BARCELONA TOURISM – www.barcelonatourism.info
From colorful tapas bars, outdoor cafés, chocolaterías, Barcelona has a uniquely wide range of bars: coctelerías (cocktail bars), whiskerías, xampanyerias (Catalan cava, sparkling wine bars), and beer halls. Most stay open until about 2:30 a.m., some even later. Barcelona has more bars, cafés and late night haunts per capita than any other city in the world. Currently, the two areas of the alternative crowd and most local bars and clubs in Barcelona are spread over the district of Gracia, in the upper part of the city, and the neighborhood of Pueblo Nuevo, in the old industrial area of Barcelona, north Olympic area with a fairly young crowd and some of the biggest clubs in the city, located in renovated industrial buildings. The more upper scale areas are located in Sant Gervasi and Tibidabo. One of the main areas is the old town (Casco antiguo), divided between the district of El Raval, next to Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico), on the other side. El Eixample, especially around the streets of Aribau, Valencia, Gran Via, Passeig de Gràcia and Muntaner, is another area with a lot of restaurants and music venues. In recent years, the local gay nightlife has proliferated in this area.
La Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, meaning the ‘The Quarry’, is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1906–1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia, in the Eixample district of Barcelona. It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the plaster ceilings. In 1984, it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It covers 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²), which makes it one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”. The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of the Count Eusebi Güell, after whom the park was named. It was inspired by the English garden city movement; hence the original English name Park (in Catalan the name is “Parc Güell”). The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called the Muntanya Pelada (the Bare Mountain).
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a basilica. Construction of the Sagrada Família commenced in 1882. Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age of 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete.
Barcelona’s beach was listed as number one in a list of the top ten city beaches in the world according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Barcelona has seven beaches, totaling 4.5 kilometers (3 miles) of coastline. Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches, both 1,100 m (3,610 ft) in length, are the largest, oldest and the most-frequented beaches in Barcelona. The Olympic Harbour separates them from the other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics, when a great number of industrial buildings were demolished.
Port Vell is the oldest part of the Port of Barcelona. Over 16 million people visit it every year. It is where the artificial port of Barcelona was born, with more than two thousand years of tradition, dating from Roman times. In recent years, it has been reinvented to become an emblematic, must-visit place for Barcelona residents and tourists alike, an integral part of urban life in the city. In the central part is a comercial area with boutiques and restaurants, known as Maremagnum, and one of the biggest aquariums of Europe.
Paseo de Gracia is one of the major avenues in Barcelona and one of its most important shopping and business areas, containing several of the city’s most celebrated pieces of modernist architecture, like the buildings of reknowned architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, declared World Heritage Sites. It is located in the central part of the Eixample, connecting Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia.
The Gothic Quarter is one of the four districts that form the center of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from the famous walking street La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere. Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Remains of the Roman Wall can be seen around Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova. The Picasso Museum is located on one of the most emblematic streets, Calle Montcada.
La Rambla, also called Las Ramblas, is one of the most emblematic streets in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) connecting the heart of the city, Plaça de Catalunya, with the Christopher Columbus Monument at the harbor, Port Vell. Las Ramblas attracts crowds all day and until late hours in the night and is lined with press and flower kiosks, street actors, outdoor cafés, restaurants and stores. Strolling down Las Ramblas you stumble across many interesting sites such as the most famous foodmarket, La Boquería, and one of Europe’s best opera houses, El Liceo.
The Palau Nacional, situated in Montjuïc (Barcelona), is a palace constructed between the years 1926 and 1929 for the 1929 Universal International Exhibition in Barcelona. Since 1934 it has been home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia. It was the main building of the exhibition, projected by Eugenio Cendoya and Eugene Henry Catà under the supervision of Pere Domènech i Roura, which disregarded the initial project proposed by Puig i Cadafalch and Guillermo Busquets.The Palace is constructed in a classic style of architecture inspired by the Spanish Renaissance.
Tibidabo is a mountain overlooking Barcelona, and at 512 meters is the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola. Rising sharply to the north-west, it affords spectacular views over the city and the surrounding coastline. There is an amusement park, a telecommunications tower (Torre de Collserola), and a Catholic church, the Temple de Sagrat Cor, at the top, all of which are visible from most of the city. The amusement park is the oldest in Barcelona and still has most of the original rides, some of which date to the turn of the 20th century. The park was featured in the Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.