Enter the world capital of Modernism
Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city that is open and welcoming, captivating all of its visitors. Beaches, culture, art, architecture, sports… Barcelona has it ALL:
A tour from Plaça Catalunya
Plaça Catalunya is the heart of Barcelona. From there, you can go all the way down to the Port on Las Ramblas, the famous and busy boulevard flanked by trees and filled with kiosks and flower shops as well as the famous street artists. To the left is the Gothic quarter, filled with narrow streets that house small shops, which goes all the way to the Born district. There, you can visit the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar or the Picasso Museum, as well as enjoy the excellent gastronomy of its many restaurants. To the right of the Ramblas is the Raval district, home of the famous Boqueria Market as well as contemporary art museums such as the MACBA, known as Barcelona’s version of the Pompidou.
Above Plaça Catalunya is the Eixample district, a huge map of perpendicular streets designed by the urban planner Ildefons Cerdà, dotted with modernist buildings such as Casa Ametller, designed by the architect Puig i Cadafalch; and Casa Batlló and La Pedrera by Gaudí. Splitting this district through the middle is the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, flanked on both sides by pleasant cafés, fashion boutiques and stores that sell complements made by the world’s most prestigious brands. The shopping circuit reaches all the way to the Diagonal avenue and stretches to Plaça Francesc Macià.
For those who like to go off the tourist trail and see the city’s hidden gems, it’s important to know that the city engulfed some of the city’s nearby towns, which still preserve their own style and aspect: Diagonal, Gràcia and its night life filled with restaurants, bars, cinemas and interesting alternative shops; and lastly Sarrià, which includes the Gothic convent which bears the same name and that today is open to visits.
To the north on the coastline is the Sant Martí district, which has become an emporium of communication and culture known as 22@, where different communication companies, radio stations, cultural foundations and universities located in buildings of sophisticated contemporary architecture all mix in. One of the main symbols of this district is the Agbar Tower by the architect Jean nouvel, which is next to the Museum of Design, a building which resembles a stapler, inaugurated in 2013.
Barcelona offers a never-ending list of cultural options: from the Opera theatre to the National Theatre, as well as the Forum complex and its recently inaugurated Museu Blau of Natural Science, the Quatre Gats café that Picasso used to be a regular in… Music lovers can attend the modernist building of Palau de la Música or even the famous Palau Sant Jordi, an arena that welcomes the world’s biggest music stars. Also worth a visit are the Drassanes, the former dockyards; Palau Güell, the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the miniature museum of Poble Espanyol, the Mossèn Costa i Llobera gardens and its many cactus species…
With magnificent buildings that have been perfectly integrated into the city lifestyle and infinite leisure options, Barcelona is the perfect city to visit with the family. In the Aquarium you will be able to feel the thrill of seeing sharks swimming above your head and at the Zoo you can attend a fun show with dolphins. Also recommended is the Tramvia Blau, which will take you to Tibidabo theme park and its Automaton Museum; or visit the Science Museum. Another recommendation for families is to enjoy a boat ride around the harbour on one of the golondrinas, or even go and see the spectacular show of water and lights at the Montjuïc Magic Fountain.