. Now that’s a lot to pack in on your visit – best get started on having fun!
Image by austinevan, used under Creative Commons license