Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia region, is not only one of Spain’s most popular cities, but also a well-known destination for those who wish to have a good mix of fun and culture in a modern setting. Adding to the charm of this vibrant city, is the balmy Mediterranean climate.
When visiting this great city, you must see at least one of the great masterpieces of the genius Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926). Seven properties built by him were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites to testify to Gaudi's exceptional and unique creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The seven buildings are:
La Sagrada Familia - The Nativity Facade and Crypt
The Church of Colonia Güell – The Entrance Portico and the Crypt
The other UNESCO Sites in Barcelona are Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau by another outstanding Catalan art nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, sea lover, a football fan, serious shopper or a passionate gourmet lover, Barcelona is perfect for travellers of all kinds. It’s busy and buzzy all year round!
Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic Basilica. Building of the Sagrada Família began in 1882. Gaudí took over the project in 1883, but changed to his ideas on architecture and engineering. Until his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the building was finished. It has been 140 years that the first stone was laid and it is still under construction! In 2005, the awe-inspiring Nativity façade and the Crypt were inscribed on the World Heritage list along with six other Gaudí buildings in Barcelona. Visitors may visit the interior to admire the colorful stained-glass windows, beautiful sculptures and dazzling artworks. Gaudi is buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, located in the underground level of the building and is open to public. Gaudí’s tomb is held in the chapel dedicated to the El Carmen Virgin.
The UNESCO listed Casa Batlló is one of the characteristic Modernist buildings in Barcelona. The house was belonged Josep Batlló, who hired Gaudí to redesign his home. Its unusual appearance rich in curves, natural forms and a reptile-like tile facade have earned it the nickname of Casa del Drac, or House of the Dragon.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Casa Milà, belonging to businessman Pere Milà, is another Modernist marvel designed by Gaudí, part of the ‘Works of Gaudi’ UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Popularly known as La Pedrera, meaning ‘the stone quarry’ because of the rough-looking façade that looks like an open quarry. Visitors may walk around the roof terrace for an up-close look at the strangely shaped mosaic-adorned chimneys. The roof offers epic view across the city, extending to the Basílica de la Sagrada Família in the distance.
Antoni Gaudi used a variety of different materials and vibrant colors for Casa Vicens and was built for industrialist Manuel Vicens. It was Gaudi's first project for a private house and one of the first buildings of Art Nouveau. It was opened to the public as a museum in November 2017, and is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Site of ‘Works of Gaudi’.
Located in Carmel Hill, offers sensational views over Barcelona from the park’s main terrace. Colorful, cheerful, and full of whimsy, the park was decorated in multicolored ceramic fragments, created between 1900 and 1914. Within the Park Güell, is the Gaudí House Museum, where he lived for nearly 20 years, with furniture and decorative items designed by him on display. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".
The Guell Palace
A mansion designed by Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell, built between 1886 and 1888. At the time of its construction, it was among the most luxurious buildings in Barcelona. Another UNESCO World Heritage Sites under ‘Works of Gaudi’.
La Ramblas, a wide tree-shaded promenade that runs from Plaça de Catalunya down to the Columbus Monument at the waterfront. It is the heart of Barcelona, one of the most popular hangouts in the city. The promenade is lined with shops, restaurants, outdoor cafés, street performers and flower stands. One of the thing that you have to do is to take a paseo (stroll) on La Rambla and enjoy lively ambience. Visit the La Boqueria central market, where many locals are found doing their everyday shopping. Be prepare for the cries of the vendors selling their wares. A great occasion to soak in local life and be fascinated .
Passeig de Gràcia
Passeig de Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s historical streets, containing several of the city's most celebrated pieces of architecture, lined with luxury boutiques, sophisticated shops, jewellery shops and department stores and has drawn comparisons with the Champs-Élysées in Paris. A true shopping-lovers’ street!
Camp Nou is a must-see for football fans. It was one of the venues for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and today is home of the FC Barcelona. The 99,354-seat stadium is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world.
Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music)
One of the world's leading concert halls, Palace of Catalan Music is the work of another great Catalan architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who is also renowned for his contributions to Catalan Modernism. It was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997 for its aesthetic and architectural value as well as its status as a historic landmark.
Hospital de La Santa Creu i de Sant Pau
Also designed by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, this building was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1997 along with Palace of Catalan Music.
This hilltop neighborhood was developed for the 1929 International Exhibition and features several high-profile museums including the National Museum of Catalan Art, the Museum of Archaeology and the Ethnology Museum. It was also a venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Perching at the very top of Montjuïc, is a 17th-century castle, constructed as a military fortress. Since then, it has served as a military base and also a prison during the Spanish Civil War, and today, it is open to the public as a military museum.
Sant Sebastià Beach
Where locals go soaking in the beautiful sun, surfing, and socialize. In the height of summer, however, everybody fights for beach space along its handsome coastline kissed by dazzling aquamarine waters.
Take a stroll along the promenade lined with palm trees connects the beach area to the marinas filled with yachts. Along the way you will find a host of seafood restaurants and tapas venues if you wish to stop for a meal, a tapas bits or a coffee overlooking the sea, surrounded by majestic green hills.
The Church in Colonia Güell
Located near Barcelona in the village of Santa Coloma de Cervello, the Church of Colonia Güell, another unfinished work by Gaudí, where he planned to build a church, a place of worship for the people in the suburb. But due to financial problems, only the crypt and entrance portico were finished, between the years 1908 and 1914. Gaudi undertook this work as a testing-ground for the future construction of the Sagrada Familia. In 2005, the Crypt was inserted in World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the “Works of Antoni Gaudí".
Sea lovers can visit Catalonia's most famous stretch of sunny coastline, Costa Brava, stretches from the French border down to the seaside town of Blanes, with a coast line of 200 kilometres. Costa Brava is the most fascinating coastline Spain, dotted with many idyllic beaches and picture-postcard villages that has inspired so many artists. For fans of Salvador Dalí, the Costa Brava is not to be missed. It is home to Dalí's birthplace, in the city of Figueres, and several museums dedicated to his art; Dalí Theatre-Museum, the Salvador Dalí House Museum, a small museum in Portlligat, and Gala Dalí Castle in Púbol.
The Costa Brava has all sorts of beaches from little isolated coves to wide broad sand bays. The main resorts are Lloret de Mar, or Tossa de Mar, or Blanes.
Girona is a well-preserved medieval city with one of Spain’s last surviving Jewish quarters. Girona boasts stunning architecture reminders of Romans, Arabs and Jews. The medieval city walls wrap around the old city centre, making it an excellent start for a little exploring on foot.
The Girona Arab Baths (Banys Arabs Girona)
Dating back in the 12th century, the well preserved baths Banys Arabs in Girona are open for tourists.
Today visitors can enter the Girona Arab Baths with their stunning stonework, majestic columns, and octagonal pool. It is a good example of Muslim baths, which in some parts of the world are still popular.
Girona City Walls
The mighty walls were first built by the Romans but were partially destroyed in the 1800s to make way for city expansion. It has been restored and It has been restored and are in good conditions. Climb up one of the towers for a unbeatable view of both the city and the countryside’s rolling hills.