Monday, October 20, 2014

Barcelona for architects, party-goers and sportsmen

The city of Barcelona, located in the northeastern region of Catalonia in Spain, is known for its architecture, its cultural landmarks and its sports. It is the place where the XXVth Olympics were celebrated, home of the famous Barcelona Football Club and a large port where many water sport competitions take place.

Football and the Olympics
The city of Barcelona is known for its sports. If you are a sport buff, do not miss the famous Camp Nou, the stadium that houses the Barcelona FC team. Guided tours are organized around the stadium. Check out the museum dedicated to the club and visit its shop, selling official merchandise.

The Olympic Village is located close to the sea, between the Icaria beach and the Barceloneta beach. Nowadays, this area is filled with offices and skyscrapers. The Olympic Port is located nearby and is known for its marina filled with yachts.

Architecture, culture and history
Barcelona’s architecture is famous all around the world. If you want to enjoy the city’s many architectural styles, take a walk along the Las Ramblas. The Ramblas is a set of main streets that crisscross the city from the centric Catalonia Square to the Christopher Columbus statue by the sea. The boulevards are filled with café terraces, flower stalls and street performers.

Walking around the city center you will find find narrow streets that lead to squares filled with medieval churches, markets and terrace bars. Do not miss the Gothic structures of the Gothic Quarter, a centric neighborhood where the city’s Seu cathedral and its cloister, filled with geese, are located. Stay in this area if you are looking for cheap accommodation in the center of Barcelona, for there are many youth hostels and apartments available for rent in this area. Another option is to stay in one of the chic boutique hotels near the Eixample neighborhood, an area with large houses. Here you will find two other buildings built by Gaudí, the Casa Battló house and the Casa Milá.

Explore Gaudí’s Barcelona
From the top of the Sagrada Familia, an unfinished masterpiece designed by Gaudí, and from the observation deck located in the Gaudiesque Parc Güell you will be able to observe the aligned streets and squares. Head to the Eixample district if you want to see several other buildings designed by Gaudí. The two main masterpieces by Gaudí that can be found here are Casa Batlló and Casa Milá. Casa Batlló has a narrow sandstone facade decorated with skull-shaped balconies and mosaic murals. The larger Casa Milá has the shape of a wave. Take an audio tour around this building, which is known for its curvy edges. There is a gallery dedicated to Gaudí on the top floor, and the rooftops offer views towards the Sagrada Familia, another masterpiece by the architect that has become the city’s symbol.

Tapas and nightlife
The city of Barcelona is famous for its nightlife. Do not miss the city’s centric El Born district, filled with chic bars, trendy lounges and a variety of nightclubs ideal for those who want to party until dawn. Foodies must visit the famous Boquería market, located close to the Ramblas. This market have several famous tapas bars, including El Quim, and stalls selling fresh, regional products.

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