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Barcelona

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The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona never ceases to amaze travellers. It's hard to say if it's the Sagrada Familia, the incredible contemporary baroque cathedral still unfinished by the Catalan architect Gaudi, or if it's the Ramblas, the mythical boulevard linking the centre to the port, which best symbolises this fantastic city, festive and lively right down to the small streets and into the night. So let's say both! There is also the Güell park and its big coloured dragon signed... Gaudi, the architect who definitely left his mark on the city. The Picasso and Joan Miró museums, two major artists who were intimately linked to this magnificent city, are also unmissable. Barcelona is also a gourmet destination with a multitude of small and large restaurants and sumptuous markets, including the magnificent and immense covered market of La Boqueria on the Remblas. Everything you need to better understand the local flavours and Catalan cuisine, which combines the sea, the mountains, the vegetable garden, the forest and the garrigue so well. So many addresses that you will find in this guide to Barcelona. You can even taste Spanish specialities and good wines while enjoying the culture. It is also here that the tapas are reputed to be the best inSpain. Several museums and tourist siteshave their own restaurant. Efficient! And then there is the sea, the marina and the fishermen's port, the mirador of Columbus from where to take height, the aquarium Barcelona, the maritime museum and even beaches! Finally, the more festive ones will head for the seafront and the city centre to have a drink in the many bars and nightclubs of the city, renowned for its nightlife. A Barcelona travel guide will then be welcome to help you make the most of your stay

What to see, what to do Barcelona?

When to go Barcelona ?

Catalonia receives more than 17 million tourists every year, 10 million of whom decide to spend their stay in Barcelona. If you want the city to yourself, it's a failure because it is very crowded, and the same goes for the beaches of Barcelona! There are people all year round, but of course less in the low season. Moreover the summer is often scorching and August stormy. Prefer winter to visit Barcelona. And why not Christmas when the city comes alive and sparkles. Beware of Holy Week when local tourism is very developed and the crowds in Barcelona are high. But if you like local entertainment and religious festivals, this is also a good time. February has the advantage of being mild and dry for visiting Barcelona. You can enjoy the city on foot and all its tourist attractions without the crowds, especially if you are equipped with a good Barcelona travel guide.

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Covid-19 : current situation Barcelona

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, entry and travel restrictions may apply Barcelona. Remember to visit the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you leave for the latest information
Practical information for travel Barcelona

How to go Barcelona

How to go alone

You don't speak the local language or English? Never mind that! You will do very well all the same, especially with your Barcelona guide. You can also find tourist information in all languages in the tourist points, city guides, audio-guides, city maps, metro maps and information translated into the main monuments and museums. For the rest, with the metro or by bus it is easy to go from one point to another in this very cosmopolitan city.

How to go on a tour

This tourist destination is widely offered as an organized tour. You connect Barcelona, by bus or plane with low-cost or regular airlines and we have concocted for you an itinerary over a few days that allows you to see most of the many points of interest that the city absolutely must see, starting with the Sagrada Familia, the Parc Guell, or even see a FC Barcelona match in its Camp Nou stadium. You can of course opt for other tourist tours a little more off the beaten track or tourist buses. Several sites allow you to compare travel offers (packages, air-only flights, etc.) and thus to have a range of possibilities and therefore prices for a stay in Barcelona with family, friends or lovers..

How to get around

It can be pleasant to stroll through the small streets of the old city, pedestrian areas and other areas of Barcelona. But not always, so the means of transport at your disposal are welcome to make your visit to the city easier. Barcelona's clean, punctual and conditioned metro connects important sites and it is very easy to buy tickets at the entrance to the stations. Enjoyable in summer when it is too hot to walk even in the shade! A bus network (TMB) serves Barcelona's city centre. There is also a self-service bicycle park with many stations. Taxis, a more expensive alternative, remain affordable. But the city centre is mainly pedestrian and traffic jams are frequent. You will find documentation in all languages in the tourist information points, audio-guides and translated information in the museums and main monuments of Barcelona. For the rest with the different metro lines it is easy to go from one point to another in this beautiful city. To connect the city centre from the airport there are different alternatives: the fast and comfortable Airbus, the trains of the Renfe economic and practical, the metro economic solution but can be constraining depending on where you are going, the bus the most economical option that will be chosen for those who want to visit Barcelona cheaply, or the taxi the most expensive solution. Note that the bus company Mon-bus offers trips to Sitges on the Costa Daurada and that it is also possible to find transfers to the Costa Brava.

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Discover Barcelona

Sunshine, fiesta and Art Nouveau: a reality, of course, but it would be a shame to sum up Barcelona in these few words. This multi-faceted city has many surprises in store for you, as much for its history as for its culture, its cuisine, its people and its indescribable energy. The birthplace of the genius Gaudí and the painter Miró, a land of traditions that it has defended relentlessly for centuries, the stronghold of the irreducible Barça... the maritime city is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. All the more so as its relentless dynamism attracts creators and artists from all over, who reinvent fashionable districts and places every day. A Mediterranean Eldorado to be discovered with your nose to the air, letting yourself be carried away by encounters and adventures, without ever forgetting to take an interest in its past, its culture, its traditions, in short, everything that makes its identity so singular.

Pictures and images Barcelona

Marché de la Boqueria. Author's Image
Parc Güell. Stéphan SZEREMETA
Casa Batlló. Jasantiso - iStockphoto.com
Basilique de Santa Maria del Mar (église Sainte-Marie-de-la-Mer). Author's Image

The 12 keywords Barcelona

1. #Adéu

This word, pronounced "adéou", means "goodbye" in Catalan. Feel free to use it without moderation, because Catalans love it when you try to use their language a little bit. You will see it, even people who don't speak Catalan use it in shops or restaurants, that's how important this little word is!

2. #Barça

"My club" (more than a club) is the motto of Barça. Founded in 1899, this club is a true symbol of Catalanism: about 150,000 socios (members) wear the colours blue and garnet with great pride. Its stadium, the Camp Nou, is the largest in Europe, with a capacity of nearly 100,000 spectators.

3. #Caganer

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An essential character of Christmas celebrations, the caganer is a santon wearing the traditional barretina (Catalan beret), leaning, his buttocks looking like defecating! Originally represented as a peasant, it now comes in multiple characters: footballers, politicians... not to mention the royal family!

4. #Castells

The castells are human towers erected during Catalonia's patron saint's festivals. Participants perch on the shoulders of their companions to form a multi-storey tower, crowned at the top by a child (enxaneta). Since 2010, castells have been registered as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.

5. #Català

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Catalan is a Romance language spoken by about 10 million people, mainly in Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearics and Andorra. It also has speakers in France. In Catalonia, it is the co-official language with Castilian: more than 80% of the inhabitants speak it, and nearly 95% understand it!

6. #Gaudí

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Barcelona without Gaudí is a bit like Paris without the Eiffel Tower: inconceivable! The architect has left his mark on the city through works as eclectic as they are personal. Seven are classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Güell Park, Palau Güell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicens, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and Colònia Güell.

7. #Modernism

A local interpretation of European Art Nouveau, this artistic movement developed in Barcelona towards the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, particularly in the Eixample. The works of modernist architects are characterized by their medieval references, the exaltation of Catalonia and the rebirth of decorative arts.

8. #Rumba catalana

A musical genre invented in the 1950s and 60s by the gypsies of the Raval and Gràcia districts, by synthesizing Afro-Cuban rhythmic basses with the intonations and harmony of flamenco. The result of this musical alchemy is the Catalan rumba. El Pescaílla, Peret and Gato Pérez are the main representatives.

9. #Sant Jordi

A Christian martyr in the 4th century, Saint George is the Patron Saint of Catalonia and a symbol of Catalanism. Modernist architecture is full of references to the legend of Sant Jordi, according to which the brave knight saved a princess from the claws of the dragon! Since 1456, Sant Jordi has been celebrated on April 23rd with roses

10. #Sardana

Traditional Catalan dance, the current version of which dates back to the 19th century. The dancers form a closed circle by holding hands, and taking short, long steps to the rhythm of the cobla. Sardana demonstrations take place every Saturday at 6pm and Sunday at 11:15am in Barcelona's Cathedral Square.

11. #Trencadís

Mosaic technique using broken pieces of earthenware, marble or glass, made famous by modernist architects. Gaudi was the first to use this method to cover irregular surfaces. The dragon and the undulating bench of the Güell Park are among the most emblematic works of Trencadís.

12. #Vermut

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Since the end of the 19th century, Catalans have been consuming vermouth as an aperitif, which has become by extension the hora del vermut. In addition to the traditional bodegas, many vermuterias have been created in Barcelona, where vermut is served with anchovies, olives... A ritual to be tested preferably at the weekend, around noon!

You are from here, if...

You say "Adéu" when you leave a bar or shop. Even if it's the only word you know in Catalan!

You swallow a snack around 12pm.... because the morning is still long before the lunch break of 2pm!

You order a vermut for the aperitif... and a gin and tonic as a digestive! But whatever happens, and under no circumstances do you order a sangria!

You go to the museum on Sunday afternoons... Day when most museums are free, of course!

You eat with your bag on your lap. Because they are tired of being victims of thieves on the sly, Barcelonians have adopted this infallible system (although a little uncomfortable, let's face it)

You drink your coffee with ice cubes in summer. Because any means is good to overcome the heat!

You only go to a club if you're on a VIP list. Because paying to go to a club is good for tourists. Go to the websites zonadeluxe.com and youbarcelona.com to be informed of the parties

 

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