Barcelona is a cultural hotspot of Europe, with its artsy scene and distinctive landscape. It’s Spain’s second largest city with 1.6 million residents and is Europe’s third most-visited city after London and Paris. Its founding is unclear – two very different legends are both attributed to it – but the city’s intriguing history is what makes it all the more interesting. In more recent times, it’s clear to see just how far Barcelona has come since the Spanish Civil War, now thriving as an architectural wonder that many flock to see.
Ladbrokes has just featured Barcelona as one of the places to visit on its online travel roulette wheel, so we thought we’d share a quick guide to exploring the city for a short break. Take a look at our top five must-see attractions…
Ciutat Vella means ‘Old City’ in Catalan, the language of Barcelona, and is numbered District 1. It’s considered the centre of the city and is a real hub of restaurants and bars, not to mention stunning architecture. It’s also on the marina, so you can enjoy city life whilst also taking in stunning views. The place is comprised of four neighborhoods, most notably Les Rambles that runs down the centre where you will discover stalls selling flowers and art. At the bottom, there is the Museu Marítim, which chronicles the history of life on the Mediterranean.
If someone asks you to picture Barcelona, you’ll probably see the mosaics of Park Guell which is situated on Carmel Hill. Building work started in 1900 with a vision to urbanising the city – the design of the park was assigned to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism. The place has since been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it needs to be seen to be believed.
One of the best things about Barcelona is that you can still catch some rays and relax at one of the many beaches. The nearest and busiest is Barceloneta Beach, but you can also travel further for the delights of Platja de Sant Sebastià (30 minutes away by train) or the clothing-optional dunes of Cala de l’Home Mort.
NOU CAMP STADIUM
The Camp Nou has been the FC Barcelona stadium since 24th September 1957, the date of its inauguration. It was designed by architects Francesc Mitjans Miró and Josep Soteras Mauri, with the collaboration of Lorenzo García Barbón, and it was constructed using mainly concrete and iron. It’s the largest stadium in Spain by capacity, and is well worth a visit.
NATIONAL CATALUNYA ART MUSEUM
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is located in the majestic Palau Nacional of Montjuïc, constructed for the International Exposition of 1929. It opened its doors in 1934 with a medieval collection, before introducing Romanesque and modern art more recently.
Barcelona is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend or short break, giving you the opportunity to discover an ideal mix of city life and laid-back culture.