This summer I’m looking to take a weekend break on the continent and one city immediately came to mind; Barcelona. The capital of Catalonia is one of the most popular cities with tourists in Spain. The great nightlife, mouth watering cuisine, beautiful beaches and mountainous highlands makes Barcelona sightseeing for anyone who is travelling through Europe.
As the Met Office predicts a decade of wet summers in Britain, a holiday in Barcelona should be an especially tempting proposition. Moreover, with cheap airlines offering direct flights to Barcelona from most UK airports, it has never been easier to take a weekend break in the city. If holiday in Barcelona has caught your interest then here are a few great ideas of things to do in the city.
Port Vell Aerial Tramway
Built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition the Port Vell Aerial Tramway has had a turbulent history. Shortly after it’s construction it was forced to close as the Great Depression crippled the countries finances. When the Spanish Civil War ravaged the country, the Tramway was turned into a machine gun nest. In 2000 the Port Vell Aerial Tramway re-opened and to this day continues to offer one of the best views of the cities skyline. The Port Vell Aerial Tramway opens for visitors starting at 11 AM each morning and runs into the evening throughout the year. Keep in mind that you will have to purchase a separate ticket to ride the tram, as it is not part of the city’s public transportation network.
Barcelona Football Club is one of the best teams in the world. With a collection of star players including Messi, Puyol and Thiago, offering the home crowd an unforgettable spectacle of world class football, a pilgrimage to Nou Kamp should be on every football lovers to do list. Even better than a trip to an empty stadium however is a chance to watch Barcelona play on home turf. With ticket prices starting from just €20, anybody visiting the city can afford to attend a match.
An Eye on Gaudi
The cities most famous son, Gaudi has shaped the perceptions of generations of architects with his whimsical architectural designs that litter the city. From the unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral to Park Guell and La Pedrera, a tour of Gaudi’s most famous buildings will take a long day for any dedicated tourist. My personal favourite Gaudi structure would have to be Park Guell, which looks like it has been taken straight out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale.
A Stroll Along La Rambla
La Rambla is one of the most famous and popular boulevards in the city. Located close to the harbour, this tree lined avenue is a beautiful spot to stop off and grab a coffee and do some intense people watching. Of course, if people watching is not you thing, then there are plenty of great shops that line the street where you can do some happy holiday shopping. La Rambla is the place to go if you want to see the real Barcelona, as this is where many of the city’s inhabitants spend time on the weekends. It is also very close to the Christopher Columbus Monument, which is a must-see while visiting Barcelona.
Festes De La Marce
If you want to enjoy a week of street parties and celebrations then September is the time to visit Barcelona. Every year of September 24th the city hosts the Festes De La Marce. This is the biggest festival of the year and tourists visiting the city can expect to bump into giants parading down the main streets of the city, find your place in a human tower, watch live musical performances or simply enjoy the night time fireworks displays.
Fundacio Joan Miro
If you are going to be visiting the home of Picasso, then you shouldn’t leave the city without visiting at least one art gallery. Fundacio Joan Miro, is one of the greatest galleries in the city and would be my personal recommendation. The collection comprises over 150 sculptures 225 paintings and includes the works of numerous Spanish Surrealist painters. In total, the gallery holds over 10,000 items by Miró and other artists, making it one of the top art-related attractions in Barcelona.