Barcelona is located on the South-East coast of Spain, and is the second largest city in the country after the capital. With a resident population of 5 million people, Barcelona is of huge significance to national and international tourists due to its famously designed architecture and commerce and culture. It was also home to the 1992 Olympics, an event which saw much of the city regenerated to cater for the worldly audience.
Where to Stay
Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona
A hotel of 5-star excellence, the Majestic hotel has a fantastic location in the middle of the central Paseo de Gracia. Near to Gaudi’s famous cathedral, and the hundreds of other attractions, it would be the ideal place to stay for either a holiday or a business trip.
The Majestic offers a vast range of luxurious rooms, including unique residence accommodation which consists of two to four roomed apartments. The hotel also has an open-aired swimming pool, a solarium and terrace, business centre and a fully furbished gymnasium.
A 4-star hotel, this is another gem situated in the middle of the old city (the Gothic Quarter). Opened in the 1800s and then renovated by the famous architect Montaner, it now provides first-class service.
The range of rooms available and the ideal location would make this hotel suitable for any holiday-maker. Those visitors on a gastronomic tour would appreciate the fine bars and restaurants within the hotel, including the famous Alaire Ramblas Terrace Bar.
Monte Carlo Hotel
A hotel that prides itself on offering absolutely excellent service without “snobby” prices or pretentiousness, the Montecarlo would be the ideal location for those wishing to experience luxury and fun in one swoop!
With pool-side cabanas, a spa, and an excellent location on the “strip” of Barcelona, you would never be too far away from the action of Barcelona. Perhaps the Monte Carlo’s most exciting feature is its in-house casino, where guests can play roulette or chance their luck on the slot machines.
What to Do
If you are visiting Barcelona, the Basilica i Temple Expiatore de la Sagrada Familia is something you must see and explore. It is one of the world’s most famous Roman Catholic Churches, designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi, and has now been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gaudi actually died a quarter of the way through the creating of his life’s greatest project, and it has been under construction ever since. The most notable feature of the Cathedral could be its 18 spires, designed by Gaudi to represent the 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and (finally) Jesus Christ.
Whilst you don’t have to be an artist to enjoy Barcelona, those with artistic leanings would love the opportunity to visit the most extensive collection of artworks by the 20th century artist Pablo Picasso. Located in the La Ribera on Montcada Street, this collection of 3500 pieces of art apparently reveals Picasso’s relationship with the city of Barcelona. It was founded by Picasso’s great friend Sabartes (in 1960) and grew from Sabartes’ original collection of 574 pieces of his work. The museum was recently renovated in 2003, and was declared by the Government of Catalonia as a museum of national interest.
FC Barcelona Museum
I must now leave my artistic tune and switch it to more of a chant. This is because Barcelona boasts the most famous foot-ball club in the world, and the 2nd richest one at that. A visit to Barcelon’s Camp Nou stadiums would be an exciting visit for any foot-ball fan, whilst the FC Barcelona Museum might be a expedition suitable for the entire family.
Where to Eat
Les Quinze Nits
This chique little restaurant provides the kind of “plaza” dining experience that is typical of a visit to Barcelona. Embedded in the Plaza Real, it has a number of both indoor and terrace tables which allow you to eat and drink in a beautifully traditional environment. The food is delicious and elegantly crafted, with dishes like the “Waltnut cake, smothered in chocolate” acting as a real lure!
La Crema Canela
Just a short walk away from the Plaza Real, La Crema Canela offers a cosier and more intimate setting for a romantic meal, or a friendly date. Again, the menu is simple but elegant, with a range of meats and fish to satisfy every desire.
Gilda By Belgious
For a slightly more up-beat environment, the Gilda restaurant serves Mediterranean food in three different areas. It is up to the guests to choose which would suit them the most! It is a restaurant typical of the successful Belgious chain, and so you can be sure of excellent service and quality of food.
When to Visit
Although the South of Spain is notorious for its blazing summers, Barcelona actually gets quite cool in the winters (heading down to 8.9oc). A visit over the Christmas festivities would still be worth the visit, however, as the city is famous for its New Year celebrations.
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