A trip to Barcelona: the Gaudí’s City
Any large city has so much to offer and Barcelona is no different. It’s important to visit as many of the top attractions as time allows and with flights to Barcelona leaving the European Cities every day, it’s the perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. Barcelona is a huge city but with a centre that is a great size to walk around on foot. Try to use one day of your break not taking the metro or the tourist bus and you’ll make some fantastic discoveries on foot. The Parc de la Ciutadella is a must see for those wanting a stroll between means as well as Montjuic Castle and if you want to find beautiful locations which aren’t in the tourism brochures, head up to Horta to the Sant Andreu district and take in the amazing views. It’s also possible to see the city by bicycle and there are some great planned cycle routes available. Car hire in Barcelona is the perfect way to take the family out and about and it’s the best way to get to the beach with all the paraphernalia you’ll need for the day.
Top attraction without a doubt in Barcelona? The work of Antoni Gaudí. There are a number of examples of his work dotted throughout the city with a mix of civil and religious buildings. Sagrada Familia is the most famous but don’t forget about others which include Casa Vicens, Casa Batllo and the crypt of Colonia Guell if you have the opportunity to travel a little outside the city centre. For those who enjoy admiring architecture, Barcelona is the perfect location as there are works by Puig I Cadafalch, Domenech I Muntaner and the World Heritage Centre of Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau.
Hotel Primero Primera
Hotels in Barcelona are plentiful and you’ll have a broad choice of prices whether you want to stay within the city centre or have the peace of the suburbs. Late spring is a good time to visit as the tourist numbers are lower and the heat hasn’t reached its peak. One of the recommended hotel of Barcelona is Primero Primera Hotel. Run by the same family who’ve lived here since 1955, Primero Primera in Barcelona has Fifties glamour (toffee-brown wood and leather, mid-century furniture, sepia photography) and a quiet, exclusive setting. There are delightful communal areas, a lounge with battered leather sofas, an honesty bar and a fire; a help-yourself coffee area; a restaurant/café serving simple food. Rooms (30) are very spacious as this used to be an apart-hotel, and spread over 4 floors. The owners live on the first floor; the rest are guest spaces. Imagine crisp white linens on very good beds, deep bathtubs, perhaps a terrace to soak up the tranquility. If you want a peaceful base in a hectic city, you could do no better.
Gran Teatre del Liceu
For music lovers everywhere, Barcelona is the place to come if you want live music. There’s the amazing venues of Apolo and Razzamatazz but for some real grandeur, check out the Gran Teatre del Liceu. It’s a building of gold leaf and red carpet and is really worth a visit. L’Auditori has a capacity of 2.400 and it’s the centre for jazz and world music concerts. If you want to visit a music festival in Barcelona, there’s no shortage of choice; the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona, Sona and Cruilla are all worth a visit.
Picasso spent his early years in Barcelona so follow the trail of his life and visit the landmarks which are part of his youth. You can see the street where his family home once stood, although sadly it was knocked down but you can drop into Els 4 Gats where Picasso often met up with Salvador Dali and other artists to drink and chat. End your tour of his art heritage with a trip to the Museu Picasso to see his early work.
La Rambla by night
Barcelona is a city which only sleeps for a couple of hours each night, you can eat and drink until way into the early hours on La Rambla so there’s the opportunity to see a huge amount of this cosmopolitan location whilst you are there. End your visit with a ride in the cable car to look down on the people and streets below to fix the memory of this amazing destination in your mind and you’ll want to visit again and again.