Any occasion is good to drop by the Catalan capital. This city is a vibrant place, full of distractions, art and gastronomy more than delicious. With a privileged climate and on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is perfect for a getaway at any time of the year.
Get lost in the medieval labyrinth of the Gothic quarter and El Born, sit on a little terrace to drink an “horchata”, drop by any art gallery and look up to not miss a single detail of the modernist heritage that floods the streets of Barcelona. We know that choosing is complicated, so if you do not know where to start and you like the culture do not miss our 10 great things that can be done in Barcelona.
More information on: www.barcelonaturisme.com
Great things that can be done in Barcelona
The area known as Poblet was once a neighbourhood of fields and low-rise houses. During the 19th century, factories were set up here, fostering the growth of the area. It was here, in 1881, that building work commenced on the church of atonement for the citizens of this expanding city.
In 1882, the original Sagrada Família Gothic church project, designed by Francesc de Paula Villar, was taken over by the young Antoni Gaudí, who transformed it into the most fascinating church of all time. An architectural bible called the Sagrada Família which has become a Barcelona icon. The building, which is still under construction, has lent its name to the area and made it world famous. After all, the Sagrada Família is a vibrant neighbourhood with its own unique personality.
La Rambla is exactly 1.2 kilometres long and nearly everyone who visits Barcelona walks along it. La Rambla was laid out in 1766, following the contours of the medieval city walls that had bounded this part of Barcelona since the 13th century. The locals took it to their hearts straightaway. In Barcelona, a city of narrow, winding streets, the Rambla was the only space where everyone could stroll and spend their leisure time. And we mean everyone. Because of its central location, the Rambla became a meeting place for all the social classes.
Gradually, leisure and cultural attractions found the perfect location on La Rambla. The convents disappeared and florists and newsstands set up there premises here. As you walk along, you’ll see landmark buildings, such as the greatest theatre of Barcelona’s opera, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau de la Virreina and the spectacular Boqueria Market. This human river, with its street artists, tourists and locals, who still come here for a stroll, take us on a journey through this microcosm of contemporary Barcelona.
Known as La Pedrera due to its austere external appearance, resembling an opencast quarry, sinuous and with forms drawn from nature, it comprises two apartment blocks connected by interior courtyards and with a shared façade. Gaudí designed the building at the age of 54, when he was at the height of his powers, and it was his last piece of civil architecture which represented a break with the ways of perceiving architecture at the time.
Although born in Malaga, the painter Pablo Picasso spent so much time in Barcelona that he considered it his adopted city. Here he formed and became friends with other contemporary artists. Maybe that’s why Barcelona has one of the largest collections of Picasso’s works in the world. And if this were not enough, the Picasso Museum is in a medieval palace in the heart of the Born district, one of the oldest parts of the city. The queue to enter can become eternal, so pay attention to us and reserve your tickets on their website. Your feet will thank you.
Miró Foundation A perfect date for lovers of modern art. Joan Miró was born and grew up in the dark fabric of the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Lover of his city, the foundation that welcomes his works (besides many exhibitions of international contemporary art) is a huge white building that rises on the mountain of Montjuïc. The place has its magic, and if you take advantage to rest in your garden even more.
In the Gothic Quarter, we find the City Hall and the seat of the Catalan Government, the Palau de la Generalitat, the Cathedral and other Gothic churches, including Santa Maria del Pi and Sants Just i Pastor. Very near the Plaça de Sant Jaume, right in the middle of this Barcelona neighbourhood, is the old Jewish Quarter, the Call Jueu, with its endless narrow streets, where some remains of the ancient synagogue still survive.
There is one free thing in Barcelona that no one should miss: the water, color and music show of the Magic Fountain at the foot of the mountain of Montjuïc. Almost every night this engineering prodigy of the turn of the century will fill your visit to Barcelona with magic (and never better said). If you want to sit down see you soon to catch room.
La Rambla’s history is the Boqueria Market’s history. The evolution from a past of peddlers to a modern and charming present, full of colour and life. The market is a metaphor for Barcelona’s life, a human river that is the delight for those who like watching.
The first of Barcelona’s local markets was opened on Saint Joseph’s day, on the 19th of March 1840, after four years of work on the land that was up until then occupied by Saint Joseph’s convent. However, the history goes back a good few years before, because on the site on Rambla where the market is today, there were already peddlers selling meat in the thirteenth century.
Whether you like music or not, do not miss the Palau de la Música. This jewel of modernist architecture is one of the most beautiful that fill the city (and there are many, we guarantee). If you see from the outside its multicolored mosaic of floral motifs and its sculpted façade with detail you do not think it’s enough you can sign up for one of the guided tours that show your guts. Or, if you have time, go to see a concert and let yourself be seduced by the huge window of the ceiling, the muses of the stage and the light that floods everything.