BARCELONA

  • STYLE SPY
  • |
  • 25 April 2016

One of the world’s most visited cities—with up to 27 million tourists annually—Barcelona tops the bucket list of most ardent travellers. With a healthy mix of culture, architecture, and gourmet delights, this seaside Spanish metropolitan has everything you’d expect from a centuries-old city that has modernised harmoniously with time. When the blue Mediterranean beckons, take a leisurely stroll or a bike ride along the promenade, and hop in and out of cafes that serve exquisite Catalan food. Or, admire the city’s architecture that spans 2,000-plus years. Of course, no trip to Barcelona is complete without partying till the wee hours of the morning.

The easiest way to explore Barcelona is to walk around the city. Start with the shadowy lanes of the Gothic Quarter, a great place to get a glimpse of heritage Barcelona. Beautiful churches, plazas, markets and museums dot this medieval part of the city. A tour of the Museu D’Història De Barcelona will take you through the old Roman town of Barcino, which was built a few floors under the current city, and accidentally discovered in the 1920s. In close proximity is La Rambla, Barcelona’s most famous street. Set between narrow lanes, and flanked by trees, in the middle of La Rambla is a broad pedestrian boulevard, crowded with tourists and locals until the wee hours. Post sunset, head over to Palau Nacional for the magnificent performance of Font Màgica or the Magic Fountain.

 

Football enthusiasts cannot leave the city without a tour of the Camp Nou Stadium, home of the FC Barcelona team. Book the museum and stadium tour and get a chance to view the Liga and Champions League trophies that the team has won.

   

One of Barcelona’s top attractions is admiring the modernista structures that dot the city—the works of Antoni Gaudí and his contemporaries like Puig i Cadafalch and Domènech i Montaner. As you walk around you’ll spot many examples of Gaudi’s masterpieces, but the most famous are the Sagrada Família, Park Güell and La Pedrera. Over 100 years, and still under construction, the Sagrada Família, emulates a medieval cathedral, and was Gaudí’s all-consuming obsession. He devised a temple 310 feet long and 196 feet wide, capable of seating 13,000 people. The central tower was envisioned as 558 feet high (representing Christ) and another 17 others over 330 feet. 12 of these, along the three facades, represent the apostles, and the remaining 5, the Virgin Mary and four evangelists.

In a city that explores gastronomy, and where simple, flavourful ingredients like seafood, cured ham and market-fresh produce, are transformed into remarkable delicacies, foodies will have an experience to remember for a lifetime. From traditional places where tapas like patatas bravas are stars of the menu, to a fantastic assortment of seafood, and Catalan gastronomic restaurants, you’ll find everything here. Make a reservation at some of the best places, like La Mar Salada, Tapas 24, Cinc Sentits, and Dos Cielos.

   

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