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A surreal journey into the capital of Catalan
A surreal journey into the capital of Catalan
In a word, the capital of Catalonia is surreal. Dreamlike, whimsical, daring. It’s no wonder the likes of Dali, Miró and Gaudi sought to create their works of wonderment here.
After the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona went through a rebirth, and is now one of the hottest destinations in all of Europe. Swinging nightlife, sultry beaches, the sound of the language (hint : it’s not Spanish) collides to create a sensuous, sublime city.
You might arrive into the Barcelona Franca train station. First built in 1929, it is Barcelona’s most beautiful. With marble, bronze and crystal, the décor, compare to design elements around the rest of the city, is far more traditional and opulent. What makes the station different is that it is made of two buildings surrounding the rail tracks in the shape of a U.
Exit the station and be immediately captivated by the city’s energy. Sounds of Spanish guitar echo through the monumental walls of the station, while the aroma of coffee and churros vie for your attention.
There’s so much more to Barcelona than La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the Joan Miro Museum. When you get off the bus, explore the charming squares, dark passageways of the Gothic Quarter and the beaches, thriving with bombshell Catalonians. And remember to leave your “Spanish” in Madrid.
Barcelona will allow you to enjoy a day at the beach in the morning while admiring Gaudi architecture in the afternoon. In the evening, hit up a cava bar to celebrate your surroundings. Cava is the Spanish version of Champagne. Delightful and bubbly, just like the locals. One of the best places in Barcelona to try some is El Xampanet. Operated by the same family since the 1930’s and close to the Picasso Museum, you’ll find marble tables and walls adorned with colorful tiles. For the brave, try the typical, accompanied snack : Anchovies in vinegar.
Being in Barcelona will leave you with a smile as stretched as Las Ramblas. While strolling the maze of boulevards, keep a mindful eye on your belongings while playing card games with a street vendor. Located between the Gothic Quarter and El Raval, using a Barcelona Card you can arrive via the Catalunya metro station, one of the city’s oldest and most iconic. Meet an old or new friend in front of Font de Canaletes, a popular gathering spot in the center of it all.
From the Barcelona Sants station, you can take off on numerous day trips using RENFE services or perhaps even a quick trip on an AVE high-speed train. The tiny fishing village of Cadaqués, just about two hours away by train to Figueres and taxi/bus to Cadaques has the requisite craggy coastline and vistas that when sundrenched, turn to colors only seen in one’s imagination. Which is probably why many painters came to be inspired, including native son, Salvador Dali. The artist spent his summers here, using the gorgeous backdrop as his inspirational turn to Surrealism.
The wide pedestrian boulevard of La Rambla is lined with trees, cafés, restaurants, florists and shops. Don’t miss to taste the famous and absolutely delicious tapas, the excellent Penedés wine, the Pa amb tomàquet (slice of bread with tomato) and the mouthwatering Gambes al’allet (garlic prawns).
Visit the Mercat de la Boquería, a popular market where you’ll find fresh food. You can also visit the El Portal de l’Àngel, a large pedestrian walkway with many new and stylish shops to browse in. Shopping fans can head to Gràcia, 1 km north of the centre of Barcelona at the north end of the Passeig de Gràcia.
7-9 Passatge de la Concepció, 08008 Barcelona
Tel : +34 93 28 53 834
The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.
Getting to and from Barcelona
|From San Sebastian||05:28|
|From Murcia Del Carmen||06:46|
|From La Coruna||12:53|
|From Santiago De Compostela||12:23|
|From Miranda De Ebro||04:55|
|From Castellon De La Plana||02:21|
|To Castellon De La Plana||03:11|
|To Miranda De Ebro||05:12|
|To San Sebastian||05:56|
|To Murcia Del Carmen||06:57|
|To La Coruna||14:38|
Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in Barcelona.
Barcelona city guide
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