Barcelona Spain is a fabulous destination for the tourist seeking a cosmopolitan experience. Its long history united with the many diverse cultures that shaped its growth make it a fascinating place to explore. Wandering through its ancient, winding streets, it’s easy to speculate that perhaps mythical Hercules really did found the city. Kudos to him if he did. Barcelona sits on a particularly lovely piece of real estate overlooking the Mediterranean.
INFOGRAPHIC 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Barcelona Spain
In every niche, Barcelona Spain skillfully balances the traditional with the cutting edge. You’ll still find the 13 white geese in a cloister at the Barcelona Cathedral, but you can also dance the night away at the Antilla BCN Latin Club. If your salsa and merengue aren’t up to snuff, be sure to hit the Antilla on a night when they’re giving dance lessons.
Barcelona Spain boasts a fabulous Metro underground train system, but it’s a wonderful city for walking too. Perhaps the best walking experiences happen along Las Ramblas. Start at one end at the Plaça Portal de la Pau, which features a monument to Columbus, and make your way to the Plaça de Catalunya, which is widely considered to be the city’s heart. As you ramble, take in the portrait painters, the flower sellers and the fabulous cafes with mouthwatering menus. Eat and drink to your heart’s content. You’ll need the strength to give the shopping in nearby Portal de l’Àngel the attention it deserves.
As you stroll, you’ll see incredible examples of gothic architecture mixed with stunning examples of the modernism movement. Choose between masterworks by three of Barcelona’s most celebrated architects who were locked in bitter rivalry for years. Piled up one after the other, you’ll view all three in the Manzana de la Discordia before casting your vote for which façade is the most impressive. One of the architects, Antoni Gaudi, is usually thought to have won this particular fight.
The battle between innovative architects was not the first nor the last war Barcelona has witnessed. Modern tourists may experience some of the area’s dark history by visiting Refugi 307. In the late 1930s, Franco’s army began a series of air raids against the city. The terrified public rallied to protect themselves, building extensive shelters underground. Refugi 307 is one of these. It’s part of the larger Museu d’Història de Barcelona, a particularly impressive museum that seeks to encapsulate the city’s more than 2,000 year history. It’s easy to spend hours wandering among the archaeological finds and royal palaces on the site. Perhaps no other attraction in the city so beautifully captures Barcelona’s complex past.
Of course, Barcelona Spain is also a wonderful place for relaxation. While historians have said that the city existed for many centuries “with its back to the sea,” that perspective has definitely changed today. A visit to the glorious Harborfront is a highlight for many visitors. Wander the boardwalks and take a dip in the Mediterranean under a faultlessly blue sky. It’s the perfect way to cap off a day in Barcelona. Check out companies such as ApartmentBarcelona.com which offer rentals all over the city, not only near the main sights.