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The beautiful, buzzing city of Barcelona

Updated on February 2, 2015

The beautiful, buzzing city of Barcelona is the highlight of many a trip to Spain, ranking high on many people's lists of European cultural cities. The classical good looks of its architectural core, combined with its artistic reputation, make Barcelona one of the avant guard centres of Europe. So if you are on the lookout for beauty and aesthetic prowess, all in a balmy Mediterranean climate, Barcelona could be the place for you. All aesthetes should consider a visit to this self-confident city.


The best way to begin to explore Barcelona is to start, as many people do, with the Ramblas, a famous street bisecting the old town which is often recommended to tourists coming to Barcelona for the first time. This is the quintessential Barcelona street, telling you much about this city and its character. From here, it is easy to wander into the Gothic Quarter, a collection of rambling mediaeval buildings that form the heart of the old town. Be sure to leave the best part of a day to explore this area – there is much to see and do here and taking your time is best in order to fully soak up the historic and cultured feel to the place.


Be sure to take the time to see the Cathedral La Seu, the archaeology on display at the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat and the quirky collections of the Museu Frederic Marès. Still, most of your time in the Gothic Quarter will undoubtedly be spent people watching from a café table situated in one of the lovely squares, or getting pleasantly lost in the maze of old alleyways. Wander from the old town down to the old port and watch boats bobbing in the marina.


For art lovers, Barcelona is heaven. A wide collection of museums and galleries house art dating from mediaeval times right through to the present day. Be sure to stop in at the Fundació Joan Miró, Museu Picasso, the serious and earnest Museum of Contemporary Art and the fascinating museum of Catalan Art. All of the above are well worth a visit. But if you are looking for art present rather than art history, then be sure also to check out the wealth of smaller independent galleries throughout the city. You should seek out Joan Prats, Trama, ADN, Galeria 3 Punts and Marlborough if you are serious about seeing the best contemporary art around.


Barcelona has much to offer tourists, but if you would really like to get to know this beautiful city then it would be an excellent idea to wander out from the tourist centre with its excellent shops, cafés, restaurants and attractions and to see 'local' Barcelona. Check out the street market, Mercat Santa Caterina in Sant Pere, and stroll through some of the quieter residential suburbs of the city to get a sense of what it would really be like to live in this beautiful city.


When the city's life and hustle becomes too much, visit the green space of Parc de la Ciutadella or head for one of the city beaches, clean and well-maintained with lovely views out over the Mediterranean sea.


Barcelona Facts

Name
Barcelona
Country
Spain
Autonomous community
Catalonia
Area
803 km2 (310 sq mi)
Population (2011)
1,620,943
Rank
2nd
Density
15,991/km2 (41,420/sq mi)
Time zone
CET (UTC+1)
Postal code
080xx
Area code
+34
Official language
Spanish and Catalan
Website
www.bcn.cat/en
Source wikipedia.org

Sagrada Família

A
barcelona:
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

get directions

B
Sagrada Família:
La Sagrada Familia, Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

get directions

C
Cathedral La Seu barcelona:
Cathedral of Barcelona, Placita de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

get directions

D
Camp Nou:
Camp Nou, 08028 Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

get directions

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Camp Nou

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    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi katiecianni

      Yep agreed Barcelona has a great night life i might do a hub on that soon keep posted.

      Thanks

      Lee

    • katiecianni profile image

      Katie Cianni 

      3 years ago from Cheshire

      Barcelona has a great night life, and lovely weather just right

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi Thomasjames1992

      Agreed i made sure this was part of my itinerary:)

      Thanks

      Lee

    • Thomasjames1992 profile image

      Thomas James 

      3 years ago from London

      Barcelona!!! There football is one of the best that's why ive been

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi Peggy

      Yep when me and my wife was in the Sagrada Família it still was being built felt surreal when you heard the drills going etc lol

      Thanks

      Lee

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We loved our visit there during the Olympics many years ago. The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for a very long time and the interesting features from old to new were quite a contrast in style. Gaudi...his works of architecture shine in that city! Wish we had more time to explore the city but we also had Olympic events to attend. Nice introduction to that fascinating city!

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi Mel Carriere,

      Thanks for your kind feedback on my hub :) Yep you are 100% correct Barcelona is famous for art and architecture. I also love the art of the Spanish and Barcelona is a typical example of this. I have actually been in the Sagrada Família, It's simply out of this world Mel! You feel like your stepping back hundreds of years i would highly recommend if your visiting Europe anytime soon :)

      Thanks

      Lee

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      Barcelona is famous for art and architecture. I love the art of the Spanish surrealists and cubists, and would love to visit all of those galleries someday. Great hub!

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi JPac1

      I actually spend months in Spain, Spain is a beautiful country, i visited Barcelona and loved it the history is simply beautiful to put it lightly. I would highly recommend a visit there

      Thanks

      Lee

    • JPac1 profile image

      James Packard 

      3 years ago from Columbia, Missouri

      How long did you spend in Spain? What else did you see?

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi JPac1

      Thanks for your feedback on my hub :) I have been inside The Sagrada Familia it's simply amazing and something out of this world i would highly recommend!

      Thanks

      Lee

    • JPac1 profile image

      James Packard 

      3 years ago from Columbia, Missouri

      I've been wanting to take a trip to Barcelona for a long time. The Sagrada Familia seems so beautiful and I've heard such incredible things. I can't wait to get there!

    • traveleze profile imageAUTHOR

      Lee John 

      3 years ago from Preston

      Hi aesta1

      Yep it's simply stunning! you must visit again!

      Thanks for your feedback on my hub check my others out :)

      Thanks

      Lee

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a beautiful city Barcelona is. I certainly will revisit it and dig more deeply into Catalan culture.

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