Yes, it’s true. Barcelona has it all: Beaches, parks, bars and restaurants, culture, history, shopping. The modern – Agbar Tower – merges with the ancient – the Cathedral – and the sublime – the Sagrada Familia -. Barcelona is the perfect city to walk about the streets, disappear into their neighbourhoods, admire its modernist architecture and enjoy its nightlife. All this make Barcelona the perfect tourist destination.
The Sagrada Familia is, undoubtedly, the symbol of Barcelona. A monumental expiatory temple, masterpiece of the architect Antoni Gaudí and paradigm of Catalan Modernism. The church was started in 1882 and still remains under construction. The reason: it has always built from donations.
In the district Eixample, Modernism emerges in buildings like the Milà House, also known as La Pedrera, with its undulating façade and its famous chimneys; the Batlló House, also a work of Gaudí, whose facade, they say, tells the battle between Saint George and the dragon; Terrades House or Casa de les Punxes, medieval style by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, which takes its name from its six conical towers, each one of them topped by a needle; Saint Paul Hospital or the Palau de la Música, both by Luís Domènech i Montaner.
Barcelona has a large history that even today remains alive in the city. Barcelona Cathedral dating from the thirteenth to fifteenth century has a beautiful cloister and garden with large palm trees and some white geese. On Corpus Christi day a tradition is played: L’ou com balla (How the egg dances), where an egg “dances”, helped by various water jets. In district Born is Santa Maria del Mar, a gothic church, whose building began in 100. This is undoubtedly the most emblematic example of Catalan Gothic. A sturdy, austere and compact church, but astonishing beautiful. Another jewel of Catalan Gothic is Santa Maria del Pi, a church located on the Pi Square that stands out for his enormous rose window.
The Rambla, also known as Rambla de les flors, because of its many flower stalls that decorate it, is one of the most characteristic places of the city. Filled with shops, locals, restaurants and the famous and spectacular living statues which will be only moved as they receive a coin from one of the bystanders. Going down by the Rambla it is the Saint Joseph Market, better known as La Boqueria, a place as busy as close, where you can buy and taste all kinds of food. Further down is the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the oldest and prestigious of the active theatres in Barcelona and one of the most important opera houses in the world.
At the end of the Rambla, we find the Columbus Monument, which was built for the International Exposition of 1888, in honor of Christopher Columbus, the discoverer of America. The monument is a statue that rests on a long column; within there is an elevator that leads to the hemisphere at Columbus feet, where visitors can sight the city.
The Port of Barcelona is the largest port in traffic and cruises in the Mediterranean Sea. The port can be visited with the “Golondrinas”, typical boats from the port, which provide the opportunity to approach the harbor and Barcelona coast by sea. If you prefer a sight from the air, you just have to take the Telefèric, an air shuttle that binds the port with Montjuïc hillside.
Barcelona has several interesting parks as Montjuïc, Tibidabo, the Ciutadella or Güell Park, which was commissioned by Count Güell to Antoni Gaudí. The park was designed as luxurious neighbourhood for well-off families, but only the land was sold. Gaudí created this park, declared World Heritage, where nature and architecture merge and feed each other in perfect harmony.
As far as culture is concerned, Barcelona is a bottomless pit. It has a great number of museums covering different areas such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), the Picasso Museum, the Joan Miró Foundation, the Maritime Museum or the Egyptian Museum. It also hosts numerous festivals, as theatre – Grec, Barcelona Festival -, as film – Human Rights Film Festival, l’Alternativa or The Barcelona International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, as music – Sónar, Primavera Sound or Flamenco Festival De Cajón! -. Some of them have become international references.