Barcelona is a beautiful city that boasts stunning architecture, art galleries, great food and a vibrant nightlife.It is a must for any budding traveler’s bucket-list. Some people describe it as a more laid back version of Paris, with nicer weather as well. The city as so much to offer that you might not be able to take it all in the first time round. If you don’t want to miss anything important, here are a few tips for making the most of your trip and experiencing Barcelona in style.
Explore On Foot
Barcelona is large, but not too large to get around on foot. You can use the buses and the metro if you want to, but you’ll be missing out on a lot. By exploring on foot, you’ll get to see a lot more of the city itself. If walking isn’t quite quick enough for you, then why not hire a bike. Barcelona is a great city for cycling in so it’s a useful way of getting about.
Learn The Language
This goes without saying. A lot of us get lazy when we go on holiday these days. We know that we’ll be able to make ourselves understood fairly easily, so we don’t bother learning the language. The city will be much more enjoyable if you can converse with the locals a bit more, so it is worth mastering a few basic phrases at least. Click here for a few tips on learning Spanish.
One of the major things that draws people to Barcelona is the rich art scene that is there. One of the best attractions is the Fundacio Joan Miro. It is one of the largest museums in the world, holding 225 and 150 sculptures, not to mention a huge collection of work by Miro, the founder of the museum itself.
The Picasso Museum is perhaps the famous gallery in the city and is certainly not to be missed. It is home to one of the largest collections of Picasso’s work in the entire world.
The MNAC is perfect if you want to see some more local art. It houses lots of wonderful collections of Catalan art, spanning from the Romanesque period all the way up to modern day.
If contemporary art is a bit more your speed, then check out the Galeria 3 Punts. While it is a much smaller gallery than some of the others we’ve mentioned, it influences the local art scene in a big way. They have a strong focus on showcasing the work of new and upcoming artists, so it is a great place to see some really groundbreaking pieces.
You don’t need to go to galleries to see great art, there is plenty dotted around the city itself. Take a stroll through one of the many delightful parks and see what you can find.
The Raval could be described as the cultural heart of the city. Once famous for being a hotbed of literary creativity, it is now a hub of brilliant cultural and intellectual activities. The area has featured in a good number of famous novels including The Thief’s Journal. These days you might find more hipsters than writers inhabiting the district, but they’ve brought some great food outlets, music and urban culture with them. If you do visit the Raval, make sure that you don’t miss the contemporary culture center that is home to all sorts of interesting exhibits.
Barcelona is a city that is filled with a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. As such, it has an incredibly rich heritage that you should engage with while you are there. Learning about the history of the city gives you so much more insight into the architecture and the art that you will find there.
The Museu d’Historia de Barcelona is a giant museum that spans the whole city, with various locations all over the place. The history of the city is perfectly preserved and put on display for all to see. Some of the best sights include the shelters that we used during the civil war and the historical cemeteries that house some thought provoking war memorials.
Food And Drink
One of the main aspects of a culture that you should always experience is their cuisine. Most people immediately think of Tapas when they think of Spanish cuisine, and there is a good reason for that. Most of the cuisine in Barcelona is based on Tapas style dining. Pintxos are like small plates of Tapas that are hugely popular in the city. In some of the more traditional places, you will eat with toothpicks and then at the end of the night, you will pay for the amount that you have used. There are also plenty of great Tapas bars around if you are looking for a more traditional experience. A lot of them serve delicious Spanish beer to wash it all down with.
Another big part of Spanish cuisine is the seafood, so make sure you sample some while you are there. The many seafood restaurants in the city offer a varied menu, made with a fresh catch every day.
If you want to get away from the tourists for a while, then you could visit Montjuic mountain. It is a bit of a trek up to the top so be prepared, but once you get up there, it is worth it. There are wonderful views of the whole city, so it’s a great way to take in the gorgeous architecture that the city has to offer. There are also a lot of buildings at the top for you to see. The impressive Olympic Stadiums from the 1992 games are still available for you to view. The Palau Sant Jordi is one of the most notable ones, along with the telecommunications tower. It doesn’t sound that exciting, but the tower is a stunning structure designed by Santiago Calatrava. You can also take a walk through the lovely Laribal gardens that house some incredible plants that are grown for the parks around the city.