Barcelona, in the heart of Catalonia

Sun and relaxation. Those are often the first things that come to mind when we talk about Barcelona. However, there are many other sides to the city. It is not only the capital of Catalonia, it is Spain's second largest city. Catalonia's autonomy makes it an important city in the country. Don't be surprised if most of the residents prefer to speak Catalan rather than Castilian. The city has a population of more than 1.5 million and is ideally located between the sea and mountains. It is hard to be bored here because the city is awake day and night. An atypical city, Barcelona also has modern architecture. Eight of its buildings are on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Whether you come looking for sun, fun, the beach, or culture, you will not be disappointed. Barcelona has it all, and even more. Follow Pablo Picasso's footsteps during the day, dive into the Mediterranean in the late afternoon and enjoy a few tapas in the evening while listening to local musicians. Even a weekend trip to Barcelona feels like a vacation. When you reserve online, you can plan your trip to Barcelona in a few clicks. A flight alone or with accommodations, it's up to you to choose.

Must-see places and monuments in Barcelona

Three days are not enough to see all of Barcelona. However, here are a few must-see monuments and places to visit:
The Sagrada Familia: Barcelona's emblematic modern monument, the basilica or expiatory temple of the Sagrada Familia attracts tourists from around the world. Construction began in 1882 and it has never been completed. It is a work by Antoni Gaudí. The facade of the Nativity as well as the crypt is on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The Rambla: Barcelona's central avenue stretches ¾ of a mile. It's a must-see during a trip to Barcelona: visitors stroll under the trees among newspaper stands and florists. The opera and the large covered market, the Boqueria, are also on this street.

The Barri Gòtic: This is the gothic area of Barcelona and the center of the Roman city. The Plaça del Rei is one of the most beautiful squares in the city.

The Ribera quarter: the old quarter is also one of the must-sees in Barcelona. It used to be the district for merchants and craftsmen. Today it is a dynamic district full of fashion and designer shops as well as restaurants.

The Picasso Museum: ideal place to see the famous painter's first works as well as to discover his career and life in Barcelona.

Güell Park: another unfinished work by Antoni Gaudí, Güell Park was originally a city-garden project for Barcelona's aristocracy. The brightly colored park is one of the most beautiful and most unusual public parks in Europe. As you wander along the paths, you will find incredible sculptures and ceramic buildings, some of which are decorated with mosaics. The park overlooks the city and has a huge terrace offering a panoramic view of the park and the city of Barcelona.

The Miró foundation: the museum exhibits the works of Joan Miró. Do not miss it!

Finally the beach, which is rare in large European cities: what a delight to dive into the Mediterranean at the end of the day!

Discover Catalan culture

Catalonia is not really part of Spain. At least, that is what Barcelonians say, and for good reason: despite French influence on Spain, Catalonia has its own characteristics, starting with gastronomy.
It will be difficult to avoid the traditional paella. However, you may discover a large number of local dishes in restaurants throughout Barcelona.
Catalan cuisine has a large variety of cured meats. The most famous is a very slender sausage called fuet.
Some of the dishes are:
  • Black butifarra,
  • Tender grilled onions,
  • Catalan salad,
  • Catalan cocas, types of salty or sweet pastries,
  • Meatballs with squid, etc.
  • For dessert, the renowned Catalan cream with a zest of lemon.

In the early evening, the tapas bars are also crowded. There, you will find a large variety of little appetizers to taste while enjoying a glass of cerveza (beer) or sangria.

For more information about Barcelona