Things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona, probably the Spanish city most people want to visit. Centre of Catalan culture, it’s packed with history but is also fully up to date with its modern Olympic village and the historic old Sagrada that is still being built. There’s something for everyone here from those in search of history to those who want activity. And of course it’s home to Barcelona FC, the beloved Barca, Spain’s Liverpool, to Real’s Man U.
Posted on: June 01, 2012 by David Lewis
1. Sagrada Familia
Probably the most amazing piece of architecture in the modern world, the Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s defining monument. Construction began in 1882 and is still going on today with an estimated completion date between 2060 and 2090.The design of the cathedral is unmistakable being a blend of gothic and fantasy architecture. It is the epitome of innovative design and is rightly, the most visited attraction in the city. It is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has, over the last century been the cause of much controversy over its design and whether it was being built to challenge the supremacy of Barcelona Cathedral.

2. Poble Espanyol de Montjuic
Found on top of a hill overlooking Barcelona, this former Jewish quarter of the city now abounds with charm and history. From the old stone buildings that line its narrow streets to the monuments littered over the area it is a wonderful place for a relaxed walk in the afternoon, looking out over the panorama of the city.

3. Barcelona FC
An historic club, supported all around the world and main challengers to Real. Barca have been in the ascendancy over the last few years. No visit to Barcelona for a football fan is complete without a visit to the Nou Camp. Daily tours are available and for the very fortunate, a match day ticket for games against Real or Valencia or Athletico is certain to thrill.

4. Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is Barcelona's most popular visitor attraction and you should plan a lengthy visit. It houses an amazing collection of works covering every one of his artistic periods along with many interesting personal items and memorabilia. It is the most authoritative study of Picasso's life and work and is sure to delight modern art lovers. It is arranged chronologically and so helps the visitor to understand the development in technique and skill in Picasso’s work over the years.

5. Miro Museum
Miro has been overshadowed by his more famous Spanish counterpart, Picasso but is worthy in Barcelona of his own museum in the Joan Miro Foundation. Miro himself had an input into the development of the museum and asked that the foundation, as well as showing his work, promoted the work of new contemporary artists. The museum opened in 1975 and has seen millions of art lovers pass through its doors.

6. The Magic Fountain of Montjuic
A rather unusual and slightly kitsch attraction for Barcelona is the Magic Fountain in Montjuic. Originally designed for the Great Universal Exhibition, over 3,000 people worked on the project which many thought would never be a success nor would it be completed in time. They were proved wrong and the fountain worked to the great delight of the public The magic fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics. The magic fountain is a "must see" when you come to Barcelona and highly recommended.

7. Las Ramblas
After the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas is the sight most synonymous with Barcelona and is often the first place of visit for the tourists. Easily accessible as the central street of the city, it is a 1.2 kilometre long eclectic blend of tiny boutiques selling the weird and wonderful, tapas bars, street performers and much, much more. It has a great buzzing, party atmosphere from dawn to the early hours but can sometimes display a seedier side. Be careful where and when you tread and you’ll have a fabulous street party of a day in Las Ramblas.

8. The Tibidabo
Tibidabo is a mountain overlooking the city and is the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola. It has spectacular views out over the city and coast. Most people don’t come here for the view though for at its heart is an historic amusement park, dating back over 100 years with the park retaining many of the original rides, restored and maintained to their original perfection. The park fgeatured in the Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Even getting to the Tibidabo can be fun as it is reached by a funicular railway. The railway, built in 1901, was the first of its kind in Spain.

9. Olympic Harbour
Built for the 1992 Olympic Games, this area has been transformed into a delightful series of boardwalks and parks perfect for a leisurely stroll along the Mediterranean coastline. Bright and modern, it boasts colourful contemporary architecture and numerous bars, restaurants and arts centres that come alive after dark. There is also a multitude of sporting facilities such as roller-skating, go-karting and tennis courts. A great place for an active day out or for a gentle stroll in beautiful, contemporary surroundings.

10. Barcelona Aquarium
Right down by the marina, you’ll find Barcelona Aquarium. You may wonder what is so special about an aquarium with fishes you could see just about anywhere but the scale and settings of the displays are one reason why this was Barcelona’s second most visited attraction last year. There is a huge array of activities that can be undertaken there including swimming with sharks. Many of the activities can be prebooked online. It’s enjoyed so much, many families make return visits during their stay.



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