Barcelona Hotels Articles

August 21, 2010

Barcelona in Brief

Barcelona abounds with history, culture and art. Spain’s second largest city, it is situated in the Cataluna region with the Catalan government based here. Cataluna has its own unique culture and a language separate from Spanish. Barcelona itself is an elegant city and due to its location on the Mediterranean coast is a major port and industrial centre. Architecture in the city is magnificent with the oldest historical buildings found in the Gothic Quarter, most importantly the 13th century cathedral. Famous for being the home of Picasso, it also features work by Antonio Gaudi, the modernist architect. The seafront has undergone recent development and is a popular place for recreation and leisure and there are plans in the future for a marine wildlife park.

Main attractions
The Gothic Quarter is the hub of the city and most popular attraction for tourists. It embraces museums and monuments, art galleries and fascinating little boutiques next to trendy cafes and restaurants located in the narrow cobbled streets and medieval buildings.
The Cathedral of Barcelona is the main attraction in the Gothic quarter. Built in the 14th century it is erected on the grounds of Roman worship grounds and dedicated to Saint Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona. Next to it is the plaza where a variety of street performers and artists perform along with an antique market and many types of birds on sale.
Las Rambas is a long avenue full of activities and fascinating sights. Take a stroll from the Placa de Catalunya at the centre of the city to the monument of Columbus on the waterfront and you will see street performers, small animals for sale, street cafes and restaurants, exotic flowers and much more. There are five sections to the avenue each with a different name and eccentricity. Stop off to visit the hundred year old Boqueria Market where you can buy fresh produce, meat, fish, and dried fruit. At the waterfront is a pier with a beach nearby and many restaurants, movie theatres and night-clubs.
On the mountain behind the city is a Greek theatre, museums and sculptures as well as the Olympic Stadium. At the base of the mountain are the Montjuich Castle and the Magic Fountains where a show of light, water and music is held every weekend attracting hundreds of visitors.

How to get around
The best way to see the sights amongst the twisting streets and narrow alleyways of the Gothic Quarter and other areas is to walk. If you don’t like the idea of walking then take the underground, the fastest and most convenient way to get around the city with five lines connecting most of the main attractions. There is an extensive bus system and also night buses that run on some of the routes. Taxis are yellow and black and fares reasonable, although higher at night and weekends. There is also a new tram system that is fast and reliable way to see the sights.

Barcelona has some of the best shopping in Spain offering designer clothes, galleries, boutiques, arts and crafts. Along with the popular stores there are many winding streets that lead to all sorts of treasures with individual stylish boutiques and unusual jewellery to be discovered. If you are interested in art, then C. Montcada is a chic neighbourhood of art galleries, design studios and craft shops found near popular museums. Barcelona is also well known for its flea markets where you can pick up books, antiques, jewellery and lots of other unusual items.

Finding accommodation in Barcelona should not be too difficult, since there are hundreds of Barcelona hotels available from budget to luxury class, in any suburb of Barcelona.

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