Words: Tinkerbell Miller
A vibrant city bustling with life, Barcelona is a popular destination for many travellers receiving around 8 million tourists last year alone. The city is a perfect destination for a weekend get-away, with places to visit that will fill every minute of your stay. A place as colourful as the Catalonian capital may be overwhelming to navigate, as someone who lived in this Spanish city, I know that Barcelona offers more than a typical travel guide may suggest.
No guide to Barcelona would be complete without mentioning the celebrated works of Gaudi. La Sagrada de Familia, Parc Guell and La Casa Mila are all the efforts of the famous architect and they are cornerstones of the culture of Barcelona. His work is inspired by the Neo-Gothic style and the use of shapes inspired by nature. Gaudi’s work can be found all over the city of Barcelona and are staples of the city and each landmark is an essential visit on any trip to the Catalonian capital.
Another well-known tourist spot is ‘Montjuic’. A hill near to the centre of Barcelona gives a breath-taking view of the city and the harbour. A trip here would certainly offer tourists a chance catch the beauty of Spain on camera. The village of Montjuic is also itself a beautiful place and to get there I would recommend the teleferic (cable car) as the quickest way to reach the summit. The historic castle, the museum and the Olympic park for the 1992 Games are also sites that can be visited on a trip up Montjuic and are often on a tourist’s to do list when visiting Barcelona.
It is important to highlight a visit to Barcelona is not just about the city and you should not feel obliged to spend all day in the city, especially when travelling in the hotter months of summer, it is easy to feel smothered and overwhelmed. A train to regions just outside the city centre is a perfect way to escape the metropolitan area and explore the surrounding Catalonian countryside.
T10 tickets are available at the metro stations offering cheap and reliable transportation from the airport, around the city and further afield.
Castelldefels is a town outside of Barcelona, as this was where I lived, I know it well and know it is a place with a relaxed, laidback atmosphere. With 5 km of beach front Castelldefels offers the perfect opportunity to leave the busy city behind for the afternoon and spend time in the balmy, Mediterranean sunshine. Dotted all along the beachfront are bars that are ideal for an early evening drink, especially Takua Bar that is renowned for its cocktails.
However, beaches are not all Castelldefels has to offer. The area is home to an array of fantastic restaurants all offering excellent Spanish cuisine. Fosbury is a seafront restaurant and with its glass walls and open-air ceiling its chic interior is ideal to indulge a 3-course meal.
Outside of the city of Barcelona is Montserrat, a mountain range that holds the Basilica, which inside sits the Black Madonna. Many people visit due to the religious significance that Montserrat holds however many also come due to the amazing scenery the mountain range has to offer as well as the beauty of the village of Montserrat. A trip to Montserrat would not be complete without a meal at Bo2 Restaurant, which offers authentic Spanish cooking, and is a short distance from the monastery. Furthermore the range of bars and restaurants means that it is possible to have a drink whilst looking out over the mountain range of Montserrat, which is something quite special.