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Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous and proud Catalonia, is a lively city that has a lot to offer. Whether you want to visit the city to enjoy its impressive architecture, the exciting nightlife, the delicious gastronomy or the beautiful surroundings: Barcelona has something for everyone.
The beating heart of the city is La Rambla, a collection of streets that form a long boulevard. The middle of La Rambla is a pedestrian area where you meet one artist after another (living statues, sketch artists, acrobats, magicians, etcetera). There is also a bird and flower market. Fruit, meat, fish and vegetables are being traded in La Boqueria. A colorful spectacle!
Prices for food and drinks on La Rambla are high. However, there are some good alternatives left and right of La Rambla, where you pay a lot less for a bite and a drink. Just behind La Rambla is the El Raval district. This used to be the red light district of the city (this hasn't completely vanished yet), now you can find nice boutiques and intimate bars in the narrow streets. On the other side of La Rambla you will find a similar neighborhood, Barri Gòtic. Here are specialized shops, boutiques, art galleries, bars and restaurants too. The neighborhood is named after the gothic cathedral (Catedral de la Seu).
Talk about cathedrals, one of the city's biggest attraction is the Sagrada Família, the enormous basilica of the most famous son of the city - Antonio Gaudí. This basilica is certainly not the only thing Gaudí has left to the city. Park Güell, the houses Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, the fountain in the Citadel Park - to name just a few examples - are by Gaudí's hand. In Park Güell is the Gaudí Museum, dedicated to his life and work.
Barcelona is a green city, but true tranquility is found in Park Montjuïc. The heart of the 1992 Olympic Games, but there are other attractions too, like an ancient fort, a military museum, a Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the Miró Museum and the Magic Fountain. You can reach this park with a cable car from the port to the Montjuïc tip. Hanging high above the city you can enjoy a beautiful view of Barcelona.
The city has a wide range of accommodation: from very simple pensions to luxury five star resorts. Although there is a large offer, we do recommend - especially during summer months - to book your hotel room well in advance. Barcelona also has a wide range of holiday apartments, which you can rent for short or long periods.
Barcelona is a true shoppers paradise. The largest shopping malls are located on Plaça de Catalunya (the biggest shopping mall El Corte Inglés), the Avenida Diagonal (expensive and exclusive shops), the Avenida del Portal de l'Angel (mostly clothing boutiques) and the new Maremagnum shopping mall, at the port.
It's not just the city itself which makes Barcelona so attractive. The city is located on the Mediterranean Sea and has a beautiful sandy beach. Delightful to relax and recover from the many impressions Barcelona will give you. You will be approached by many vendors and people offering massages. Keep a close eye on your belongings too.
One of the most famous soccer clubs in the world is based in Barcelona. The Camp Nou stadium from FC Barcelona is a mecca for soccer fans. Inside the museum you will learn everything there is to know about the history of the soccer club, but also about the club's significance to Barcelona.
In the vicinity of Barcelona lie beautiful nature parks. To name some: the Parc Natural de Garraf with rocky limestones and the Parc Montseny, a plateau with mountain peaks over 1700 meters high. A little further away (150 kilometers to the north) lie the Pyrenean mountain peaks.
The town of Figueres is especially famous for the museum about the life and works of Salvador Dalí. Be sure to visit this, but don't forget to stroll around in Figueres, which is very cosy and has a large selection of bars, restaurants and terraces.
You can park your rental car in one of the many parking garages in and around the center of town. The prices are reasonable and your car will be safe. Note that parking time restrictions apply at the so-called green and blue parking zones (àreas verdes i blaves).
The Barcelona Airport is located 12 kilometers southwest of the city in the town of El Prat de Llobregat. Residents of Barcelona therefore often refer to it as 'L'Aeroport del Prat'. The airport is, after Madrid, the busiest airport of Spain and is accessible from the ring road round Barcelona, exit Pata Sur.