събота, 31 март 2012 г.

Barcelona Guide

We would like to start our practice of reviewing the fascinating European cities with one of the most beautiful cities of the world – Barcelona.

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the capital of the Cataluña Region. It is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and has a mild climate. 

No matter how much time you have decided to spend in Barcelona, you have to know that it will not be enough to see everything the city has to offer. Therefore, we kindly advise you to plan your holiday scheduling one or two main sights a day and to spend as much time as possible in enjoying the beauties of Barcelona instead of trying to see everything within 3 or 4 days.

Barcelona is a dream. Barcelona is a fairy tale. Barcelona is an aggregation of historical treasures, modern architectural achievements and splendid natural beauty.

Once you get off the airport shuttle on the Cataluña Square you immediately understand that you have arrived in a vivid and lively city. You can see the lines of people going in and out of the Ramblas and you just want to go down the line and see where the street will take you.

You will be fascinated by the beautiful buildings, the calmness of the hundreds of people around, the flowers and souvenirs booths. Once you leave your bags at your hotel and head out to your first marked out spots, be sure to start from somewhere near the sea. It is so beautiful to walk down the Ramblas, to reach the broad square at it’s end and to head to the boat port and the Rambla del Mar. Las Ramblas is formed by several streets in the area between Cataluña Square and the sea cost and it is a street like no other in Europe. It has it’s own spirit and identical historical sights like La Boqueria Market and the The Columbus Monument.

La Boqueria is a wonderful little colorful market, which dates back from 1217 A.C. As it has been a meat market, you can still find plenty of types of traditional Spanish meat products. Nowadays you can also find there various products like wine, bread, fruits and vegetables, sea products and sweets.

The Columbus Monument is definitely of the greatest sights in Barcelona, as besides its majestic looks, it can give you a great experience once you get in and go up the lift on its top point and enjoy Barcelona from above. Once you are in the top part of the 62 m monument, just bellow the 7.2 m tall statue of Christopher Columbus, you can see the whole central part of the city and you have the best view towards the boat marina and the beautiful Passeig de Columb boulevard. This is a must-see for everyone, who is not afraid of heights.

Another wonderful Barcelona landmark is the Barcelona Aquarium. It is a unique facility, allowing you to go through a see-through tunnel in the water, as during the walk you can see over 400 species just beside you. If you have been eager to have a safe close encounter with a giant shark or an octopus, then you have come to the right place.

When you have had enough of the sea life, we strongly suggest that you also visit the Barcelona Zoo. It may not be the biggest Zoo, but you can have a really wonderful experience and enjoy the tête-à-tête meeting with many species like the lions, black panthers, leopards ,elephants , many kinds of monkeys and so on. You can also visit the Land of the Dragons department with the famous Komodo Dragon and the Aquarama with the lovely bottlenose dolphin.

Before of after the walk in the Zoo you can also enjoy a bottle of wine and nice sandwich with traditional Spanish meat products in the beautiful and calm Parc de la Ciutadella, in which the Zoo is situated. A nice break for a meal in this park can be a wonderful power-up for the following trip to the Sagrada Familia for example, as you can walk up to it along the Carer de la Marina boulevard after you leave the park.

The Sagrada Familia is a unique and memorable cathedral, which you will be amazed by. The talent of its architect – Antoni Gaudi, is seen all around Barcelona through his multiple projects in the city, but the Sagrada Familia has become the symbol of Barcelona. You will see that the cathedral is still being built, as it was not finished after the death of Gaudi, some 85 years ago.

You can very easily distinguish the original construction from the most recent work on the cathedral and you will immediately be amazed by the unforgettable gothic looks of the creation of Gaudi. You can also enter the Sagrada Familia and you will see that it is as unique on the inside as it is on the outside. There are many other great cathedrals in Spain, France, Italy and Germany, but you will agree that the Sagrada Familia is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world.

As we would like to initiate your interest towards the city and its great attractions, be sure to check some information prior to your visit also for the following famous Barcelona see-sights: the National Museum of Catalonian Arts, the Music Museum, The Picasso Museum, The History Museum of Cataluña, the Maritime Museum and the Cosmocaixa science museum.

Barcelona is a city, which has wonderful parks and your holiday will not be complete if you do not visit the other two main parks of the city, besides the already mentioned Parc de la Ciutadella – the Montjuïc and Park Güell.

Montjuïc is the biggest park in Barcelona and it holds some great sights such as the History Museum of  Cataluña, the wonderful Botanical gardens and the Font Màgica fountain. If you are lucky you can even experience the sound and lights show on the Font Màgica. Montjuïc will give you the best view over the city and in quiet weather you can go from it straight to the Harbor through the cabin lift, which will allow you to see the city in a truly unforgettable way.

The third-biggest park in Barcelona, and probably the most recognizable in the city, is Park Güell. The Gaudi spirit is everywhere in this wonderful park, which is usually much crowded all year around, especially at its main entrance by the two famous houses and the multicolored mosaic dragon. Even if you are not a big fan of hordes of tourists, once you see all the smiling faces around, you will gladly wait for the others to take their pictures in front of the beautiful buildings in the Park Güell and have yourself pictured in this unique and fascinating environment as well. The view of the Barcelona downtown with the sea behind it from the top area of the park is definitely one of the things you will remember from your holiday, and will be looking forward to see again in the future.

As you will probably not be able to see all of the above during just one visit, just choose some of the Barcelona sights for your first visit, and leave the others for the next time you come around – you will definitely want to do it very soon.


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