Do you want to visit some of the world’s most impressive medieval buildings that were dated as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona? How about one church that has been worked for more than 100 years and remain unfinished today?
If so, then Barcelona, one of the most dynamic cities in Europe and the second largest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia, may well worth you a visit. Not only that as Barcelona is also on the doorstep to some of Europe’s great playgrounds and vacation retreats, for example the Costa Brava is located to the north, the Balearic Islands are to the east, the monastery at Montserrat is to the west, while the Roman city of Tarragona and the playground resort of Sitges are to the south.
La Sagrada Família – is one places of interest that is well worth visiting. This Roman Catholic Basilica church has taken over 100 years to build and still remain unfinished today. However, we can still go into this incredible and unique building to enjoy a fantastic view of the city of Barcelona at an affordable price though. What we can see from here is that this building has four spires, each of them topped with colored ceramics, and stone porches that look as though they are made of dripping wax. La Sagrada Família is the work of a famous architect, i.e. Antoni Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi had famously joking by saying, “my client is not in a hurry to see my work!”
Palau de la Música Catalana – a concert hall which was built in the Catalan Modernisme style between 1905 and 1908 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Park Guell – this park was designed by Gaudi too, from here one can see the stunning views of Barcelona and the bay. Many who went to Barcelona acknowledge that Barcelona offers a stunning coastline with beaches stretching for many miles, and as far as the eye can see. Because Barcelona is on the coast, the beaches there can go all the way down to Sitges and stretching well to the North.
La Ramblas – is the liveliest part of Barcelona and is arguably Spain’s most famous street. It comes alive in the evenings with street performance. It has kiosks, cafes, street performers and artists. The Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter in Catalan) is the splendid medieval centre of the old city of Barcelona that is home to some of the most impressive medieval buildings one is ever likely to see. In fact, elegant green parkland, cutting-edge cafes, fine city beaches as well as splendid Gothic palaces and shopping are all within easy reached. Who knows you may have the chance to meet some of the top football players like Messi, Ronaldinho and Thiery Henry in La Ramblas since Barcelona are known as one of the top football producing teams worldwide!
Besides UNESCO World Heritage interesting places in Barcelona (including Hospital de Sant Pau), it has a wide variety of museums for people to visit. Museums that might appeal to visitors and tourists alike included The National Museum of Art of Catalona, Picasso Museum, Fundació Joan Miró, City History Museum, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Museum of the History of Catalona, Archaeology Museum of Catalona and the Barcelona Maritime Museum. Personally, the museums are worth to visit as they hold important collections of works by some of the world-renowned artists.
When is the best time to visit these interesting places? Well, Barcelona with a population of approx. 1.7 million can be visited anytime of the year. Even though winter in Barcelona can be cold and rainy, the months of sunshine tend to be longer than many interesting places further North in Europe with eight to nine months of sunshine!
Some thoughts on traveling tips to these places of interest:
- The siesta – the shops in Spain will close at Midday for at least three hours. So plan your day around the break if not you might find yourself faint from hunger or restless without a shop to frequent!
- Holiday – a word about this is that if a public holiday falls on Wednesday, many businesses there also close on the adjacent Tuesday or Thursday.
- Culture, manner and etiquette – When visiting churches, you cannot wear shorts or anything risqué. Don’t flaunt your flesh outside the beaches, even though some beaches allow women to go topless, but even with a modest swimsuit you will still need to cover up for eating in the nearby establishments though.
- Tip on eating – If you are a fan of tapas (what is this? Tapas, a word that is known worldwide and is a popular food in Barcelona is in essence a small dishes that we can mix and match), the good news is that you need not tip more than 10% of the bill if you eat tapas at a bar. You may want to know that the less the better as those restaurant checks have already included a service charge onto it.
Well, do you agree with me that Barcelona with its inherent easy going, a combination of sunshine, the beaches and the tapas bars means that much time can be spent on relaxation as on cultural pursuits?
Till we talk next time to other places of interest!