Spain is certainly a country that has something for everyone and it’s the perfect place to spend a family holiday with your loved ones thanks to its warm climate, plethora of attractions, tasty food – don’t forget to sample some delicious Paella – and liberal scattering of beaches.
It’s also the perfect destination if you’re considering where to go for your next city break, with thousands of tourists flying out to places like Barcelona every year. Aside from being a culture packed and exciting destination, Barcelona is certainly a city of contrasts with a superb beach, beautiful open parklands, weird and wonderful sculptures that greet you on many street corners and some amazing architecture, such as the spectacular Sagrada Família Church or Casa Milà (otherwise known as La Pedrera), both of which were designed by the renowned Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi.
If you want to shop for souvenirs, or you fancy a bit of retail therapy, then Barcelona is also the perfect place for this too with a selection of malls, chain stores and lots of boutiques and speciality stores; meaning you can outfit yourself in the latest fashion or just burn some of that hard earned cash.
So if you find yourself with a few days to spend in Barcelona, but don’t know what to see and do, here are my recommendations for a quick tour of the city:
Antonio Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic Church that dominates the Barcelona skyline with its rather unique gothic styling. Construction of this architectural gem began in 1882 and it’s still not finished!
Given World Heritage Status by UNESCO and now over half finished (construction is scheduled to be finished by 2026 which is the centennial of Gaudi’s death) no visit to Barcelona can be complete without a visit to this awe-inspiring tourist attraction.
A series of medieval streets collectively called ‘la Rambla’ that cut a tree-lined swathe through Barcelona, you’ll find that this area is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike so be warned.
You’ll find an undulating wave-like pattern on the pavements – Rambla refers to an intermittent watercourse and the street follows a former riverbed – a decorative mosaic by Joan Miró, and a lively atmosphere with street performers, stalls and plenty of cafes to stop at for a quick coffee or two.
If you are a fan of Picasso and his distinctive abstract pieces, you should add the Picasso Museum to your itinerary. The museum is housed in what was once two 16th century palaces that have been combined to form one vast building displaying over 3,500 works of art by the world famous artist.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso spent several of his formative years in Barcelona and it left an indelible mark on the artist as you’ll see in some of the works on display here.
Another of Gaudi’s controversial designs, Casa Milà was originally designed and built for a wealthy widow, Roser Segimon and her new husband, Pere Milà after whom the building takes its name.
With its undulating stone façade and the intricate design of the wrought iron balconies, the apartment complex still makes for a weird and wonderful site and looks particularly nice when lit up at night time (especially when viewing from the atrium inside the building).
The Magic Fountain Of Montjuïc
Originally constructed for the Barcelona International Exposition in 1929, the fountains – located in the Montjuïc neighbourhood in the city – are another tourist attraction that really come alive at night when the spectacular light show and music performances draw tourists from far and wide to the area.
Performances take place from October to April usually on Friday and Saturday nights for half an hour between 7 and 8:30pm and May to September from Thursday to Sunday between 9 and 11pm.
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