On April 1st 2006 I arrived to Barcelona with a huge suitcase, my laptop and my backpack. I had no plan, just to see how things were here, like I did the last 6 months in Galway Ireland. The idea was staying a few months, work so as to save some money and go on with my nomad life. But six years later I am still here, with a stable job, my rented floor and a one year old little monster.
I would have never realized that I would ended living in Barcelona. I still remember how little I felt when I walked for the first time through Paseo de Gracia. On the way I found this building that had not even one single straight line, called La Pedrera built by Gaudí. Today I can not conceive Barcelona without him, because Barcelona is Gaudí, Miró, the beach, is mountain, nightlife, tapas, gazpacho, bread with tomato, the Primavera Sound, the Sagrada Familia, Palau de la Música, Picasso Museum…It is a wide range of possibilities, that deserve to be visited and explored taking your time.
Next I am going to describe a four days tour for those who have never been to Barcelona, with some of the most emblematic places. I will obviously pass from many places, because I would nearly need ten more posts to describe every interest place, but in the future I will post about restaurants, museums, the best places to go with kids, and, why not, something about nightclubs, one has to have fun, or not??
Monjuic: is the greenest part of the city, a mountain full of parks and gardens, that starred the 1929 International Exposition and also the 1992 Olympic Games. In this mountain is were you can find the Botanic Garden, the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, Sant Jordi Club, the Magic Fountain, the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Catalunya (MNAC) , the Teatre Nou (theatre) and Montjuic Castle.
Poble Espanyol: is a small recreation of Spain, where you can find Its most emblematic buildings. Every day you can see how craftsmen work (like they used to do it many years ago) wood, crystal or leather. Tickets are around 10€. In the afternoon they have gincanas (game) for kids.
Magic Fountain: is a show, generally at night, but not every day. A mix of lights, colours, playing with water and music, that make this place a very special one.
The Arenas: this is a shopping mall inside the structure of an old bullfighting plaza. In the fourth floor you can find the only Rock Museum in Europe, and if you go up the last floor, you will find a beautiful view of Plaza España, Fira Barcelona and Montjuic.
Campo Nou: Barcelona futbol team Studium. Tickets are around 20€
The Ramblas: it is a pedestrian street where you can buy flowers, birds and many other things, it starts in the Old Port and finishes in Plaza Cataluña. Walking through it you will find the Boquería Market, Palau (Palace) de la Virreina, Liceu Theatre and Güell Palace.
Plaza Real (Royal Square): a public plaza with a trapezoide shape right next to the Rambla and situated in the Gothic neighbourhood. In here you will find two light posts designed by Gaudí itself, many restaurants with terraces and nightclubs with music to choose, like jazz, hip-hop, flamenco, commercial or indie rock.
Plaza Sant Jaume: in the middle of Ciutat Vella (Old city) it has the two most important buildings in Barcelona: the Generalitat of Cataluña and The Ayuntamiento (City Hall).
Palau de la Música: a beautiful building, it is the music auditorium, designed by Lluís Domènech I Montaner, a architect from Barcelona, one of the most representative of the Catalonian modernism.
Plaza Cataluña: the heart of the city, a busy area full of tourists because of its beauty and the commercial activity. From the last floor of the Corte Ingles mall, you can take very nice picture of the plaza.
Paso de Gracia: it is the commercial avenue that goes from Diagonal Av. to Plaza Cataluña. Almost in Av.Diagonal you can see La Pedrera buit by Gaudí and the Casa Batlo.
Park Güell: from the three crosses there is a spectacular view of the city. The park has an extension of 17,18 acres and in its design you can clearly see Gaudìs hand.
Sagrada Familia: the cathedral is a catholic temple, designed by the catalonian architect Antonio Gaudí. They started building it in 1882, and it is still unfinished. You can be three hours going around it, and you will not finish seeing every single detail. It is a magnificent place. It is better if you buy your ticket online, since you will save yourself of making a big line. Price approximately: 13 € , kids free.
Tibidabo: a 350 meters mountain that can be access in funicular o with the blue tram, the last one the city conserves. In the top you will find a remodelled amusement park, that has two exceptional attractions, the roller coaster and the terror cave, unique in Europe because of its characteristics.
Born: one of the most historic and exclusive neighbourhoods in the city. The gothic style of its streets attracted artists and bohemians, that opened innovative stores of art, fashion and restaurants. In this neighbourhood you can fin the Triumph Arch, Picasso Museum and the Ciutadella Park.
Port Vell: is the most antic part of Barcelona Port. It is where the artificial Barcelona Port was born. It is separated from the sea by breakwaters, and use to be one of the favourite places for leisure of the city. Actually Port Vell installations are intended for sport boats and vessels like the deposit pier and the Barceloneta pier.
Zoo: if you are coming with kids, one hour inside the zoo will make them happy! The Barcelona Zoo aims to conserve, investigate and educate. It has one of the most important Collections of animals in Europe.
In the last years people are starting to get use to rent apartments in Barcelona because of many reasons: more privacy, space, comfort, the possibility of preparing your own meals or whatever you want…The Urban Suites has been over two years number one in TripAdvisor because of its excellent service, the way they deal with customers and its location (outside the chaotic city centre, but well communicated with the airport, Plaza España, Camp Nou and Sants Station). Families love it, group of friends and executives too, so there is the recommendation!