Gaudi’s surreal city of Barcelona is a fantastic place to take a short break. Combining Spanish beaches with shopping centres and food-filled markets, there’s so much to see and do here. The city previously housed many art heavyweights, with Picasso, Miro, Dali and of course, Gaudi all making their own mark on Barcelona. This means outside of the beaches and boquerias, visitors will find many cultural highlights. Here are our favourite spots:
No trip to Barcelona would be complete without gazing upon Gaudi’s, as of yet, unfinished basilica. Work first began on the building in 1882 and Gaudi himself played an active role in the development until his death in 1926. The fascinating museum located within the building gives some idea of how the basilica might look upon completion. There are often long queues at the entrance so it’s a good idea to buy your tickets online in advance.
Barcelona’s city market is one of the best in the world and gives a great feel to local life. With cured hams hanging from the ceiling, cheese sliced in front of your eyes and olives picked fresh that morning, visitors are advised to lunch here at least once during their stay. If you have time, join a local food tour to learn more about the produce or even a Spanish cooking course – the market’s own food school runs several times throughout the year.
Keeping the kids entertained isn’t always easy on city breaks. However, children tend to love Barcelona. This is because the city not only has two beaches where they can cool off after a day exploring the sights, but that it’s also home to the Tibidabo Amusement Park. The park itself was built in 1889 and many of the rides date from this time, so expect whimsical attractions rather than modern marvels. Nevertheless, there are several great zones to explore within Tibidabo, including one dedicated to pirates!
The magic fountain is a spectacular display that mixes light, colour, motion, music and of course towering fountains! Font Mágica was first created in 1929 for the World Fair and still manages to attract some 2.5 million visitors a year. In the autumn and winter months, the fountains open on Fridays and Saturday nights only and can be found in the area of Montjuic.
For footie fans, no visit to Barcelona would be complete without seeing the home of Barça. The museum tour provides a fascinating insight into the club and their former players. Before you travel, check the fixtures calendar – you might be lucky enough to find a match on during your stay. In which case, the atmosphere at Camp Nou is unmissable.
Although Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, he spent his youth living in Barcelona. The city was the first place to exhibit his work and though you won’t see any of the artist’s more famous paintings here, the museum collection contains over 4,000 works. These early sketches really show how Picasso developed during his formative years. On the first Sunday of each month, admission to the museum is free.
After a day exploring all of Barcelona’s sights, there’s nothing more rewarding than putting your feet up and sailing off into the sunset. Orsom run Jazz and Chill Out cruises as the evening approaches. We assure you, sipping on sangria and watching the city skyline sail past is the perfect end to a day exploring the city.