The city’s most recognizable landmark is Gaudí’s unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral, a building that looms over the city’s neat, square shaped layout. Explore the inside of this fivenaved basilica, with its bony columns decorated with groves, an altar below the apse and stainedglass windows. If you want to enjoy views towards the city center, then you must climb to the top of one of the two finished towers. You can take the elevator or climb up the hundreds of narrow steps that lead to the top of the basilica. Do not miss the nearby Eixample district if you want to see two other masterpieces designed by Gaudí, the mosaiccovered Casa Batlló and the limestone Casa Milá, known for its wavy facade.
Boquería and other markets
Barcelona is the ideal holiday destination for foodies: food is an essential part of Barcelona. Even if you are on a budget you will be able to enjoy local delicacies and traditional dishes. Head to the centric Boquería market, located just off Las Ramblas main boulevard, where you will find colourful stalls selling juices, fresh fruit, local vegetables and a variety of cured ham and cheese. The market even has its own tapas bar, El Quim, ideal for those who want to try Spain’s version of appetizers, tapas. Choose between juicy olives, potatoes served with ali oli and spicy sauces, grilled asparagus covered in thick salt and a myriad of other dishes. There are many other markets worth visiting: the traditional Sant Antoni, the honey market of Fira Artesana and the art market of Plaça Sant Josep, located on the square of the same name.
Narrow winding alleys, ancient buildings transformed into museums, an imposing Gothic cathedral... this is just part of what you will find in this ancient area of Barcelona. Try to book a hotel in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona in order to be within walking distance of a variety of bars, chic lounges, trendy restaurants and even vintage shops. There are plenty of squares and terraces where to enjoy a drink in the shade. Check out the Plaça Reial, an inviting square with benches where to linger, located within a stone’s throw from Las Ramblas. Explore the Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat, a museum dedicated to the city’s history, and the Museu Maritim shipping museum.
Located in the Sants neighbourhood, this area spreads out across a hill overlooking the city’s port. Filled with gardens and museums, Montjuic is the ideal place where to spend your day off. Museums worth visiting are the Miro Foundation and the Archaeological Museum, filled with ancient exhibits and ruins of what used to be the first settlements in the area. Visit the Poble Espanyol, the artisans’ village, if you want to see how locals used to live. If you go there in the afternoon you must not miss the Magic Fountain, an ornamental fountain located in from of the Palau Nacional palace that offers a display of music, lights and water dances.
Barcelona is a city filled with parks: the centric Ciutadella park houses several gardens, museums and ornamental fountains. The most famous park is the Parc Güell, another sight that was designed by Gaudí. Filled with ceramics, decorated pavilions and colourful statues, the park is one of the must see attractions in the city. There is an ancient market hall decorated with Romaninspired columns where to hide away from the sun, and those looking for a place where to enjoy a stroll can walk around the gardens, which are filled with exotic plants. The Gaudí museum is located on the park’s premises.
(Photo by Brandon Elijah Scott / Eye & Pen)
Article written by Marina