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Freddie Mercury put it this way: Barcelona, Like a Jewel in the Sun. It was a song entirely suited to a city that inspires passion and immense flights of imagination. Stand beneath the incomparable Sagrada Familia, the church that extraordinary architect Antoni Gaudí began working on in 1882 and remains a work in progress. Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, rejoices in Art Nouveau architecture too but there are also Gothic masterpieces. Wander the Cathedral cloisters in the footsteps of the Knights of the Golden Fleece. Stroll La Rambla – an 18th century thoroughfare of flowers, trees, cafés, street artists and markets. Barcelona comes into its own at night – bars, clubs and restaurants range from the chic to the Bohemian.
This giant stunning Basilica, one of Gaudí’s greatest creations, started in 1882, is unfinished and has been under construction ever since.
A wide avenue running 1.2 kilometres north from the waterfront. Famous for its street stalls where you can buy everything from lottery tickets to jewellery. Alive with buskers, living statues, mimes and the itinerant.
The nucleus of old Barcelona. It’s a maze of interconnecting streets linking squares. Lots of cafés and bars as well as home to Barcelona Cathedral.
A Mr Güell commissioned Gaudí to build this magical park for local aristocracy with its amazing buildings, sculptures and tile work. It’s fantastic to wander around, you’ll need half a day but it is worth it.
This is a hill overlooking Barcelona and you can take the funicular up to the top. Why not go for a swim in the 1992 Olympic Games pool. It has some of the most stunning views overlooking the city.
Before the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona cleaned up its waterfront area, tearing down old warehouses and buildings, replacing them with a fun esplanade and marina area which is a great spot for cycling or walking by day and dining by night.
Another Gaudí masterpiece – a combined apartment and office block which looks like it should be at Disneyland. You can tour the building and go up onto the roof. There is also a small museum dedicated to Gaudí’s work.
In front of the Palau Nacional and not to be missed. You must go when it is dark for the best effect, it’s amazing and best of all it’s free. You can get a great view of the Palace, which is also illuminated at night.
Don’t miss the La Boqueria, one of Europe’s oldest food markets, crammed with seafood, fruit, vegetables and sweet treats. It’s best to visit the market early in the day to avoid the bustling crowds.
A definite highlight when travelling is experiencing the local food and drink. Expand your memories by discovering the secrets of Spanish traditional cuisine. Learn how to cook authentic typical dishes then reproduce them for your family and friends when you get back home.
Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and lodges in Barcelona, Spain.
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Are you planning your next trip to Barcelona? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Barcelona.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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The best holidays are created together.