Barcelona, Quick Guides

Quick Guide to Barcelona

Thinking of Barcelona might invoke an image of impressive architecture and historical sites, art and poetry and opera – and a distinguished old man, perhaps, stylishly if a little sombrely attired. But before the dust could settle on this idea, its flair for the new and contemporary, its passion for science, its chic fashion would all come to mind. And suddenly, the dapper gent looks up and appears a rakish thirty years younger and has a bright, if decidedly mischievous, twinkle in his eye.

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is now Spain’s most visited city, a unique weave of the man-made and the natural – it is possible to be immersed in medieval or art Nouveau styles of architecture and then go sunbathing on the beach in the same city. The Parc Guell is a hugely popular tourist attraction which features remarkable stone structures and buildings and extraordinary tiling by Antoni Gaudi.

Probably the most famous Boulevard in the whole of Spain is in Barcelona and is called Las Ramblas. Tree-lined and bustling, it makes for an interesting and vivacious promenade through the heart of the city centre. The Sagrada Familia`s soaring presence is the main symbol of the city. It is a vast church and was a `work in progress` by Gaudi, scheduled now to be completed in 2041. For music from classical to jazz the flamboyantly styled Palau de la Musica Catalana is always popular; for art there is the Museu Nacional d`Art de Catalunya which is famous for its Romanesque art section and the painted interiors of medieval churches from the Pyrenees; and there is of course the Picasso Museum, which exhibits a vast collection of paintings and ceramics created by the artist.

The culinary options in Barcelona also combine the traditional and cutting-edge. Its restaurants, some awarded Michelin stars, will cater for the most varied tastes. Barcleon`s gastronomic offerings include international cuisine, exotic food and delicacies, together with local Catalan foods or tapas and other traditional Spanish appetisers.

The Shopping in Barcelona often proves an irresistible pull for even the indifferent shopper, with a varied selection of shops. Top designer outlets contrast with traditional family stores, together with shopping arcades and department stores. There are many good quality markets in Barcelona, with food markets, most notably the Boqueria Market, proving popular for locals and tourists alike.

The hotels in Barcelona vary from budget to luxury and are popular all year round. Apartments are also available within the city. These are generally more popular for longer sojourns and are often positioned near the beaches. There is a keen interest and market in Catalonia property for holiday homes or relocations. A number of attractive Barcelona apartments and houses for sale or for rent are often located around areas such as La Ribera and around the central Las Ramblas district, remaining sought after for the fine Mediterranean climate and all that Barcelona has to offer.

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