Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and the fourth most visited city after Paris, London and Rome. It is also Spain’s most cosmopolitan city and one of the Mediterranean’s busiest ports.
The old centre of Barcelona offers one of the largest concentrations of Gothic architecture in the world but the city is perhaps more popularly known for its fine examples of surrealist architecture. Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is the international symbol of Barcelona and parts of the church, along with other examples of his work, such as Casa Mila, Park Guell, have World Heritage Site status.
Apart from fantastic architecture, Barcelona contains 68 municipal parks and seven sandy beaches, one of which – Barcelona beach – is listed as one of the world’s top ten city beaches. The city also boasts a large number of museums, including the Museu Picasso (or Picasso Museum) which houses one of the most extensive collections of artwork by one of Spain’s most famous sons, Pablo Picasso.
The city is home to bars, restaurants and clubs that cater for all tastes, and Barcelona’s grand avenue, Passeig de Gracia, is a shopper’s paradise offering the best in designer names and high street brands. The tree-lined pedestrian mall of La Rambla is another highlight, popular with tourists, particularly at the height of the season, who are keen to take in its unique atmosphere.
Barcelona is also the home of the third richest football club in the world and certainly one of the most well known, FC Barcelona. With a capacity of 100,000, the team’s home ground, Camp Nou, is the largest football stadium in the world.
22 miles to the south west of Barcelona lies the Catalan town of Sitges. Famous for its Film Festival and Carnival, Sitges also hosts an annual Gay Pride event and is a popular holiday destination for gay and lesbian travellers.
When planning your Barcelona city break, you will soon discover that there is a wide and diverse variety of holiday apartments and hotels to choose from. Due to the wealth of options on offer, it’s worth doing your research before you book your holiday home or hotel. Many districts, such as Eixample , offer great holiday rentals to suit every budget.
Barcelona is served by Barcelona-El Prat Airport which lies about 11 miles from the city centre There is a comprehensive local public transport network that includes a metro system, buses, tram networks and a high speed rail service. An extensive motorway network connects Barcelona to the rest of Spain and beyond into Europe.