Barcelona Hotels Articles

April 14, 2010

Barcelona Catalonia

Anyone coming to Barcelona for the first time is in for a pleasant surprise. The city is quite small regarding other European cities such as London and Paris but that’s where Barcelona’s real charm lies.

There is so much to do here and you could never get bored easily. When I first moved to Barcelona I enrolled in one of the best schools for learning Spanish – the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas near the port area of Drassanes. I quickly discovered Barcelona’s charm as I went for walks around the gothic quarter after school drinking cortados (small coffees) in the many quaint little bars and cafés Barcelona has to offer.

Barcelona has one of the best markets in Spain if not Europe for fresh fish, meat and vegetables. It’s called La Boqueria and is extremely popular with the locals as well as tourists. You’ll find it just off Las Ramblas near the famous Liceu theatre. It even has its own website in five languages including Japanese!

If you’re a lover of architecture you are in for a real treat. Barcelona is home to Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece – La Sagrada Familia Church. Other noted works by this Catalan architect are “La Pedrera” “La Casa Batllò” and his famous “Parc Guell” which is a fantastic park to stroll through on any day of the year.

One of my favourite museums is the Picasso Museum and a trip outside Barcelona to Figueres and you could visit the Salvador Dalí Museum – one of Catalonia’s finest if not most extravagant of painters.

For the football fans among us there is Barcelona Football Club’s Camp Nou stadium with its fantastic trophy room full of silverware.

Getting to Barcelona these days has never been easier. With the low-cost airlines flying both to Barcelona’s El Prat airport and the smaller airport in Girona, visiting the city for a week or a short city weekend break has never been better.

A 25 minute ride by taxi from El Prat gets you into the city centre whereas an hour and a half on the coach will do the same thing if coming from Girona.

Barcelona is also home to many foreign students and travellers who have been captivated by its charm and find it difficult to leave. A teacher at the school I went to mentioned above once told me that if a foreigner stays in Barcelona for a few years, he or she would find it very difficult to go back home. How right he was! Barcelona is a very captivating city and enjoys a freedom that is not appreciated anywhere else in Europe.

Incidentally, if you do decide to come to this great city why not rent an apartment in Barcelona – a lot cheaper than a hotel and definitely more fun!

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