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A Whistlestop Tour of Barcelona  by Anne Sewell - Spain Travel Guide

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Barcelona boutique hotels and Bed & Breakfasts

Visiting Barcelona, with limited time? There is so much to see in this fascinating city, which would normally take at least a week, but it is possible to see the major highlights in a couple of days too.

I would highly recommend the following:

The Gaudí masterpieces:

1. Temple de la Sagrada Familia - or Temple of the Sacred Family - Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece and a must-see in Barcelona. A fascinating combination of the original architects' vision (Martorell and De Villar), combined with the magic of Gaudí. Unfortunately Gaudí passed away before the work was complete. Construction still continues on this amazing building and your entry fee helps towards this.

2. Casa Milà (La Pedrera) - in the L'Eixample neighbourhood - Antoni Gaudí was commissioned by the industrialist, Pere Milà, to construct a building on the boundary of Barcelona and Gràcia, as both a family residence and also to be leased as separate dwellings. Owing to the way its facade appears to be carved out of rock, the Casa Milà was nicknamed "La Pedrera", which means stone quarry. Amazing interior architecture, as well as the famous and fascinating chimneys on the rooftop.

3. Casa Battló also in the L'Eixample neighbourhood - a fairytale building. Originally Gaudí was commissioned to demolish the building, and build from scratch, but he convinced the owner to let him completely redesign the existing building. This was in the days when the Paseo de Gracia was undergoing a "keep up with the Jones'" battle - everyone trying to outdo each other with their architecture. Gaudí did an incredible job using tiles and scales on the exterior of the building, wonderful interior design, plus again the famous chimneys on the roof top.

4. Parque Güell (Güell Park) - ideal for a restful stroll after your busy days in Barcelona. Originally planned to be a residential area, it is now a beautiful park with many wonderful Gaudí creations in tilework and stone. The views over Barcelona to the sea are simply beautiful.

Other areas worth visiting are the following:

- The very famous Las Ramblas - a busy street between the Plaza de Catalunya and the port with many restaurants, cafes, bars, kiosks and the famous Human Statues of Barcelona

- Poble Español de Montjuic (the Spanish Village) - situated at the foot of Mount Montjuic. Created in 1929 on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, the Spanish Village is the only initiative of its kind which has survived the test of time. A collection of streets and squares, monuments and buildings, representing the different peoples and cultures of Spain. Some might call it kitsch, but it is an attractive and interesting place to visit, full of shops selling the handicrafts of the various regions. There are restaurants and cafes to enjoy a break and also an art gallery, Fundacio Fran Daurel. Above the entrance is a terrace cafe with incredible views (but alas, bad service and incredibly high prices!) However, the views were worth it!

- The Cathedral - a Gothic creation of great beauty.  The Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is the Gothic cathedral seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona, Spain. The cathedral was constructed throughout the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century. The cloisters enclosing the Well of the Geese (Fuente de las Ocas) were completed about 1450. The neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that is common to Catalan churches in the 19th century.

- The Palau de la Música Catalana - a beautiful concert hall.  The Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was built in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth) (Benton 1986, 56; Fahr-Becker 2004, 199). It was inaugurated February 9, 1908.

- The Port, Barceloneta and the beaches

Barcelona has many more attractions, too numerous to list here - so if you are only spending a couple of days in this city, plan ahead for a longer trip to Barcelona in the future - you will not regret it. 

Return to Travel Guide  /  Barcelona Tours  /  Paradores of Cataluña

Barcelona boutique hotels and Bed & Breakfasts


All Barcelona Monumental Highlights
Barcelona is a Cosmopolitan city and home of Gaudi's Master- pieces. On this private day tour you will visit the city´s most important monuments: Sagrada Famila, Las Ramblas, Casa Mila .. read more
Gaudi Barcelona Walking Tour
Enjoy a half-day walking tour to visit Gaudi's master- pieces: the Sagrada Familia Church, Casa Batllo, Casa Ametller and Casa Lleo Moreno: with a detailed tour to La Pedrera (Casa Mila) .. read more
Walking tour of Gothic Quarter with the Cathedral and Picasso Museum
On this half-day private tour you will visit the Gothic quarter and Cathedral of Barcelona. As well we will visit the famous Museum of Picasso .. read more
Catalan Cuisine A Mediterranean Morsel
This culinary tour starts in Barcelona, one of the main culinary capitals in the Mediterranean. Walk about the Ramblas, Gothic Quarter, Gaudi´s architectural creations. .. read more

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