Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with a rich cultural heritage, and attractions to suit most everyone; it is a popular holiday choice whether you are looking for a short city break or longer stay.
A good place to start and explore the city is by taking a stroll through La Rambla (Les Ramblas) Barcelona’s most famous street which stretches for about 1.5km. There are cafes, shops, street performers, painters, buskers; flower sellers to name some of the attractions you will encounter as you wander down towards the port area.
Barcelona has an extremely good sea front many of the beaches have achieved the blue flag award. You can enjoy water sports, hire boats, sun beds etc, in general the standards and facilities are good with plenty of eateries where you can have some refreshments or an evening meal, then enjoy a saunter along an attractive promenade.
The La Sagrada Familia is a must see visitor attraction in Barcelona, the unfinished cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, the project began in 1882 and remains unfinished today. The cathedrals eight spires are more than 100metres tall. It is certainly unique.
You can explore the city on foot or with the help of public transport, buses and trains, if you are on a short visit you might consider one of the bus tours which operate daily. The main bus and subway is at Placa de Catalunya Barcelona, you will find Barcelona is comparatively easy to find your way around.
If you would like some retail therapy you will find plenty of choices here, as you explore the city you will find department stores, boutiques, high street stores, traditional shops, leather goods etc. there are markets to browse around sufficient to keep you occupied all day long! Some of the larger stores do remain open all day but the rest close for siesta and re-open around 5pm.
There are plenty of eateries in and around the city, they can be expensive and in some restaurants you have to book a table in advance, you will have to look around to find one that suits you. You can wine and dine at the waterfront bars and restaurants which have a holiday atmosphere and watch the people promenading in the summer months. Nightlife in Barcelona has something for everyone there are trendy nightclubs, discos and bars to enjoy.
There are many tourist attractions to choose from, if you enjoy museums the Picasso Museum is worth visiting, it is situated on the Carrer de Montcada and has displays which date from Picasso’s early life and include some childhood drawings to his final works. There is a café/restaurant and a museum shop where you can purchase souvenirs. This is a very interesting and popular art gallery.
The National Museum of Art is another museum that may interest you; the collections include Romanesque and Gothic Art sculptures and carvings. The Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of the city with its labyrinth of narrow streets it is where you will find many Gothic monuments; in the centre of the Gothic District is the Cathedral de la Seu whose construction began in 1298 -1450 The cathedral has an impressive front and the spire on the central tower reaches 230ft.
If you are on holiday with children you might like to visit the Barcelona Zoo, it is a big zoo with plenty of variety to keep everyone happy and makes an enjoyable day out. You will find the zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella.
Another possible activity to keep the children occupied is a visit to L Aquarium de Barcelona situated at Port Vell; this large aquarium features many different species of marine life and much more… Well worth visiting.
Below the terraces of the Museu National d’ Art de Catalunya are some very beautiful, colourful fountains, the largest is the Font Magica (The Magic Fountain) on summer evenings crowds gather to watch the spectacular displays, combining water, light and music, it is impressive.
There are many more attractions and activities to enjoy in and around Barcelona depending what interests you and how long you are staying, you should have a very enjoyable holiday or short break in the city.